Mariners Roundtable: Fresh Faces Add Intrigue to Cactus League Action
Cydnie Compton-Rodrigues (@cydniecr) – Chris Iannetta
My youth was spent spoiled with Dan Wilson at the catcher’s position. He was patient, consistent and dependable. He is still my favorite all time Mariners player, and because of him I have always had a soft spot for catchers and their importance to a ball club. The last few years we’ve watched Mike Zunino struggle because of a lack of teaching, underdevelopment, and confidence. This offseason we acquired Chris Iannetta from the Los Angeles Angels. The reason I’m most excited about Iannetta coming to the club is not for his sterling offensive performance, but to have a competent defensive catcher in place so our catcher of the future can become just that.
This is not to discredit Iannetta, but to pay homage to his intelligence behind the dish. Last year, Mariners catchers overall posted a -1.9 WAR. That is a really tough number to look at. Iannetta was Jerry’s first choice to help remedy the catching inconsistencies, and that leads me to believe that he will be more than competent at the job. Plus there has been a ton of positive buzz around his improved framing abilities, making his defensive value increase. He may not be super consistent offensively, but he fits well into the Dipoto scheme of baseballin’. I’m excited to see what his impact as a reliable backstop will be this season.
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