ST. LOUIS – With six weeks left until the trade deadline, who knows how long Matt Garza will keep throwing to Cubs catchers?
But while he’s here, Garza would prefer to work with backup catcher Dioner Navarro rather than Welington Castillo, who’s viewed as a building-block piece by the front office and coaching staff.
Manager Dale Sveum said Monday that he has no interest in indulging Garza with a personal catcher. Sveum said Garza hasn’t made any requests to throw to Navarro, though it’s come up during postgame media sessions.
After throwing seven shutout innings in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the New York Mets, Garza was asked if he’d like to throw to Navarro on a regular basis.
“I don’t make the lineup, but I hope so,” Garza said. “I like him back there and felt comfortable.”
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Garza pointed out that Navarro knows him really well. They were teammates on the Tampa Bay Rays team that made a shocking World Series run in 2008. Sveum completely dismissed the idea.
“When you have fastball command, we could have had an A-ball catcher catching (and gotten results),” Sveum said.
This will be Castillo’s first full season in the big leagues. The organization has projected his physical tools and made comparisons to Yadier Molina, the five-time Gold Glove winner and MVP-level performer for the St. Louis Cardinals. Sveum seemed annoyed when a reporter wondered if this was part of Castillo’s learning curve.
“He’s caught the other guys pretty well,” Sveum said. “Welington Castillo has put himself in a situation where the (Scott) Feldmans and the (Travis) Woods and the (Jeff) Samardzijas (have) great outings. The things he’s done for all these guys is (above and beyond) what a young catcher’s supposed to do.”