Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Yasmani Grandal in a package from the San Diego Padres, one side of the coin had them gaining a 26-year-old switch hitter who excels in pitching framing, which Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman greatly values.

However, Grandal also arrived in Los Angeles with a bit of a checkered past. There was the PED suspension that cost him 50 games in 2013, concerns over his surgically repaired right knee, and rumors of the Padres pitching staff preferring to work with Rene Rivera.

Throughout Spring Training and now six games into the season, there’s been nothing but praise for Grandal. Zack Greinke in particular has been a staunch supporter, saying after their first regular season game together he “couldn’t draw up a better catcher.” Greinke and Grandal formed the Dodgers battery Sunday and again found success as the right-hander threw seven shutout innings.

Following the game, Greinke praised Grandal in light of the reputation he had and said the positive opinion of the catcher extends throughout the Dodgers’ pitching staff, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:

It’s kind of interesting because of that,” Greinke said. “You’re paying attention to see what it’s going to be like. But, like I said, it’s been great. There was a little bit of a rumor, but he hasn’t shown anything but positives, not just to me. Every one of our pitchers has been impressed with him.”

Grandal expressed his gratitude when told of Greinke’s comments:

It kind of feels like I’m doing my job right,” Grandal said. “That’s what I want to do when you have a pitching staff like the one we have. It definitely feels good to know the pitchers are behind you.”

Thus far Grandal has caught all Dodgers starters with the exception, a big one, being Clayton Kershaw. A.J. Ellis has been behind the plate for both of Kershaw’s starts this season, but manager Don Mattingly has continued to deny or support the idea of Ellis being Kershaw’s personal catcher. Grandal caught Kershaw twice during Spring Training.

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Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly Discusses Catching Situation


About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

44 Responses

  1. Michael N. Norris

    Well the pitchers might like pitching to him, but one thing is for sure, the opposing pitchers love pitching to him when he is hitting because this guy cannot hit. Oh and the great defensive team they have assembled…….2 more errors yesterday……..that makes 7 in 6 games………and Hatcher….oh yeah,,,,he has worked out…..33.75 ERA……..

    Reply
    • Alex

      He homered the other day and has a .353 OBP and almost .800 slugging, which is very commendable. Not to mention he blocked a ton of Greinke pitches in the dirt and has thrown out a few runners to boot.

      We shouldn’t be expecting Yadier Molina back there, but he’s doing his job well and pitching staff likes him. No love?

      Also, yes Hatcher is struggling, but other bullpen guys are doing great. Yimi Garcia, Baez (did you not see him strike out Goldschmidt?!), Nicasio, and Peralta. Paco, too, but his ERA that high because of Hatcher.

      So, any positive comments from you?

      Reply
      • Michael N. Norris

        Alex I make positive statements when I see positive things. He also made a throwing error that helped lose a game. He has not been hitting with runners on base. He is not all that great to me. You can like the guy, I do not have to. And there are other Dodgers I have disliked over the years. As a fan, I look at the team as a whole….and with a few exceptions, the first 6 games here have not been all that impressive. The fielding has been erratic to say the least. Clutch hitting has been non existent so far. They were 3-13 with runner’s in scoring position yesterday. They do not have a true #4 hitter. So you can look through your rose colored glasses and see what you want. I could care less about his OBP or OPS. No , he is not Yadi and I never expected that. Garcia, Baez and Paco, along with Peralta have done well. But I was pointing only at Hatcher. I never mentioned Howell’s meltdown. I do not place as the FO did. I am glad he is a good citizen and all. And your statement about him throwing out a few runners is WRONG,….he caught 1…….not a few 1……his TOS pct is .25. I reserve the right to dislike the trade and the return until this guy actually gets a bunch of hits in the clutch and actually has a batting average higher than ,.250…..

      • Alex

        I’m happy I made you finally say one positive thing (about Garcia, Paco, etc.)

        You’re right, he has thrown out just one runner so far. I thought I heard Rick Monday say he threw out two yesterday, but I heard wrong. 😛

        Speaking of Yadier Molina, he’s batting .176 right now, so maybe we should give Grandal some more time to bump that average up a little. And yes, you should care about OBP and OPS because they are legit statistics.

