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Stewart and Whiteside horrible catching options for Giants: A fan’s opinion
The San Francisco Giants are struggling offensively in many different ways, but the team's catching situation is just horrendous. Behind the plate, Chris Stewart(notes) and Eli Whiteside(notes) are sharing catching duties. Both are a bit shoddy catching the Giants' rotation and bullpen. At the plate, however, both players are hitting like a pair of AL pitchers during an interleague game. San Francisco needs to remedy its catching situation or these two guys might just doom the team this season.
Sure, they're just two players among a generally struggling offense, but they are both just awful.
A Snapshot of Eli Whiteside
Whiteside is undoubtedly the better player of the two and has played in 147 total games, as of June 19. He has played 33 games with the Giants this season, hitting .190 with 15 hits, one home run, and four RBIs. Even worse, his OPS is hovering below .600. In 2005, Whiteside began his career with Baltimore, playing in nine games. He disappeared after the season and resurfaced in 2009 with the Giants. Eli Whiteside's entire career is full of struggling on both offense and defense, which doesn't bode well for his future. In fact, I don't even understand why the Giants still pay him to catch. He is technically a World Series champion, which is a shame.
A Quick Look at Chris Stewart
Sadly, Chris Stewart is an even worse catcher, as far as hitting and defending are concerned. Stewart started in 2006 with Chicago and has played with different teams each season from then until now. That would be fine and dandy if he was any good, but Stewart has played in 38 major league games through June 19. In 12 games this season, he is hitting .174 with four hits, no home runs, and no RBIs. His OPS is under and nowhere near .500. Let's just say that Chris Stewart won't be garnering any All-Star or MVP votes this season or any other.
San Francisco's Options
Consider that Buster Posey(notes) played in 45 games before going down with an injury, hitting .284 with 46 hits, four home runs, and 21 RBIs. Through that period, his OPS stood at .756. I think the Giants need to start pursuing a new catcher or two before Stewart and Whiteside doom the team. San Francisco has been lucky enough to keep winning games without many runs, but these two catchers are really weak links for the team among multiple others.
With that in mind, who could the Giants pursue?
Ivan Rodriguez(notes) is an option for San Francisco, even though he isn't exactly smacking the ball around. His .224 average with 22 hits, two home runs, and 17 RBIs in 31 games make him look like an MVP in comparison to Stewart and Whiteside. Also, the Giants could pursue Bengie Molina(notes), but convincing him to return would prove difficult. He wasn't the best catcher in 2010, either. Otherwise, the Giants could consider bringing up prospect Hector Sanchez(notes) if things get too dire. Sanchez is hitting well through a handful of games in Triple-A.
Yes, the Giants do have some options elsewhere in the National League and American League when it comes to replacement catchers. The team needs to do something because its current catchers are poor defenders with even worse offensive numbers. I'm not trying to bash Whiteside or Stewart, but neither of them are going to help the San Francisco Giants make it to the postseason.
*All stats are current as of June 19.
For more information, visit the San Francisco Giants Site.
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