Chicago Cubs: Analyzing key veteran depth on the roster

Steven Souza Jr. #21, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Steven Souza Jr. #21, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs will carry three catchers to open the season

Catcher Josh Phegley was another player brought in on a minor league deal this offseason. Phegley, 32,  is right now the third option at catcher behind Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini. The veteran has caught 2,812 innings in his career, mostly with the Oakland Athletics, and has a career .227/.269/.383 slash at the plate.

Right now there is a chance Phegley could make the initial roster, which could depend on the health of Anthony Rizzo. If Rizzo’s back is still an issue and he misses the start of the season, then Caratini is next in line to play first base. This scenario would require Phegley to be the backup catcher behind Contreras.

It seems less than likely the Cubs carry three catchers on the Opening Day roster (if Rizzo, Contreras and Caratini are all healthy) but Phegley will be called upon if needed. Top Cubs prospect Miguel Amaya is very young and developing with no MLB experience to date and P.J. Higgins is also inexperienced.

Seems more likely than not Phegley will get some playing time sometime this season, even if not for very long. We have seen how the Cubs have valued veteran backup catchers over the years, including their new skipper.