This article is part of our Spring Training Job Battles series.
The Diamondbacks rotated through three catchers last season, and while the cast has changed a bit this year, the plan remains the same. Carson Kelly came over from St. Louis in the Paul Goldschmidt trade. He brings a decent amount of prospect hype and looks to be the long-term solution at the position, but he's hit just .154/.227/.188 in 131 major-league plate appearances thus far, so he'll have to earn his at-bats. Alex Avila returns after a miserable first season in Arizona in which he hit .165/.299/.304 while striking out 38.5 percent of the time. Now 32 years old and without much of a defensive reputation, his case for an expanded role is a weak one. John Ryan Murphy was better than Avila last season but still far from good, hitting just .202/.244/.375. He'll be battling Caleb Joseph for the third catcher spot. The 32-year-old is a backup at best and hit just .219/.254/.321 for the Orioles last season.
Merrill Kelly is a wild card as a 30-year-old with no big league experience. He's been out of affiliated baseball since 2014 but posted good numbers in four seasons with the SK Wyverns in Korea, recording a 3.86 ERA in a high-offense environment. Matt Koch was competent enough in 14 starts and five relief appearances for the Diamondbacks last season, finishing with a 4.15 ERA, though he benefited from some batted-ball and strand-rate luck. Matt Andriese is in the picture as well. Taijuan Walker could eventually