So what happens when a pitcher and catcher have to work together for the first time and have to do it in a major league game?
We’ll find out shortly when Taylor Teagarden catches Josh Stinson as he makes his first appearance for the Orioles. The 25-year-old right-hander went 1-0 with an ERA of 0.77 in two starts at Triple-A Norfolk. He is 0-2 with a 4.43 ERA over 22 1/3 major league innings the last two seasons with the Mets and Brewers.
“It is a challenge, but it is also a challenge for the other team a little bit,” manager Buck Showalter said of today’s Stinson-Teagarden pairing. “But we knew a day or so ago where we were going today, so it’s not like all the sudden they’ll walk out in the bullpen and go, ‘OK, what do you got kid?’
“They’re as ready as you can be. But there is some unknown there. How quick is he going to be to the plate? Always wonder a bit when guys come from other organizations, how is he going to do with the running game? They’ve got a lineup today that will run. So we’ll see.”
Stinson spent most of last year at Double-A Huntsville in the Milwaukee organization, going 11-9 with a 3.16 ERA over 145 innings. He had a good ground-to-air out rate of 1.55, but also a high walk total of 71. Left-handed batters hit .260 against him while right-handed hitters batted .321.
A 37th-round draft pick from 2006 by the Mets, the Orioles are Stinson’s third organization in the last month. On March 29, he was claimed by Oakland from Milwaukee and then on April 4, he was claimed by the Orioles from Oakland.
So after two starts at Norfolk and a two-inning relief outing Saturday for Single-A Frederick, here he is. Teagarden will catch him for the first time and O’s fans will see him pitch for the first time.
So will his manager.
“I’m curious like you all are. We’ve all got a good seat today, so let’s see what happens,” Showalter said.
Update: Well, it could have gone better for the right-hander. He gave up four homers, all of the pretty loud variety, and has been relieved here with two outs in the sixth by Tommy Hunter.
Stinson went 5 2/3 innings today, allowing five hits and five runs and the O’s trail 5-2 in the sixth.