Tomás Nido draws rave reviews in his first start behind the dish for the Cubs

The veteran backstop worked with Jameson Taillon to deliver arguably the right-hander's best start in a Cubs uniform.
New York Mets v Chicago Cubs
New York Mets v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

The catching position has been a black hole for the Chicago Cubs this year, with Yan Gomes and Miguel Amaya teaming up to deliver some of the worst results in all baseball. That situation came to a head last week, when Jed Hoyer designated Gomes for assignment, adding veteran Tomás Nido - an elite, glove-first catcher, to the mix.

The expectations for Nido with the bat are low. Throughout his career, he's always been a reliable presence behind the plate with below-average offensive numbers. But on a picturesque day at Wrigley Field on Saturday, he found a way to contribute with an RBI double, while working with Jameson Taillon to deliver a gem in an 8-1 Cubs victory.

“Tomas was excellent back there,” starting pitcher Jameson Taillon told the Sun-Times after the game. “We mix it up a bunch. We’re throwing every pitch to every different area, which was just a lot of fun.”

Tomás Nido brings a strong set of defensive skills to his new team

For weeks now, Cubs fans have clamored for Hoyer to do something about the catching situation, and rightfully so. But simply inserting a new catcher into the picture and expecting him to immediately deliver results with a pitching staff he's unfamiliar with is a tall ask - but that's exactly what Nido did on Saturday.

The simple truth is he can't be worse than Gomes was this season, which was the final year of the three-year pact he signed with Chicago prior to the 2022 campaign. Nido's track record defensively speaks for itself - and he has graded out excellently so far here in 2024.

Nido ranks well above average in blocking, caught stealing and pop time and is just a tick above average in framing but when you put that all together, you get a major defensive upgrade over Gomes, who had become a total liability back there this year, despite his rapport with the pitching staff.

Now I'm not here to call the move an unmitigated success after one afternoon. But it's clear he's got a strong skillset that should, at the very least, help the Cubs cut down on unforced errors behind the plate that have already cost them multiple games in the first half of the season.