A small acquisition like the Paul Bako signing might not make one wonder, but suddenly, the Phillies have – once again – four major league-ready catchers on their roster. Intriguing, sure.
But why four catchers again? Why are the Phillies so determined to keep four catchers when the infield and outfield depth charts remain shallow past the majors?
It seems it’s possible Chris Coste is being looked upon as a right-handed bench bat, not just a backup catcher. History proves this isn’t a totally bad move (.265 AVG, .695 OPS as pinch hitter), but could be better. Of course, Coste has always been able to rake left-handed pitching (.313 AVG, .863 OPS), so there’s potential yet.
At some point the Phillies will have to make wholesale adjustments to the bench, but for now, small moves like Bako can mean big upgrades elsewhere.