Well, not last night, but in the long run.
The big question I have been asked is why the Cardinals let Eric Fryer go and not Brayan Pena, based off pretty much last night’s game alone. Brayan Pena was brought in to be the backup. I personally thought and still think it was a good move. Pena has a lot of MLB experience and a track record of handing pitchers. Leake’s numbers with Pena are better than his numbers have been with Posey and Molina. The move provided a veteran backup catcher who they could trust to hold down the position to give Molina more time off than usual as he has logged an awful lot of innings at the position.
Pena had an unfortunate knee injury that required surgery after slipping on the dugout steps after a spring training game. He hit .304 in the spring (7 for 23) while Eric Fryer hit .125 (3 for 24).
Pena resumed baseball activities about a month ago and spent the maximum 20 days on his rehab assignment.
Eric Fryer hit well in his limited playing time, but started just 8 games. While he did alright offensively, it obviously wasn’t enough to give the team confidence in letting him handle more games. The team had hoped he would pass through waivers so they could send him to Memphis.
The Pirates, who are known for filling their depth holes with the waiver wire, claimed him because they have two catchers on the DL now in Chris Stewart Francisco Cervelli.
Pena did struggle in the minors on his rehab assignment but he had reached the max 20 days and they weren’t going to DFA him without giving him a chance and just throw away money. Pena has a 2-year deal worth $5 million. Fryer is making 500k. Fryer is not a young prospect, he will be 31 in August. He has been with five organizations now, six if you count the Pirates twice. They released him in 2012.
I think Pena deserves more of a chance. You can’t base it off a game when he is coming back from an injury. Just like you can’t really be surprised that Fryer had a good game against the Cardinals in his first game back.
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