View Full Version : This could end our 3 Catchers.....

04-23-2006, 03:10 PM
Notes: Emergency catcher wanted
Nats searching for third backstop behind Schneider, LeCroy

WASHINGTON -- In the eighth inning of Friday's game against the Braves, manager Frank Robinson made four changes to the lineup. One of those moves included catcher Matthew LeCroy pinch-hitting for Brian Schneider.

During the inning, in which the Nationals scored four runs, it dawned on Robinson that he didn't have an emergency catcher if LeCroy got hurt.

"We need somebody, and I should have identified [the person] before we left Spring Training, to tell you the truth," said Robinson. "It's something you have to do."

Robinson said he was going to address the emergency catcher situation on Saturday and find a volunteer, but when reporters approached the reserves, only infielder Brendan Harris and outfielder Marlon Byrd said they would give catching a try.

"I think I could probably get by in a pinch," Harris said. "I guess it would be me by default."

Byrd was drafted by the Phillies as a catcher/third baseman, but said he needed at least a couple of days to get familiar with the position.

"It has been a long time, but if I volunteer, I'm the guy that has to work hard, and I don't like looking foolish out there," Byrd said. "If that need came along, yeah, I would have to start working on it. I just couldn't go out there and do it."

Damian Jackson is the most versatile reserve on the roster, but he said he wouldn't play behind the plate because of the injury risk involved.

"It would be endangering my career," Jackson said. "I'm not a superstar. I have a family to think about. I'm not a catcher. I don't know what to tell [Robinson] on that one. I won't be raising my hand."

Robert Fick is the other Nationals catcher, but he's on the disabled list and is expected to be on his rehab assignment for 20 days.

Guillen defends outfield play: With runners on first and third and one out in the top of the eighth inning, Braves pinch-hitter Matt Diaz hit a shallow fly ball to right fielder Jose Guillen, who caught the ball, double-clutched and was unable to get Brian McCann at the plate. The play ended up being the first run for the Braves. Many in the Nationals organization thought it was a pivotal moment in the game because the Braves ended up scoring two more runs to tie the score at 3.

Guillen, however, felt he did nothing wrong.

"Guys, you know the situation right there," Guillen said. "Why rush and try to throw the guy out? Maybe it's raining, I throw the ball over the catcher or whatever. It's not necessary."

Asked what he thought of Guillen's play, right-hander John Patterson, who was on the mound at the time, didn't want to comment.

Injury report: Shortstop Cristian Guzman, on the DL because of right shoulder problems, is currently on a rehab assignment and played in his first intrasquad game on Saturday. He went 1-for-3 and didn't have any problems throwing the ball.

Quotable "Unless I missed out on something, he's going to be a very good player for a lot of years to come. But he's not quite there. He's still learning. He still hasn't adjusted to Major League pitching. He is handling things well. That's the main thing.

"We don't want him to get down on himself and get things into his head -- just try to learn from each at-bat, each play on the field. ... Each day, you see something a little better from him. Before the year is over, I think we are going to see him do some nice things out there on the field and at the plate. I think he will have a nice year." -- Robinson on Ryan Zimmerman

Send in your questions: The Nationals mailbag runs every Monday. Send in your questions now.

Stats of the day: In their last six games, 33 of the Nationals' 69 hits have gone for extra bases.

Did you know? According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Alfonso Soriano became the first leadoff hitter to hit three home runs in a game since Cubs outfielder Brant Brown pulled the trick on June 18, 1998, against the Phillies.

Coming up: After Saturday's rainout, the Nationals return to Robert F. Kennedy Stadium on Sunday at 8:05 p.m. ET to play the Braves. The Nationals are looking to win their third consecutive game.

Right-hander Tony Armas Jr. will get the start for Washington, while right-hander John Thomson gets the nod for Atlanta.

Armas, who is looking for his second win of the season, will face the Braves for the 20th time in his career. He is a 4-6 with a 3.76 ERA against them. Last Tuesday, Armas didn't have his best outing, but he managed to pick up his first victory since Aug. 13. He pitched six innings against the Phillies and gave up three runs on seven hits, striking out three and walking four.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


04-23-2006, 03:27 PM
Narron WANTS 3 catchers.

It's like a 24 man roster.

04-23-2006, 03:28 PM
haha :) smiles

04-23-2006, 04:45 PM
Wow, Matt Lecroy is their regular backup catcher? He shouldn't be anything more than an emergency catcher himself.

Strikes Out Looking
04-23-2006, 08:15 PM
The decision to keep this catching arrangement was none other than Jim Bowden, who did it over the objection of one Frank Robinson. Until Bowden goes, he's not going to admit he's wrong and try to wrest another catcher away from another team so this trade to the Nats isn't going to happen...until the new owners come in and immediately fire ole' Leather pants.

04-23-2006, 08:18 PM
I dont mind valentin off the bench as a PH. Without Ross, we don't really have him available for that. Sure I would make a trade if one came up, but I can live with 3 for now.