The Chicago White Sox seem to be pretty well set on their starting catcher spot. Yasmani Grandal is the clear-cut starter heading into the season and (unless he gets hurt) no one is likely to unseat him for that starting spot.
Where things might get a little cloudy is at the backup catcher position where the White Sox have a couple of guys that are in the mix.
Old reliable Seby Zavala is still with the White Sox. Venezuela’s Carlos Perez is the other higher-rated catcher in camp right now and is giving Zavala a push from behind. There are also three other catchers in camp with the White Sox. They are Adam Hackenberg, Sebastian Rivero and Evak Skoug.
The two that we are going to concentrate on here are Zavala and Perez.
The White Sox have a few options for the backup catcher position.
The numbers never lie and the numbers on Zavala and Perez are interesting. At spring training so far, Zavala has some solid stats for spring training.
He’s been at bat 13 times, has had three runs, four hits, and two home runs. Zavala has three RBIs so far and has a batting average of .308.
Perez has had two fewer at-bats than Zavala, taking his chance at the plate eight times. He has three runs to go along with three hits with three runs batted in and a slash line of .375/.444/.944.
Obviously, Zavala has the upper hand when it comes to experience. He has been in the majors and minors for just three years but he’s shined at times. He’s appearing to be on the ascent and is someone that the White Sox are looking for when they have to fill a roster position.
He is likely the clear cut choice as the backup catcher this season barring injury.
Perez has just a handful of Major League games under his belt. It is a total of seven games with 18 at-bats. He needs much more experience to become an effective Major League catcher.
Zavala’s job is safe right now and nothing is going to change that. He has the experience and the tools to be an effective catcher should he need to be in there for a long time.
His defense is good enough that a short to a medium stint at the catcher position, which he has had to do over the past couple of seasons, wouldn’t be damaging to the team. His offense is just good enough to get him by in the Majors. Sometimes, Zavala even comes up big at the plate.
Perez will likely head back down to the minors where he will continue his development. He can be called up in a pinch to help in case Zavala or Grandal go down.
Look for Zavala to back up Grandal this season with Perez on standby should he be needed. You would think that Zavala is going to spell Grandal often this season, helping to keep him fresh and ready for the end of the season which, hopefully, ends with a trip to the playoffs for the White Sox.