clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vinny Rottino: Catcher of the Future

New, comments

We haven't seen much of Vinny since he was called up at the beginning of the month, but Ned says he's just caught in the middle:

Last week, Yost said he expected to play utility man Vinny Rottino extensively over the final games of the season. That hasn't happened.

It's a numbers game, according to Yost, who may be feeling pressure to avoid a 90-loss season (the Brewers were 69-83 with 10 games left). Jenkins, Hart and Tony Gwynn Jr. have emerged as the regular outfielders, and David Bell and Jeff Cirillo have been rotating at third base. That leaves catcher, a position Rottino is expected to play in next month's Arizona Fall League.

"Our catchers really know each individual pitcher and their game plan, and it's really hard to put a kid back there that's never caught them," Yost explained. "Right now, pitching is so important for us that I'm a little hesitant to do it. It's not that I don't think Vinny can catch."

It's a little frustrating that Yost is making decisions based on being just a little better than bad, but more importantly, I like the fact that Vinny is being talked about as a catcher. In Triple-A this year, he mostly played third base, starting 77 games there and 15 behind the plate.

It's not at all uncommon for a young catcher to get a bad rap defensively (didn't everyone think Mike Rivera was a bad defensive catcher before he was called up?), so it's good to see that Rottino will have a shot at shaking that reputation. There are only two catchers on the Scottsdale Scorpions roster, so he should get plenty of time back there.

Whether or not Vinny is a catcher may be the difference between him sticking at the big-league level and not. His MLE line (.278/.329/.371) would be pretty good for a backup/platoon catcher, but it's just not good enough for a backup corner IF/corner OF. And, of course, he's much more valuable to the team if the powers that be think he can catch.

Now, if those powers would just let US see him catch in the final week of games!