Benefits of starting two catchers

Brewers tandem more effective than normal starter/backup rotation

Updated: April 20, 2012, 4:13 PM ET
By Dave Cameron | FanGraphs
Jonathan LucroyChristian Petersen/Getty ImagesJonathan Lucroy and teammate George Kottaras make an effective catching tandem.

Over the past five years, one trend has taken the National Football League by storm -- shared responsibilities at running back. After years of wearing down guys as every-down backs and watching elite players suffer from short careers, NFL teams have decided to minimize the wear and tear and maximize their offensive weapons by acquiring two complementary players to share the workload and give the team greater flexibility in what they can do on the field.

By taking advantage of individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as shuffling the players in and out to keep them constantly fresh, teams have found that they can get better performance and more longevity from their backs. The every-down running back is becoming a thing of the past.

Perhaps it's no coincidence, then, that the Milwaukee Brewers -- who play just a couple of hours south of Green Bay -- have also jumped on the job-sharing bandwagon for the most physically strenuous position on the baseball diamond. By having a pair of complementary catchers share the position, the Brewers are finding that they can get quality production at a fraction of the market rate.

In fact, through Wednesday, the Brewers' catching tandem had combined for a .343/.455/.771 batting line that was better than any other team has gotten from its backstops this season. While they obviously won't keep hitting that well -- those marks would fit right in with Babe Ruth's career -- they've shown that they can provide some strong offensive performance by playing the matchup game.


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