Pacheco holding his own behind home plate

Pacheco holding his own behind home plate

Pacheco holding his own behind home plate

DENVER -- Soon after Jordan Pacheco showed up for his first Minor League season, coaches started converting the infielder into a catcher.

They saw the tools in Pacheco and thought it offered him the best chance at making an impact in the big leagues. But in his first full big league season, he was rarely behind the plate, his strong 2012 rookie campaign coming as a first and third baseman.

In year two, however, his skills behind the plate have come in handy as usual starter Wilin Rosario nurses a strained right calf. Pacheco started his 10th game at catcher in the opener against the Red Sox on Tuesday and is regaining his feel behind the plate.

"There's always an adjustment period," Pacheco said. "It's a completely different position and you're seeing the field from a different angle, and … you got to work with the pitcher throughout the game and help them out."

Pacheco said the most difficult part to master is mapping out a plan that takes advantage of a hitter's weakness. So Pacheco has leaned on the advice of full-time catchers Yorvit Torrealba and Rosario to understand the tendencies of the Rockies' pitchers and opposing hitters.

"That's definitely the toughest part, because you got to know what they're good at," Pacheco said. "Know what they like and when they get into trouble, you got to know how to get them out of trouble. Could be a certain pitch you call, could be just telling them a certain thing. You see Yorvit out there all the time -- he's talking with the pitcher and trying to get them in the zone."

Pacheco spent about three weeks with Triple-A Colorado Springs from late July to Aug. 19, getting just one start at catcher before that.

Manager Walt Weiss said that stay in the Minors, during which he mostly played catcher, prepared him for more consistent time there in the Majors. He's also been able to quickly build a connection with Colorado's staff.

"He handles the game well," Weiss said. "From what we've seen from his time up here as a catcher at the end of the season here, he's really handled the staff well."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Ian McCue is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.