Along catchers row in the Seattle Mariners clubhouse, Miguel Olivo, Adam Moore and rookie Steven Baron dressed and waited for another wet workout today.
The conversation turned to the pitchers each had caught in the first week, and the movement they’d seen, the early command they’d observed – and the topic turned to Charlie Haeger, the man who throws the knuckleball.
Who had caught him so far?
“Not me,” Moore said, laughing.
“Not me,” Baron said.
Olivo beamed. “I’m protecting my boys, I catch him,” he said. “I drop a few, but I don’t mind. I’ll take one for these guys, any time.”
How much has the knuckler moved?
“It’s getting a lot better,” Olivo said. “It’s getting nasty.”
Moore and Baron listened, then Moore fist-bumped Olivo for taking one for the catchers in Week One. Everyone will eventually catch Haeger, and neither Moore nor Baron is afraid to do so. In the first bullpens of spring, however, with Haeger still finding his control, neither was too bothered to have missed him.