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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Opportunity convinces Davey Martinez to throw aside an old baseball trope

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—Remember that time a manager had to use his “emergency” catcher? No? Well, that’s because it rarely happens.

Maybe once in a lifetime. Maybe never. It long operated as the unverifiable excuse for not putting the backup catcher into a game, always enabling that pervasive detriment to change, “What if?”

What if the replacement is hurt? Then the manager is stuck with the so-called emergency catcher. That could be hairy.

Mind you, this would be less of a problem if teams didn’t waste eight roster spots on relievers….

 

 

QLE Posted: February 17, 2019 at 03:52 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: catching, davey martinez, nationals

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 17, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5815965)
I just ran a list at BBRef of guys since 1998 with fewer than five games catching and 100+ career PA. There are 22 names on the list. Some of these are guys whose appearances don't fall under the category of "emergency catcher":

* Old catchers who caught a game or two right before retirement (Craig Biggio and Todd Zeile; Ed Sprague might fit here)
* 9 positions in one game stunts (Andrew Romine; Scott Sheldon & Shane Halter had stunt games in this period, but also other appearances at C)
* Guys that teams made a failed attempt to convert to backup catchers (Mike Lamb, Mike Kinkade)
* non-emergency appearances in blowouts (Raul Ibanez's one game; Shane Halter's appearance at C in his non-stunt appearance; Sprague's appearance; maybe some others)

So that's at most 14 emergency catchers (some with multiple appearances) in 20 years. No idea, of course, how many times did it not happen because managers were conservative about pinch hitting.
   2. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: February 18, 2019 at 08:14 PM (#5816265)
Don't forget Tom Brookens (per Wiki):

Traditionally an infielder, Brookens found himself behind the plate in a game against the Texas Rangers on July 20, 1985. With regular catcher Lance Parrish hurt and Bob Melvin and Marty Castillo removed from the game in favor of pinch-hitters, Brookens (who had never caught a pro game before, even in the minors) filled the role and wound up catching five innings (11th through the 15th) before Detroit finally won the game.

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