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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-15, Chris Herrmann

And he’s very useful at parties.

General Views - Baselworld 2016
Chris Herrmann on photo day at Salt River Fields
Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 15: Chris Herrmann

  • Date of birth: November 24, 1987
  • Ht/Wt: 6’0”, 200 lbs
  • Position: Swiss Army knife
  • Status: 40-man roster
  • Bats/Throws: L/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: 56 games, 166 PA, .284/.352/.493, 6 HR, 28 RBI
  • SnakePit Rating: 5.62

Officially, he’s listed on the roster at catcher. But last year, Herrmann also started games at all three outfield positions for the Diamondbacks - there aren’t many catchers capable of starting at center! - and also played a little first-base. And three gloves might not be enough for Chris in 2017: “I might have to get a fourth. Lovullo mentioned to me practicing at third base. I’m going to have call up Rawlings. Let’s hope Lamb has another great year and I don’t have to worry about playing third base.” His preference long-term is to catch: “It would be nice just to concentrate on one position like most players do and really try to perfect that. But, as for now, this is what’s getting me a job. I know I’m a good enough catcher to be here.”

And he bounced all around the field, while putting up an .845 OPS that trailed only Paul Goldchmidt and Jean Segura among all the 2016 Diamondbacks. That was quite some breakout season, considering Herrmann’s career OPS before joining Arizona, over 142 games for the Twins, was just .530. It was a season derailed by injury, Chris managing just nine PA’s after the All-Star break. A hamstring issue meant he missed close to two months, and barely had he returned in September, when Herrmann broke his hand sliding - headfirst, yet again - into second-base, the resulting surgery ending his season. All seems well again now though.

With Chris Iannetta and Jeff Mathis apparently going to get the bulk of the starts behind the plate, it looks likely that Herrmann in 2017 will enjoy more of a super-utility role. His left-handed bat will be useful on a team that skews mostly right, and his ability to be a third catcher will give Torey Lovullo greater freedom in terms on pinch-hitting late in games.

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