His name is Chris Iannetta. Two N’s, two T’s, Iannetta.
He plays catcher, so that’s convenient. He still strikes out some, so try not to confuse him with Tony Gwynn at the plate. But, he strikes out a helluva lot less than Mike Zunino, and I bet he looks better doing it too! At the very least, he walks quite a bit, which is a HUGE step up over what we’ve seen at catcher since Dan Wilson hung ’em up. I don’t know what he’s like defensively, but he appears to be average, which is fine I guess. Average defense with a plus bat should be a lot less frustrating to watch than plus defense and a terrible bat.
I like the move, if for no other reason than it’s getting painful to watch Zunino day-in and day-out. Due to utter incompetence, we rushed him up to the Majors, and now we’ve got a guy who’s more or less a wreck – mentally – at the plate. Iannetta will reportedly come in to start right away, leaving Zunino with the opportunity to contend for the backup catcher spot. Which, really, is probably what he needs right now. The other option is to put Zunino in AAA and let him play everyday down there, but I don’t know if that’s going to do much good for him. We KNOW he’s better than what AAA pitching has to offer. We KNOW that he’s clearly the second-best catcher in the organization right now. Might as well keep him up here, let him learn at the feet of Iannetta, let him play in maybe a third of the games as opposed to 80% or whatever the fuck they’ve been doing the last two years, and hopefully he has success in the games he does play in, so in 2017 maybe he overtakes Iannetta for the starting catcher job.
Or, fuck it, he flames out and joins the ever-growing pile of busted high draft picks.
Competency. At the Catcher position! Can you even imagine it?