Pittsburgh Pirates: Debating If There is a Spot For Jason Delay Moving Forward

As Henry Davis struggles defensively in the outfield, is it worth it to use him as the backup catcher to Endy Rodriguez instead of keeping Jason Delay?
Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Moving forward, does catcher Jason Delay have a spot on the roster with the Pittsburgh Pirates?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are, hopefully, closing in on the end of their rebuild. The hope is that this makes the team one capable of making the postseason in the near future. In order to do this, a team needs an all-around team with good offense, defense, and pitching.

While Jason Delay isn't the best catcher, there are better options than him. However, should he have a long-term future with the Pirates?

While his framing is pretty good, it may not matter as much with rumors of a robot umpire, where the umpires will be told to call strikes or balls. He isn't good at blocking or throwing out runners, so I wouldn't choose to pursue him.

The Pirates have Endy Rodriguez, who is the starting catcher now, acquired from the Joe Musgrove trade with the Mets. His pop time to throw out runners is top-tier in MLB and is comparable to Yadier Molina. While also being a good hitter, Rodriguez has shown signs of being a top-of-the-lineup hitter who could bat 4th or 5th in the lineup.

The main reason it's not worth keeping Delay is that Henry Davis is in the majors, whom the Pirates drafted 1st overall. I believe he should occasionally be the backup while continuing to play outfield or try to move to the infield.

Davis is one of the best young players with a good enough arm to become a pitcher and fast enough to be a center fielder, but his problem is his outfield defense is so bad that it will hurt the team long-term. While playing right field in 47 games, he committed 4 errors. While he did make up for that a bit with 3 outfield assists, his fielding this season has been hard to watch, making common mistakes with many errors and misplays.

The only reason Davis shouldn't play catcher is that the spot is taken and he is more needed in the outfield, but every roster spot matters, and it's worth having him play catcher around 40-50 times a year just to keep a good lineup playing daily.

Another MLB player who used to catch before going into the outfield is Kyle Schwarber, whom many see as one of the best sluggers. But with such bad defense, it's hard to keep him in the playing. While Kyle Schwarber has had a great career thus far, maybe he could have been better had he stayed a catcher instead of moving into the outfield.

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