DUNEDIN, FLA. - The last time Mark Buehrle shook off a catcher’s sign was more than 10 years ago on a tour of Japan by a group of major-leaguers.
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was still with the Twins at the time, but on the tour he and Buehrle teamed up for the first time. Later on, in 2005, the two would win a World Series together in Chicago but on the exhibition trip to Japan, they were just trying to get on the same page.
“I shook him off and got a line drive off my shoulder,” recalled Buehrle Friday after his two-inning spring debut in Toronto’s 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I said, ‘See what happens when you shake off?’ I don’t think I’ve shaken since then.”
As a general rule, Buehrle trusts his ability to throw just about any pitch, at any time during the count.
He expects his catcher to know the scouting reports and apply them appropriately and put down the right fingers.