Two important regulars, Orlando Hudson and Nick Hundley, will soon be returning from the DL. It's quite clear Logan Forsythe will go back down when Hudson returns, but what about when Hundley comes back?
Rob Johnson is a career .200 hitter and is rapidly descending to that level after a decent start. Switching to Petco Park can turn a .200 hitter into a .180 hitter pretty quickly. He's striking out a lot. Recently, when not striking out, he's looked tentative or just overmatched at the plate. Like a guy trying not to whiff rather than one trying to make something happen. I assume he handles pitchers well or else why is he here?
Kyle Phillips is a left hand hitting local product brought up from AA when Hundley went down. He's a big, strapping kid with plus power and a minor league career of hitting everywhere he's been. He's also a local product and is getting some hometown love from the U-T, as he should. He definitely looks unintimidated at the plate. The ball pops off his bat. He swings with controlled authority. His abilities behind the plate are a work in progress, but he's competent and working hard.
Why would the team prefer their backup catcher to be another righty who pretty clearly can't hit at this level vs. a lefty for whom every indication is that he CAN hit? I don't know what options they have with Johnson regarding sending him down, and it really doesn't matter. I say commit to Phillips as the backup for a season to see what he can do. After all, it's only as a backup. If he can supply a serious bat in the lineup every 4th or 5th day when Hundley rests, this club can hardly pass that up.