The Chicago Cubs added some depth at the Triple-A level behind the plate, as they have reportedly signed 27-year-old catcher Dom Nuñez to a minor-league deal. The left-handed hitter has spent pretty much all of his pro career in the Colorado Rockies organization, while briefly being a part of the San Francisco Giants after the 2022 season.
Nuñez does have some major league experience, playing in 111 games with the Rockies. His first call up to the big leagues was in August of 2019, when Nuñez appeared in 16 games for Colorado from then through the end of the season. He did not make the team in 2020 and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nuñez didn’t play at all in 2020 with the minor league season canceled.
Yet, in 2021 Nuñez was the Rockies backup catcher throughout the entire season, starting 74 games behind the plate. Although Nuñez didn’t put up consistent offensive numbers, slashing .189/.293/.399, in 228 at-bats, the left-handed hitter did provide some pop in 2021 for the Rockies, hitting 10 home runs in 81 games.
But to be clear, Nuñez was brought on by the Cubs for the sole purpose of having depth at the catcher position down in Triple-A, with the Iowa Cubs. He pretty much represents the replacement for P.J. Higgins, who the Cubs DFA’d in late December to make room on the 40-man roster.
We always say the same thing when it comes to these types of moves and yes it is mean, but if the Cubs have to bring up Nuñez during any point of the 2023 season, then things have gone very wrong. You’d also love to believe that Miguel Amaya will be healthy and producing at Iowa, that if the Cubs do no to call up a catcher, then Amaya will get the first nod.
But as we know, newly signed Tucker Barnhart and Yan Gomes are expected to split time at catcher for the Cubs in 2023.