Catcher Jaramillo just doing his job
Backstop enjoys calling games, helping pitchers earn wins
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The man behind the mask deserves his share of credit for helping starter Brett Myers work seven innings, the longest outing by a Phillies pitcher this spring.That's what makes Jason Jaramillo not care about his personal 1-for-3 in Sunday's 6-2 win over Cincinnati at Ed Smith Stadium. "That's what I'm here to do, to make sure we win and make sure guys like throwing to me," Jaramillo said. "I feel like I can swing. I'm confident knowing I can do that, but I'm going to stay in the Major Leagues for however long because guys like throwing to me." Jaramillo has survived three rounds of cuts this spring, as he soaks up knowledge from Major Leaguers. He spent all last season at Triple-A Ottawa, batting .271 in 118 games and learning from then-manager John Russell, a former Major League catcher. The strides he made with the Lynx last season convinced general manager Pat Gillick that the Phillies are covered should something happen to Carlos Ruiz or Chris Coste and Jaramillo's services are needed at the big league level. The switch-hitter, selected in the second round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, knows he's close. "It's an awesome feeling, and frustrating at the same time, because you can see the light at the end of the tunnel," Jaramillo said. "The biggest thing for me is knowing I can compete at this level. It's nice to know that I'm still around here learning and getting at-bats. I'm just taking it all in." In describing his joy in calling a good game to earn a win for a pitcher, Jaramillo revealed his true thrill, which is likely shared by many catchers. "Throwing out runners," said Jaramillo, who grew up watching Benito Santiago and Ivan Rodriguez. "I really enjoy that."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.