The Altoona Curve will be getting some familiar catching help tomorrow, as Jin-De Jhang is headed to join the team. He has been out all season since suffering an arm injury playing winter ball in Australia. Jhang has been playing in Extended Spring Training down at Pirate City and the recent reports from there have been strong, both on offense and defense.
Jhang was re-signed as a minor league free agent this off-season and will be under the same circumstances when this winter comes along. He has played for Altoona each of the last two seasons. In 2016 he served as a backup to Reese McGuire, so his playing time was limited. In 2017, he missed the start of the season with an oblique injury. He was playing well this winter until the arm injury and he apparently returned strong from it during this last month of play at Pirate City, so that will leave an interesting situation for playing time.
Christian Kelley is a strong defensive catcher, who has always shown potential with the bat. This season, he has an .813 OPS and getting regular playing time over veteran Jackson Williams, who has big league experience. Kelley is basically the same age as Jhang though, so we could see more of an even split in playing time. That’s really not unusual in the minors with fewer off-days, starting catchers don’t play everyday. You’ll probably see some DH time factor in for both of them.
If there are anymore minor league moves today (unless it’s something major), we will update this article.