Tyler Saladino embraces emergency catcher role
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tyler Saladino was a catcher as a kid, strapping on the tools of ignorance on his travel baseball teams on a regular basis.
As a pro, he is an infielder who can also play outfield. He might also add catcher to the list of positions he has played in the majors (first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left field) if manager Rick Renteria gets in a bind.
“It has been a while but it’s not foreign to me,” Saladino said.
To stay familiar, Saladino caught 20-25 bullpen pitches from prospect Spencer Adams on Thursday. Adams has better stuff than those travel ball pitchers, so there’s that.
“More velo and a lot better movement with these guys,” Saladino said Friday. “I want to get used to receiving and being able to get strikes. Not take a sinker and turn it over and it would have been a strike and it’s like ‘Oh, I caught it.’ I actually want to try to get strikes.”
So Saladino wants to be a good pitch framer.
“[Omar] Narvaez said I looked pretty good [at it],” Saladino said. “We’ll keep working on it.”
Narvaez and Geovany Soto figure to be the the catchers who make the Opening Day roster, so consider that high praise.