Wil Nieves becoming John Lannan's personal catcher? No chance
Ivan Rodriguez received tonight off, which put Wil Nieves behind the plate to catch John Lannan. Through the first inning, Lannan is off to a bad start - the Nationals already trail the Rockies, 2-0.
In his last start, though, Lannan put together his best outing of the young season in his first start with Nieves behind the plate. Ever since the first time Nieves caught Lannan in 2008 - when Lannan allowed one run on eight hits in 13 innings over two starts - Lannan and Nieves have developed a rapport.
"We just have it," Nieves said. "From the first day we started working together, I kind of saw what he had. From the first day, I don't know. It was one of those things that happened. We have a real good chemistry. I learned more about him, and he got more confidence in me. Even when he don't want to throw something and I call it, he'll throw it because he trusts me."
So, with Nieves catching Lannan for the second straight game, is Manager Jim Riggleman considering making Nieves Lannan's personal catcher? That would be a decisive no.
"I have great disdain for that," Riggleman said. "I don't like that. I've got great respect for a lot of great pitchers who've had their own catcher, but I just don't believe in it."
Riggleman learned his dislike for personal catchers from his mentor, Whitey Herzog. "There was somebody who wanted to throw to a particular catcher," Riggleman said. "And to paraphrase Whitey, he said, 'It'll be a cold day in hell when I have somebody tell me who's going to catch.' "
So, no, don't read anything into Nieves catching Lannan tonight. Riggleman wanted to give Rodriguez a day off this week and asked for Rodriguez's input. Rodriguez believed he should catch Livan Hernandez, and so Riggleman decided on tonight to rest Rodriguez.
April 21, 2010; 7:28 PM ET
Categories: Jim Riggleman , John Lannan
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