The second installment of my position previews for the 2012 Chicago White Sox will focus on the catchers. After A.J. Pierzynski was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career last year, Sox fans got a glimpse of what life will be like without A.J. behind the plate. They were pleasantly surprised to see Tyler Flowers fill in and produce while Pierzynski was sidelined with a wrist injury. The heir apparent at catcher for the Sox going forward will likely see more time in the lineup as the organization readies him for his eventual takeover at the position.
A.J. Pierzynski – If you have to use one word to describe Pierzysnki, it has to be consistency. Having caught more than 1,000 innings for the past 10 years, you won’t find a more reliable every day catcher in the game than A.J. A guy who was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career at the age of 35, is a living definition of the term “iron man”. His downfall lies in the fact that he doesn’t have much power in his bat and won’t throw out many batters, but his baseball IQ and pitch calling are hard to replace. Whether you like him or hate him, you have to respect the knowledge and love Pierzynski has for game.
Tyler Flowers – The 26 year-old seems primed to take a bigger role with the White Sox in 2012. It’s apparent that he is the future at catcher for Chicago and will see his role with the club increase as the season progresses. A lot of this will depend on if, and for how long this team will be a competitor in the AL Central. If they stumble out of the gate and can’t get on track, Sox fans may see Pierzynski traded before the deadline and Flowers take over full-time before July. Otherwise it’s likely that Flowers will be eased in to the lineup for the length of the season.