Astros: Garrett Stubbs offensively excelling with Phillies

By the end of the 2021 season, Garrett Stubbs wasn’t finding consistent play in the majors with the Houston Astros. Piecing together quality at-bats as the third catching option was a heavy goal for Stubbs — who sat behind a slugging Jason Castro for the third-most innings at the position.

Even when Castro was on the injured list, Stubbs didn’t receive many starts while only appearing in 18 total games last year. Now, as the Philadelphia Phillies’ backup, the lefty is slashing .342/.405/.711 in a career-high 38 at-bats.

“When I first got traded to the Phillies I didn’t know if I should be excited about the new opportunity,” Stubbs said to The Juice Box Journal. “I was going to have with a new ball club or sad for the end of a chapter that has molded my professional career.

“Since leaving Houston there is no doubt I have missed the players and staff that I developed relationships with over the years, but the locker room with the Phillies and the opportunity I have had over here as a player has been everything I could ask for. It has been a ton of fun getting to know the guys and to be on another team with sights on playoffs and more. Can’t wait to see what the rest of this year brings.”

Slamming his first walk-off home run Wednesday, Stubbs sits with three on the season — three more than what he had with the Astros from 2019-2021. Although not a power hitter, the 29-year-old is off to a hot start at the dish for the Phillies, while his catching remains slightly below the league average.

Ranking in the 16th percentile in framing, Stubbs displays 0.5 WAR according to FanGraphs as his defense pulls the aggregate down while fielding to -1 Defensive Runs Saved. Oddly enough, his versatility hasn’t been stretched to second base and the corner outfield positions like the Astros tried.

But as Stubbs flashes reliability as a backup, the Astros don’t have much reason to regret the trade, even with the current backstops slashing to a league worst. While the Astros’ former catching depth gets a better chance with the Phillies, his return heats up in Single A.

Garrett Stubbs’ return — Logan Cerny — is crushing Minor League Baseball for the Astros’ Single-A affiliate.

After a slow start to his first full season of Minor League Baseball, Logan Cerny is slashing to a career-best month with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. The outfielder was named the Carolina League Player of the Week on Monday, following a week with a .476 average, three home runs and 13 RBI in five games played.

The Phillies’ 10th-round pick from the 2021 draft entered Wednesday with 1.241 OPS through 42 at-bats in June. The right-hander’s power has substantially increased with four home runs halfway through the month, after hitting only six combined between April and May.

Baseball America named Cerny to its Hot Sheet on Tuesday, noting his increase in contact which he struggled with last season and in college at Troy. With four above-average tools, Cerny is a promotional candidate by month’s end.

Having stolen seven bases entering Wednesday, Cerny has only been caught twice on the year, totaling 19-swiped bags through 52 games. Seeing most of his innings in center field, the above-average defender is picking up play in both corner positions, too.

The 22-year-old’s power, speed, glove and arm will carry him through the system, as his power stroke at the plate and aggressiveness on the base paths will be a nightmare to any opposing pitcher.