Philadelphia Phillies’ Backup Catcher Wil Nieves Has To Step Up

Wil Nieves Philadelphia Phillies Photo Day 2014

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are getting their roster ready for opening day, and just this morning they announced the release of catcher Lou Marson. Marson isn’t really needed since the Phillies added Wil Nieves earlier this offseason. If Nieves is going to back up Carlos Ruiz he has to step up his game.

Nieves is having a rough spring. He has an average of .077 and just one hit with 13 at bats. Ruiz spent time on the disabled list last season, and there is that chance he could go back on it or he may need a day off. Nieves is going to have to find his swing if he wants to keep his job as the backup catcher.

Nieves played last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had 195 at bats with an average of .297 along with 22 RBI. His numbers are not bad for a backup catcher, so why isn’t he producing this spring?

Nieves has big shoes to fill. He is filling the spot of Erik Kratz after the Phillies decided to trade Kratz to build up their pitching. He was an impressive backup catcher for the Phillies. For the time Kratz was on the team he put up low .200 averages but was clutch when he was needed. He drove in runs, walked and hit multiple home runs.

Nieves is most likely going to be compared to Kratz all season. Kratz was well liked with the fans and fit in nicely with the club. If he doesn’t want a comparison he is going to have to increase his average and help the team.

The backup catcher is an important position, because you never know when Ruiz could go down. The team needs someone reliable behind the plate, and it also wouldn’t hurt to have another strong bat off the bench.

Rebekah is a Philadelphia Phillies writer for Rantsports. Follow her on Twitter and Google+

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