If you are a catcher there are three things that I require out of you. It isn’t a lot but they are not negotiable. One block anything that you possible can in the dirt if it gets past you it better be the pitcher’s fault. The second is hustle, yes I am aware that you have padding on, but you better be prepared for that through exercise and conditioning. And the third is you have got to control your pitchers, if the dugout is calling the pitch that’s fine but you control the pitcher.
I have heard my entire life that being a catcher is about one thing, knowing your pitcher. Two years ago we all saw the thing that Bengie Molina was able to do with Feliz, and he needs that type of relationship as much now as he did then. While Boesch was being attended to after being hit there is no reason why Torrealba didn’t trot out to the mound to talk to his pitcher. He could have said anything from shake it off, to Boesch is a wuss, or even what you want to do tonight. There is no legitimate reason to let him stand there and think over that pitch.
On top of that the lack of performance during the top of the 4th was disgusting from Torrealba. He reached by sliding head first into first where Prince Fielder had not been able to even field the ball cleanly. Josh Hamilton slides head first into bases and is safe more times than not, because he has the speed to make the calls close. Torrealba would have been better suited to run through the base.
But perhaps that slide could have been forgiven, if it wasn’t the way that he all but gave up while running on the obvious to everyone hit and runs. Yes I understand Mitch Moreland was taking Justin Verlander to task by fouling off so many pitches, it did at times seem as if Moreland was trying single handedly to knock Verlander out of the game by making him throw too many pitches.
What in essence happened was a series of 4 30 yard wind sprints, done in similar fashion to those that are done in pregame warm ups, that was obviously too physically demanding for Torrealba to keep up with it. It was so out of hand that he was, at times walking back to first. If Verlander wasn’t so intent on going after Moreland, he would have just picked off Torrealba. His facial reactions to the repeated foul balls were comical, he looked angry at Moreland. I enjoy players who play with emotions, if they are happy I want to see them be happy, but anger on a field is deadly it is too hard to concentrate on your job if you are still angry with a player, call, or umpire.
There are hundreds of young catchers that would kill to catch in the majors, and I think many of them could give more to the Texas Rangers than Torrealba can. If the Rangers are bent on keeping Torrealba then they must get find a way to keep his emotions in check. We will have to see where this relationship will go.
As Always Go Rangers.
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