Sal Fasano says the coming month represents a critical stretch for J.P. Arencibia, even though the Toronto Blue Jays aren’t contending for the playoffs.
Fasano, the Blue Jays’ roving catching instructor, joined Dirk Hayhurst and Sam Cosentino on Baseball Central Tuesday, explaining that Arencibia can continue to improve his catching skills by maintaining his effort level and tuning out distractions.
“We can just get caught doing all of the other things,” Fasano said. “Media stuff every day. You’re trying to be a good guy, going out to the community.
“The bottom line is if you don’t perform on the field, you’re probably not going to be around. So we have to really get him to buy in to what it’s supposed to be. We have to work hard. We have to work hard on a daily basis and, really, to his credit, he does work.”
Fasano, an 11-year MLB veteran, joined the Blue Jays last week to provide the team with hands-on catching instruction for the final month of the regular season. He’ll work with Arencibia, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to improve their receiving skills heading into the 2014 season. He has already put in regular work with Arencibia.
“We can actually start to develop a plan, maybe develop a plan of attack for what to do with his body,” Fasano said. “How to get the drills that you need to stay sharp so that when you head into spring training next year you actually have conquered a lot of the issues that we’ve had.”
Fasano, 42, explained that MLB “catchers don’t get an opportunity to work on their craft every day” because teams don’t carry catching coaches for most of the regular season.