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Deeble's catching dilemma
11/27/2017 11:39 PM ET
 (Ryan Schembri / SMP Images / ABL Media )

As the 2017/18 season continues we will likely see a dilemma start to develop for Jon Deeble in that having four catchers on the roster could be as much of a curse as it is a blessing.

At present, it seems he's happy to rotate Brett Cumberland and Tomoya Mori behind the plate and is content on keeping Allan De San Miguel at first while switching Liam Bedford between third and a corner outfield spot. There's no doubt that the Braves and Seibu will be expecting Cumberland and Mori to catch while there out here and so you can't help but wonder if Deeble may be slightly hamstrung with his catching options?

True that all four are versatile and can play multiple positions and all four bats are worthy of a spot in any ABL line-up, but with almost combined 400 games of ABL catching experiencecurrently standing in the field, is the Aces pitching staff being hurt without de San Miguel and Bedford calling the shots?

At present, the Aces are conceding an average of 5.5 runs per game with Mark Hamburger currently holding an uncharacteristic 8.25 ERA after his two starts. Hamburger's 12 innings have seen him allow 11 runs when in 2016/17 he would only concede 16 in 75.2 innings of work. 

De San Miguel caught his first game of the season in Game 2 against Adelaide last Friday night and you couldn't help but notice the differences in the way the game was being called. With de San behind the plate the Aces we able to shut out the Bite, the first time the Aces were able to hold an opposition scoreless this season. A shutout in any game is impressive, but this shutout in particular was even more impressive given Hei Chun Lee (normally a middle innings reliever) was making his first ABL start and Deeble opted to go with an exceptionally young and untested pitching staff that included Jackson Boyd (18), Jack Enciondo (20), Shunta Nakatsuka (22) and Mitch Ley (23).

Cumberland and Mori are both unbelievable prospects and superb defensive catchers in their own right, but De San's knowledge of his pitchers, their strengths and weaknesses and opposition hitters is a weapon that they don't have right now. It's a weapon that's often overlooked in the role of a catcher and one that the Aces have failed to utilize in all but that one game so far, this season.

There's no doubting the Aces need Mori and Cumberland's bats in the line-up. 

Deeble's problem right now seems to be finding a way to do that while keeping the Braves and Lions happy, all without sacrificing his defense or pitching staff... and it's quite a pickle…

So, today we're asking the question to all of our die-hard Aces fans. What would you do if you were in Jon Deeble's shoes? Who would you have as the Aces number one catcher and what would your ideal Ace's line-up for this season be?

Want to see if you're right? Join us this week at the Ballpark for a four game series against the reigning ABL Champions the Brisbane Bandits where you'll see four of the best catchers in the country right now, all take the field for the Melbourne Aces.

Friday 1 December 7pm TICKETS |

Saturday 2 December 5pm / 7.30PM TICKETS |

Sunday 3 December 1pm TICKETS |

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.