Lieber Bemoans The Loss of Battery Partner

Last season, Todd Pratt became pretty much of a fixture behind the plate when Jon Lieber was starting for the Phillies. The two worked well together and Lieber believes that Pratt's off-season exit will hurt the Phillies bench. Now, he's looking for a new partner.

Jon Lieber admits that he wasn't pleased when catcher Todd Pratt was allowed to walk and signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent. Pratt exclusively caught Lieber during his impressive second-half last season.

"Yeah, that stinks," Lieber said of Pratt joining the Braves, against whom he was 3-0, 2.14 in three starts last season. "I think Todd was a big asset to this club. I rely on my catchers a lot, and having him was a big key."

Now, Lieber has to look to team up with someone else for the 2006 season. It's not a coincidence that in the Phillies intrasquad game earlier this week, Sal Fasano was behind the plate when Lieber pitched. Fasano, who seems to have the inside track to fill Pratt's roster spot, could wind up being the catcher-of-choice for Lieber.

When asked if he thought that after a year as teammates he and starting catcher Mike Lieberthal might have better synergy in 2006, Lieber wasn't beaming with optimism. "It's really too early to say," he said. "We'll have to wait and see."

The biggest issue between Lieber and Lieberthal is the way they like to work. Lieberthal generally runs a slower paced game behind the plate, while Lieber likes to keep the game moving at a quicker pace. Pratt, who is known for working with pitchers, adjusted his style to fit whoever was on the mound and Lieber liked the way Pratt operated.

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories