Last fall, much was made of the fact that it was light-hitting Jose Molina, not veteran backstop Jorge Posada, who caught both of A.J. Burnett’s World Series starts. Despite the fact that Molina had caught Burnett for the majority of the season, many members of the media speculated that there was some sort of rift between Burnett and Posada.
With Molina moving on to the Blue Jays this season, Burnett wants to make it clear that’s not the case.
"I hope he catches me every bullpen and every game this spring," Burnett said earlier this spring in reference to Posada. "Me coming in here last year and feeling like I caused that controversy, I want to throw to Jorge. I don't want to deal with that anymore."
The two took the first step toward developing chemistry Saturday when Posada caught Burnett’s first start of the spring. Burnett went 1 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits.
According to the New York Daily News, though, the outing was more about Burnett working with Posada and working on his changeup than the results.
Burnett has relied primarily on his fastball and curveball throughout his career, but he is determined to add the changeup to his arsenal this season.
"I don't feel like I've had the success I should have. I'm a .500 pitcher and there's a reason for that," Burnett told the Daily News. "Over two-thirds of my career, I've been a two-pitch pitcher."
After seeing the changeup in game action for the first time, Posada thinks Burnett is off to a good start with the pitch.
"His changeup was good. He was finishing them good and I thought he did a great job with it," Posada said. "I think it's going to be a good pitch. It looks like it's going to be a swing-and-miss pitch. Having a third pitch is going to be important for him. Now is the perfect time for him to use it, and to be comfortable [for me] to call it and use it."