Lifelong friends becoming teammates in Blue Jays system is much-needed feelgood story

Catcher Brian Serven and pitcher Andrew Bash have gone from playing in Little League together to playing in Triple A for the Buffalo Bisons
Toronto Blue Jays catcher Brian Serven shakes hands with pitcher Chad Green after the final out in the Blue Jays' 3-0 win over the New York Yankees April 5 at Yankee Stadium.
Toronto Blue Jays catcher Brian Serven shakes hands with pitcher Chad Green after the final out in the Blue Jays' 3-0 win over the New York Yankees April 5 at Yankee Stadium. / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

A pitcher and catcher often need a good rapport to be an effective battery. When it comes to building that rapport, it likely helps if they've known each other since they played together in Little League.

That's the case with Brian Serven and Andrew Bash, who are now teammates with the Buffalo Bisons, the Blue Jays' Triple A affiliate. Serven, a catcher, and Bash, a right-handed pitcher, played together Friday for the first time since their high school days. Bash made the start for Buffalo, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out three in four innings. Serven added two singles in the Bisons' 10-4 road win over the Indianapolis Indians.

Growing up in the same neighborhood, the two played together for the first time almost 20 years ago, when they took the field playing for the Palm Desert Youth Sports Little League in California, according to They also played one year together for Palm Desert High School, where Bash once threw a postseason no-hitter and Serven's standout career included All-CIF First Team honors. The school made frequent appearances in the California Interscholastic Federation championship game during both of their careers, which ended when Serven, 29, graduated in 2013 and Bash, 27, graduated in 2015.

Bash was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in 2019 after playing for California Baptist, a nice surprise since Bash grew up a fan of the Angels. However, after one season in the Angels system and the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season, Bash was released and joined the Blue Jays organization in 2021.

He pitched well enough to rise through three different levels in 2021, finishing the year with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Bash split 2022 and 2023 with New Hampshire and Buffalo, helping to address a need for starting pitching for Buffalo, according to Bisons manager Casey Candaele. So far this year, Bash (1-0) has a 4.76 ERA in six starts with 25 strikeouts in 22.2 innings. That may be something to remember for the parent club, as Toronto is dealing with a struggling bullpen and concern about depth in the starting rotation.

After playing for Arizona State, Serven was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2016 and made his MLB debut in 2022. He played 73 games over two seasons for the Rockies, before being claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays this past winter. He was on Toronto's Opening Day roster after Danny Jansen landed on the Injured List, starting three games and appearing in seven as Alejandro Kirk's backup until Jansen returned April 15. Serven was then optioned to Buffalo.

Serven was hitless with a walk and a HBP in just 10 plate appearances with Toronto. But with Buffalo, Serven is 9-for-24 with five walks, three doubles and a home run in 29 plate appearances. In six games behind the plate for the Bisons, Serven has thrown out 2 of 11 attempted base stealers.

Prior to Friday's game in Indianapolis, it had been a decade since Serven and Bash played together. Regardless, the battery mates have remained close friends, they told, even holding bullpen sessions in the offseason. Bash loved having Serven behind the plate, and the feeling was clearly mutual.

"It was nostalgic," Serven told "We've known each other forever."