The Detroit Tigers brought in a new catcher this offseason. They brought in catcher Tucker Barnhart via a trade with the Cincinnati Reds. It was expected that he would be the team’s starting catcher this summer. Instead of that, Barnhart has struggled mightily with a horrible performance at the plate.
It seems crazy to be getting excited about hitters hitting .250ish, but with the Detroit Tigers, there is not much to get excited about during this season. However, the team has started to work Eric Haase into the lineup more often. He’s been moved around, playing left field as well, but with a crowded outfield, most of Haase’s playing time in 2022 has been behind the dish.
In fact, Haase has caught in 62 games in 2022, which is just four games shy of his 2021 total for the Tigers organization. He has been an exceptional addition as an off-the-bench bat and platoon catcher for the organization. While the Tigers have other future catchers to be more excited about, Haase has improved his game behind the dish.
While his calling card is his bat, the tool that carries his performance, the defense has firmed a bit. Definitely worth noting as the Tigers try to find any way to salvage this season or anything positive to note. Having Barnhart around might help, creating some competition and allowing Barnhart to pass along some tips to Haase.
Detroit Tigers catcher Eric Haase has improved his defense in 2022.
The Detroit Tigers may not have seen a ton of statistical improvements from Eric Haase, but if you watch closely, some of the intangibles look much smoother as of late. Haase has logged 81 games where he slashed .232/.284/.393 with ten doubles, a triple, and eight home runs in 2022.
Defensively he has cut down on wild pitches and passed balls, but the throwing errors have improved. The area to me that stands out the most is blocking, throwing, and overall game management. Haase has been much better at receiving in 2022, and after having to blow through what feels like 100 different starting pitchers in 2022, he has not been able to get super comfortable with some of these pitchers.
He’s still been able to work with guys and call a solid game behind the dish. Overall, Haase has improved some of these things, so when he does get the call to suit up behind the dish, he’s able to provide some sort of value to the team. While he may not be a Gold Glove candidate, throwing out runners left and right, and stealing every strike he can.
But for someone who was deemed better off as a bench player and outfielder at times, he’s been able to improve. While he’s more athletic and a better mover in terms of his athleticism than most catchers, the defense behind the dish needed work. It still does, but Haase has taken some steps in the right direction.
The Tigers should be happy with the performance Haase has shown behind the dish. It’s been better than in recent years, ad the Tigers should be happy with it.