The Braves added some depth at catcher when signing A.J. Pierzynski last week, but that depth might be short-lived. David Laurila of Fangraphs has been watching Pierzynski closely over the last year, and seems incredulous at the idea that he could be on an opening-day roster in 2015.
"If [Braves Manager Fredi] Gonzalez saw the over-the-hill catcher play last year, he couldn’t have been too enamored. Pierzynski looked like toast on both sides of the ball. More so, his effort level running out ground balls was often languorous. Unless he discovers the fountain of youth between now and opening day, he may not make it out of camp."
Pierzynski's deal is for one year, and will pay him $2 million with about $700k in incentive money. The journeyman turns 38 in December, and played for the St. Louis Cardinals for the tail end of the 2014 season after being released by the Boston Red Sox in July. Pierzynski did not make the Cardinals' roster for their NLDS playoff series against the L.A. Dodgers.
Pierzynski has played for Boston, St. Louis, Texas, Chicago, San Francisco and Minnesota in a 17-year MLB career. Despite his longevity, Pierzynski's numbers dropped off significantly in 2014, and he averaged a .251/.288/.337 slash line, nearly career lows across the board.
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