        Oh, and I totally agree with Howell; I hope he doesn’t become the new Brian Wilson.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Alex I am not a stat geek. The only stats I give a rats heinie about are wins and loses. I watch the player, I see how he responds in game situations. You did not make me say something positive. You have no influence at all on my comments. I call em as I see em. There are a lot of baseball fans who care less about those stats. Guys with too much time on their hands who have nothing better to do than figure out that Ethier has better stats vs this guy or that guy. Play the game, do your job and that’s all I ask. I never worried what Duke Snider or Willie Mays OPS was. I watched them for their skill on the ball field. Too many today take a small part of a guys skills and go wow….he is a great pitch framer, or he has power potential. Ellis is a better defensive catcher than Grandal. He has better skills blocking the plate and he throws out a higher percentage of runners. He is a career .246 hitter with some power. He calls a great game, and has the confidence of the entire staff. But he is getting older and the injury’s last year took their toll. So he is not an everyday guy at this point in his career. But I can think of a bunch of guys I would rather have behind the dish than Grandal. He is the FO’s choice. And like it or not we are stuck with him. At least until Leon or Barnes are ready.

      • Alex

        Then you completely disagree with Zack Greinke when he said he “couldn’t draw up a better catcher.”

        Does that not mean anything to you? A former Cy Young winner, veteran of 10 years, a probable ace on most teams in the league saying Yasmani Grandal is a great catcher? Did you not see yesterday’s game where he made good calls, worked hard to block pitches in the dirt, and had two hits to boot? Carried a 7-0 lead up until Hatcher’s implosion? It’s no secret Greinke loves Grandal. I’ve been watching the games and he works hard out there to be a better catcher every day. He may not have had good relationships in SD, but pitchers here are liking him now and that’s all that matters. Maybe he’ll project to throw out 7 less runners than A.J. Big whoop if he’ll hit 12 more home runs than A.J.

        So let me ask you, why do you hate Yasmani Grandal so much? Just because he’s replacing long-time Dodger and fan favorite AJ Ellis? You like to stick to what we know and what is comfortable? Because if so, that’s totally understandable. And if you don’t like stats, then why do you knock guys on their batting average?

      • Tmax

        Alex man are you on the Dodger payroll? Grandal has horrible mechanics and does not block a ball in the dirt well at all, especially to the left. Are you watching the same game the rest of us are? Also he is hitting in the low 200’s and even worse continues to hit into double plays and not move men over when a professional ball player should. He also pops up a lot. So lets see he isn’t hitting his weight, is terrible with runners in scoring position and is a bad defensive catcher did we miss anything? Hatcher has been horrible. Yes Garcia has been great as has Paco and Peralta. I am watching McCarthy pitch batting practice so far he has allowed 4 home runs against Seattle. Nice 4 year contract Freidman so far McCarthy has been a batting practice pitching machine. This is not about Kemp or Gordon this is about the Dodgers 2015 version. And by the way I am another old guy my first Dodger game was in 1958 as a very small kid. I am not impressed with OBP when I can see a hitter has terrible plate discipline and is not professional or skilled enough to move runners. As to framing that is very nice but you must catch and block the ball and Grandal does a terrible job so far. I am praying he gets better but would not bet on it. He has been traded twice already in his young age.

      • Alex

        I’m not on the payroll but Zack Greinke is. Ask him what he thinks about Grandal. Lol. Apparently you weren’t watching the same game Zack Greinke pitched.

        He has a low BA boo hoo, Andrew freakin McCutchen is batting .190. Bumgarner has a 5.40 ERA, they should cut him! Lol. If you’ve been watching baseball that long you should know not to worry until a couple months into the season.

        How about that Dodger WIN today???????? Huh? ????

      • Michael N. Norris

        I understand Zack likes the guy…..that’s great, Zack is a cy young winner that’s great too, but the 3 time CY YOUNG winner prefers AJ. Look, I know it is early and I know You give a guy a little time to adjust and get his feet wet. That’s fine too. I just am not drinking the cool aid on this guy. I can see a BA, and RBI’s HR’s and those stats. Just because you are into OBP and OPS does not mean we all have to think those are the end all evaluations of a player. It is not about weather or not I like him. I just e not seen anything in his career that merits all this optimism and love for his so called skill. To tell you the truth, I would rather have someone like Johnny Roseboro, Solid but not spectacular guy who was a great defender and game caller or even Scioscia. In my personal opinion, Grandal is over rated by this FO…….and they won tonight despite the great acquisition McCarthy……They should be 6-1,,,,blame that on the BP

      • Alex

        Johnny Roseboro? Lol, the dude batted .350 for a number of years. Of course everyone would want him!!

