The Chicago White Sox do not have a problem at catcher this year. They boast one of the top catchers in the game in Yasmani Grandal and have a pretty solid backup catcher in Reese McGuire.
Because catchers play such a tough position, it’s important to have two quality players at the position. One to start a majority of the games and another to provide relief. The White Sox found themselves a good backup catcher in McGuire.
Fans were somewhat shocked to learn that the White Sox made a trade just before the season when they sent catcher Zack Collins to the Toronto Blue Jays for McGuire.
The Sox must have seen something that they liked in McGuire because they executed the trade in quick fashion. Collins was okay but not spectacular and some feel it was no big loss. Perhaps the Sox were looking for something better.
The Chicago White Sox might have made a really nice trade for Reese McGuire.
When you look at McGuire, the thing that you notice most about him is his ability to play the position well behind the plate. His defense is outstanding and we saw this in the White Sox game against the Seattle Mariners this Tuesday.
Reese was able to block some errant pitches while not allowing them to get past him. This prevented the runners from stealing bases and getting in a better position to score.
Another strong aspect of Reese’s game is that he has the ability to throw runners out at second base effectively. We saw this against the Detroit Tigers over the last weekend. McGuire made a deadly throw to second base and the runner was easily called out.
Solid defense is what McGuire brings to the table and solid defense is what the White Sox need. There is a downside to McGuire and having him in the batting lineup. He is clearly not the hitter that Grandal is and that will be the first negative thing that you notice about him.
Overall, he’s not a terribly strong hitter but that isn’t what they need from him. So far, he has a slash of .286/.286./.286 for an OPS of .571. He has two hits and one run scored over his seven plate appearances so far.
Granted, it’s early in the season and there is a long way to go but the White Sox didn’t bring McGuire in for his offense. They brought him in to spell Grandal and for his play behind the plate so being somewhat ineffective as a batter isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Granted, it won’t help with run production much but there are times when defense matters a little more and McGuire brings great defense to the lineup.
The White Sox got a stout catcher when they made the trade and may have gotten the better end of the deal. Time will tell. For now, the White Sox are loaded at the catcher position and don’t have any worries there unless there is an injury. Both Grandal and McGuire should be able to man the position well and give the White Sox peace of mind there.