The Colorado Rockies basically made an under the radar signing in the offseason, picking up veteran catcher Michael McKenry from the Pittsburgh Pirates which didn’t appeal the eye right away. People already knew about Wilin Rosario and his bat but no one expected McKenry to play this well nearing the end of August.
McKenry, 29, has provided stability behind the dish for Colorado and with his bat. Entering Tuesday night’s against vs. San Francisco, McKenry is slashing at a line of .327/.411/.522 with seven doubles, five home runs, and 16 RBI’s. Typically, people look at the Colorado Rockies and check their home/road splits; this isn’t a problem with McKenry.
It’s actually the reverse for the native of Knoxville, Tennessee. He is currently hitting .352/.417/.611 on the road in 54 games with three home runs while hitting .305/.406/.441 at home in 59 games with two home runs and 7 RBI’s. Not to mention, the 5-foot-10 catcher has only accumulated three passed balls on the season while Rosario sits with 12.
Rosario, 25, has struggled this season both at the plate and behind the dish. He is hitting a career-low .248 with just 10 home runs and 43 RBI’s. Wilin has been out of the lineup since last Friday with a sore wrist. One problem with Rosario has always been his catching ability, whether it’s framing pitches or blocking balls.
He looked improved early on in the season with his catching ability but he reverted back to his old ways. Mentioned above, Rosario is currently tied for most passed balls in the Majors (12) with Travis d’Arnaud of the New York Mets. Rosario led the league in the last two years in passed balls and it hasn’t improved one bit.
One thing Colorado can do is trade Wilin to an American League team in the offseason where he can serve as a backup catcher or primarily a designated hitter. They could then retrieve an arm for him as the team seems to play better with McKenry behind the plate. I’m not saying McKenry is the long-term solution right now but he proves to be a better fit, especially with the young pitchers.