Where were you when the Cleveland Guardians made the biggest splash of the 2021-22 offseason? Luke Maile, a legendary catcher who blessed the Rays, Blue Jays, and Brewers with his presence over an illustrious six-year career, signed with the Guardians for a cool $900k on March 12.
What he did in the months since was, well, pretty average. If you squint and put Maile on a team that has an offensive catcher ahead of him, he looks like a serviceable backup catcher, slashing .221/.301/.326 with the Guardians this season. To go along with a career-high 76 games, he also tied his personal best with three home runs.
There were even a couple of spans there where you could really think he was an offensive threat if you believed hard enough. He actually got off to a pretty hot start with the Guardians, recording nine hits and five doubles in his first 31 plate appearances through May 29. From Aug. 2 to Aug. 24 — a span in which he came to the plate 35 times, recorded 13 hits, and hit two of his three home runs — he might have made you forget that the Guardians didn’t trade for Sean Murphy at the trade deadline.
These are both, of course, extremely cherry-picked and basically useless observations, but what do you want? Maile was the backup catcher, he played like a backup catcher, and he should probably stay a backup catcher. He’s definitely not the worst backup catcher the Guardians have had, not even this season, and I personally wouldn’t mind if they paid the estimated $1.3 million he’d make in arbitration to keep him around for another year while Bo Naylor gets acclimated, or whoever they sign or trade for takes over the position.
Luke Maile’s 2022 stats
We’re reviewing (almost) all the Guardians players from 2022 now through November, starting with the top-10 MVPs as voted on by eight Covering the Corner staff members. Players were awarded points based on their one through 10 individual rankings and were ranked as such. You can find all the Year in Review posts here.