During the first 10 days or so of Cactus League play, the A's John Jaso has been on the move.
The veteran catcher, who was acquired in a trade with Seattle this winter, has been chasing after pitches in the dirt. It's part of the learning curve for a catcher joining a new team, determining how the ball reacts coming out of the hands of each member of the pitching staff.
"You learn to have fun with it," Jaso said of the sometimes elusive baseballs. "When you come to a new team, you know it will happen."
And it has. Jaso has been behind the plate for 35 innings this spring after catching six innings Tuesday in Surprise, Ariz., against the Kansas City Royals. He has had two passed balls, and his pitchers have thrown three wild pitches.
In 3431/3 innings last year with the Mariners, Jaso had just five passed balls charged to him, suggesting that the early issues are more part of the learning curve than a gauge of things to come.
"It's something that he's probably not all that happy with, but we're not surprised," said bullpen coach Darren Bush, who handles the catchers. "It happens when a catcher comes to a new team and he has to work with new guys. It will get better over time. It may take into April before he's completely comfortable and confident, but he'll get there."
Jaso is doing what he can to look at the issue in the long term.
"It's just a fact that you are going to be better in August than
you are in April when you are catching big league pitchers," Jaso said this week. "All these guys' pitches have different tendencies, and you have to learn that. And you can only learn them in games."
Oakland A's catcher John Jaso learning another pitching staff
Oakland Tribune | Mar 7