Pirates forced to use utility man Josh VanMeter behind the plate in rare MLB emergency catcher situation

For the very first time in numerous years, MLB had a sincere to goodness emergency situation catcher circumstance Saturday when Pittsburgh Pirates energy guy Josh VanMeter discovered himself behind the plate throughout the group’s loss to the Cincinnati Reds (CIN 9, PIT 2). It was his very first video game at catcher because high school, according to MLB.com’s Justice delos Santos.

“Pure panic,” VanMeter informed delos Santos about needing to capture. “… It happened really fast. Pitchers did a really good job working with me. Didn’t bounce too many balls, which made it easy.”

VanMeter was required to wear the tools of lack of knowledge due to the fact that of an ejection and an injury. First backup catcher Andrew Knapp was ejected for arguing a check swing while in the dugout. A couple of innings later on starter Roberto Pérez needed to be assisted off the field with what the Pirates called “left hamstring discomfort.” The injury appeared more major than “discomfort.”

So with Knapp ejected and Pérez hurt, VanMeter was required to take control of behind the plate in the 8th inning of a 2-2 video game. The video game escaped the Pirates that inning and Cincinnati scored 7 go to blow things open. VanMeter captured 50 pitches in his one inning and likewise took a nasty pointer to the face mask, though he shook it off and stayed in the video game.

“When I went up to hit, I told him just to take it to arbitration, so he could get paid a little more,” Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, who had fun with VanMeter in Cincinnati’s farm system, informed The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans after the video game. “When he came up his last at-bat, he was like, ‘Man, my legs are already hurting.’ It was funny.”

Utility guy Andrew Romine captured one inning in 2017 when he ended up being the 5th gamer to play all 9 positions in a single video game. Eduardo Escobar (one inning in 2017), Jake Elmore (4 1/3 innings in 2013), and Don Kelly (6 innings in 2011) each discovered themselves in a video game at catcher, though in all 3 circumstances their group was exposing them to a brand-new position.

The last real emergency situation catcher was Pedro Feliz with the Giants in 2007. Starting catcher Bengie Molina was gotten rid of from the video game as part of a double switch, then backup Eliezer Alfonzo left with an injury. Kevin Frandsen, the group’s emergency situation catcher, was utilized as a pinch-hitter previously in the video game, so Feliz went behind the plate.

VanMeter captured in the very first video game of a doubleheader. The Pirates put Pérez on the hurt list after the video game and contacted Michael Perez, a real catcher, from Triple-A to take his lineup area. Knapp and (Michael) Perez will manage capturing tasks moving on.

Saturday’s win snapped a nine-game losing streak was just the 4th win of the season for the Reds. They are 4-22. The Pirates are 10-15.

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