Angels fans are all too aware of the struggles Chris Iannetta has had in 2015. Iannetta’s 2015 season has pretty much been a disaster so far, with a 15% caught stealing rate, a .123 AVG and a strikeout every 3 at bats. In 2014, Iannetta has his second best career season even since his best effort in 2008 for the Rockies. Of course, I’m talking about offensive numbers since he has never been a strong catcher and has a career 24% caught stealing rate. Given his success in 2014, it would have been no surprise to see his numbers drop a bit in 2015, but they pretty much exploded in a disaster of epic proportions.
Fortunately for the Angels, there are a couple of great catchers waiting in the wings in the form of Carlos Perez and Jett Bandy. Both had been tearing it up for Salt Lake and Perez has been solid since being called up.
Perez has already made a more significant impact than Ianetta in about 1/3 of the at bats. Not to mention, he is a base stealers worst nightmare and is currently throwing runners with an 83% success rate. At the VERY LEAST, Perez should be getting pretty much all the games and Iannetta should be relegated to backup. However, Iannetta is still getting starts a couple times per week which is about twice as many starts as he deserves.
Waiting in the wings, and perhaps giving the Angels options to trade Iannetta (or not resign him), is Jett Bandy. His AAA stats looks like this in 2015:
Bandy’s caught stealing percentage is nowhere near Perez, however, it does seem to be at least on par with Iannetta (and probably is a bit better).
If Iannetta DOES last the year in Anaheim, I’d be surprised if Dipoto resigns him since his contract expires in 2015. Of course, this is barring any insane change in his production which I hold low expectations for.
Hopefully, in 2016 our catching situation looks like Perez with Bandy as the backup. I’d love to see this happen sooner rather than later, but I’m thinking Iannetta will continue to get way more at bats that he deserves in the foreseeable future.