MESA, Ariz. — A year after Jonathan Lucroy handled most of the catching duties for the A’s, they have three catchers vying for two spots with Chris Herrmann likely making the team as the only left-handed hitter in the group.
The right-handed hitters are Josh Phegley and former Giant Nick Hundley.
“We feel good about all three guys,” manager Bob Melvin said Friday before the team’s trip to Peoria for an exhibition with the Mariners. “Chances are, we go with two.”
Herrmann, 31, signed with the A’s as a free agent on Dec. 11 after playing the past seven seasons with the Twins, Diamondbacks and Mariners. He’s a .205 career hitter with a .282 on-base percentage and batted .237 in 36 games last year in Seattle.
He played a career-high 106 games for the 2017 Diamondbacks, and Arizona’s pitchers posted a 3.17 ERA when he was behind the plate, lowest in the majors among catchers with at least 40 innings.
“We envision Herrmann being one of the guys,” Melvin said. “We do like the platoon situation, as I’m sitting here now. It’s why we signed him. Things change along the way in spring training and during the season, but we brought him in to give him a pretty good opportunity.”
Photo: Chris Carlson / Associated Press
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Phegley, 31, is a .223 career hitter who has been on the disabled list five times the past three years. He’s out of options so a team could snag him if the A’s tried to send him to Triple-A Nashville.
“He does a great job behind the plate with throwing and blocking, a lot of intangible stuff,” Melvin said. “The bat at times came along, and you look at the games he caught last year, we won a lot of those games. What I hope he does is not worry about anybody else, just worry about yourself and see what you could do. He’s going to get a pretty good opportunity.”
Hundley, 35, signed a minor-league contract Feb. 19 after spending two years with the Giants, backing up Buster Posey and hitting 19 homers. His career average is .241.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/athletics/article/A-s-likely-catching-platoon-Herrmann-and-13636997.php.