NOTE: This is a guest post
One of the most important relationships in Major League Baseball is the bond between a pitcher and a catcher. Pitchers rely heavily on their battery mates to know the tendencies of each hitter, what to throw in certain situations and to call a game that plays to the pitcher’s strengths.
Here are five current MLB pitcher/catcher partnerships that are among the best.
1. Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz: Philadelphia Phillies
When Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was selected for his first All-Star Game this year, no one was happier for him than his battery mate, pitcher Roy Halladay.
“He’s the guy everybody wants to see go,” Halladay said at the time. “I’m thrilled for him.”
“To have guys on your team that care that much and want you to do well, you only want the same for them. He works very hard day in and day out to make players on our team better.”
Ruiz entered the All-Star break with a .350 batting average, 13 HR and 46 RBI.
2. Chris Capuano and A.J. Ellis: Los Angeles Dodgers
Before joining the Los Angeles Dodgers this year, starting pitcher Chris Capuano was a sub-.500 pitcher. Catcher A.J. Ellis was a minor-league lifer. Together, the two have turned their careers around.
Capuano posted a 9-5 record and 2.75 ERA through his first 19 starts of the season, and Ellis has grabbed their reins as the everyday catcher, posting a .275 batting average with 7 HR and 28 RBI.
3. R.A. Dickey and Josh Thole: New York Mets
For any catcher who has ever had to go through the rigors of trying to catch a knuckleball, more often than not they would gladly hand the job to someone else.
However, with the New York Mets, catcher Josh Thole has excelled in being the receiver for R.A. Dickey. Dickey has dazzled the National League with his famed knuckler, posting a 13-1 record and 2.72 ERA, helping to keep the Mets in contention in the NL East Division. Thole has only allowed eight passed balls for the season, a remarkably low number considering the unknown flight of each Dickey offering.
4. Tim Hudson and Dan Ross: Atlanta Braves
Managers in MLB don’t like to use the term “personal catchers,” however, in the case of the Atlanta Braves, the partnership that exists between starting pitcher Tim Hudson and catcher Dan Ross has worked out quite well.
Brian McCann handles the bulk of catching duties for the Braves, but Ross is generally behind the plate for Hudson. Thus far, Hudson is 7-4 with a 3.80 ERA with Ross as his battery mate.
5. Matt Cain and Buster Posey: San Francisco Giants
If you were to ask San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain what the secret to his success has been, he will undoubtedly mention his battery mate, catcher Buster Posey, as an important component.
Cain and Posey started together in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, which was fitting, given the fact that Cain was 9-3 with a 2.62 ERA in the first half. Posey has returned to full health after a nasty home-plate collision ended his 2011 prematurely, now hitting .308 with 11 HR and 52 RBI.
This is a guest post submitted by Ally Silva. Ally played all kinds of sports growing up and adamantly follows everything sports now, particularly Chicago sports. She works with Phoenix Bats, a company that creates world-class wooden bats for amateur and professional ball players around the world. Ally loves writing on different sports topics and is very grateful to be able to contribute here.