2118 days is a long time. It is something that Oakland A’s backup catcher Christian Bethancourt is acutely aware of, as August 12, 2016 held an interesting place in his history. That day was the last time he had hit a major league home run, connecting for a third inning blast against Logan Verrett. Since then, Bethancourt has been a bit of a baseball vagabond, spending time with the Brewers, Phillies, and Pirates organizations as well as a year in the Korean Baseball Organization.
But Bethancourt has found a home, at least for now. He has finally found his way back to the majors, emerging as their backup catcher. And on Wednesday, after those 2118 days, he finally homered again, taking Justin Verlander deep in the seventh inning.
Christian Bethancourt finally breaks through
It was not a surprise to anyone that has been watching Bethancourt at the plate. Cole Irvin had said that the A’s backup catcher had been putting on a show in batting practice lately and that it was a matter of time before it happened. The hope now is that, since the first one is out of the way, more homers will come.
Should that happen, Bethancourt could keep his place on the A’s roster. Stephen Vogt has started his rehab assignment and is working his way back to game shape. While he had not exactly set the world afire before being placed on the Injured List, Vogt is one of two major league free agents that the A’s signed this offseason. Although he does not have anything close to a large salary, the A’s may want to squeeze every possible cent out of that contract.
Bethancourt, meanwhile, has been solid as a bench piece for Oakland. He has produced a respectable .229/.282/.323 batting line in his 104 plate appearances, hitting six doubles and that homer. At the very least, he provides more upside than Vogt would at this point in his career.
Christian Bethancourt has traveled the baseball world since his last home run. The Oakland A’s catcher finally broke through again on Wednesday night.