Tyler Flowers’ 2013 season on the South Side could be described simply as disappointing. Flowers was promoted into the starting catcher role after fan-favorite A.J. Pierzynski signed with Texas last off-season. In 84 games during the 2013 season, Flowers hit just .195 (50 hits in 256 at-bats) and was forced to have surgery on his throwing shoulder in the last month of the season. The timetable for Flowers to return was set at 3-6 months.
After finishing up rehab on the surgically repaired shoulder, along with appearing in 11 games this spring, Sox manager Robin Ventura has mentioned that Tyler Flowers will be the Sox Opening Day starting catcher against Minnesota.
“I’m glad they recognize I’m healthy and I’ve been working hard to get to this point. “It was kind of questionable in my mind for a little bit during the offseason, ‘Can I be ready for the season?’ Not to be a starter or anything but can I be ready just to play, I guess I’m proud of myself in that respect, but it’s still a long road.” – Tyler Flowers, WhiteSox.com/MLB.com
The catching position has been quite a discussion within the organization since last season. As a whole group, Sox catchers hit .201 with a .592 OPS (second-worst in baseball). Flowers lost his starting job to Josh Phegley last season, but Phegley only hit .206 (42 hits in 204 at-bats) in 65 games last season. Other Sox options behind the dish are Hector Gimenez and Adrian Nieto, a 2008 June Amateur Draft pick of the Washington Nationals.
Robin reiterates Flowers looks to be the starting catcher. Won't make a decision on the backup or the rotation alignment until camp ends
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) March 16, 2014
Another possible (but unlikely) option for the Sox has been the rumored trade with the New York Yankees for Francisco Cervelli. The Sox would send Gordon Beckham to New York because of the Yankees’ lack of depth in the middle infield positions after Robinson Cano bolted with Jay-Z for Seattle and a 10-year, $240 million deal.