Chicago Cubs try again with a new backup catcher
The list of 2021 Cubs backup catchers grew longer Monday when the team signed veteran Robinson Chirinos and designated Taylor Gushue for assignment.
Chirinos, 37, originally signed with the Cubs as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela in 2000. He made his major-league debut with Tampa Bay in 2011, then logged six years with Texas and was the primary catcher for the Houston team that lost the World Series in 2019.
Last year, he played for both the Rangers and Mets. This year, he signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees and was batting .278 for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre until being released Saturday.
"With all the injuries we've had at that position, he came available yesterday and the (front office) guys pounced on that," Cubs manager David Ross said Monday. "He's here willing to help out. I think he's happy to be back.
"I was able to be around him a little bit in my time off and (he has) an infectious personality. He's got a great reputation in the game. Pos (hitting coach Anthony Iapoce) had him in Texas for a little bit. He's been teammates with a lot of guys in there, so I think that's a nice pickup."
Chirinos has thrown out 24 percent of baserunners trying to steal during his major-league career.
At backup catcher, the Cubs have gone through Austin Romine, Tony Wolters, P.J. Higgins, Jose Lobaton and Gushue in the first half of the season. Romine, Higgins and Lobaton suffered injuries. Wolters is playing for the Iowa Cubs, and Gushue will likely join him if he clears waivers.
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