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Cubs Are Shifting Focus To Defense With Current Catchers


Pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. #62 and catcher Yan Gomes #7 of the Chicago Cubs celebrate a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 at PNC Park on September 22, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

 

Willson Contreras had spoiled the Chicago Cubs with his mix of power batting and solid defense.

While Contreras had his issues with grounding out, he gave the team some solid RBI production as a catcher.

However, the team made their decision to move on from the star catcher for 2023.

Instead, the team is focusing on two catchers they signed during the offseason to fill the catcher position.

These players are Tucker Barnhart and Yan Gomes.

Gomes has been with the Cubs since last season while the Cubs got Barnhart this offseason.

However, they are more known for their defense than offensive production.

While Gomes has production at the plate, he hasn’t played over 110 games since the 2018 season.

It was during that season where he made his only All-Star appearance.

For Barnhart, he’s a two time Gold Glove Award winner, which he won with the Cincinnati Reds.

However, he’s not the power hitter that Contreras was in Chicago.

With two fewer years in the majors, Contreras has 13 more hits, eight more doubles, and 65 more home runs over Barnhart.

Compared to Gomes, who has 708 more plate appearances over Contreras, the numbers are still tight.

The 35-year-old catcher only has eight more home runs over his former teammate, and only 37 more doubles.

However, for the Cubs, they appear to want a stronger showing on defense with their catching options.

While this makes sense with their other signings this offseason, the move still hurts fans.

When the 2023 MLB season gets into full swing, fans will see if the move at catcher was the right choice.



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