Derek Norris has been a major part of A’s three-headed catching corps.
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.
John Jaso was behind the plate for Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit back in 2011.
The folks who runs the electronics at Yankee Stadium were at no loss of stuff to put on the scoreboard during the one-hour plus Tuesday’s game between the A’s and the Yankees was delayed by rain.
They ran video clips and interviews about past Yankee glories, of which there are many to choose. One they kept coming back to was Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit.
It was back on July 9, 2011 in Yankee Stadium with the Yankees matched up against the Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price. The big left-hander tried to throw a 3-2 curve to Jeter in the third inning, but the veteran shortstop wasn’t fooled and deposited into the left field cheap seats.
That moment has a special meaning for A’s catcher John Jaso. If you watch the video, you can see it was Jaso who was Price’s catcher that day.
Setup man Ryan Cook should be activated for Tuesday’s game in New York.
As May turned to June, the A’s found themselves closer to the roster they thought they might have in April.
Sunday’s recall of catcher Stephen Vogt gives the club three catchers, meaning manager Bob Melvin can play two of them on any given day (one of them as the designated hitter) and still have the ability to pinch-run.
That’s the way things worked for much of the middle of the 2013 season before injuries got in the way.
More than that, having a three-catcher ensemble means Melvin doesn’t have to fret about the scenario of having to either give up the designated hitter or have third baseman Josh Donaldson, a former catcher, get back behind the plate.
Stephen Vogt and his family were excited with the news the A’s were recalling him.
Stephen Vogt’s Sunday night was all planned out. The Sacramento River Cats were playing in Fresno, about 30 miles from where he great up.
With Sacramento and Fresno scheduled to play a 2 p.m. game, he was going to have a big dinner with a large group of friends and family.
So it wasn’t surprising after Saturday’s game that has grandmother said, “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow night.’’
What was surprising was Vogt’s answer.
“I had to tell her, `no, you won’t,’’ Vogt said. He’d just gotten the news that he was being called up by the A’s. Oakland was desperately short of left-handed sock with Brandon Moss (calf) and Josh Reddick (knee) unable to play until at least Tuesday, and Vogt was the club’s best option.
John Jaso worked Tigers starter Max Scherzer for 22 of the 107 pitches he threw.
The A’s didn’t beat Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer Tuesday night.
They didn’t beat anybody.
What they may have done, however, is put together a blueprint for how to beat Scherzer in a big game should one appear down the line.
And since the Tigers and the A’s have met in the post-season the last two years, what are the odds?
The A’s fouled off pitch after pitch, and took pitches that weren’t in the strike zone. Catcher John Jaso looked at 20 pitches all by himself in just his first two at-bats.
Derek Norris (above) and John Jaso have given A’s most muscle from catching position.
Sometimes the A’s hear words of praise for their willingness to use a platoon. Just as often the words are of scorn.
Oakland has made the platoon thing work, however, particularly at catcher where John Jaso and Derek Norris have formed a 1-2 punch that has helped the A’s put together an offense that has scored 187 runs (heading into Monday), the second-best total in the American League.
It’s no stretch to say that the A’s have gotten more mileage from their catchers than any team in the American League. Together Jaso and Norris have combined for a .338 average, a .419 on-base percentage, a .507 slugging percentage and a .927 OPS (on-base plus slugging).
There are many things – spiteful, nasty things – that can be said about the Oakland Coliseum, now a half-century old.
When the concrete and steel edifice has people added to the mix, though, things change.
For eight inning Saturday, Oakland A’s fans seemed content to wait for post-game fireworks with the A’s offense unable to go anywhere against Washington starter Tanner Roark. But all it took was a leadoff single in the ninth inning by John Jaso to get the fans’ blood surging.
When in short order Jed Lowrie doubled and Josh Donaldson single, each driving in a run, the place couldn’t have been much louder if it was October and not April.
A’s reliever Sean Doolittle has learned to like this about the Coliseum.
“You get 35,000 people in here and the fans will go crazy if you give them a chance, any chance,’’ Doolittle said. He pitched two scoreless innings and picked up the win when Jaso’s double scored Nick Punto in the 10th for a 4-3 win.
“It feels like no place else,’’ Doolittle said. “The fans get going and the feeling on the bench is that `we will find a way.’ When it comes together like it did tonight, it’s spectacular.’’
Derek Norris is on a 13-for-27 tear in his last nine games.
Is it time for Derek Norris to get more playing time?
If it’s not now, it never will be. The catcher doubled in his first two at-bats Tuesday, driving in three runs while leading the A’s offense to a 9-3 win over Texas.
He’s 13-for-27 over his last nine games and with four consecutive multiple-hit games, he has eight hits in his last 13 at-bats.
The thing is, Norris is a right-hander and as such gets to play against left-handed starting pitching such as Martin Perez of the Rangers, who came into Tuesday as the American League’s ERA leader.
After never having caught Scott Kazmir, John Jaso found working with the lefty easy as could be.
John Jaso didn’t know for certain that he was catching Sunday until a few hours before the game.
He was told Saturday night that he might, so he was prepared, but since he’d never caught Scott Kazmir, he couldn’t be sure.
“Not even for a stretch in batting practice,’’ Jaso said. “I’ve never caught him. And I was lucky, because Scott is so easy to catch. Now if it had been Sonny Gray, that would have been different.’’
A’s catcher John Jaso got his first taste of the new home plate collision rules in the sixth inning Monday vs. Cleveland
Baseball is trying to reinvent the game, or at least smooth out some of the rough spots, and in Monday night’s opener between the A’s and the Indians, it’s clear that there is still a ways to go.
To combat the spate of concussions and severe injuries that have come from collisions at home plate, the rulebook has been rescripted to make sure the base runner has access to the plate.
However, changing the rule and making the rule second nature are not the same thing. In the sixth inning Monday A’s starter Sonny Gray picked up a deflected grounder and threw the ball to catcher John Jaso.