New York Yankees Brian McCann swings his bat before taking batting practice prior to a spring exhibition baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Tampa, Fla., Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
This is a 2014 photo of catcher A.J. Pierzynski of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. This image reflects the Red Sox active roster as of Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
All-Star Insider: American League catchers
- April 12, 2014 - 8:01 PM
All-Star Game insider
Tuesday, July 15 • 7 p.m.
Joe Mauer has been behind the plate in five All-Star Games (and played first base in one, too, portending his eventual move), but the American League will have to find a new catcher when the Midsummer Classic comes to Target Field in July. Fortunately, it’s a deep position for the AL. Here are six catchers who could make an extra trip to Minneapolis this summer:
Brian McCann, Yankees: The former Braves slugger has made seven appearances for the NL All-Stars and he now plays in New York, so despite his slow start — McCann is batting .195 and had no homers before Saturday, when he hit two after getting a vote of confidence from manager Joe Girardi — he’s probably the favorite to win the voting and start for his new league this year.
Carlos Santana, Indians: Like Mauer, Cleveland’s cleanup hitter has switched positions, getting most of his starts at third base this year. But he’s caught twice, too, and could make his first All-Star appearance at either position. First, he will have to start hitting. Santana hasn’t homered and is batting just .179.
Salvador Perez, Royals: Now here’s someone who’s hitting. Perez is hitting .375, entering Friday leading the entire AL, and he won a Gold Glove last season. Hard to imagine him not making his second All-Star team this year.
Jason Castro, Astros: He was on the 2013 AL team, albeit as Houston’s lone representative. Though he was off to a .156 start entering Saturday, Castro has enough power (18 homers last year) that’s it’s possible he could earn a second All-Star berth, this time solely on merit.
Matt Weiters, Orioles: At 27, the two-time All-Star appears primed for a big year. He had a strong spring, had a hit in all eight games he had played in this year and was batting .367 through the first week, with two homers.
A.J. Pierzynski, Red Sox: He hasn’t been an All-Star since 2006 and is likely to be overlooked amid several other more obvious All-Star candidates from the world champs. But it’s just fun to imagine the reception the still-unpopular Pierzynski might get if he could make a triumphant All-Star return in front of fans who never fail to boo him.
© 2016 Star Tribune