Martin Maldonado To Start For Cubs Tuesday Night

"Defense is his benchmark," Joe Maddon says.

Laurence Holmes Show
July 16, 2019 - 12:51 pm
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(670 The Score) Newly acquired catcher Martin Maldonado will start when the Cubs host the Reds on Tuesday evening, manager Joe Maddon said on the Laurence Holmes Show.

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The Cubs acquired Maldonado from the Royals in exchange for left-hander Mike Montgomery late Monday night. Maldonado will catch right-hander Alec Mills, who's getting called up from Triple-A Iowa to make the start.

"He's good, very good," Maddon said of the scouting report on Maldonado. "He's a very desirable major league catcher. He receive well, throws well.

"He'll hit a home run now and then too. He's got some really good pull power, but defense is his benchmark."

Maddon has never met the 32-year-old Maldonado but received glowing reports from friends around the game Monday night and Tuesday.

"A great clubhouse guy, he's a team leader, all that kind of stuff," Maddon said. "You see the stuff on the field, that's easy to evaluate. But then you really get to know the guy off the field and apparently we're really going to benefit from his presence."

Maddon didn't expect much of a learning curve for Maldonado joining a new team. The Cubs acquired him as they also decided to place All-Star catcher Willson Contreras on the 10-day injured list with a foot strain.

"He's caught some very good pitchers," Maddon said of Maldonado. "The thing is it will be about us giving him our methods. I'm certain he's going to have his ideas, having played in the National League. He'll know different hitters as they come up, but we definitely game plan and game plan strongly. He's a bright guy.

"We want him to utilize his own expertise too."

Maldonado was hitting .227 with six homers, 17 RBIs and a .657 OPS in 75 games for Kansas City before being traded to Chicago.