Three catchers from the past who made notable position switches:

  • JOE TORRE: Torre spent 10 seasons primarily as a catcher for the Braves and Cardinals until 1971, when he was moved to third to make way for the up-and-coming Ted Simmons. Torre responded that season by hitting .363, leading the league in hits and RBIs and winning the N.L. MVP. But it came at a cost -- Torre made 21 errors at third that year, and never came close to duplicating that amazing '71 campaign in subsequent seasons.

  • CRAIG BIGGIO: It's a good bet Biggio would not have had such a successful career if he had not moved out from behind the plate after his first four seasons to learn second base, where he would go on to play almost 2,000 games. A small man blessed with speed, it was a logical move that paid huge dividends.

  • TODD ZEILE: Zeile was regarded as a potential catching superstar after his rookie season with the Cardinals in 1990. But in a strange twist, he was moved to third base by Torre, who as the St. Louis manager saw his own move as a blueprint for Zeile's future. Zeile, who didn't want to give up catching, had a solid career as a third baseman, but in retrospect, many baseball observers believe he would have been special behind the plate and that moving him was a mistake.

    Two catchers from the past who resisted being moved to other positions

  • CARLTON FISK: After a rash of injuries midway through Fisk's career, the Red Sox implored Fisk to try the outfield in 1986. He did, but he hated it, noting he had trouble "staying awake." So he wound up going back to the plate. Over a 24-year career, he wound up catching 2,226 games, including 106 at age 43 and 25 more in his final season, at age 45.

  • MIKE PIAZZA: Moving Piazza to a safer position when he was an offensive force with the Dodgers was never discussed much. After all, it was manager Tommy Lasorda's idea to make him a catcher. Once he joined the Mets at age 29, it became a more frequent topic. But Piazza didn't buy in, noting that giving up catching to extend his career would be selfish. He didn't stop catching until his final season with the A's in 2007, ultimately logging more than 1,600 games behind the plate.

    Three current players who moved from catcher to new positions

  • MIKE NAPOLI: Napoli's first three seasons with the Angels were spent exclusively as a platoon catcher, but he gradually started splitting time between first base and catcher in his fourth and last season with the Angels and then with Texas. When he joined the Red Sox in 2013 as a free agent, he happily became a full-time first baseman. "People don't really understand what it's like to be back there, then trying to hit when you're tired and have no legs," he said. Interestingly, Napoli production numbers did not change appreciably despite playing more games.

  • VICTOR MARTINEZ: Because of a series of injuries he suffered behind the plate with Cleveland, Martinez has caught only when he's absolutely had to in recent years, logging just 31 games behind the plate since 2010. Moving mostly to D.H. has been a boon to him and the Tigers. He played in a career high 159 games with Detroit last season at age 34 -- 139 at D.H. -- and is regarded as one the game's most dangerous and productive all-fields hitters.

  • JOSH DONALDSON: Donaldson was a former infielder who converted to catcher in college. It made him a first-round pick, but he languished in the minors with the Cubs and was ultimately traded to the A's, who decided his athleticism was better suited to third base. The move not only saved Donaldson's career but also turned him into an almost instant star both as a hitter and an infielder with Oakland.