#4: Can Montero replace Ross?
Let’s be honest.
Replacing the glue between two items after the adhesiveness has worn is difficult – almost impossible. No matter what you do, the hold never seems as strong.
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With his departure, the door is now open for someone else to step up. Rizzo will be the likely candidate for the role, with Zobrist and Jon Lester to help. But it is behind the plate the loss of Ross will be most evident.
Lester no longer has his longtime personal catcher and must build relationship and communication with either Miguel Montero or Willson Contreras.
Passing the torch
One may think Montero is the likely candidate for the role. The former All-Star knows National League hitters better than the young Contreras. And, in any season in which he played 128 games or more, Montero averaged double-digit doubles and home runs.
However, based on comments made by Joe Maddon, it will be Contreras who gets the nod to open the year. The addition of his arm behind the plate and ability to cut down runners will help pitchers hold runners to their bases. He must eliminate passed balls and block wild pitches with greater accuracy, but his time is coming.
Additionally, Schwarber will get time behind the plate, which Maddon hinted at earlier this week.