Cubs: Yan Gomes seems to be getting best out of pitching staff

(Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images) /

One of the most important keys to winning baseball games is a catcher effectively helping the pitcher call the right pitches in the right spots throughout the contest. It goes beyond just signaling which pitch should be thrown and then catching it; being in sync, knowing where the pitcher should be locating his pitches and framing around the strikezone are all crucial.

Why bring this up? Credit has to be given to veteran catcher Yan Gomes for what he has done with the Cubs pitching staff so far. Gomes himself is in the top half among catchers (21st of 59) in Catcher Framing Runs and in the top-10 (eighth) in Strike Rate. While Willson Contreras is the big run producer at the plate with a cannon of an arm behind it, Gomes is seeing better results in terms of how the pitching staff performs with him catching.

Yan Gomes getting the best out of the Cubs pitching staff

Heading into Saturday, Gomes has caught 113 innings (13 games) and Cubs pitchers are posting a 3.19 ERA, .207/.280/.345 slash and .624 OPS against with him behind the plate.

It is especially worth noting that Kyle Hendricks in his two games caught by Gomes, has pitched to a cumulative 0.63 ERA and .163/.226/.204 slash against in 14 1/3 innings. This included the game in San Diego when he was one out away from a complete game shutout. Marcus Stroman has made four of his six starts with Gomes behind the plate and has held opponents to a .218 average against in 21 1/3 innings.

It might not be a huge sample size, but it is worth looking at. Cubs fans saw the value of having David Ross and Miguel Montero in 2015-2016 when the staff was among the very best in baseball. Obviously much credit to the pitchers themselves, but the catchers were a part of that.

The 34-year-old veteran has been around the block and has caught plenty of big-name pitchers in his career. Since he became an MLB player in 2012, Gomes has caught just under 7,000 innings. He was part of the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals team that boasted the likes of Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Point is, he’s got a lot of experience working with a lot of different pitchers with multiple organizations. He was arguably the best backup/veteran catcher on the free agent market this past offseason.

Next. Contreras Open to Extension Talks. dark

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Having Gomes for two years (2024 team option) is potentially good to have for the young pitchers who have come up, and the ones who will be coming up in the near future. The small things behind the plate matter and the Cubs are looking to continue to improve the success in getting the most out of their pitching staff.