While many assumed the Milwaukee Brewers would try to add to their catching corps this offseason, few predicted the possibility of Tuffy Gosewisch joining the Crew on a minor league deal.
The Milwaukee Brewers have not just found their starting catcher for the 2019 season. But they may have found their starting catcher for Triple-A San Antonio. Tuffy Gosewisch does have an invite to major league spring training, but unless he hits the cover off the ball in Arizona, he’s not making the roster.
Catcher Tuffy Gosewisch has been signed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to Major League camp. pic.twitter.com/GAqr0rwHtU
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) December 7, 2018
This kind of contract is risk-free and very common for veteran players that simply haven’t had much success at the big league level.
Who Is Tuffy Gosewisch As A Player?
To say Gosewisch, 35, is a light-hitting catcher would be an understatement. In his five seasons in the big leagues, he’s amassed only 420 plate appearances and has a .190/.228/.271 slash line with an OPS+ of 35.
That’s even worse than the career numbers Erik Kratz had last season before joining the Brewers.
Last year, Gosewisch was with the Washington Nationals and spent the entire season in Triple-A. He finished with a .219/.310/.335 slash line, 17 doubles, and three homers.
From 2013-15, Gosewisch had above-average caught stealing numbers, albeit he never played in more than 40 games in any of those seasons.
Why Did They Sign Gosewisch?
Catching is one of those positions where it’s difficult to find players who are able to bring good defense. You can survive in this league for a very long time if you’re a catcher with good defense. That’s how Erik Kratz has lasted until his age 39 season despite poor offensive metrics.
In spring training, teams always need a boatload of catchers to catch the bullpen sessions for all the pitchers. Gosewisch will be another body for them to bring in and he’ll be an emergency option for the Milwaukee Brewers only. For an emergency option, bringing in a player who has five years experience in MLB isn’t a bad situation.
Erik Kratz was a light hitting catcher prior to last year as well. Even though his .236 average last year doesn’t make him a world-beater, it was well above his career average. Perhaps the same thing can happen with Gosewisch in 2019.
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If the Milwaukee Brewers are to make an impact addition at catcher this offseason, Tuffy Gosewisch certainly isn’t that, and won’t prevent any future moves either.