D-backs catchers work behind the scene during spring training
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — With the Diamondbacks first full-squad workout set for Tuesday, the pitchers-and-catchers portion of spring training wrapped up Monday.
But at times during the past five days it felt more like just a pitcher’s camp.
Such is life for a catcher at times, always necessary and often in the background.
"It’s about the pitcher," Welington Castillo said Monday morning at Salt River Fields.
"Pitching is a pretty important part of the game," Chris Hermann added, "and our main focus is to get the pitchers ready."
In part because the team’s off-season additions were on the pitching side, lots of attentions has been on bullpen sessions and even pitcher’s bunting and taking grounders. But the anonymity of the catcher to a large degree comes with the position.
"A lot of the focus is on the pitchers and the catchers know that," said bench coach Glenn Sherlock, who oversees the group.
The D-backs catchers — there are eight in camp — don’t mind the lack of attention or even the limited swings in the batting cage compared to the rest of their position-player brethren.
"When people talk about the pitcher, they’re talking about me, too," Castillo said. "Because it’s part of my job, working with them.
"All the coaches make it a point to let everyone know that the pitcher and catcher are basically the same thing," Tuffy Gosewisch said. "There is no pitcher without a good catcher."
Gosewisch said in previous camps with other organizations, "it felt like the catcher was put more on the back burner."
The catchers usually are among the first players in the clubhouse each day. For Castillo, he arrives at 5:45 a.m.
"I’m one of those guys who likes to take my time with everything I do," Castillo said. "The more time that we spend together (pitchers and catchers) in here and outside on the field is better. Trust and belief in each other comes with time."
The D-backs did not throw bullpen sessions on Monday, which gave the catchers time to get in extra swings with a situational game. With live batting practice starting Tuesday, time with a bat in their hands won’t be nearly as much as the rest of the positions players.
Tuffy Gosewisch works the three-foul ball drill to perfection Monday. pic.twitter.com/pftw8Y5UDk
— Chris Gabel (@Chris_Gabel) February 22, 2016
"For catchers, it’s a little difficult to hit before the games start because we always have something to do," Castillo said. "My hitting will come in time. With playing time, the more I see pitchers my timing will come.
"Hitting for a catcher is just a plus. All that I care about is (the pitchers), because if we’re not on the same page or don’t trust each other then we’re in trouble because we’re the ones driving the bus in the game."
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- FOX Sports Arizona
- FOX Sports Arizona - Diamondbacks
- Tuffy Gosewisch
- Welington Castillo