While Stallings' defensive prowess is the reason he's set to serve as Pittsburgh's primary catcher, he's also hit for a decent batting average with Triple-A Indianapolis in recent seasons, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. The 30-year-old batted .291 (in 523 at-bats) over his last three minor-league campaigns with nine homers and two steals, and slashed .262/.325/.382 with five doubles, six home runs and 13 RBI in 210 plate appearances last season with Pittsburgh. Stallings led all major-league catchers in DRS per inning (minimum 450 innings), finishing with an overall plus-14 DRS in 463.1 innings played. He spent the offseason strengthening the back that bothered him last summer and hit .300 in 20 Grapefruit League at-bats. His top priority remains his defense, but he's shown an ability to hit for a higher batting average than he posted in 2019.
Stallings went 2-for-2 with a double and an HBP against the Yankees on Monday. The 30-year-old is expected to serve as Pittsburgh's primary catcher in 2020. He saw his first sustained action last season, slashing .262/.322/.410 with six homers in 309 plate appearances. Primarily known for his defensive skills behind the plate, Stallings has batted .291 (in 523 at-bats) over his last three minor-league campaigns with nine homers and two steals.
Stallings (back) returns to the lineup Friday against Milwaukee. Back tightness had kept Stallings off the field since last Friday. He'll bat seventh and start behind the plate Friday, catching Steven Brault.
Stallings (back) is not in Thursday's lineup against the Mariners. It sounds like the Pirates are hoping to have Stallings back for this weekend's series against the Brewers. Elias Diaz is starting behind the dish and hitting fifth.
Stallings (back) is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Mariners. Stallings sat out the last three games because of his injury, and it looks like he will miss another contest unless he sees action off the bench. Elias Diaz will make his fifth straight start behind the plate Wednesday.
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