"I like what I see and what I hear from him," Yeager said. "It takes time to gain the respect of the pitching staff and teammates whenever a catcher comes from somewhere else, but some of them already know him. In the old Dodger tradition, we've welcomed him with open arms. He has come in with a good attitude; you don't have to go looking for him. He's right there, ready to go to work."
Grandal was acquired this offseason as the centerpiece in the trade that sent outfielder Matt Kemp to San Diego.
"In a short time, I've already learned a lot," Grandal said. "Getting to know the guys, catching bullpens, I'm getting a feel for how they throw. Everything comes with time. Once the games start [on Wednesday], it'll definitely come a little faster. I need to get to know what guys are looking for in a catcher, what their mentality is. Some guys like you to give them a pat on the back. With others, it's a different approach."
Grandal is expected to share time behind the plate with incumbent starter A.J. Ellis this season.
"There’s nothing going to come out of this camp where we’re going to say, ‘OK, this guy is going to start 72 percent of the time’" general manager Andrew Friedman said. "It’s going to be much more about Donnie (Mattingly) writing the lineup each and every day for what gives us the best chance to win that day."
Mattingly admitted that Grandal has "tremendous upside offensively," so it's possible he could lead that way more often. While Mattingly has indicated that he doesn't want to assign any personal catchers yet, there's a sense Ellis could be used when Clayton Kershaw is on the mound.
Grandal hit .225/.327/.401 over 377 at-bats last year. Ellis hit .191/.323/.254 over 283 at-bats.
"A.J. couldn't put it any better: He said, 'Whatever it takes to win,'" Grandal said. "If that day, A.J. is the man for the job behind the plate and we are going to get a win with A.J. behind the plate, that's going to be him. At the end of the day, if we get a ring, that's going to be a team win and we all have rings. Twenty years from now, I get to show that ring off and say, 'Hey, I won a World Series.'"
Grandal, who hit .225 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI for the Padres in 2014, was traded to Los Angeles in the offseason in exchange for Matt Kemp among other players.
"I think both teams got what they wanted," Grandal said. "The Dodgers were looking for a catcher. The Padres were looking for a big-time bat. That's what Kemp brought to the table and that's what I brought to the table."
Ellis, who started a team-high 89 games at catcher in 2014, has been the team's primary catcher since 2012. Grandal is in his first season with Los Angeles following an offseason trade with San Diego.
“Just knowing that Yasmani was a guy that at the end of the year, we didn’t really like being up there with men in scoring position. He’s got a big upside offensively we think, and really comfortable with him behind the plate," Mattingly said Wednesday. “What makes that easier for me is dealing with A.J. Talking to A.J. [Tuesday], knowing that could be a little bit of a sticky situation, his first response was, 'I just want to win.' That’ll work itself out.”
Mattingly added he is not looking to match up his catchers with certain starting pitchers.
“I’m not really comfortable any time we talk about just one guy catching that certain pitcher every time because that it really gets you caught in the middle,” Mattingly said. “I can’t say that I really favor that. The catching situation, we’ll work it out.”
The trade has been in the works for some time, but was dependent on Kemp passing a physical. It was reported early Thursday that Kemp's physical revealed arthritic hips. The Padres had to to figure out insurance on the contract, which is why it took so long for the deal to go through.
In return, Los Angeles is set to receive catcher
The 30-year-old Kemp hit .287/.346/.506 over 541 at-bats last year. Kemp is set to earn a little over $21 million in each of the next five seasons.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs San Francisco|
|vs San Francisco||50||14||5||.356||.700||.280|
|vs Heston (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 5 || 6 |
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| 16 || 17 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
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