The Minnesota Twins needed to add depth at the catcher position and did so by signing the veteran and former Philadelphia Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp.
The Minnesota Twins have been on the search to add catching depth ever since learning the unfortunate news that starting catcher Jason Castro would be lost for the season. Many fans were rooting for and hoping that the team would trade for a starter like J.T. Realmuto. The more realistic acquisition happened as the Twins signed veteran catcher Cameron Rupp to a minor league deal.
Rupp has reportedly already made his way to Triple-A Rochester. While Rupp will start at Rochester, the former starting catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies could certainly replace Bobby Wilson on the Twins roster quickly.
Rupp hasn’t been the most exciting catcher to take the field but has been good enough to hold down the starting job with the Phillies. Over his career, he has hit .234/.298/.407 with 39 home runs. By no means is Rupp a power hitter but he may have just enough pop in his bat to put him ahead of other backup catching options across the league.
Rupp’s best season to this point came in 2016 when he played in 105 games and hit .252/.303/.447 with a .750 OPS. In that season he also hit 16 home runs, 26 doubles, and 54 RBIs. Just last season Rupp hit 14 home runs although his batting average dipped to a hard to ignore .217.
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After being the starting catcher for several seasons in Philadelphia, the 29-year-old now has the chance to embrace being a potentially above average backup catcher. If Rupp does land on the major league roster, he will also have the opportunity to be another voice that mentors Mitch Garver along his path to being a starting major league catcher.
Rupp will also help the Twins when facing left-handed pitchers. Something the Twins have certainly struggled with this season. Over his career, Rupp has slashed .285/.368/.511 with a .879 OPS against lefties. The hope is that Garver will also plant himself securely as someone who crushes lefties, but having another option on a team that has struggled in that area doesn’t hurt.
This signing of Rupp doesn’t change a whole lot. The starting catching job is still Garver’s to grab on to and own. What this signing does do is hopefully improve some of the fringe areas of the Twins roster. Which could be the difference between in or out if the Twins are able to continue and battle back into the playoff picture.