        Wait, what’s AJ Ellis’ batting average again? I thought so…

      • Michael N. Norris

        I did not crap on Pederson. What I said and stand by was that they were putting a lot of pressure on the kid to win the CF job and to produce ROY numbers. I hope he does, but I have seen a lot of touted players fall flat. He is doing well and has made a couple of spectacular plays in the field. Lets hope he does it all year. And we will just agree to disagree on Grandal.

      • Blue

        Actually, you said he was going to be handed the cf job. Which is TOTALLY different than what you’re now saying you said.

      • Michael N. Norris

        He earned the job. As for what I said earlier, I cannot remember exactly what I said, but if I did say he was being handed the job, that was based on all the projected lineups and analyst postings I was reading at the time and in reply to fans who were putting what I felt were unfair expectations on the kid,. I hope he continues to do well. e will see.

      • Michael N. Norris

        He has been playing for 3 years Alex, and none of them that impressive..

      • Michael N. Norris

        Oh and by the way……comparing Grandal to McCutcheon>? We all KNOW Cutch will hit…….nobody knows what Grandal will do……and guys with a track record like the Mad Bum and Kersh will rise to the level they normally achieve. And you should stick to your stats and enjoy them. I for one watch to see if the guy improves or stays stagnant….

      • Alex

        Nobody knows what he’ll do? LOL, he just caught a 7-0 game with Zack Greinke, making great calls and blocking pitches in the dirt all day until Hatcher’s implosion. That’s what we know. How about not killing someone for not knowing what the future holds for him? Or better yet how about praising someone for playing a damn good game behind the plate that day.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Do not tell me how to think or who to root for. Who d you think you are? I don’t care about one good game.If he proves me wrong fine., I don’t like the guy and I think he is over rated, end of story.Period. you do not know me, you do not know how long I have been watching this team. You like every move the FO makes fine. hat is your choice Do not berate others for having an opnion.you are no the know all end ll. you are a fan. Nothing more nothing less and wht you consider ridiculous means nothing. that is an opinion….you are entitled to yours , me to mine…..you disagree fine….don’t think someone is stupid because they disagree with you…..

      • Michael N. Norris

        In answer to your question about hating Grandal. I do not hate him. But I am not going to like him just because he wears the blue. There are 2 reasons I chose not to like the guy. 1. He is a cheater. He used PED;s and was suspended for it. I dislike players who have used drugs. And that includes anyone who played for the Dodgers and felt the need to cheat. 2. He is not in my opinion worth what was traded to get him. I saw all the vitriol and hate poured down on Matt Kemp by fans who expected him to just heal and be the player he was before he got hurt. And I saw him make adjustments mid season last year and come back. Grandal will never be that good. That is my opinion. If the guy makes me eat crow, well that is ok. But I do not have to agree with every move and player acquired by the powers that be. Nor do I have to be a stat guy and worry about what a players OPS is because I do not care. I watch the game and base my assessment on what he does when I watch him play. Batting average is a stat that I have seen for years, and always has been a gauge for success on the field. And if some guy is hitting .200 with 30 HR’s, (like Rob Deer) I do not automatically think he is a great player because he hits HR’s….He might have 32 ribbies and that’s it. It takes more than being a one dimensional player for me. You can like who you want. That is your choice.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Oh and Greinke, that is his take…fine……he won’t be a Dodger past this year since he will take the money and run, so why should I care what he thinks?

      • Alex

        Wow, what a ridiculous statement. Completely and utterly ridiculous. You’re not a Dodgers fan for saying that.

      • Alex

        Man you guys are killing me with this hilarious nonsense. I could go all day but why waste time with people that just like to drag others down.

        Like I said, the SF Giants board is that way. You guys all sound kind of the same with all your negativity about the Dodgers; I’m sure they’d love to have you on board. Peace.

      • Michael N. Norris

        Alex, go slam something hard up your ass okay….I was rooting for this team before you were a twinkle in you dads eye. I earned my right to dissent from many years being a fan and serving my country. you don’t know s.t…..so just go pester someone else…BY the way…I hate the Giants….always have……..

