Steve Lerud, catcher
Who is he?
Steve Lerud is a left-handed hitting catcher, originally from the Pirates organization. He has some power and an increasing amount of patience at the plate, which helps make up for an anemic batting average. In fact, he may be too patient. I saw him play five games at Norfolk. He only played defense in one; in the other four, he saw 69 pitches and took 47 of them. In the last three games I saw, he saw 53 pitches, of which he swung at 9.
Of the four Tides’ catchers (okay, five if you count Philip Britton, who didn’t actually catch for the Tides) Lerud would be my second choice (behind Craig Tatum) as a major-league backup catcher. He hits lefthanded, he does SOMETHING at the plate, and he’s not a terrible defensive catcher. The problem is that because Matt Wieters is a switch-hitter, Lerud’s being a left-handed hitter is of less value; he’s of more value to many other teams than the Orioles.