Aramís García smacked another home run during Monday night's exhibition contest versus the Chicago Cubs. While Andrew Knapp might have more major league experience, it feels like García has solidified himself as the Cincinnati Reds backup catcher.
Not only did García take Cubs' starter Marcus Stroman deep to left field in the second inning, the former San Francisco Giants backstop gunned down Alexander Canario as the youngster attempted to steal second base.
Aramís García has solidified his spot on the Reds Opening Day roster.
Aramís García was 1-for-3 on the night with a walk and a strikeout in addition to his solo shot in the bottom of the second inning. The former second-round pick is now 4-for-12 in Cactus League play with a 1.468 OPS.
Andrew Knapp, who's yet to record a hit in spring ball, has received limited playing time. Knapp has appeared in just four games and hasn't started behind the plate since the first game of Cactus League play against the Cleveland Guardians. Knapp went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
Further fueling the speculation that García has wrapped up the job is the demotion of Mark Kolozsvary, Chuckie Robinson, and Chris Okey. All three catchers are now at minor league camp leaving only García and Knapp competing to be Tyler Stephenson's backup in 2022.
Stephenson excelled last season after getting his feet wet during the abbreviated 2020 season. The 25-year-old has always been lauded for his offensive potential, but Stephenson seems to have a knack for heroics as well.
The Cincinnati Reds thought so highly of the former first-round pick that longtime catcher Tucker Barnhart was dealt to the Detroit Tigers earlier this offseason. While the Reds were thought to be looking for a veteran, left-handed hitting backup catcher, it appears as though the job is García's to lose.
Barring injury, I'd expect to see Aramís García as the No. 2 catcher for the Cincinnati Reds in 2022. If García struggles, the Reds have a capable backup plan in Mark Kolozsvary. A defense-first backstop, Kolozsvary will likely begin the season at Triple-A and be ready in the event he's needed at the big league level.