Through all the many issues the Seattle Mariners lineup is facing this season, one of the most glaring problems is the catcher position. Neither Tom Murphy nor Luis Torrens are producing anything offensively, and in Torrens’ case, he’s been atrocious defensively. Last night’s gaffe on Miguel Cabrera’s RBI single was just the latest in a long line of crucial defensive mistakes by Torrens.
Murphy has at least been good defensively with a 2.9 defensive WAR, but his impressive 2019 campaign is looking like a flash in the pan. Murphy and Torrens have matching 47 wrC+’s, don’t get on base, aren’t hitting for average, and aren’t hitting the ball out of the park. If the Mariners want to keep Murphy around as a veteran catcher, that’s fine. Torrens, however, needs to take a trip to Tacoma.
So enter Cal Raleigh. The Mariners 2018 third-round draft pick has been hitting well in Tacoma, slashing .286/.367/.548 with a career-low 16.3 strikeout rate and a wrC+ of 122.
Cal Raleigh is raking for Tacoma and should be called up to the Seattle Mariners
And maybe most importantly, Cal Raleigh is good behind the dish, something that wasn’t necessarily the case when he was drafted. Raleigh has cut down 4 of the 11 runners that have tried to steal on him and has zero passed balls and zero errors. Murphy is just 2 for 11 so far, with three errors and one passed ball and Torrens is 2 for 21, with one error. To be fair, Mariner pitchers have been terrible at holding runners on, but it doesn’t change the numbers.
Raleigh probably won’t come up and completely change the Seattle Mariners abhorrent offense. He may not even hit that well initially in the bigs. But the team cannot continue to run Torrens and Murphy out every day. They simply have become automatic outs at the plate, and don’t make up for it by being elite at some other facet of the game.
Even when Mike Zunino wasn’t hitting for average, he was still fantastic at receiving and framing and was a consistent power threat. Neither Murphy nor Torrens are even close to that level right now.
Is Cal Raleigh the final solution behind the dish? Maybe, maybe not. But with the Seattle Mariners desperate for some kind of jolt and excitement, it’s worth giving the organization’s No. 8 prospect a chance to show what he can do in The Show.