The Orioles tonight have obtained yet another catcher. Johnny Monell was acquired from the San Francisco Giants organization for cash considerations.
The 27-year-old left-handed batter had a .275 average at AAA this year and is a .267 career hitter over seven seasons in the Giants system.
Duquette said, “He’s a left-handed hitting catcher and he had a good year with the bat. He has good power and he’s a capable receiver. He can also play first base, but our guys like his bat, his power. He’s been particularly good against right-handed pitching throughout his career.”
This raises some questions:
- What does this say about the feeling of the Orioles toward a long-term retention of Matt Wieters? Well, that cannot be determinatively stated, but it would certainly seem to add additional evidence that the Birds do not likely see him in Baltimore for an extended time. This is now the fourth catcher on the 40-man roster that includes Steve Clevenger and Michael Ohlman.
- What does this say about the backup catcher situation and Steve Clevenger? It was pretty much assumed that Clevenger is going to be the likely backup to Wieters, though he’ll have to earn the position. It would appear that the organization is stockpiling receivers. I suppose, like pitching, you can never have too many.
- What does this say about Caleb Joseph? It is another stick on the load that reveals the Orioles simply do not expect Joseph to have the sufficient defensive skills to ever play in Baltimore. Also at age 27, his power numbers are exponentially better than those of this new dude. It strikes me that this apparent writing off of Joseph is a mistake … and likely he disappears in the Rule 5 Draft. Maybe the Orioles expect that and expect to ultimately get him back with $25k!
This catcher situation is going to be an interesting story line for the Orioles for some time to come.