Former Dodgers Backup Catcher Drew Butera Retires & Joins Angels Staff

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While the Los Angeles Dodgers have relied on the likes of A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal, Austin Barnes and Will Smith as starting catchers the past several years, their organizational depth has also seen the likes of Drew Butera spend time behind the plate as well.

Butera was selected by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the 2005 MLB Draft. After being traded to the Minnesota Twins in 2007, Butera went on to make his MLB debut in 2010, spending four seasons at the big league level, including catching Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter in 2011.

He was traded to the Dodgers at the deadline during the 2013 season and stayed with the team through the end of 2014. Butera hit .188, with 14 RBI in 56 games during 2014. But the highlight of his Dodgers tenure was catching Josh Beckett’s no-hitter during his second season in L.A.

Butera was never known for his hitting ability but drew plenty of praise for his defense. According to Sam Blum of the Athletic, Butera has retired and joined the L.A. Angels coaching staff as the team’s bullpen catcher:

Drew Butera is the Angels’ new bullpen catcher.

He’s here now with the team. Butera, 38, spent time with the Angels last year as a catcher. He was an MLB catcher the last 12 years.

— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) April 4, 2022

The Dodgers traded Butera to the Angels in 2015, but he was then flipped to the Kansas City Royals after just 10 games. Good fortune found Butera in the shape of a World Series ring that same season.

After a brief stint with the Colorado Rockies, he made his way back to the Angels in 2021.

Butera caught Beckett’s no-hitter

On May 25, 2014, Beckett threw a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Dodgers’ 6-0 win at Citizens Bank Park with Butera behind the plate. The no-hitter was the first of Beckett’s career, and 24th in Dodgers franchise history — at the time.

Prior to Beckett, the Dodgers’ last no-hitter was thrown by Hideo Nomo against the Rockies at Coors Field on Sept. 17, 1996. Clayton Kershaw followed in Beckett’s footsteps less than one month later by no-hitting the Rockies.

Butera became only the fifth player in MLB history to catch a no-hitter in both the American and National League.

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