Former Cubs C Eli Whiteside inks Minor League deal with Braves
It was reported today by Matt Eddy on Twitter that former Chicago Cubs catcher Eli Whiteside inked a Minor League deal with the Atlanta Braves after his one year stint with the club.
Whiteside, 35-years-old, was signed to a Minor League contract by the Cubs almost a year ago and received an invitation to spring training. He competed against both John Baker and George Kottaras for the backup position but was assigned to the Iowa Cubs.
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His contract was purchased on June 3 after Welington Castillo was placed on the disabled list.
Before being called up to the Majors, Whiteside was hitting .214/.291/.364 with six home runs and 21 RBIs in 230 plate appearances with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. His numbers dropped drastically once he made his Cubs debut against the New York Mets on June 5 – a game where he went 0-for-3 with one RBI and a strikeout.
Whiteside’s first hit as a member of the Cubs came in a 7-4 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 14. It was clear Whiteside felt more comfortable in the Minors as his offensive production dropped upon his arrival to the Majors..
In eight games played for the Cubs in 2014, Whiteside only managed to record three hits with two RBIs on top of a batting line of .120/.115/.160. One thing that stood out in his seven starts was his defense. Whiteside fielded a perfect 1.000 with 49 put outs, three assists, and one double play.
He was later designated for assignment and sent outright to the Iowa Cubs on June 22 once Castillo was activated.
Whiteside elected for free agency on October which wasn’t necessarily surprising to anybody. He’ll provide the Atlanta Braves with some depth behind the dish just in case something were to happen to one of their top two catchers on the big league roster.
That is if he’s able to survive spring training without being waived.