The only way for the A’s to get more out of their catchers than they do is to play them all at the same time.
So that’s what they’re doing.
By the time Tuesday night was over, A’s catchers John Jaso, Stephen Vogt and Derek Norris combined to go 7-for-8 with two doubles, a homer and seven RBIs in the A’s 10-6 win over the Rangers.
It’s been like that a lot for the A’s, who have seen all three catchers come on strong lately.
Vogt had three singles and two RBIs, is hitting .359 for the year and has a six-game hitting streak going.
Jaso got the start behind the plate, singled and doubled off Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish and is 9-for-22 (.409) against Texas’ best starter. More than that, when he doesn’t start he leads all American League pinch-hitters in doubles and extra-base hits. Three of his four pinch hits are for extra bases, two doubles and a homer.
Norris, hitting .312 with eight homers and 34 RBIs, has made the three-run homer his calling card. He hit two on Mother’s Day, one last Sunday on Father’s Day and hit another as a pinch-hitter Tuesday in the sixth inning. He came back in the eighth inning with a two-run double and has already matched his career best RBI total with well more than half the season to play.
“That’s awesome,’’ Vogt said. “Obviously as catchers we pull for each other. It’s a three-headed catching situation. It’s just fun. John and Dino are good friends of mine. I want them to do well and I know they want me to do well. It’s just the way the three of us work together, we all get along and we have fun.’’
They’ve been able to do well in part because right fielder has been open lately for guest hosts with Josh Reddick off on the disabled list with a hyperextended right knee. When he comes back, probably next Tuesday in New York, Reddick will make it tough to play all three at the same time, putting Norris behind the plate and Jaso at first base, which manager Bob Melvin as done as recently as Monday night.
“It’s a lot of fun right now, especially when they’re all in the lineup together,’’ winning pitcher Tommy Milone said. “It seems like they’re all producing. Like Dino today, coming off the bench with five RBIs, two hits, a three-run homer, it seems like he’s doing that every time out. It’s a lot of fun to watch.’’
A’s manager Bob Melvin can’t get all three in the lineup every day, but he does some days and thinks about it most days.
“It’s a luxury,’’ the manager said. “These are three guys who could start. A lot of teams are looking for one or two catchers, and we have three.’’