Some pitchers use their old high school or college teammates as their catcher during offseason bullpen sessions. Some pitchers throw to their fathers during the winter. Others strap their personal trainers up in catching gear and have them on the receiving end of a few dozen fastballs. Gio Gonzalez has recruited someone with slightly better credentials to catch his offseason bullpen sessions: former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. Gonzalez and Posada have met up each of the last two Tuesdays at the University of Miami baseball field, and Posada, a five-time All-Star and four-time World Series winner, has gone into his crouch behind the plate, ready to catch for the Nationals lefty. For Gonzalez, it's been a thrill. "I think Jorge is a great mentor," Gonzalez said. "He's a childhood dream, always drempt of pitching to Jorge Posada. It's not that often you get a guy that is more than happy to catch a bullpen for you, especially with four titles. He's an inspiration, he's an idol. He's everything you could possibly think of, and more." Gonzalez and Posada are represented by the same agency, but they met for the first time by chance earlier this winter when working out at the gym. The two made some small-talk and got to know each other a little bit, and then Posada inquired about Gonzalez's throwing program as he gears up for spring training.
Gio Gonzalez and Jorge Posada: An unlikely offseason tandem
Masn | Jan 27