So far this very young baseball season has borne witness to some phenomenal plays. Mark Buerhle of the White Sox made a spectacular, and rare play for a pitcher, to get an out at first base on Opening Day. This past Saturday, Dexter Fowler of the Colorado Rockies made an amazing diving catch in left-center field to save a no-hitter for Ubaldo Jimenez. However, is an outfield catch such as Fowler’s really that amazing….
In no way should we take anything away from Fowler’s efforts and skills as an outfielder. My question is this, shouldn’t a major league outfielder be expected to make that play? When you think about what it is a pitcher does compared to an outfielder, there is no comparison. An outfielder’s defensive responsibilities are to catch the ball and get it to the infield. The pitcher, while required to have some defensive capabilities, heavily depends on his seven teammates behind him.
Fowler’s catch was a big deal because it saved Jimenez’s no-hitter. However, if the circumstances were different, wouldn’t this just be another highlight? I think when you play at the Major League, level such a catch is almost expected of you. It’s a clutch play. Players at that level should make clutch plays. As a professional outfielder, such plays should be anticipated. I do hope for the sake of the fans, that we see even more of these plays. Not only from players like Dexter Fowler, but from across baseball.