Yesterday, Miguel Olivo offiically signed his contract with the Seattle Mariners. A year ago today, the Colorado Rockies signed Miguel Olivo to be Chris Iannetta's backup in 2010, which brought out quite the historic reaction on Purple Row. As Bryan Kilpatrick will discuss later today, Olivo did not exactly perform like a back-up in 2010.
Rather than bring in a back-up that could unseat Chris Iannetta, Dan O'Dowd has elected to give Iannetta a legitimate shot in 2011 as a starter. With Miguel Olivo being traded (read: sold) and Paul Phillips leaving in free agency, Colorado's back-up catcher in 2011 will be extremely foreign to most Rockies' fans.
Five candidates currently stand as possible backups to Iannetta. Below are their career minor league statistics.
McKenry (homegrown prospect) and Pagnozzi (MiLB FA) are above average defensive catchers, Morales (trade) is average at worst, Rosario (homegrown prospect) has plus tools but raw, and Pacheco (homegrown prospect) is still improving after starting as an infielder in the organization.
Rosario is still rehabbing from an ACL tear last August and is no liable to be rushed, and Pacheco has played just 20 games above A-ball. That makes the most likely competition between the three catchers who have seen MLB time. Morales has the lead at this point given his success at the MLB level, switch-hitting bat and lack of options.