"There's more that goes into who's going to play than what's happening in the batter's box," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, "especially at that position."
Most importantly to Scioscia -- and any manager, really -- is how his catchers handle a pitching staff. And though Scioscia is very cautious with sample size when it comes to catcher's ERA, numbers show that Angels pitchers have performed better with Conger.
Angels pitchers have a 4.12 ERA when throwing to Iannetta and a 3.39 ERA when throwing to Conger, even though both have basically split time with Jered Weaver and Iannetta has caught 14 of Garrett Richards' 20 starts. With Iannetta (52 starts) behind the plate, Angels pitchers have walked 189 batters in 472 1/3 innings. With Conger (48 starts), it's 129 walks in 443 1/3 innings -- a stat that points to Conger's above-average pitch-framing skills.
"I think Chris has really come on at that part; he's really been catching at a high level," Scioscia said. "And I think Hank, with some of our guys, has been off the charts. Both those guys know the primary thing they need to bring to our team is what they do behind the plate."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less