OAKLAND -- When a team adds a high-profile pitcher, most of the focus goes right to his on-field performance. Zack Greinke falls into that category, and his results so far were mixed heading into his third outing against the A's on Wednesday.
But lost in the stats is the development of the pitcher-catcher relationship, a critical element in a hurler's overall success. A move to a new new team brought a new backstop for Greinke, as well as a new arm for catcher Chris Iannetta.
Iannetta said the process is an everyday thing, occurring every time he and Greinke talk, toss or work together. So far, though, so good.
"I don't think we've really had any issue," Iannetta said. "The first two innings of the first game were a little slow, just getting on the same page, but after that it started flowing a lot better. I started getting a feel of what he liked to do. It's going to continue to get better over time."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows all about the issue, having spent 13 years in the big leagues a catcher himself.
Scioscia emphasized that the pitcher-catcher relationship is important in the organization's philosophy, but that he knows it's always being worked on. In fact, he said he was still developing a rapport with pitchers that he had worked with for 10 years during his career.
"Get the right location on the right count, getting a good visual, let them execute a pitch, and then all those other things will start to fall in place," Scioscia said. "I think [Iannetta and Greinke] are on the same page as far as that regard, but it's a work in progress, and it will be for a while until you find some chemistry, and then you keep building on that."