Cubs Rumors: Is Sandy Leon on the team’s radar as a backup catcher?

(Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Cubs Rumors: Leon has the endorsement of some big-name arms

Now, Leon won’t light up the scoreboard or set the world on fire with his bat, by any means.  He batted well below the Mendoza Line last season (.177), however, has made it a point this offseason to work on his offense.  He has been working with Red Sox assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett to compact his movements, cutting down the height of his leg kick and making all-around adjustments to use the ground to generate more power.

The true beauty and brilliance of his game lie on the defensive side of the ball with his innate ability to elevate the performances of his battery mates.  There is nothing Machiavellian to his methods in approaching how he handles his pitchers.  It’s just simple trust.

After Boston’s ace Chris Sale allowed only one hit and complied eleven strikeouts against the rival New York Yankees on June 30, he gushed about Leon’s playing calling, admitting that he just follows his catcher’s lead, never shaking off any of the Venezulian’s pitch suggestions.

The lanky left-handed fireballer continues to laud his teammate:

"“I trust him implicitly.  I love working with the guy.”"

Other Red Sox pitchers also champion Leon’s work behind the plate.  Rick Porcello, the 2016 American League Cy Young winner, has the utmost respect for Leon.  When Porcello’s 2017 season resulted in the polar opposite of his Cy Young campaign (his ERA jumped from 3.15 to 4.65 and led the league with 17 losses), Leon worked with the 29-year-old righty, helping him bounce back in 2018, improving to a 17-7 record.

Porcello says of his battery mate:

"“No disrespect to any other catcher that I’ve thrown to, but Sandy Leon is the best catcher I’ve ever thrown to.  His game calling, he’s prepared for every pitcher, starter or bullpen.  He’s kind of the heartbeat of our pitching staff.  We rely on him a lot and he’s always on point, always knows what pitches to throw.  Gives guys different looks.  He’s as good as it gets as a game-caller and a catcher.”"

Porcello made it a priority to give a celebratory hug to Leon before anybody else after Boston’s Game 5 victory over Los Angeles to capture the World Series title.