Catcher Chris Iannetta’s experience proving to be boon for Rockies

Chad Bettis #35 of the Colorado ...

PITTSBURGH — Chris Iannetta turned 35 on April 8. The broad-shouldered catcher admits, without a trace of regret, that he doesn’t have the same spring in his step that he did as a Rockies rookie back in 2007.

No regrets, because Iannetta believes he’s never been in a better place.

“Absolutely I am. Mentally I am, for sure,” said Iannetta, who signed a two-year, $8.5 million, free-agent contract this off-season to return Colorado. “The physical side will come and go. In baseball, you always oscillate, you get hot and cold, in every facet. But my experience has helped me to get to where I am today, helped me get in a comfortable place.”

At the plate, Iannetta has been a blessing for a lineup that’s been struggling, save for the hot bats of DJ LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon.

Iannetta, who has been tried in the No. 2 spot of late, entered Monday night’s game at Pittsburgh hitting .273 with a home run, five doubles and five RBIs. His .373 on-base percentage is almost 30 points higher than his career number of .347.

He got the Rockies started early Monday, smacking a double to right-center in the first inning to drive in LeMahieu and put the Rockies up 1-0 in a game they won 6-2.

But it’s behind the plate where Iannetta has provided much needed stability. Last Thursday, in Colorado’s 5-1 win at Washington, Iannetta and starter Chad Bettis worked in perfect concert. Bettis gave up one run on three hits over seven innings, and needed only 94 pitches to get there. The veteran right-hander shook off Iannetta just once.

“I really like when Chris is back there, because he’s so confident with pitch selection and pitch calling,” Bettis said. “Chris is always prepared. Always.”

Rockies manager Bud Black said Iannetta’s game with Bettis “was …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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