SURPRISE, Ariz. — For success, the relationship between catcher and pitcher needs to be on a special level, like husband and wife without the bickering.
The baseball cliche is, "We need to be on the same page," but with a catcher and pitcher it is more like being in the same paragraph or being in the same sentence. Every pitch thrown can be a success that leads to victory or a disaster that leads to defeat.
Devin Mesoraco and the Cincinnati Reds believe Mesoraco’s time share at catcher with Ryan Hanigan the past couple of seasons has paid enough dividends that it is Devin’s Time. So they traded Hanigan.
And over the course of his playing time and dugout time over the past two seasons, Mesoraco has absorbed tidbits and observations about his team’s starting pitchers, the guys he hopes to help guide through the dark spots and the bright spots during the long, long season.
Asked to share some of his observations about each starter, Mesoraco methodically dissected the staff.
RHP JOHNNY CUETO (5-2, 2.82): "He is such a great competitor. He expects to win every game, expects to pitch into the seventh inning in every game. He knows where his outs are, how to get them. He knows a guy is out front with his swing so he throws him a changeup or a slower slider. He has an extremely good and knowledgable idea of what he is doing on the mound."