2013 Red Sox Preview: DH/Catchers

The Red Sox are pretty much the last team that uses an everyday DH. That’s simply because they have an excellent one. David Ortiz is central to the team in 2013 to the point that if he loses any significant amount of time to injury, the Sox’ chances of making the playoffs plummets to almost nothing. There simply isn’t a hitter of his caliber in the system at the moment. Ryan Lavarnway is highly regarded as a hitting prospect, but mostly because he plays catcher.

The catcher thing is a bit of a mess. When David Ross was acquired, a lot of folks, myself included, thought it mean that a trade of Jarrod Saltalamacchia was imminent. It hasn’t happened yet, and may not.

If it doesn’t happen before the end of spring, it suggests that Lavarnway will open the season in AAA despite having nothing left to prove at the level.

One complicating factor might be Christian Vazquez. He has established himself as a strong defensive catcher with an inconsistent bat. If he achieves some consistency, it might be Lavarnway who ends up on the trading block.

My personal preference would be to use Lavarnway at first at times. It may be unfair to ask him to learn a new position–one where his value would be significantly less–after all the work he has put in to make himself a decent receiver, but the fact is the team has very few options at the corners should the major league incumbent go down.

As with everything else Red Sox, the catching position looks to be a lot different a year from now.

2/23/12 Rays 4, Sox 3

Box Score

I don’t intend to post about every spring training game because that would be tedious for everyone involved. This was the first televised game of the spring, through, so I’m going to post away.

Don and Jerry were in midseason form, laughing it up and neglecting to tell us who was batting–before the fifth inning and everything got screwy. I rather suspect this is going to be a terrible season in that regard.

John Lackey looked like a guy who hasn’t pitched in a year and a half. His arm didn’t fly off and hit someone in the stands, so it was a positive outing.

Pretty much all the Red Sox pitchers looked rusty save Alex Wilson who struck out three. Methinks he wants to make the big club out of spring training. I rather suspect he will be disappointed in that, but he’s definitely one of the guys who should get called up when injuries strike.

All three Red Sox runs were driven in by shortstop prospects, which was interesting. Don and Jerry said that Jose Iglesias put on ten pounds of muscle in the off season. He may look a little thicker around the middle, but he’s still pretty scrawny. Still, he hit a two run homer on a nice high fat pitch. Progress, as we say, is progress. Xander Bogaerts drove in the other run with a nice hard single in the ninth.

Other than that, pretty boring game, but baseball is back and all is well with the world.

Sox Announce Non-Roster Invitees: Bryce Brentz Shoots Himself In Leg (not dead)

Sox Announce Non-Roster Invitees: Bryce Brentz Shoots Himself In Leg (not dead)

With all due respect to the headline writers at MLB.com, I don’t the headline here is Bogaerts and Bradley. Sure, they were expected, and Marrero wasn’t, really, but so much of what this team is going to be in the next five years rides on the shoulders of Bogaerts and Bradley it’s not even funny.

It should also be mentioned that Bogaerts is going to be with Dutch team in the World Basball Classic. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m going to catch as many of those games as I can.

And yes, Bryce Brentz shot himself in the leg, not too seriously, when he was cleaning a gun. I’m not really a gun person, but I was under the impression that it was standard operating procedure to A) unload a gun when you’re done with whatever you need it loaded for, and B) make sure it’s unloaded before you try to clean it.