© Ron Holman
Buster Posey announced Friday, following the birth and adoption of two premature but healthy daughters, Ada and Libby, that he would opt out of the 2020 MLB season. The following question of course is, who’s the starter now? It’s not Aramis Garcia, who underwent offseason hip surgery.
That leaves the switch-hitting Tyler Heineman and Rob Brantly as the next two options. Behind them, it’s a young prospect… Chadwick Tromp. At least, that seems to be the case at the moment. Manager Gabe Kapler has made it abundantly clear it’s Heineman, Brantley and then everyone else, but has spoken fairly highly of Tromp, who is seeming more and more like a solid third option. The Giants also expect to add another catcher with Posey gone, at least for camp and numbers purposes.
Tromp, 25, was a free agent signing by the Giants and batted .286 with 7 home runs and 21 RBI in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats, while still in the Reds farm system. Kapler also pointed to the fact that he’s a native Spanish speaker, which helps for some of the Giants pitchers who are not fluent in English.
Why isn’t it Joey Bart? Short answer: the Giants don’t seem to think he’s ready, which isn’t all that surprising given that he missed much of last season with a fractured right thumb and has a grand total of 517 minor league at-bats, with more than 80 percent of those coming at high-A ball or lower (just 79 total Double-A at-bats).
“I think we all feel pretty strongly that Bart has some development left and we certainly want to optimize for that development, we’ll do that in this camp and we’ll see where we are from there,” Kapler said.