Tyler Flowers: What are Braves getting in backup backstop?


Tyler Flowers officially became an Atlanta Brave yesterday after seven years with the Chicago White Sox. What is Atlanta getting in their new backstop?

Tyler Flowers agreed to become an Atlanta braves back on December 8th, but the Big League club did not make it official until yesterday afternoon. Flowers is a Roswell native and played high school ball at Blessed Trinity. He spent his first seven big league seasons playing for the American League Central’s Chicago White Sox.

Earlier this offseason, there were rumors that the Atlanta Braves had interest in acquiring long-time backup catcher Tyler Flowers in free agency. Atlanta had reportedly grown tired of the failed experiment in supposed catching prodigy Christian Bethancourt, ultimately sending him to San Diego for often-injured pitcher Casey Kelly.

The reason behind acquiring Flowers was his familiarity of playing with starting Atlanta backstop A.J. Pierzynski, both long-time members of the Chicago White Sox. It is imperative that Atlanta have two competent catchers that feed off each other in calling games so that this young staff can develop during this time of rebuilding.

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Playing with Pierzynski again and for his hometown team seemed like a no-brainer for Tyler Flowers. Though he has some pop at the plate (46 career home runs), he is not as gifted of a hitter behind the plate as is Pierzynski. Flowers’ splits in the batter’s box are .223/.287/.376 for his big league career.

However, his numbers have improved with great playing time. He’s hit about .240 and had an OBP of around .295 the last two years while playing over 100 games for the Chicago White Sox. Maybe he is better suited to play in the National League?

With Pierzynski in the twilight of his big league career, he likely won’t play as many games as he did in 2015, purely out of necessity. Since Tyler Flowers is a right-handed hitter, the Atlanta Braves could use a platoon with the left-handed hitting Pierzynski in the hottest days of summer. Flowers won’t DH in the National League but could pinch hit when he is not spelling Pierzynski behind the plate.

Next: Jhoulys Chacin: Could he make Atlanta Braves rotation?

I’m always a fan of having a backup catcher who can call a solid game and pinch hit in some capacity. This team will grow as its pitching staff progresses. The best way to cultivate raw pitching talent is to have suitable men behind the plate and I believe that by signing Tyler Flowers, the Atlanta Braves have two of them in the former White Sox tandem. Go Braves!