SARASOTA, Fla. -- Even though Steve Clevenger was told by Orioles manager Buck Showalter on Monday that he has won the team’s backup catcher position to open the season, the Mount St. Joseph graduate knows that something could still happen to affect the position between now and Opening Day.
Clevenger, who was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in July, is hitting .429 (12-for-28) this spring and has shown Showalter and his staff that he can be an asset defensively. Showalter has said since the beginning of spring training that the backup spot will be won by showing the ability to play defense, call a game and work with pitchers.
But as teams finalize their Opening Day rosters, there’s always been the possibility that the Orioles could make a move for a veteran catcher to back up Matt Wieters. Showalter has been clear about that. In recent days, veteran catchers like former Orioles Chris Snyder and Ramon Hernandez, as well as Yorvit Torrealba, have become available.
“It was great that they told me that, but like I said before, I’m going to play out the spring,” Clevenger said. “You never know what can happen between now and then, or what kind of options they run into between then. So I’m going to continue to do what I do and work hard and show them that I am the guy for the spot.”
Still, the idea of running down the orange carpet on Opening Day is an exciting one for Clevenger, who previously made two Opening Day rosters with the Cubs.
"Being from Baltimore, making the Opening Day roster is great,” Clevenger said. “I think this one is going to be a little more exciting just from it being the Orioles I would say. It’s going to be a special day.”