With A.J. Pierzynski available, Dan Duquette happy with Orioles' catching situation

July 09, 2014|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

A veteran catcher is available now that the Boston Red Sox have designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment, but the Orioles don’t appear interested in pursuing him at this point.

With Matt Wieters out for the season following Tommy John elbow ligament reconstruction surgery last month, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette previously has said that the club was confident with the team’s existing catching tandem of Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley.

Duquette again emphasized his faith in the duo when asked Wednesday if the club would be interested in acquiring Pierzynski.

“We really like the way they’ve handled the pitchers and the way they’ve done their jobs on the fly and have managed the pitching staff,” Duquette said. “Now they’re starting to contribute offensively.”

After starting his major league career hitting .132 in his first 25 games, Joseph is batting .281 over his previous 11 games heading into Wednesday. Hundley is 12-for-38 (.316) over his previous 11 games.

“We already did the transition with our catching on the fly during the season,” Duquette said. “That’s very challenging and difficult to do, and I’m proud of the way our guys have handled it."

Duquette said the Orioles already have a left-handed hitting catcher in Steve Clevenger, who is currently hitting .323/.371/.449 with 10 doubles, two homers and 24 RBIs for Triple-A Norfolk.

Pierzynski, 37, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Wednesday after hitting .254 with four homers and 31 RBIs. The two-time All-Star signed a one-year, $8.2 million deal in the offseason.



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