In April, Brewers backup catcher Pedro Severino received an 80 game suspension. He tested positive for a drug named Clomiphene. In a statement following the news, Severino indicated that he was prescribed the drug by a medical professional due to infertility problems.
With his suspension covering essentially half of the season, the Brewers went out and traded for Victor Caratini. Caratini is a switch hitter who primarily plays against left-handed pitchers and also whenever Corbin Burnes is on the mound. Burnes and Caratini continue to use the pitch com system effectively.
Recently, Omar Narvaez was placed on the COVID-19 IL. This will give Caratini an extended look at everyday playing time. As it stands today, Narvaez has a 1.1 fWAR and Caratini 0.9. This is good enough for third and fourth best among Brewer position players. When Narvaez returns off the IL, it is likely that both catchers will resume their normal roles.
With just 26 games to go until Severino’s 80 game suspension is over, the question becomes what happens then?
Here are a few options.
If the Brewers welcome Severino back to the big league club, it would not be out of the realm to carry three catchers on the active roster. In years past they have done this for short periods of time, but to have a third catcher taking up an active roster spot for the entire second half of the season seems unlikely.
Another option would be to demote a catcher to the minor leagues. Caratini does have one minor league option remaining whereas Severino has zero left. Severino has been a serviceable backup catcher for the past several seasons, so it would be highly unlikely that he would pass through waivers and remain in the Brewers minor league system.
It is also possible that the Brewers decide to part ways with Severino. As mentioned earlier, Narvaez and Caratini have been playing very well for the Crew and they may be comfortable going ahead with this tandem. This becomes even more true due to the fact that Severino is ineligible for post-season play this year due to the suspension, so the Brewers would need Caratini should they make it into the play-offs.
The Brewers will have a tough decision to make once Severino’s suspension ends. A lot can happen over the next 26 games, but it is time to start thinking about his return.
Follow me on Twitter @tylerkoerth. Follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here! Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!