When the Toronto Blue Jays signed 41-year old veteran catcher Henry Blanco in January, it raised a few eyebrows. Shortly before the signing, the Jays had just acquired two catchers along with R.A Dickey in the transaction with the New York Mets.
Blanco was a teammate of Dickey in 2010 as a member of the Mets, the first year that Dickey really asserted himself as a dominant major league pitcher. Blanco is a 15-year veteran has caught 921 games in the major leagues and 884 games in the minor leagues, so there isn’t much the native of Venezuela has not seen behind the dish.
Blanco has had a great camp for the Jays so far this spring, batting .320 in 28 plate appearances. The catcher is a lifetime .227 hitter but, boasts a career .994 fielding percentage at one of the most demanding positions in sports.
It would appear that Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas will be optioned to the minors while Blanco and everyday catcher J.P Arencibia hold down the catching responsibilities with the big club. Having the veteran Blanco around the clubhouse will only benefit the impressionable Arencibia, who is still mastering the art of catching.
The Jays are prepared to win at all costs, and that includes making their Cy Young award winner as comfortable as possible. The move reassures Dickey that when he lets go of that dancing butterfly, there is a worthy piece of leather that can handle it with ease behind the plate.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.