SURPRISE, Arizona (BCH Sports) – One of the question marks heading into the 2023 season for the Texas Rangers is how new manager Bruce Bochy is going to handle the catching position.
Jonah Heim enters his third season as a Ranger.
Mitch Garver is in year two and is rebounding from tendon surgery on his right arm.
Garver said, “I’ve got Jonah here. And where he’s come in his career and where he’s at right now takes a lot of pressure off of me because I am coming back off of injury. And it’s not like I have to press forward to try to do more because I have a great partner.”
Heim echoes the sentiment. The tandem see sharing time behind the plate as a partnership.
“I think the biggest thing is just that we’re good friends first,” Heim said. He added, “When you’ve got a guy like that that you’re a good friend with who is your teammate then it makes for a good relationship.”
A relationship which is still being forged with newcomers, Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney, in the starting rotation.
Heim added, “I think we’re at that stage where we know what these guys need to do to be ready. And we know what their pitches do.”
No one understands the importance of the pitcher-catcher relationship more than new manager Bruce Bochy. He spent nine seasons behind the plate prior to his coaching career wich is nearing 35 years.
Bochy said, “Sure there’s times when they don’t have that connection you’d like between the two. But for the most part I think you can speed it up. Especially with the information you’re getting.”
The Rangers open the 2023 season on March 30 at Globe Life Field against the Phillies.