The Padres received some unfortunate news on Friday, learning that back-up catcher Tim Federowicz suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee and will miss the next three to six months. The injury significantly boosted the chances that Wil Nieves, a non-roster invitee with the Padres, makes the 25-man roster out of spring training.
Nieves, 37, posted a meager .614 OPS in 128 plate appearances as the back-up catcher for the Phillies last season, but says he wants to play into his 40’s as Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Times reports. Nieves says he arrived to Padres’ camp in “the best shape of my career.” (Editor’s Note: After a brief review, the judges have decided that this counts as a BSOML claim.)
MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom reports that Padres catcher Tim Federowicz will miss the next three to six months with a complete tear of the meniscus in his right knee. The initial diagnosis had been a small tear in his lateral meniscus, which would have required arthroscopic surgery.
The Padres had acquired the 27-year-old Federowicz along with outfielder Matt Kemp in the December trade that sent Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland, and pitching prospect Zach Eflin to the Dodgers.
With Federowicz out of the picture, veteran Wil Nieves will back up Derek Norris behind the plate. Nieves, 37, hit .254/.270/.344 with one home run and seven RBI in 128 plate appearances as Carlos Ruiz’s back-up in Philadelphia last season.
Journeyman catcher Wil Nieves has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Padres, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com.
Nieves spent last season backing up Carlos Ruiz with the Phillies, hitting .254 with one homer and a .614 OPS in 36 games. He has a .598 career OPS and has topped a .700 OPS just once, in 2012, so at age 37 expectations should be very modest.
He’ll compete with Tim Federowicz to back up Derek Norris in San Diego.