Wil Nieves adds depth to the Braves' list of catchers.
On July 27, Nieves packed his bags and headed from Nashville, Tenn., the home of the Brewers’ Triple-A team, the Nashville Sounds, to Lawrenceville, Ga., where the Braves’ Triple-A team, the Gwinnett Braves, plays its home games.
Due to the injury to Brian McCann—he will be out for a few weeks with an oblique strain—the Braves picked up Nieves as insurance, in case their two active catchers, David Ross and J.C. Boscan, perform poorly or tire from their increased workloads.
Nieves hit .140 in 50 at-bats for the Brewers in 2011 and was subsequently sent to Triple-A after his poor big league showing—where he hit only .170 for Nashville. He has appeared in one game for Gwinnett thus far, collecting one hit in four at-bats for his new team.
Nieves is a typical backup/third-string catcher. He does not hit for average or power and he does not walk a lot—in short, his offensive skills are lacking. He won’t blow anyone away defensively, however, he calls a good game and has a strong arm behind the plate.
Despite his apparent lack of credentials, he keeps getting jobs year after year as catchers are always in high demand. The Braves are just his most recent suitor.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this deal is what the Brewers received in return: $1. They better spend it wisely.