Stephen Strasburg gets familiar with Nationals new catcher

March 16, 2018 GMT

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA A few days ago Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg just sat down to talk with two of his catchers: Matt Wieters and Miguel Montero.

It was a fairly standard conversation, as Strasburg said he “wanted to be on the same page” with his catchers.

While Wieters and Strasburg worked together last season, Montero is new to the Nationals.

The veteran catcher is in spring training with the Nationals as a non-roster player and has a good chance to be the backup this year to Wieters.

“It has been good. I faced him a few times as an opponent,” Strasburg said of Montero. “He works really hard.”

Another person who could fill that role is Pedro Severino, 24, who appeared in 17 games last season with the Nationals.

Montero was with the Cubs last year but was let go by the club in June after a game in Washington in which the Nationals stole seven bases against Chicago. Montero blamed pitcher Jake Arrieta for the steals, and the next day the Cubs designated Montero for assignment.

Strasburg, instead of facing the Houston Astros on Thursday in a spring training game, pitched on a back field at the spring training complex in West Palm Beach. He said he threw about 75 pitches over five innings and faced just right-handed batters.

“Trying to simulate any sort of game, really,” Strasburg said of his outing.