White Sox comfortable with Gimenez as backup catcher

White Sox comfortable with Gimenez as backup catcher
December 4, 2012, 7:53 pm
Share This Post

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Theyre not ready to talk about backup catchers if A.J. Pierzynski leaves, but the White Sox believe they have an in-house candidate.

Operating under the assumption Pierzynski departs via free agency this offseason and Tyler Flowers takes over as the starter, the White Sox would appear to be in serious need of veteran help behind the plate.

The teams current 40-man roster includes Josh Phegley and Hector Gimenez, who have combined to play in 11 major league games.

While limited experience wouldnt be as much of an issue if Pierzynski -- who has averaged 132 games a season since 2001 -- were the starter, Flowers has never caught more than 52 games in a season at the major league level.

The teams relative inexperience behind the dish has lead to speculation among media members at the winter meetings that the White Sox might be in the market for another steady catcher. Several reports have suggested Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whom is said to be available, might be a good fit because the White Sox have depth at starting pitcher, a need for Boston.

But White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said if faced with the decision --- and theyre nowhere close to that point --- theres enough support for Gimenez within the organization. Gimenez has hit 99 homers in parts of 10 minor-league seasons, including 41 in the last three years.

The coaching staff and our scouts and (player development) people feel good about Hector Gimenez and his ability to call a game and catch and throw, Hahn said late Monday. They like the fact that he is a switch hitter and can play some first base. Youre now months ahead of where we are now in terms of what that roster is going to look like. But if it would up with Flowers and Gimenez, thats certainly a possibility were comfortable with.