Joey Bart sent down to minors; Giants trade for Phillies’ catcher to fill void

Giants trade for catcher, disappointing Bart sent down to minors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO – As Joey Bart struggled to make contact over the past month, one reason the Giants continued to stick with him at the big league level was that they didn’t feel they had an adequate replacement. On Wednesday, they acquired one.

The Giants traded for Phillies catcher Austin Wynns and sent Bart back to Triple-A, a disappointing move for the former No. 2 overall pick who was supposed to be the heir apparent to Buster Posey. Wynns, 31, will presumably join Curt Casali to form the catching duo at the big league level as Bart goes back to Triple-A to work on his swing.

Bart had just two hits in his last 25 at-bats with 15 strikeouts, dropping his average to .156. He had strikeouts in 49 of 108 plate appearances and had lost the starting job to Casali, the veteran who was supposed to back up Bart just as he did Posey.

Bart’s struggles have been ongoing and manager Gabe Kapler has been open about how there’s too much swing-and-miss in the young catcher’s game, but the Giants were short on depth at the upper levels of the minors. They acquired Michael Papierski from the Houston Astros last month in exchange for Mauricio Dubon, but Papierski was hitless in nine at-bats when Casali went on the IL.

Wynns seemingly has a different profile, and a greater chance of helping a lineup that has struggled to get production from the catching position. A right-handed batter, Wynns had a .365 / .504 / .500 slash line in Triple-A with three homers in 33 games. He previously played in 115 games over parts of three seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, slashing .216 / .255 / .326 with nine homers.

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Wynns isn’t a long-term solution, but he at least gives the Giants a better option as they look to help Bart reset at Triple-A, where he spent all of last season. The Giants acquired him for left-hander Michael Plassmeyer and cash considerations. Plassmeyer, 25, had been part of their Triple-A rotation.

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