Houston Astros catcher Max Stassi has had plenty of experiences throughout his six seasons on the majors. But what happened on Tuesday night will be an experience he won’t soon forget.
During the second inning against the Oakland Athletics, Verlander called for a mound visit from his 27-year-old catcher with fewer than 100 games to his name. It seems Stassi missed Verlander’s point in the first visit, because he called for another visit seconds later and unleashed on his young catcher.
The interaction lasted nearly 30 seconds as the seven-time All-Star pitcher and 2011 MVP winner took Stassi to school. Verlander didn’t let up for a moment during the entire lecture, making sure to get his point across about what he wanted as Stassi just listened.
All the 27-year-old could do was stand there and take it all in as one of the game’s best got his point across. Stassi gave him a pat on the back after it was all over and returned to the plate.
Fortunately, it all seemed to work out for the two. Verlander struck out Stephen Piscotty on five pitches and quickly induced a groundout by Matt Chapman to end the inning.
Stassi will need to catch on quick and follow the veteran’s advice. Brian McCann, Verlander’s normal catcher, is out for over a month due to knee surgery. As a result, Stassi will be Houston’s everyday catcher and asked to handle this phenomenal pitching staff.