      • Alex

        Well kudos to you for serving our country. But I’ll pass on the ass thing, thank you very much. 😀

      • Michael N. Norris

        That was inappropriate and I apologize for that. You make good points, and you have knowledge. We just look at things from a different point of view.

      • Alex

        Hey man I respect that. I stepped out of line too, so I apologize as well. It’s perfectly fine to see things a bit different, so I shouldn’t keep pestering you to see my way all the time. That’s not right. Agree to disagree at times, and I’ll try to stay classy. 🙂 Cheers!

      • Michael N. Norris

        Dodgers forever I say……unfortunately my daughter married a Giant fan and has crossed over to the dark side…….

      • Alex

        Oh no, that is terrible! Glad you are sticking to your Blue, though!

      • Michael N. Norris

        Do not ever think I am perfect….far from it…what I can do is read and see….and from what I have read, and seen, he is over rated by this front office….or have you even read his career stats?

    • James

      Lol, you are my kinda of fan. I’m not sold on Grandal either.

      Reply
      • Michael N. Norris

        I wish I was wrong since he is going to be the primary C no matter what, but it will take a lot more than pitch framing ability’s to ever convince me he was worth Matt Kemp

      • Blue

        Who cares if he was “worth” Kemp? If it made the overall team better, and LA is winning, does it matter?

      • Michael N. Norris

        There are a lot of fans who care, and I question that he made the team better. They are winning in spite of his lack of contribution. You might like the trade, that is your choice, I respect that. But he has not shown me he is worth anything….

      • Blue

        The pitchers are pitching well in part because of his contributions behind the plate. That’s showing us all something. Even those lowly 4th and 5th starters that got tirelessly dogged on here are pitching good games with him as a battery mate. His bat has been coming around. I’m not saying I love the guy, but I sure don’t hate him.
        In addition, it looks like so far we are doing just fine without Kemp.

        The team that Friedman and company put together has been winning games. Period. And it’s not because of one trade here, or one deal there. It’s the entire puzzle coming together. THAT is showing us all that it’s all worth something.

        Calm down and enjoy the season. The boys is blue are playing well. There’s really not much to be negative about right now.

      • Michael N. Norris

        That lowly #4 starter got a 4 year 48 million dollar contract, and unless I am mistaken, he got creamed his last start. Gave up 4 HR’s. He has thrown out 1 runner, cost the team a game with a questionable throwing error, McCarthy has a 6.75 ERA…..yeah, he is really pitching good. Anderson is looking ok, but that has a lot more to do with him than Grandal. Look, you like the guy fine, no problem with that…I do not. And do not tell me to calm down. I am always calm and I have been watching this team a lot longer than you, and if I do not like some guys they have picked up, well that is my choice. I always thought getting Dick Allen was a joke…the guy was a cancer, so was Frank Robinson. Yeah, we are doing ok without Kemp…..but he is doing a lot better than what we got for him…As for Grandal’s bat..he has 1 HR…1 RBI and is hitting .190…….yeah, his bat is coming around all right…….Oh and by the way, McCarthy has lasted 6 innings a start and given up 6 HR’s. At that pace he will give up about 60 for the year…….real great performer there….give me a break….

      • Blue

        First, don’t get so angry and take offense because I said calm down. It was not meant as an order, just as discussion. And no, you are not always calm. Calm people don’t tell people on the internet who are having reasonable discussions to shove something up their ass…..

        McCarthy pitched well. Don’t forget he had 10 Ks and 0 walks. He was a few mistakes from having an absolute gem. Kershaw has given up some dingers and has an era around 6….is he trash also?

        How do you know how much of andersons success is as a result of himself vs the research and game calling of grandal? Or how do you know how many of the staffs Ks are a result of framing the third strike that should have been a ball? You don’t. I don’t. The difference is that I don’t despise the guy and I’m willing to think that maybe, just maybe, he is doing some things right.

        I also believe that mattingly is going to put the best team out on the field each and every game…because the job is to WIN. If that’s the case, then there’s a reason he’s putting grandal behind the dish. He’s smarter than you or I and sees things that we don’t. He knows more about his players than we do. And what he is putting on the field is working.

