Before 2016, Chris Herrmann never posted an OPS above .611 in any of his four MLB seasons as a reserve in Minnesota. He shattered that mark last season, posting a career-best .845 OPS to go along with a career-best .284 average. Herrmann also posted career highs with six home runs, 21 runs and 28 RBI as the primary backup to Welington Castillo behind the plate. Now that Castillo has moved on to Baltimore, Herrmann will enter camp as the favorite to be Arizona's catcher on Opening Day. While his value is trending up due to an anticipated increase in playing time, his .364 BABIP and 15 percent HR/FB scream regression. He should operate the strong side of a pretty strict platoon, with Jeff Mathis or Chris Iannetta starting against lefties, so 100-plus games is a possibility. His role means he should be drafted in most two-catcher formats, but do not expect him to pick up where he left off last year from a per plate appearance production standpoint.
Herrmann has been working out at first base this spring in an attempt to increase his versatility, the Arizona Republic reports. The 29-year-old saw starts at four different positions last season -- catcher (29), right field (2), left field (3) and center (1) -- and he's looking to further increase his defensive versatility in hopes of locking down a spot on the Opening Day roster. Herrmann hasn't flashed much power this spring but he's getting on base at a .361 clip through 13 Cactus League games. He hit .284/.352/.493 in 56 games last season before going down with two broken bones in his left hand.
Herrmann (hand) is hitless in three at-bats this spring. Few people reported on the status of Herrmann's hand injury that he incurred back in September, but it seems like the catcher is back to his old self. The Diamondbacks have been easing him back into game action, however, as he only was the DH in his first appearance and he caught for a few innings over the weekend. That being said, the 29-year-old seems to be nearly ready to take over the primary catching duties in Arizona.
Herrmann (hand) took batting practice Thursday. Before spring training arrived, the expectation had been that Herrmann would arrive in full health. While there's yet to be word saying that was the case, seeing him participate in BP is certainly promising. Over the course of spring training, Herrmann will look to establish himself as the club's starting catcher.
Herrmann (hand) agreed to a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks on Friday, avoiding arbitration. The terms of the agreement were not announced. He appears poised to open the year as the Diamondbacks' starting catcher. Despite his impressive play in limited time last season (117 wRC+ in 166 plate appearances), Herrmann does not project to hit enough to be valuable in most one-catcher formats. His 2016 season ended prematurely because of a broken hand, but he is expected to be ready to go for spring training.
Herrmann, whose 2016 season ended prematurely with a broken hand, may be in line for a significant increase in playing time following the D-backs' decision to non-tender Welington Castillo last week. With veteran defensive stalwart Jeff Mathis inked to a two-year deal, the D-backs may lean on Herrmann in the larger portion of a platoon to begin the season, after the 29-year-old hit .284/.352/.493 with six homers in limited playing time a year ago. Former Rule 5 selection Oscar Hernandez is also on the 40-man roster, but he carried a mere .609 OPS at Double-A last season in his age-22 campaign. Unless another veteran is added to the fold before Opening Day, Herrmann figures to get an opportunity to eclipse 200 plate appearances in a big league season for the first time in his career in 2017.