Toronto Blue Jays catcher JP Arencibia may have a difficult responsibility this season if the team allows him to catch for R.A. Dickey. Knuckleball pitchers like Dickey and Tim Wakefield will oftentimes have their own personal catcher, but Arencibia is hoping to convince the Jays that he is up to the task.
According to ESPN the Magazine’s Chris Jones, Arencibia has been living life on the edge while working with Dickey in spring training. While catching for Dickey during practice and drills, Arencibia has been using only a mask and the oversized catcher’s mitt that that Dickey takes with him wherever he goes. That means no leg guards, no chest protector and no — gulp — athletic supporter.
“I don’t want to miss every fifth game,” Arencibia explained. “It also makes you really, really concentrate.”
Arencibia said he has been bothered by the belief that he is an average defensive catcher, and he is hoping to prove that he is more than that. Opting to not protect his family jewels is certainly a means by which the 27-year-old can sharpen his senses, but I wouldn’t advise doing it during games. You know, with foul tips and all that.
“He does not want to be made out to be a fool,” Dickey said. “He wants to really figure this thing out, and I think he will.”
If he doesn’t, Arencibia may be in for a world of pain and infertility.
H/T Eye on Baseball