MILWAUKEE — Major League Baseball (MLB) catchers take the worst beating during games.
TMJ4's Lance Allan caught up with the guy behind the plate for the Milwaukee Brewers, Omar Narvaez, who feels his gear will help him get through a long, 162 game regular season.
By the way, the other catcher that would have spelled time with Narvaez, Pedro Severino, has been suspended for half the season, 80 games, for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
The gear of Narvaez stands out.
"Right now, we're trying to custom some team colors," Narvaez says. "I want to be in full, probably full yellow, for the season. We're still working on that."
Recommended by former Brewers catcher, Manny Pina, it's made by the Force3 Pro-Gear.
"I got a couple of hits in spring training, and I didn't feel anything," Narvaez says. "Then I talked to Manny and I said bro, I don't care if it's heavy as long as it's going to save me. I'm just going to keep using it."
With kids watching the Brewers catcher, he thinks this gear can help prevent injuries.
"Every time they hit the ball, it's 100, 115 miles per hour," Narvaez says. "Imagine that, also to be so close to the hitter is something that nobody cares about it."
Narvaez has a difficult job as a catcher for arguably the best starting pitching staff in baseball.
"It's tough, because sometimes you don't know, Corbin, how the cutter's coming," Narvaez says. "It's not easy, but once you get to know him and you work with him, you talk about it and he gives you the feedback and you try to just do everything you can for him."
With temperatures scheduled in the 40s for opening day Thursday at Wrigley Field, Narvaez has a plan from past years.
"Opening Day in Chicago with snow, one of the trainers told me to use vaseline," Narvaez says. "I started using it and I didn't feel anything. It was like 38 degrees and wasn't really cold. I think I'm going to try doing the same thing."