Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis need to catch
This is a move that feels long overdue, but Austin Hedges and Jason Delay need to stop getting all the reps at catcher. It’s time for the Pirates to hand those reigns over highly touted prospects Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis.
His pitch framing has been a huge plus, but Hedges is batting .179/.230/.232 on the season with a 26 wRC+. He leads the majors in catchers inferences with four, which more than a lot of catchers will have in their entire careers, and the throwing errors are starting to stack up.
As for Delay, his overall defense is poor. Especially controlling the opposing running game. Since May 1st, he is hitting for just a .167/.242/.200 slash line with a wRC+ of 25 and a 36% strikeout rate. Unplayably bad.
First and foremost, Rodriguez need promoted to the majors. Making room for him on the active roster is easy to do. He is already on the 40-man roster, and Delay can simply be optioned to Triple-A to make room for Rodriguez.
Davis has been in the majors for going on a month now but has primarily played right field. He has just 1 inning behind the dish in the majors thus far. Would he be a step back defensively from Hedges? Possibly. But he would be a massive offensive upgrade over both Hedges and Delay.
Keeping Hedges around as a third catcher to make sure Rodriguez and Davis can both play every day is fine. Also, in all honesty, there is a lot of valuable knowledge he can help to instill in the young catchers. Delay on the other hand, he can just completely go.
Moving forward, Rodriguez and Davis need to split the catching duties. On days Rodriguez is catching get Davis starts in right field/DH to keep his bat in the lineup, and have Rodrigues at first base/DH when Davis starts.
It’s time for the youth movement behind the plate. One of those two are your catcher of the future, it’s time to starting to figure out which one it is, while also working on finding the best position in the lineup for whoever is not behind the dish.