CHICAGO -- John Baker caught Dallas Beeler a few times in Spring Training, but the Cubs catcher remembered the right-hander's repertoire, and was behind the plate Saturday for his Major League debut.
"I'm blessed and cursed with a memory that never forgets," Baker said. "I do forget names often, but I don't forget what guys throw or how they pitch."
Beeler was promoted from Triple-A Iowa for the first game of a day-night doubleheader Saturday against the Nationals.
"They did a nice job communicating during the spring," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "One of the things the catchers are asked to do is when they're catching somebody in their bullpens, ask what kind of pitches do they like to throw in certain situations, where do you like me to set up -- all those types of conversations. Bake's a pretty bright guy, as is [catcher Welington Castillo]. They know their craft and they know the guys."
The Cubs are still being careful with Castillo, who returned from the disabled list Sunday after missing time with a left rib cage strain.
Renteria expected Beeler to be nervous, but not too much.
"He came in, said hello, and about broke my hand shaking it, he was pretty excited," Renteria said of the pitcher, who was the Cubs' 41st-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. "It's a great opportunity for him and a great moment for him and for the Cubs. He's a pretty confident young man."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.