Chicago Cubs: Miguel Amaya could end up making a postseason roster

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs optioned Miguel Amaya to Double-A early this week, but there’s reason to believe we could see him in Chicago later this season.

Miguel Amaya struggled at the plate during his first go around with the Chicago Cubs during spring training. He slashed just .160/.160/.200 with four hits in 25 plate appearances, striking out in nearly one-third of said appearances.

Clearly, Amaya needs more seasoning at the dish. Aside from his offensive woes this spring, Amaya slashed .235/.351/.402 in High-A ball and he will have to make tangible improvements with the Smokies in order to keep progressing through Chicago’s pipeline.

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With that being said, there are reasons to believe Amaya could be back in the majors should the Cubs reach the postseason.

First-year manager David Ross – a former backstop himself – praised Amaya’s defensive abilities, saying he could make the roster out of camp based on his catching and throwing alone.

Ross’ appraisals of Amaya are hardly insignificant in terms of his current trajectory.

Remember 2016, when the Cubs’ young core helped to carry the team to their first World Series championship in 108 years? Well, despite the fact the Cubs were defined by their youth, they were, in many ways, an old-school team.

The 2016 Cubs carried three catchers, including Ross, for the majority of the year and into the postseason. All three catchers played during that fateful World Series Game 7, with each of them (Willson Contreras, Ross and Miguel Montero) collecting an RBI during the course of the game.

There remains plenty of speculation as to whether Ross, as manager, will carry three catchers in 2020. The rosters have expanded to 26, but Contreras and Victor Caratini are the only locks to make the roster out of camp. Amaya has officially been ruled out, but there is a small chance veteran Josh Phegley could make the team (subscription required).

Regardless of what the catching situation looks like on Opening Day, however, it could look drastically different if the Cubs are still playing in October.

Think about that 2016 postseason. The Cubs played numerous extra-inning games, oftentimes needing three catchers based on Joe Maddon‘s managerial decisions as well as accounting for things such as personal catchers and whatnot.

Now, given Amaya’s plus-plus attributes from behind the dish, what would be the harm in carrying him on a postseason roster? Sure, it might be a liability if he were forced to hit in a crucial situation.

Simultaneously, if the Cubs run out of options, they could do worse than inserting Amaya at catcher in a one-run game or something of that nature. After all, this is a guy who threw out nearly 36 percent of attempted base-stealers in 2019.

Of course, this all hinges on Ross’ managerial preferences, as well as Chicago’s performance throughout the year. Lastly, there is no question Amaya needs to at least make positive strides at the plate.

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But if the Cubs make a postseason bid, Amaya could ultimately push for a roster spot because of his defensive prowess.