Billy Beane would rather risk losing a game than lose his catcher.
The Oakland A’s general manager has instructed catcher Kurt Suzuki to not block the plate when there’s the chance of a big collision, according to a report Tuesday.
The policy is the fallout from San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey suffering a season-ending ankle injury last week after being plowed over by the Florida Marlins’ Scott Cousins.
"You’ve got to give the runner an avenue to the plate," Beane told the San Jose Mercury News. "A guy of Kurt’s size, to plant himself in front of the plate is not a good idea. Kurt’s a good athlete, and he needs to use that athleticism instead of becoming a human wall."
Suzuki said he agrees with the instruction and that there are other ways to remain effective on plays at the plate.
"If I have a feeling it’s going to be a bang-bang play, and I’m putting myself in a vulnerable position, I’m not going to stand in front of (the runner)," Suzuki said. "If I think he’s going to slide, then I’ll take my chances."
Suzuki is hitting .247 with four home runs and 14 runs batted in through 50 games this season.