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Catchers begin days early with private workouts

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Daily work begins early for Astros catchers, who arrive by 7 a.m. ET each day -- more than an hour before most of their teammates -- in order to perform some group drills with Triple-A catching coach Jeff Murphy and Class A Advanced Lancaster catching coach Mark Bailey.

Murphy and Bailey put the six catchers, including Jason Castro, Carlos Corporan and Max Stassi, through receiving, blocking, throwing and footwork drills they don't get to work on during any other point of the day.

"The big thing here that Murphy is teaching us all about is quality over quantity," Stassi said. "We've all heard it 1,000 times, but we get in there and get our work in and get in and out, but it's really quality work. We're bouncing different ideas off of each other and talking about catching, really. It's an experience lab is what it is, without necessarily anyone watching you or grading you out on what you're doing."

This is the second year in a row Murphy has worked extra with the catchers, and both Corporan and Castro said it's extremely beneficial.

"That's how you prepare for the season," Corporan said. "That's our BP, you know? As a hitter, you take BP every day, and as a catcher you have to protect and frame and block and throw to the bases every day. That's how you're going to get better. That's how you get in shape, too."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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