San Francisco Giants: Early 2016 Roster Chatter

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Jun 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Andrew Susac (34) celebrates after the final out of the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Just like the starting pitching, San Francisco’s catching has been a dud this season. After looking like s promising backstop when Posey’s playing days are over, Susac has looked lost. But the second-year player has missed extended time with a thumb and wrist injury that has bothered him since Spring Training. With months of recovery expected to fully heal the ligaments in his wrist, what will Susac be when he returns next season?

The same question could go for Sanchez, who has struggled with his health the last few years — and 2015 has cast many questions about his playing future in general. Multiple concussions and lower leg injuries have won the battle with Sanchez as they have succeeded in keeping him off the field.

Relying on a AA catcher, Jackson Williams, the Giants once again had no choice but to play him. With backup catching doubts, the Giants may need to look for additional help in case Susac and Sanchez do not return to the players they once were.

It is not a major issue, but it certainly raises an eyebrow or two.

In the minor league system, the Giants only have Ben Turner, Williams, and Aramis Garcia. Garcia has a good potential, and has been developing nicely for the San Jose Giants in Single A. With high hopes he develops, the Giants probably can’t afford to wait, as a short-term fix could be needed. Here some free agents that could be contacted in case Susac and Sanchez are not good to go:

Chris Ianetta

Alex Avila

Geovany Soto

Defensively, Avila provides the best option with great defense. Now if you want more offense, Soto is probably the best option. Ianetta has been the regular for the Angels this season as Hank Conger was traded to the Astros, and has had an “okay” year. But with a team that emphasizes pitching, defense is going to come first and Avila is worth the shot.

After one solid break out offensive season, Avila has had trouble recreating the offense, plus staying healthy with the benefit of having a designated hitter spot available. The Tigers have clearly indicated they want to see more James McCann now and in the future, so a return for Avila appears iffy. If he can stay healthy, the defense cannot be overlooked and he will provide Posey with insurance on a day off.

Soto is a former NL Rookie of the Year for the Cubs, but never reached those heights again. The hype came too soon and he found himself roster hopping and traveling through the minors. With the White Sox, he has formed a duo with Tyler Flowers, but his woes have allowed Soto to catch more regularly. With average defense, it would be a Susac 2.0 — being better known for the bat.

Avila provides the Giants with a backup options if the need to bring in another catcher arises. With Sanchez and Susac still under 27 years old, it’s hard to see the Giants parting with them, and they will most likely remain patient in the rehab of their injuries.

PREDICTION: Carry Andrew Susac & Hector Sanchez

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