Michael McKenry As Starting Catcher? No Thank You

Michael McKenry will be back as a catcher for the Colorado Rockies next season. But should he be their starter?

The Colorado Rockies saw a lot of good things from backup catcher Michael McKenry during the 2014 season. He certainly did enough to show that he should be back and in the mix for the 2015 season.

But should the Rockies actually consider using him as a starter? Let’s say no.

The Rockies know that they need to move on from Wilin Rosario as their everyday catcher. They are hoping that the answer will come from outside the organization, whether it be the pipe dream Russell Martin or some other player, but if it doesn’t, they still need to figure something out.

Thomas Harding of MLB.com writes that the Rockies could look at McKenry as the starting catcher for the 2015 season:

They unearthed a gem, however, in McKenry, who was a pleasant surprise offensively and who took the No. 1 job late in the year while the Rockies were testing younger pitching. A payroll-saving option would be to count on McKenry as the starter and bring in a veteran backup.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Three words: small sample size.

In the 2014 season, McKenry batted .315/.398/.512 in 57 games. That was a truly outstanding season. Here’s the problem. McKenry played plenty of baseball before the 2014 season, and none of those seasons looked anything like this one.

  • 2011: .222/.276/.322 in 58 games
  • 2012: .233/.320/.442 in 88 games
  • 2013: .217/.262/.348 in 41 games

So yes, McKenry was great in 2014. Considering how bad Rosario was, he looked like a savior at times. But let’s get ahead of ourselves calling him a “gem” or thinking that he should be the starter. We have a very small sample saying that McKenry is a great player, and a much larger sample that he is below-average at best. His defense is fine, but certainly nothing to make him worthy of starting.

The Rockies picked him up as a castoff before 2014 for a reason, after all.

There is a place for McKenry with the Rockies in 2015. But not as the starting catcher.

No thank you.