A.J. Pierzynski, Tyler Flowers will share Braves’ catching duties

AP Photo/Brett Davis
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Rather than having one starter and one back-up behind the plate, the Braves will have A.J. Pierzynski and Tyler Flowers share the position, per David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Pierzynski said the ideal would be for each catcher to catch about 80 games.

The Braves brought Pierzynski, 39, aboard last season to serve as a mentor to catching prospect Christian Bethancourt. However, Bethancourt struggled while Pierzynski thrived, as the veteran hit .300/.339/.430 with nine home runs and 49 RBI in 436 plate appearances. The Braves re-signed Pierzynski in November and traded Bethancourt to the Padres in December for Casey Kelly and minor leaguer Ricardo Rodriguez.

Shortly after trading Bethancourt, the Braves inked Flowers to a two-year, $5.3 million deal. Flowers has been subpar offensively over parts of seven seasons in the majors, carrying a .223/.289/.376 batting line, but he handles himself behind the plate well in terms of calling games and framing pitches.