Scioscia looks for more than offense from catchers

Scioscia looks for more than offense from catchers

ANAHEIM -- Chris Iannetta is in the midst of a long slump at the plate, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia -- a former catcher -- believes offense is not the most important thing the team needs from its catcher.

"If you're going to trade off something, you're going to trade off the offensive side of what a catcher brings," Scioscia said. "Chris hasn't hit his stride yet, but we need a catcher back there that understands the whole staff and what they need to bring on a day-to-day basis. And that's where we put our energy on the catching side."

Iannetta is currently hitting .195 and only has one hit in his last 10 games. While Hank Conger has started some games -- mostly those in which C.J. Wilson started -- for the Angels as well, the catcher's spot has not produced much offensive firepower for the Angels.

Whether Iannetta or Conger is behind the plate, Angels catchers are hitting just .205 this season, the worst of any position.

Angels catchers have had a hard time throwing out basestealers, but have a .989 fielding percentage. Conger has three errors and Iannetta has yet to commit one in 292 total chances.

"I think first and foremost, when we are grading out our catchers and looking at what they bring to our team, we are going to look at the defensive numbers first," Scioscia said. "Chris has definitely improved since the start of the season and Hank is coming along."

William Boor is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.