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Wil Nieves signs with Phillies

Another spot on the roster will definitely need to be re-filled for 2014, with the news that Wil Nieves will be playing for Philadelphia next year.


Nieves arrived with the Diamondbacks in August 2012, after being released by the Colorado Rockies. He made seven starts down the stretch, backing up Miguel Montero after the loss of Henry Blanco to injury, and was allowed to become a free agent at the end of the season, the team declining his option. It was therefore somewhat of a surprise when Arizona then re-signed Nieves to a one-year deal, less than a week later. He saw plenty of playing time this year, largely when Montero was on the DL, appearing in 71 games, and making 41 starts (one, embarrassingly, as a DH...)

Nieves put up numbers that, for a backup catchers, were not bad at all, Wil hitting .297 with one home-run and 20 RBI. Indeed, through June 20, his average was all the way up at .420, with a .935 OPS. But small sample size (that was in 55 plate-appearances) and a .467 BABIP worked their normal magic; Nieves' BABIP thereafter was a much more normal .300, and the resultant line was .255/.272/.331, for a .603 OPS. He did hit a home-run though - a tie-breaker in the eighth inning, no less, on August 12, off the Orioles' Troy Patton - so that puts him one up on Willie Bloomquist.

Perhaps somewhat of note, a couple of days ago the Diamondbacks signed Bobby Wilson to a minor-league deal. Wilson has spent part of five seasons in the major leagues with the Angels, most recently in 2012, when he appeared in 75 games for them, putting up a 61 OPS+. He spent last season in the Yankees organization, playing 66 times for their Triple-A affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It's to be seen whether the D-backs still have designs on signing any other backup for Montero.