03/06/12 6:10 PM EST
Whiteside, Stewart jockeying for backup role
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
They also echoed each other regarding their pursuit of the same roster spot. They're more than aware that unless Bochy opts to open the season with three catchers -- an unlikely prospect -- one of them won't be a Giant after the first week of April."Even if I was the guy, I wouldn't want to come in with that attitude," Stewart said. "My attitude is, I have to win a job. It makes me better and at the end of the day, it makes the whole team better." "You can't really worry about anything else," said Whiteside, who contributed a third-inning RBI single Tuesday as the Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-4, in Glendale, Ariz. "I have to play as well as I can play and leave [the decision] up to them." Statistically, Stewart outplayed Whiteside last season. Giants pitchers recorded a 2.70 ERA with him behind the plate, compared to Whiteside's respectable 3.30 figure. Stewart threw out 19 of 53 runners (35.8 percent) attempting to steal, eclipsing Whiteside's 13-for-66 success rate (19.7 percent). But Whiteside proved capable previously, particularly in 2009 when he caught five shutouts in 33 starts. Whiteside's still recovering from a sore right elbow that hampered his throwing during a significant portion of last season. "It's definitely not as strong as I want it to be or where I feel like it should be," Whiteside said. "It's still early. I feel I'm getting stronger, throwing every day and putting a little more on it every day, I can feel it catching up a little bit." Whoever wins the backup job will have the pitching staff's confidence. "They're both good game-callers and they have a lot of trust in what they're calling," left-hander Jeremy Affeldt said. "We were all very comfortable from the game-calling situation." Said right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, including Posey in the mix, "I was perfectly fine with all three of them." In this situation, three's probably a crowd.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.