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2022 report card: Garrett Stubbs

Being the backup catcher for the Phillies means you’re not going to see much action

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals - Game Two
Stubbs didn’t play often, but he was solid when he did
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Since Sunday night marked the first night of the festival of Hanukkah, I decided that today would be a perfect day to present the report card of the team’s resident Jew, Garrett Stubbs!

Backup catcher for the Phillies is perhaps the least demanding job in the major leagues. J.T. Realmuto is rightly recognized as the best catcher in baseball, and part of that is his durability. He led the majors in innings caught which didn’t leave much room for his backup to play.

That said, the hope is that those backup innings are quality ones, which is why the team pursued an alternate option to Andrew Knapp after the 2021 season. They found their man when they traded prospect Logan Cerny to the Astros in exchange for Stubbs.

The stats: .264/.350/.462, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 128 wRC+, 1.1 WAR

The good

Stubbs wasn’t called upon often, but he made a strong accounting of himself when he did play. He recorded an OPS of .812 and hit five home runs, including this game winner against the Marlins that kicked off a five-game winning streak.

He was also the team’s go-to when they used a position player to pitch, appearing in four games. Most of those appearances predictably didn’t go well, but he did turn in an 0.2 inning scoreless performance against the Blue Jays in September.

The bad

Stubbs just didn’t get much of an opportunity in 2022. I can understand not wanting to sit J.T. Realmuto much, but there were times when it seemed like he could use a break. I thought the team should find a way to get Stubbs a postseason at bat at some point, but he only appeared in one game and didn’t make it to the plate.

Stubbs doesn’t have the best reputation as a defender. Obviously, there’s going to be some drop off from Realmuto, but Baseball Reference’s metrics have Stubbs as slightly above average, while Fangraphs rated him poorly.

The future

Stubbs is under team control until 2027, so he’ll probably remain the backup catcher for the next few years. Hopefully the team will give him a little more playing time in the future, because he’s proven capable when given a chance.

Grade: B

Stubbs proved to be an upgrade over Knapp and hit about as well as can be expected from a backup catcher.