2016 NLDS: Nationals To Start Rookie Catcher Pedro Severino Against Dodgers In Game 1
2016 Nlds: Nationals To Start Rookie Catcher Pedro Severino Against Dodgers In Game 1
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker announced Thursday that rookie catcher Pedro Severino will form the battery with Max Scherzer against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

Washington is without All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos, who suffered a torn ACL during the final week of the regular season. Severino gets the start ahead of Jose Lobaton, the Nationals’ switch-hitting backup catcher.

Lobaton is “a little bit injured and that’s one reason why he’s not catching [Friday],” Baker said. For Severino, it’ll be just his 19th career game (10th start) with the Nationals.

He appeared in 16 games this season, batting .321/.441/.607 with two doubles, two home runs and four RBI in 34 plate appearances.

“You know, he’s pretty good against left-handed pitchers. I don’t think he’s seen one quite like this in Kershaw before,” Baker said. Including time with Triple-A Syracuse, the 23-year-old backstop hit .309/.364/.412 off southpaws this season.

Severino didn’t face the Dodgers but did catch Scherzer during the regular season. “In most scenarios, having a rookie catcher behind the plate, you probably have pause for concern of not being in sync with him,” Scherzer said. “But Severino is completely different.”

“First off, he’s way more mature and understands the game way further than any rookie catcher I’ve been around. He gets it. … I was actually excited to throw to him because he’s actually really good back there as a catch-and-throw catcher.”

While Baker has not revealed many specifics in regards to the Nationals’ roster for the NLDS, Severino will be joined by another rookie in Trea Turner. The Dodgers, meanwhile, will have seven rookies on their postseason roster.