Bench Spot #2 – C Ted Simmons
It was really hard to give Molina the spot over the offensive juggernaut that was Ted Simmons, who is the better offensive catcher. But, with the staff that we have on hand, there’s nobody I want behind that plate besides Yadier Molina. Simmons playing all over the diamond in his 21 year career shows that he was not known for his defensive abilities behind that plate. However, when needed Simmons will provide a spark like no other backup catcher can provide.
Simmons spent parts of 13 seasons in St. Louis, and had a great Cardinals’ career. Simmons slashed .298/.366/.459 with 541 extra-base hits (332 doubles, 172 homers, 37 triples) and a career OPS+ of 127. So, clearly a valuable commodity of power, contact, and patience as he never struck out more than 57 times and routinely walked over 50 times in his career. This will be much needed off of the bench.
Simmons’ best season came in 1977, as he finished the year slashing .318/.408/.500 with 49 extra-base hits (25 doubles, 21 homers, and three triples) with a wRC+ of 138 (according to Fangraphs). While I picked the ’77 season, you could have picked any of his mid 70s seasons and not have been too off base, as each season was uniquely great.
Simmons, will be a great option to fill in various spots on the field to get more at-bats. He spent time at first, third and in left and right field in various times of his career. So, it’s not crazy to think of Simmons as a bit of a utility man on this roster.
Next: Bench Spot #3 - IF Frankie Frisch