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Spring Training Gameday Thread, #3: 2/25 vs. A’s

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Zack Greinke’s spring debut!

Milwaukee Brewers v Colorado Rockies Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images

It’s way too early to be reading anything into this, but I do note that Carson Kelly will be catching Zack Greinke today. It seems that Greinke has a VERY strong preference for working with one catcher. Last year, every single pitch in the 207.2 innings he threw, was to Jeff Mathis behind the plate. It could well have been the same in 2017, except for the injury to Mathis which forced Greinke to throw to Iannetta instead. [Small sample size, but his ERA was 0.22 higher, and opponents’ OPS 35 points up, despite a BABIP which was a dozen points lower] In 2016, it was almost always Welington Castillo, and even before he was a D-back, Greinke tended to have a personal catcher.

Whether today’s line-up indicates Kelly has been tagged as “the man” or if this is just the first in a series of auditions, we’ll have to wait and see. I’ve no doubt Greinke has been throwing on the backfields to the other candidates, John Ryan Murphy and Alex Avila. Though neither of them have ever caught him in a game situation, so don’t have any real leg-up on Kelly in this particular race. However, if Kelly also catches Greinke next time he starts, which should be over the weekend, we can probably start thinking the position of personal catcher has been filled. One imagines the team will want to give whoever it is, as much time as possible, to work with Zack in game situations.