Robinson Chirinos – C
This is another position where fans were hoping to land one of the bigger fish in the pond. Rumors swirled around J.T. Realmuto quite a lot in the offseason. It just seemed like the Marlins were insisting on one or more of the Astros “untouchable” prospects in any trade deal for Realmuto and therefore a deal never took place.
Yasmani Grandal‘s name would arise occasionally in the rumor mill, but once again, any kind of deal just wasn’t in the cards. Hence, free agent Robinson Chirinos enters the scene, signing a one year contract with Houston.
With fans pining for that star quality catcher, and the popular Brian McCann no longer in the picture, Chirinos had an uphill battle from the get-go. It also didn’t help that he had a batting average of .233 over his six-year career and was only averaging 66 games per year.
Chirinos had a decent start to the year silencing many of the naysayers. In his first 33 games, he was slashing .268/.398/.546 with a .945 OPS. Those were decent numbers and better than his career average. Maybe Chirinos wasn’t such a bad offseason pick up after all.
Unfortunately, the rest of the first half of this season didn’t quite go so well. In the following 34 games, Chirinos batted .193/.321/.377 and an OPS of .698. That’s a significant drop in performance, to say the least. It’s like he had two completely different seasons in this first half of the year. What lies ahead in the second half of the year after the All-Star break is anybody’s guess.
Chirinos appears to be a short-term rental with his one-year $5.75 million contract. What doesn’t help the situation, is that the catchers behind him, Max Stassi and Garrett Stubbs, aren’t particularly making much of a push to step into the position of everyday catcher. This next offseason, fans may be aching for that top-notch catcher again.