Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
The Chicago White Sox seem to have narrowed in on prospect Tyler Flowers as their starting catcher for the upcoming season.
Tyler Flowers has been a part of the Chicago White Sox organization since the team traded for him in a package that sent Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan to the Atlanta Braves following the 2008 season. Four years later - and with the possible loss of incumbent A.J. Pierzynski - it looks as though the defensive stopper is going to get his chance to start next season.
The 26-year-old made 153 plate appearances in 53 games for the White Sox last season, but was unable to impress the majority of those hoping he'd be fantastic as he posted just a .213 batting average and .296 OBP while striking out 56 times during his fourth season of playing sporadically for the White Sox' big club.
Chicago general manager Rick Hahn sees quite a bit of potential in Flowers, however, telling reporters at the MLB's winter meetings that he believes he can step right in and fill Pierzynski's role:
"I don't think we're going to lose anything defensively or ability to stick to the game plan," Hahn said. "Our pitchers like throwing to Tyler. Our coaches are comfortable with him sticking to the plan and he gets it. He's worked hard at that over the years.
"... It's a high standard we think he can live up to with what A.J.'s reputation was."
If Pierzynski leaves, it's likely that the team would forego adding a veteran to backup Flowers and instead insert Hector Gimenez as the backup backstop.