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Montz to get first call as A’s No. 3 catcher

PHOENIX – The A’s are set with their catching for the season with John Jaso and Derek Norris figuring to share duty this season.

But what happens when those two, the only catchers on Oakland’s 40-man roster, are unavailable for a prolonged period of time?

Manager Bob Melvin said the plans are that Luke Montz would be the first option to fill in for either Jaso or Norris. The 29-year-old has minimal big league experience – 10 games in 2008 with Washington – but he’s had a good camp so far and is coming off a 29-homer season for Triple-A New Orleans last year.

“He’s the priority as the No. 3 catcher,’’ Melvin said Sunday. “He’s looked pretty good, catches the ball well and interacts well with the pitchers and communicates with them well.’’

Look for Montz to get almost as much playing time as Jaso and Norris in the first half of the Cactus League season as the Mariners try to make sure of what they have. He signed with Oakland as a free agent after leaving the Marlins’ minor league system.

John Hickey

Returning to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.