Ep 67: Pirates bullpen catcher Jordan Comadena
“Play like you gotta make the team” - Mark Comadena (Jordan’s Dad)
There are two jobs in sports that every Average Joe thinks he has the chops for… 3rd string clipboard holding quarterback and bullpen catcher. The only problem is the guys holding those clipboards and warming up closers in the 8th inning are top-level athletes who have incredible resumes.
This week brings Jordan Comadena to the podcast, a former DI utility player in the Big Ten and a minor leaguer in the Houston Astros system. Jordan currently serves as the bullpen catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Technically he is a member of the coaching staff but he is just a few minor miracles and a coincidence or two away from getting on the game field.
Jordan talks about his job as the ultimate role player. His contributions to the Pirates directly impact every game as he works with the pitchers in the bullpen, participates in meetings and scouting and brings that ‘wherever they need me’ approach that served him well in his playing days as a utility man at Purdue University. Jordan dishes on the life in the big leagues, travel, catching big leaguers, and life behind the practice dish.
Jordan’s career is an amazing story. He shares that he was lightly recruited, walked on to Purdue and earned his scholarship. He was invited to play for the Madison Mallards as a Freshman and then ended up playing three years for the Mallards and having his number retired. Even his pro career started with a great story - he got noticed after a Mallard alumni game and a few doubles off of Vida Blue and Blue Moon Odom (combined age of 122 at the time of facing Jordan). Comadena credits his success to his perseverance in baseball and taking advantage of every opportunity he was given.
Tim’s interview with Jordan Comadena makes it clear that he arrived in the bullpen after years of hard work. Jordan has great stories about playing with notable big leaguers like Jose Altuve and now coaching Pirate pitchers like Tyler Glasnow. He also shares about his record-setting time with the Madison Mallards and his three years with the Astros organization. Jordan’s career path took some really interesting turns from playing at Purdue, coaching at Purdue, playing in the minors and now bullpen catching and coaching in the majors. His career includes a few bench-clearing brawls too. Jordan Comadena is a baseball guy.
“You gotta go protect your guys… you gotta go, drop what you’re doing and get out there”