Ogden Overrun With Catchers

The average professional baseball team will carry two, maybe three, catchers. So when Ogden manager Jeff Carter started counting heads among his receivers at the start of the season, he had to think that this was ridiculous. The Raptors had six with one more due to report. It looked very much like each member of his pitching staff could each have a personal receiver.

Kenley Jansen had been sent down from Great Lakes, the extended spring camp had supplied Esteban Lopez and Ivan Nacarrata, local resident Tysen "Tag" PoVey was signed as a free agent, Jessie Mier and Alex Garabedian were signed out of the draft and on hand. Then Matt Wallach also signed after the College World Series and was due to check in. Something had to give. This began to look like a scene from an old Marx brothers movie.

Carter was being overrun like James T. Kirk with Tribbles. Someone had to move or he'd have to field a lineup of catchers. First, PoVey was told he wouldn't get his chance to play in front of the home folks. He was dispatched to the Gulf Coast. Eventually Inland Empire found itself short of a catcher so Lopez was sent there.

Still, where did Carter play them all? Nacarrata had been an infielder in the Mets chain but he had looked like a conversion possibility so was signed as a free agent after the Mets let him go, then began being a catcher in the extended camp. Having trouble getting him in, Carter finally used him at second base. But only in a couple of games; mostly, he sat. Disgruntled over this, Nacarrata departed for home.

That still leaves the Raptors with four catchers and Carter still trying to fit them all in. Jansen is considered something of a prospect so he has to play. What's more he's hitting well so that puts him in the lineup on at least a semi-regular basis.

Garabedian also has provided some hitting and he was an eighth-round draft pick, after all, so he gets in there, too. Not always as a catcher, though. He's played some first and DH'd a lot. Mier was used quite a bit at the beginning but he hasn't hit all that much so his time has been limited lately.

That leaves Wallach, the son of Tim who was drafted down in the 22nd round. He's a very competent catcher but, unlike his dad, hasn't been all that much at bat, even in college at Cal State Fullerton. He'll be used every now and then but, again, there's only so much room.

Carter has been good about getting the players opportunities that they need to develop. It's probably cost him some games but he knows that's the way it is down here. In the meantime, though, if there are any more catchers out there the Dodgers are thinking of signing, do him a favor and wait awhile.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories