Matt Treanor is becoming a very good catcher. Hitting, well, that needs to be worked on but he can catch and that means the most to me at that position.
On a recent road trip, manager Joe Girardi -- a proponent of pairing pitchers and catchers -- switched the struggling Willis off Olivo and onto Treanor.
Since then, Willis' earned-run average has dropped from 6.22 to 4.93, despite losing two of the three games he has pitched.
"He's pretty darn good," Willis said. "Me and Matt have done some good things with each other, so I think that's the reason [Girardi made the switch]."
There are only two positions where one can effectively evaluate a player while watching the game on television. The first is the pitcher and the other is the catcher.
The position I know the most about is catcher and the second being the pitcher. This may come from years of seeing them constantly on television or it could come from personal experience or possibly a little bit of both.
Watching Treanor's footwork and his movements around the plate has definitely caught my eye this season.
The way he handles the pitching staff has a familiar "feel" to it. I don't know if you know who Brad Ausmus is and if you do, I don't know if you ever studied him behind the plate for years and observe how he handles pitchers, but I have. Treanor reminds me of him, sure, at this point he would be a poor man's version but still there is some similarity that I can't quite put my finger on.
Matt also provides more to the team than just his abilities as a player.
I went searching for an article that I read a while back about how Treanor is the clubhouse guru. When any of the young players have a question: how much to tip, who to tip, where should they go eat on the road, etc. Treanor is the one they ask.
Which was very interesting to me since his only full year in the majors was last year. There are a few players on the team who have been the Bigs a much longer time but for some reason they ask Matt. Maybe they think Misty clued him in to where the good restaurants are located. Who knows.
Unfortunately I couldn't find it.