Meet The Chiefs: Catchers
Here’s the shortest post in our five-part series previewing the Opening Day roster for the Chiefs. We’ve gone through all 13 pitchers on the preliminary roster…and now it’s time for the guys they’ll be throwing to, Syracuse’s pair of catchers.
- Counting the major and minor leagues, Carlos Maldonado has appeared in at least one game for 15 different teams in his 17-year career. This will be his fourth year with Syracuse.
- Maldonado has become somewhat of a personal catcher for Yunesky Maya. He caught Maya’s first seven starts last year before a brief call-up to Washington, and, when healthy, will be behind the plate for Maya nearly every day.
- Here’s a bizarre split from Maldonado’s statistical line last year: he hit .250/.368/.464 in night games but was just 5 for 45 in the day. All hail the Sun Monster.
- Maldonado was called up to the major leagues for the fourth time in his career last season – but 2012 posted likely the most bizarre set of circumstances. First, Wilson Ramos tore his ACL on May 12. That theoretically put Jhonatan Solano in line for a promotion – but Solano was hurt, meaning the Nats needed to add a player to the 40-man roster. That player was Sandy Leon, promoted straight up from Double-A Harrisburg without ever playing in a Syracuse game. Of course, in Leon’s first career game, he severely sprained his ankle. And on a bus ride to Columbus, Maldonado discovered he was heading back to the major leagues.
- Solano did eventually make that major league debut last season, with a pinch-hit double on May 29 against the Marlins – the same team as his brother, Donovan, who picked him up at the airport.
- In 12 major league games, Solano was terrific – batting 11 for 35 (.314) with two home runs. He went deep against Toronto’s Henderson Alvarez and San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner.
- All in all, though, 2012 was an odd year for Solano. Due to injuries, he played 13 games for Syracuse, 12 for Washington, 11 for Harrisburg and two for the GCL Nationals – a total of just 38. It’s the fewest games he’s played in one season, with the exception of his first professional year in the GCL, where he played 37 of the team’s 54 games.
Tomorrow – a glimpse into the Chiefs’ six-man infield, with a few familiar names.