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 Juan Graterol 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 (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.
Herrmann broke two bones in his left hand Friday and will miss the rest of the season, MLB.com's Jake Rill reports. He suffered the injury on an attempted steal in the bottom of the seventh inning after drawing a pinch-hit, one-out walk. Herrmann was just activated from the disabled list Tuesday after dealing with a hamstring injury, so this has been a rough stretch of the season for the veteran catcher/outfielder.
Herrmann will get the last minute start Wednesday's matchup with the Dodgers. Herrmann replaces Wellington Castillo in the lineup, as he was a late scratch. He will look to turn around a slump that has seen him record just one hit in his last 17 at-bats.
The Diamondbacks activated Herrmann (hamstring) from the disabled list Tuesday. Herrmann's hamstring injury has sidelined him since mid-July, but he is ready to rejoin the big club after playing four straight games with Triple-A Reno. Herrmann figures to complement Welington Castillo behind the plate like he did earlier this season, and he could see some spot action in the outfield as well.