Moving to the desert agreed with Chris Iannetta, as he rebounded in a big way from his one-year stay in the Pacific Northwest. The veteran backstop bounced back from a miserable campaign with the Mariners to post a .254/.354/.511 triple slash, his best campaign since his salad days with the Rockies. Iannetta also was helpful behind the dish, improving his pitch framing, no doubt aiding the growth of Robbie Ray and Zack Godley. With respect to the improvement in the batter's box, one may assume it was park-related, as Chase Field is a much friendlier venue than Safeco Field and Angels Stadium, Iannetta's previous digs. Keep in mind, Iannetta has always been better in OBP leagues and points formats scoring walks. Returning to Colorado keeps Iannetta in a great hitting environment, though he'll be competing with Tony Wolters and possibly Tom Murphy for playing time.
Iannetta is 3-for-11 (.273) with two home runs and five RBI through seven spring games. The veteran backstop is showing off a nice power stroke to start Cactus League play, displaying the pop that helped him hit 17 homers with Arizona last season. Better yet, Iannetta has struck out only twice this spring while walking four times and getting hit by a pitch once. Iannetta is nowhere near the top tier of catchers, but given the dearth of quality options at the position, his power potential alone makes him worth a look in most deeper leagues.
Iannetta signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract with Colorado on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports. Iannetta hit .254/.354/.511 with 17 home runs and 43 RBI in 89 games with Arizona in 2017, and figures to provide more pop to the Rockies' batting order this upcoming season. With Jonathan Lucroy now on the open market, Iannetta will be battling 26-year-old prospect Tom Murphy for the starting gig, with Tony Wolters also in the mix. Iannetta has played between 79-115 games in each of the last seven seasons, and should see a decent amount of playing time following a bounce-back year with the Diamondbacks. This marks Iannetta's second stint with Colorado, after being drafted by the team in 2004 and spending his first eight professional seasons with the club.
Iannetta is not in the lineup against the Dodgers on Friday. Jeff Mathis will handle the catching duties yet again as the Diamondbacks begin their NLDS with the Dodgers on Friday night. Although Iannetta didn't start the Wild Card Game on Wednesday either, he remains the top option for Arizona behind the plate, and will likely be back in the starting nine for Saturday's matchup.
Iannetta is out of the lineup against the Rockies on Wednesday. Iannetta will retreat to the bench for Wednesday's wild-card game as Jeff Mathis draws the start with batterymate Zack Greinke taking the mound. The 34-year-old backstop will be available off the bench and will likely step in as a pinch hitter if the situation arises.
Iannetta went 1-for-4 with a solo homer, a walk and two runs scored in Sunday's 14-2 demolition of Kansas City. Iannetta came in slashing .295/.396/.526 against left-handed pitching, so it's not surprising that he was able to take southpaw Jason Vargas deep in his first at-bat. The 34-year-old catcher's surprisingly significant contribution is one of many reasons Arizona was able to lock down homefield advantage for Wednesday's wild-card game against the Rockies.