Brian McCann has already earned the respect and trust of Yankee pitchers

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

McCann has been doing his homework to get to know the pitching staff, and it already seems to be paying off.

Brian McCann has been working to get to know Yankee pitchers since before spring training even started. Back in November when the deal was made, he received an iPad in the mail, preloaded with videos of the pitching staff. This included footage of two good and two bad games for each pitcher, along with at-bats by various AL East players. McCann received videos of Masahiro Tanaka after he became a Yankee, as well.

All of this studying seems to have paid off, as Yankee pitchers have had a lot of good things to say about McCann so far. CC Sabathia had a rough outing in Tuesday's game, but he mentioned afterwards that McCann had picked up on something in the middle of the game. Sabathia then changed what he was doing which he said "yielded immediate results." Sabathia didn't elaborate, but maybe he put that correction into play in the third inning, which happened to be his only clean inning of the day. On the topic of Brian McCann, Sabathia said, "I can tell we’re going to be able to work together really good. I think we'll be fine."

David Phelps also spoke highly of McCann, specifically mentioning his ability to get low strike calls. Speaking of which, Baseball Prospectus recently came out with an article on framing and blocking pitches that lists Brian McCann as one of the best framing catchers, and even says that he's been worth "about two extra wins per season" over the past five years, just based on his pitch framing abilities. That is pretty remarkable. Former Yankee and PSA favorite Chris Stewart also gets a good rap in that article, despite all of his offensive woes. Still, it's refreshing to have a catcher who brings both defense and offense to the table, and to hear that he's getting on so well with the pitching staff. If he could go ahead and fix Sabathia, that would be great.

Oh, and on the subject of the pitching staff: it seems that the rumor that Francisco Cervelli might be Tanaka's personal catcher could be false. Tanaka threw a simulated game on Tuesday and John Ryan Murphy was his catcher. To make it seem like a real game, some relievers pitched innings of their own, and Cervelli did the catching for all of the relievers. If the Yankees are looking to unload one of their catchers, they should probably hold off on assigning a personal catcher to Tanaka, at least for the time being.

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