On the surface, a catcher has two major roles on a baseball team. They are needed, primarily, for their defense; judged on their ability to block balls in the dirt, throw runners out, and frame pitches.
Catchers, unfortunately for most of them, are also judged for their hitting. Most fans don't expect the same results from their backstop than they do from the third baseman, but if you're in the big leagues, you've got be at least competent with the bat in your hand.
But, the role of a catcher goes much deeper than just hitting and defense. He's in control of the game. A catcher is calls the pitches, and must be on the same page as the pitcher. TheyThat trait can best be seen in Curt Casali.
Reds must run it back with the battery of Hunter Greene and Curt Casali.
Casali is widely regarded as the best communicator with the pitchers and Cincinnati Reds broadcaster John Sadak noted he was "the best game caller" of the team's three catchers. The pitch calling was seen on full display when Casali partnered with Hunter Greene for the first time in their careers on Friday.
Greene, with Casali behind the plate, fired six no-hit innings, striking out 11 Chicago Cubs batters, 5 of which went down looking. Greene and Casali increased his fastball usage by 7%, throwing it 60% of the time according to Baseball Savant. on Friday. His fastball played at his normal velocity and his normal spin rate, with the difference being the situations and confidence he was able to throw with.
This doesn't seem like an experimental combination for the Reds. Catchers Tyler Stephenson and Luke Maile were both available to catch in this game, but the Reds, and maybe even Hunter Greene himself, opted for the veteran Casali. And this shouldn't be the last time these two form a battery for the Reds.
Nick Lodolo leaned on veteran backstop Austin Romine last season and found great success. Perhaps Hunter Greene will do the same for the remainder of the 2023 season with Curt Casali.