For most of the offseason, it was thought that Wilin Rosario would be the Rockies starting catcher in 2014 and he would be backed up by Jordan Pacheco.
Sure, there were flirtations with Carlos Ruiz and Brian McCann that would have changed that scenario, but the Rockies' catching situation has remained pretty much static since the end of the 2013 season, at least it had been until this week when the team signed Michael McKenry to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.
McKenry, a former Rockies farmhand, spent the last three seasons with Pittsburgh, playing a total of 187 games and producing a line of .223/.291/.376 in 598 at bats with 17 home runs, 12 of those coming in 2012. He accumulated 1.6 fWAR in his three seasons with the Pirates.
McKenry's arrival brings competition with Pacheco for the backup catcher spot, because in each of the past three seasons, McKenry has posted a higher fWAR than the incumbent.
Pacheco was worth -0.4 fWAR in each of 2011 and 2012 and worth -1.4 fWAR in 2013. Meanwhile, McKenry posted 0.2 fWAR in 2011, 1.7 fWAR in 2012 and -0.3 fWAR in 2013. Pacheco's WAR did take a hit from his defense, which for the most part was not behind the plate, but his offensive numbers were also less than impressive.
No matter how you slice it, it seems there will be some competition for a catching job when the Rockies arrive in Scottsdale next month.
Last night, the Rockies agreed to contracts with Juan Nicasio and Drew Stubbs, their last two arbitration-eligible players, so the team will not be involved in any arbitration hearings this year.
Speaking of Stubbs, Troy Renck has a feature on him in today's Denver Post.