Chris Herrmann has found an excellent opportunity to make up ground in the battle for the Minnesota Twins backup catcher position in the early weeks of camp with favorite Josmil Pinto battling a minor quad injury.
Pinto was thought to be the frontrunner for the position of Kurt Suzuki‘s backup all winter long and reported to camp in excellent shape, according to general manager Terry Ryan, but suffered the injury during a base running drill early last week.
It’s easy to see why Pinto was the heavy favorite to win the job heading into Spring Training. He and Herrmann have an almost equal sample size of career plate appearances at the Major League level, with Herrmann having just four less. Despite this, Pinto has almost double the amount of extra base hits and his career batting average is 61 points higher. At just 25 years old, Pinto is also two years younger than Herrmann.
The 27-year-old Herrmann, who can also play both corner outfield positions, might not have much time to make up ground in this battle as Pinto is battling back fast from the quad strain. He took batting practice in a cage each of the last two days and hopes to catch a bullpen session soon. It is thought that he could see action as a designated hitter in a live game by the end of the week before being worked back in as a catcher.
Herrmann has appeared in two games so far this spring, getting to the plate four times, hitting a single and also drawing one walk. While there has been nothing bad about Herrmann’s play so far, it just simply might not be enough to hold off Pinto, especially if he flashes his potential power when he returns to action.