Saladino offers insight from new line of sight

March 11th, 2017

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- had a different view of baseball during his experience catching in a 20-pitch bullpen session Thursday.

It was different in the sense that the middle infielder usually finds himself behind the pitcher within the defensive alignment.

"I was a catcher my whole life," Saladino said. "Travel ball, youth ball and stuff like that. We played everywhere, but I caught most of the time. It has been a while, but it's not foreign to me.

"It's more or less now with some [velocity] and a lot better movement with these guys' pitches. I want to get used to receiving and being able to get strikes. Not take a sinker and turn it over and it would have been a strike and it's like, 'Oh, I caught it.' I actually want to try to get strikes."

Saladino has played every position but catcher and pitcher for at least part of an inning at the Major League level. He shared duties as the team's emergency catcher with outfielder Jerry Sands in '16, saying with a smile that it was a flip of a coin as to who would go in if it really happened.

But at the start of the season, when Saladino wasn't playing quite as much, he went out and caught side sessions for pitchers and . Moving forward, Saladino wants to be prepared for that moment by getting the reps and getting familiar with what the pitchers are like.

When asked about his framing ability, Saladino pointed out that catcher said he looked pretty good.

"We'll keep working on it," Saladino said.

He'll also be trying to handle pitches in the dirt and work on his throws to second.

"Haven't tried that. I have no idea," Saladino said with a laugh of his throwing arm. "I'll be sure to let you know when we try it out."

Handling Adams, a 20-year-old with exceptional raw stuff, was a challenge. Saladino quipped that he was glad Adams was telling him what pitch was coming "because he's got some good movement."

"You get to work with the guys and I'm not one of their guys or anything," said Saladino of what he likes about catching. "But you know what they are working on and you can still relay that message from that end of it on what the ball is doing and just working with those guys, forming that batter, I like that part of it."