J.P. Arencibia isn’t about to concede, without a fight, the catching duties to anyone else when R.A. Dickey is on the mound.
When Alex Anthopoulos made the deal to get Dickey from the Mets, he made sure he had catching insurance in the form of Josh Thole, who has plenty of experience receiving Dickey’s confounding knuckleball.
Later in the off-season, they also signed Henry Blanco, a veteran receiver who also caught Dickey with the Mets in 2010.
“The manager and Alex have talked to me and told me from the beginning they want me to catch (Dickey),” said Arencibia. “When they add people, it gives everybody something to talk about, but I know from Day 1 I’m going to have the opportunity to catch him.
“I’ve been catching him every day. We live in Nashville, so I’ve been catching him Monday to Friday every week. At the beginning it was tough. It’s not an easy pitch to adjust to, but the past week-and-a-half we’ve been real comfortable together. We’ve been working on how he’s going to attack guys, simulating some hitters and I was able to catch him well. I’m comfortable and ready to do it in a game.”
All that said, the Jays still feel good about having Thole and Blanco, one as the backup in Toronto, the other playing regularly in Buffalo, as insurance.
“We’ll see how that all plays out,” said manager John Gibbons.
“We brought those other guys in specifically for that purpose, but (Arencibia) is going to go with (Dickey) to the WBC, so we’ll see how that all works.
“The organization is counting on J.P. to be the catcher here for a number of years, so eventually he’s going to have to catch him. In this game, things always have a way of working out, but I’m glad he’s working so hard at it.”
Blue Jays' Arencibia aims to be Dickey’s main battery partner
Toronto Sun | Feb 12