Paul Janish is the ideal substitute.
Not only can Janish move around the infield, he’s replaced Flaherty as the emergency catcher and twice worked in relief for the Reds back in 2009. He wears many hats, and not just because he’s well-traveled.
Flaherty pitched the ninth inning of a 12-2 loss to the Astros on Aug. 20, 2016 and gave up two runs, including a homer by Jason Castro. Janish allowed 11 runs in his two innings.
Janish hasn’t caught in a game, but he’s prepared for the assignment. He provided manager Buck Showalter with another reminder.
“We had that conversation in the past - last year and the year before, as well,” Janish said. “Yeah, I’ve assumed that role on most of the teams I’ve been on, as well. When I was in Cincinnati, I actually caught bullpens periodically for that reason, so it’s not completely foreign to me and it wouldn’t take that chess master that’s in here to figure out who would probably be the likely candidate in the event that something like that happened. So yeah, we talked about it again.”
The “chess master” was 12-year-old Cahree Myrick, the youth national champion who schooled the team’s best players yesterday, including third baseman Manny Machado, second baseman Jonathan Schoop, pitcher Dylan Bundy and first base coach Wayne Kirby.
“And I think in addition to the catching thing, we’re in a situation where if somebody that’s not a pitcher would have to pitch, I think there’s a pretty decent chance I’d get that call, as well,” Janish continued. “I’ve done that a couple times.
“Hopefully, that (catching) situation doesn’t present itself, but in terms of adding to the resume, I guess it would be beneficial for that purpose.”
It also brings a certain element of danger.
Caleb Joseph and Welington Castillo have sustained testicular injuries in the past two seasons on the exact same date. Castillo was placed on the disabled list Wednesday. Joseph underwent a surgical procedure last year and missed a month.
Does Janish really want to get behind the plate?
“Honestly, we’ve got our family complete. I’ve got two boys and a girl,” he quipped.
“Not that I’m inviting anything of that nature, but on that front, as far as that goes, my ultimate priorities are pretty much done on that front. But again, hopefully that doesn’t happen. But if had to go in a game, I’d have to borrow Caleb’s Kevlar cup.”
Castillo obviously wasn’t wearing one Tuesday night.
“I think he’s got one on order,” Janish said.
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “Wall to Wall Baseball” from noon-2 p.m. on MASN.