After being traded for on July 31 in 2013, catcher Drew Butera was expected to be nothing more than depth at a tough position.
In 2014, Butera filled the role of backup catcher and started a large amount of games for the Los Angeles Dodgers because of injuries to A.J. Ellis. Heading into the spring, the backup role was a battle between Butera and Tim Federowicz. Ultimately, the 31-year-old Butera won the job and began as the second catcher.
He quickly began starting a handful of games because of injuries and finished the year with 48 games started behind the plate. While he did not have great success at the plate in terms of numbers, Butera was able to drive in 14 runs and hit three balls out of the park. He finished with a .188 batting average, but he was worth three Defensive Runs Saved on defense.
Once Ellis returned, Butera remained the backup over Federowicz for the season and in the postseason.
In a blowout handed to the Dodgers by the Miami Marlins, manager Don Mattingly wanted to save his bullpen and turned to Butera to toss an inning of relief. The catcher was able to throw a perfect inning on 11 pitches, even notching a strikeout in the process. He would appear in relief again three days later without the same results though.
Butera will be arbitration eligible for the first time in his career and the Dodgers will likely bring him back on a small deal. As of now, he will again battle with Federowicz for backup to Ellis; however, the Dodgers could decide to make a move behind the plate that would leave Butera without a spot on the big league roster.