Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Catching hell: 29 pitchers testing Cubs kiddie catching corps

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WASHINGTON -- As Cubs manager Dale Sveum said following Tuesday's loss in Washington, ``There's probably nothing good when you break a franchise record for players used.''

He was referring to the 52 players the Cubs have now used this year.

The worst part of that number, of course, is the club-record 29 pitchers the team has used, most of those in the second half of the season - when the lion's share of the catching has been done by rookies Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger.

Talk about learning on the job, with new pitchers and styles - some recently acquired from outside the organization - constantly added while the kid catchers are still trying to gain their big-league footing offensively and defensively.

``It's trying in a lot of ways to go through that many pitchers,'' Sveum said. ``I think [the catchers] have done a good job and they're getting better at it.

``I think Welly's really made some huge strides in the last month, calling games and sticking to game plans - as well as Clevenger, who's been pretty good all year with it.

``It was new to them, this kind of grind, this kind of pressure of calling a game at the big-league level. It's not the easiest thing, and they've had to get thrown into the fire the last few months.''

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on September 5, 2012 7:20 PM.

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