Rays pitchers confident with Molina behind plate

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jose Molina is back in camp and getting ready for the season after playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Among the veteran catcher's more endearing traits is his ability to frame pitches.

Rays manager Joe Maddon noted that Molina's expertise is not just gamesmanship; rather, it's a talent.

"This is the thing, every catcher frames pitches or tries to present better to the umpire," Maddon said. "They all do. Some do it better than others. To me the biggest difference is how you're able to hold the ball without the ball pushing your hand away. And he just has a strong hand. I think that's the biggest difference.

"I think there's the misconception that he's the only one that does it or tries to do it. Every catcher is taught to try and do those things. He gives a lot of confidence to the pitchers. I think he presents the pitch well to the umpire and to the pitcher, which really helps both sides a lot ... I believe that every catcher tries to do what he does. He just does it a little better than everybody else."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.