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How hard can it be to be a bullpen catcher?

How onerous can or not it’s to be a bullpen catcher?
Illustration: Shutterstock

Being a Main League catcher is hard. Not solely do it’s important to squat in an uncomfortable place for over an hour on a regular basis for six months whereas sporting massive, heavy pads (the instruments of ignorance) in the course of summer time, however you additionally have to be educated of your pitching employees and opponents in order to name one of the best recreation attainable from behind dwelling plate.

Being a bullpen catcher, nevertheless, is straightforward cash by comparability, or so that you’d suppose.

Yesterday, the Arizona Diamondbacks posted a job listing in search of a bullpen catcher for the 2022 season. Whilst you may suppose being a bullpen catcher is nothing greater than placing on a glove and helmet and taking part in catch with Main League pitchers every single day, there’s apparently much more to it than that.

The duties of bullpen catchers are far more concerned than anybody outdoors of the baseball world may understand. After all, on the high of the itemizing are the obligations that we’d count on: “Attend Main League Spring Coaching and designated camps/exercises,” “Spend the whole thing of the 2022 season with the Main League staff,” and so on.

Then you definitely begin entering into the opposite duties.

“Work with the Pitching Workers and Run Prevention Coordinator to assist be sure that bullpen follow habits align with pitcher improvement plans.”

Run Prevention Coordinator? First off, I didn’t even know that was a factor. Secondly, do they need these catchers to assist develop pitchers, too? Most candidates wouldn’t know the very first thing about creating younger pitchers, and the way would being a bullpen catcher have something to do with that? I might’ve thought that there have been coaches particularly employed to assist with improvement. Why would a Main League pitcher take heed to something some washed-up JuCo catcher who simply needs to remain near the sport of baseball has to say about arm slot or launch level?

Certain, catchers are among the most educated baseball gamers on the diamond, however there’s no manner they know sufficient about pitching to assist develop a Main Leaguer, proper?

“Help with completely different elements of the advance course of for upcoming opponents as wanted.”

OK, what? These guys must look into scouting experiences for upcoming opponents as nicely? No. No, No, NO, NO!

That’s a Main League catcher’s duty. You may as nicely signal the man to a contract at this level. Like he’s virtually part of the teaching employees at that price. And what does it even matter? Irrespective of how a lot a bullpen catcher may attempt to assist prep a starter for an upcoming opponent, the pitcher is certainly simply going to take heed to what his precise catcher has to say on the matter, proper?

The {qualifications} listed for the BP catcher opening are far more in line to what you’d suppose a bullpen catcher is require to do: “Means to catch a number of bullpens each day,” “Robust stage of mental curiosity and openness,” “Means to carry a optimistic angle and vitality to the ballpark every day, with a mindset dedicated to serving the wants of the staff.” That’s all simply regular “Hey, teamwork makes the dream work” speak we see on job postings every single day. The popular {qualifications} although, are slightly further.

Certain, studying Microsoft Workplace isn’t that troublesome. Phrase and PowerPoint are fairly self-explanatory, and when you actually sit down and take a look at to determine Excel, anybody ought to have the ability to study to place collectively a primary spreadsheet in an hour or two. Nevertheless, needing to have “robust data of the advance and self-scouting processes,” that appears a bit a lot? Why on the earth would a bullpen catcher must self-scout themselves? That makes zero sense. Perhaps they imply they should assist the pitchers they work with self-scout themselves, however as soon as once more, there needs to be precise coaches and folks particularly employed to work on that stuff. Isn’t that what a pitching coach is for? Certain, a pitching coach is only one man, however can’t you get a number of folks in your employees to assist as a substitute of the man who’s simply there to be on the receiving finish of Madison Bumgarner’s fastballs?

Sure, bullpen catchers are technically coaches, however more often than not, candidates aren’t going to be guys with teaching expertise, moderately fresh-out-of-college guys in search of a technique to keep within the recreation.

The common bullpen catcher makes about $90,000 a year, so I assume it is smart they’d must put on so many hats in a Main League clubhouse. And FYI, if that $90,000 paycheck sounds engaging to you, there have been bullpen catchers prior to now who’d by no means caught a day of their lives.

Aron Amundson performed a number of years of impartial ball as an outfielder, third baseman, and first baseman earlier than turning into Minnesota’s bullpen catcher. So, sure, he did have some high-level baseball expertise, however nothing behind dwelling plate. Principally, if you understand the sport of baseball nicely and have powerful palms able to dealing with insanely quick pitches…may as nicely give it a go.

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