Pirates forced to use helper man Josh VanMeter behind the board in rare MLB emergency capture situation

For the first time in years, MLB had a fair emergency catch situation on Saturday when Pittsburgh Pirates man Josh VanMeter found himself behind the board during a team defeat by the Cincinnati Reds (CIN 9, PIT 2). It was his first catcher game since high school, according to MLB.com’s Justice Delos Santos.

“Pure panic,” VanMeter told delos Santos that he must be caught. “… It happened really fast. The Pitchers did a really good job working with me. They didn’t bounce too many balls, which made it easier.”

VanMeter was forced to put on a tool of ignorance due to expulsion and injury. First reserve catcher Andrew Knapp was kicked out over a swing argument while he was in the dugout. A few changes later starter Roberto Pérez had to help off the field with, as the Pirates called “discomfort in the left hamstring”. The injury seemed more serious than “discomfort”.

So after Knapp was knocked out and Pérez injured, VanMeter was forced to take a place behind the board in the eighth inning in a 2-2 game. The game escaped the Pirates in that change and Cincinnati scored seven runs to make things open. VanMeter caught 50 throws in his one inning and also took a foul on the top of his face mask, though he shook it off and stayed in the game.

“When I set out to guess, I told him to take it to arbitration, so he could be paid a little more,” Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson, who played with VanMeter in the Cincinnati Farm system, said C. Trent Rosecrans for The Athletic after the match. ‘When he got to his last stick, he said,’ Man, my legs are already hurting. ‘ It was funny. ”

Communal man Andrew Romine caught one change in 2017 when he he became the fifth player to play all nine positions in one game. Eduardo Escobar (one change in 2017), Jake Elmore (4 1/3 innings in 2013) and Don Kelly (six changes in 2011) each found themselves in the game on the catcher, although in all three cases their team exhibited a new position.

The last real emergency catcher was Pedro Feliz with the Giants in 2007. Initial catcher Bengie Molina was removed from the game as part of a double change, and then substitute Eliezer Alfonzo came out due to injury. Kevin Frandsen, the team’s emergency catcher, was used as a pincher earlier in the game, so Feliz went behind the board.

VanMeter was caught in the first game of the double strike. The Pirates put Pérez on the injured list after the game and invited Michael Perez, the real catcher, from Triple-A to take a spot on the list. Knapp and (Michael) Perez will deal with the capture business below.

Saturday’s win broke a nine-game losing streak was only the Reds ’fourth win of the season. They have 4-22. Pirates are 10-15.

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