Article Written by Hudson Stewart (@hudson_stewart6)
Throughout the 2017 season, the Blue Jays went through a lot of backup catchers. They kept trying out new guys in the spot of backing up Russell Martin behind the plate, but they were never able to find a good fit. Miguel Montero, Mike Ohlman, Raffi Lopez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Luke Maile got chances there, but like I said, it just never worked out for them.
So far this year though, the Jays have been pleasantly surprised with the production they’ve gotten from the backup catcher spot. Luke Maile was given the job to start the year, but not much attention was given to him by the fan base. But so far this year, Maile has definitely grabbed the attention of Blue Jays fans. Thus far, Maile is hitting .414 with 9 RBIs in 29 at bats. Now, obviously Maile won’t continue to hit that well all year, because no one does, but if he can still contribute offensively throughout the season, it will be huge for the Jays.
There’s no question that Russell Martin is the starting catcher for the Blue Jays. He’s a veteran presence behind the plate, and works very well with the pitching staff. Martin’s currently struggling at the plate, only hitting .140 on the season, but he’ll get it going soon. The thing about Martin is that he’s 35 years old, which means that he needs to rest more often than other, younger catchers do. So far this year, that rest has come once every 3 days for Martin, which means that Luke Maile gets 1 start every series.
You can see the difference in how the Blue Jays’ 2 catchers are hitting right now; one is struggling and one is hitting at an unreal pace. So, that leads some Blue Jays fans to believe that Maile should start instead of Martin. That shouldn’t happen, and I doubt it will. Martin will remain the starter on this team, unless he gets injured. But, if Maile continues to hit well, what will happen is there won’t be a hole in the lineup on Martin’s off days, since there will still be production coming from the catcher position. I, like many Blue Jays fans, am excited to see if Maile continues to hit this well, but we should all remember that the catcher spot belongs to Russell Martin for the time being.
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