08/07/2012 4:40 PM ET
Clevenger: More prep, same approach
Cubs backup catcher is getting a second taste of the Majors
With the opportunity that is in front of me right now, my approach is to keep doing what I am doing. I don't want to look too far into the future. What I want to do is work on what I can do now to help the team win.
To me, the role of starting catcher versus the role of backup catcher is pretty much the same. There aren't a lot of differences other than increased playing time. You still have to get to the point where the pitcher wants to throw to you, and you have to have a good game plan. You have to know your guys inside and out, and that goes for the starters and for the guys in the bullpen.
When I heard the news that Geovany Soto had been traded, I tried not to look into it too much or think about it too much. On a personal note, Geovany has always been good to me, and I wish him well in Texas.
I think that camaraderie is very special, among catchers in particular. After all, you work so closely as a unit. What he learned from hitters, I learned from hitters. Even though you battle for the same spot, you have to work together as a team.
That goes back to Spring Training. Right from the get-go, it is important to have good communication between one another, and you have to work together to figure out a game plan for your pitching staff.
Last year, I got a brief taste of the big leagues, and that short time was very important for me. I believe I have done a good job of using that experience to help prepare me for games this year and help prepare me for the season as a whole.
You learn right away that it's a different game up here than it is in the Minor Leagues. You have to prepare yourself way beyond what you have to do in the Minor Leagues on a daily basis. Up here, it is so much about scouting reports; it was great last year to taste it, and I feel that really helped prepare me for 2012.
I thought I started off pretty well. The focus is really to help control the pitching staff. That is what I work the most on. I am not hitting too well, but I believe that will come around.
My biggest focus is on controlling the staff and on getting these guys to trust me.
Steve Clevenger originally joined the Cubs when Chicago selected the catcher in the seventh round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Clevenger, who is from Baltimore and hit his first career home run on June 29 against Houston, has appeared in close to 50 games this year and he has also seen some action at first base and third base.