Ronny Paulino Q&A

Ronny Paulino

Pirates' catcher Ronny Paulino is struggling at the plate. During spring training, Paulino hit .481 with four homers and a team-high 17 RBI. Once the regular season started his batting average fell. He currently has two hits in his last 14 at bats and is batting .217. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Paulino recently.

GVB-- Ronny things haven't gone well at the plate - are you making any adjustments?

RP-- Before I was standing kind of far off the plate and now I've moved a little bit closer and I'm trying to hit the ball to the opposite field like always and get my approach back.

GVB-- Have the hitting problems affected your defense?

RP-- Early in the season, yeah, it was a problem," Paulino said. But now, everything's getting better because I'm more focused on my defense. They (management) know I'm going to hit. They worry more about me being better behind the plate.

GVB-- You have had a couple of errors and some passed balls is it hard to separate the hitting problems from what you are doimg behind the plate?

RP-- I don't think it's affecting my defense. My priority in my mind is always calling the game. I know I'm only going to hit so many times. But with the pitching ... I can be the key to the game. If I'm thinking about hitting and not playing good defense, I don't think we're going to win many games.

GVB-- Your numbers handling the pitching staff remain impressive. You have a very good rapport with the pitchers don't you?

RP-- This year, everything has been way better because we know each other more. We have a lot more confidence in each other. That's one of the main things working with pitchers -- you have to make them know that they can trust you.

GVB-- What about the hitting do you see that turning around soon?

RP-- "I'm starting to get more comfortable and I'm looking for the pitch that I can handle.

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Pirates' catcher Ronny Paulino batted .310 last season, highest average for any rookie catcher…

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