        So what if kemp is batting better individually than Grandal. Look where depending on one or two players got us last season…and the season before…so far we’ve had several players offensively responsible for Ws. Adrian, Kendrick, Rollins, Joc, Guerrero…spreading the responsibility is a GOOD thing. If you’ve been watching the game so long you know that.
        Speaking of watching the team a long time…it’s irrelevant to continue to mention it and nobody cares. I don’t care if you’ve been a Dodgers fan since 1742, this is THIS Dodgers team. NOT the Dodgers of any other year. So shutup with your “I’ve been a fan longer than you so your opinion matters less and you are stupid” diatribe every third post. Funny you mention someone being a cancer….

      • Michael N. Norris

        First off….I am calm…….I was calm when I said it, and that was between me and Alex and it has been resolved so do not worry about it. You like Grandal…fine, that is your choice…..I do not… that is my choice. …as far as you telling me to calm down, well that’s what you felt I should do. baseball is a game, one I enjoyed a whole hell of a lot more in the old days, and maybe that is my age showing, but I could care less about all this saber metric stuff, pitch framing or what ever. It means nothing to me,…Other people, especially those who play fantasy baseball are into that . I am old school…..show me on the field. Hit with a decent BA and be productive in the clutch and I am fine with that. I am entitled to think what I want to…you are entitled to disagree…..fine…….that’s why I was in the Army. so you could do that……but never my friend, tell me what to think or how to control my emotions…….I have not gotten angry in years…..and I intend it stays that way…
        ..

      • Blue

        You’re a trip. Glad you threw in your service time again too in order to attempt to elevate your opinion above everyone else’s.
        I’m not trying to control you dude…good grief. I’m more appreciative than most people you’ll ever meet for men and women who served our country. Thanks.
        I don’t care one way or another about grandal. You know what I like? THE DODGERS. And they are WINNING. I just don’t understabd what exactly it is that we have to be upset about now. Lighten up Francis.

      • Michael N. Norris

        I do not throw my military service to make my opinion elevated. I am proud I served, but my opinion is no more important than yours or anybody else’s , but it is mine and I am entitled to think and say what I like. You disagree, fine with me,. And my name is not Francis….if that is some attempt to be funny it was not….

      • Blue

        What was your opinion on the facts I mentioned about McCarthy and Kershaw? You seem to have overlooked that part.
        Another thing…funny thing about the Internet. When you hit send, it’s between you and everyone who reads it. I also laughed when I saw your name removed from the comment. Didn’t want everyone to see it was you who was so out of line?

        Again…why so negative?? The Dodgers are winning!

      • Michael N. Norris

        Negative? You are probably right, but it is directed only at Grandal. I do not like the guy, I did not like the trade. But that is over and done with., Kersh is Kersh, I do not worry about a player who consistently rises to the occasion. He had a so so spring according to him. He has a bad game now and than, and has never pitched well in AZ. McCarthy on the other hand has never been that good. He got that huge contract based on 14 good games with the Yankees last year. Giving up 6 dingers in 2 games is not my idea of pitching good….

      • Alex

        Yeah, individually, he is definitely not “worth” Kemp. But as a whole, we did this to make room for Pederson, Rollins and even Wieland thrown in. If Grandal can do .250, 20/hr, lot of walks, and not drop too many pitches, and everyone else does their jobs, then I’m a happy blue clam.

        Speaking of doing their jobs (and more) how about Kemp’s replacement, Joc Pederson??? Dude is doing phenomenal right now both on offense and defense. I miss when Kemp used to be good on defense, but with his injuries, he can’t always make those high flying catches anymore that Pederson can do now.

      • Blue

        I’m glad I’m not the only one who can see the big picture. The Dodgers are winning right now. They shown that they aren’t reliant on one or two players. They’re scrappier and can come from behind this season. Did I mention they’re winning?? What more do we fans want???

  2. Michael N. Norris

    Okay, bottom line. I do not like the guy, I do not like the trade. I do not think he is as good as everybody else seems too. but that is my opinion. If the man makes me eat crow,……fine./……..he is a Dodger, but that does not mean I have to like him. There are plenty of guys who wore the blue I have not liked. For one reason or another. Everyone seems to think I should just drink the cool aid that the front office is selling and be content. Like I said, that is just my feelings on it. I see nothing in his performance so far, and I qualify, so far, that has made me change my mind. if he does, well kudo’s to him….

    Reply

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