Yasmani Grandal making strides behind plate

SAN DIEGO ---- Yasmani Grandal isn't stressing his results controlling the running game. Padres manager Bud Black isn't either, even with all 17 runners successfully swiping bases against his rookie catcher.

It's simply not all on Grandal.

"Don't read too much into those stats," Black said a day after two stolen bases led to the only runs the Astros managed off Ross Ohlendorf. "There's more to it than that. He's had some tough pitches to throw on and he hasn't had a whole lot of cooperation from the pitchers as far as their release. There's a lot of factors that go into a caught stealing."

Those factors range from pitchers holding runners, the type of pitch, its location and cooperation with middle infielders. What Grandal can control ---- mechanics affecting strength of throws, glove-to-glove times and accuracy ---- he's making progress with while learning on the job in the majors.

"His times are fine, his exchange is fine and his hands are fine," Black said. "Long-term, he's going to be fine. You have to understand that this guy was in the 2010 draft. That's two years in pro ball. The pro game, especially at this level, is a lot different than where he was two years ago at the University of Miami.
"For him to climb this fast, you just don't see that."

And Black expects to see more progression as Grandal gets acclimated to the big leagues. To that end, Grandal was cleaning up mechanics before Monday's game during early work, specifically, keeping his left knee and foot and head in line on throws to second base ---- not toward third.

"It's working out so far," Grandal said. "I was pretty comfortable in the minor leagues because I knew I could do it. Then I get here and you kind of press a little bit, especially catching. You know, I'm not too worried about the running game. There's so many things that go into it.

"... As long as I'm making good throws, I'm happy with what I'm doing."

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