Tracy sifting through catching depth
Rockies manager Jim Tracy is planning on a catching combination, not a catching controversy, with Chris Iannetta and Miguel Olivo.
We have two quality guys that are both going to catch,” Tracy said. “And as we move into the season, we have two quality guys that are both going to catch. And I really believe if we do it that way, we’re going to get the best of both worlds.”
In Spring Training, Tracy is looking beyond the two the team is planning on having on the Opening Day roster.
“We have a veteran presence in Paul Phillips, who did some special things for a good team a year ago, and Paul Lo Duca is in here,” Tracy said. “Not only do you want to feel comfortable with where you are at as you go into Opening Day, but that is a very demanding position. You’re also making sure that you have your optional plans in place, too.”
Discussions of third and fourth catchers when a team is going to have just two might seem trivial. But last year’s two catchers, Yorvit Torrealba and Iannetta, weren’t available for an 11-game win streak that ignited the run to the playoffs. Torrealba was dealing with the kidnapping of his son in Venezuela and Iannetta was out with a hamstring injury.
“Edwin Bellorin [now with the Royals] and Paul Phillips were doing an awful lot of catching,” Tracy said. “We had a four-hit game by Paul Phillips in St. Louis, and one of a little bit of everything — a hit-and-run base hit, a line drive, we used the whole playbook on him, and he responded to all of it. And Bellorin caught a tremendous game in Game 4 of the series against Houston.”