Aramis Garcia was acquired by the A’s in the trade that sent Khris Davis to the Texas Rangers on Feb. 6. With Sean Murphy entrenched as the Opening Day starting catcher, Garcia has a decent chance of being the backup.
But for him to win the job over Austin Allen, it’ll come down to his bat.
“More than anything, we’re looking at his at-bats, because he can really catch,” Melvin said Thursday. “We’ve seen the throws he’s made, you see his framing skills, he’s real confident and quiet behind the plate, pitchers love throwing to him, so we’re aware of that.
“It’s just the offensive part and not getting to play last year -- how quickly does he acclimate to putting the good at-bats for us, and the more he plays, the better at-bats we’re seeing.”
Garcia underwent surgery last February to repair the labrum in his right hip. So he missed out on an entire season at the plate.
In 2019, Garcia slashed.143/.217/.310 in 18 games with the Giants.
Garcia already is an excellent pitch framer. He learned from one of the best in the game playing under Buster Posey. He also picked the brains of All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Needless to say, he has that part of the job figured out. But in order to earn the job, his bat has got to come along.
“And to answer your question, I don’t know,” Melvin said about the catching competition. “It’ll play out to the end, but he’s making a case for himself.”
Allen appears to have the job for now, as he has the ability to show power and consistency at the plate. He's also done a fantastic job creating bonds with the pitchers rather quickly.
Don’t sleep on Garcia, though. The catcher position is extra important to Melvin, so he’ll pay particularly close attention to those two.