The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
WEEI » This Just In » Salty: Red Sox haven't discussed playing first
Tue, 01/22/2013 - 1:38pm  

Salty: Red Sox haven't discussed playing first

The Red Sox have a need for a left-handed complement to Mike Napoli at first base. They also are heading into spring training with three catchers – Jarrod Saltalmacchia, David Ross and Ryan Lavarnway – who are all at points in their career which would suggest they would each be earning spots on the major league roster.

So, where does that leave the starter of a season ago, Saltalmacchia?

He is heading into what would be perceived as the prime of his career at 27-years-old, and will become eligible for free agency following the upcoming season. Saltalamacchia is also fresh off showing the kind of power (25 homers) most teams drool over when trying to lock in backstops.

According to Saltalmacchia, little has changed.

At no point this offseason has he been asked to break out a first baseman’s glove for spring training. “I haven’t had any conversations about first base,” he said by phone from his Florida home.

Catching, he reiterates, is still his thing.

“When I catch, that’s when I play my best,” said Saltalamacchia, who started a career-high 95 games at catcher in ’12.“I’ve learned that about myself. I’m a better player when I catch, and catch on a regular basis. I think that’s something a lot of people learned last year.”

Saltalmacchia did hit all but two of his home runs while catching, finishing with an OPS .143 higher (.755-.612) catching than his 47 plate appearances as a designated hitter. It was DH he spent quite a bit more time at in the final month or so, with Lavarnway getting to 15 September starts at backstop, compared to Saltalmacchia’s 11.

The discussions he has had with Red Sox manager John Farrell over the past few months, in fact, have done nothing to dissuade the switch-hitter from believing Saltalmacchia won’t get further opportunities to prove his theory regarding production in relation to playing time.

“I’ve had a few conversations with Farrell and every conversation is great,” Saltalmacchia said. “He told me, ‘Listen, we signed Ross to complement you. You’re going to get right-handed at-bats.’ Stuff like that. I’ve been happy with it. I’m just looking going into spring training having already gone through the mental grind of the game, so it’s just best to go out there and let your play show for itself. You can’t control what the manager does. We have to go out there, and if the manager says, ‘You’re going to play one day this week and get two at-bats,’ that one day and those two at-bats have to be the best they possibly can be. I just have to be prepared at the max level.”

Although Lavarnway could very well enter the playing time equation, he does still hold an option, allowing the Red Sox the flexibility of returning the righy hitter to the minor leagues to start the season.

The challenge in identifying plate appearances for last season’s starter comes primarily when looking at Ross’ success – and Saltalamacchia’s struggles — against left-handed pitching.

The dynamic may not be all that different than when the right-handed hitting Kelly Shoppach resided on the roster. Although there was some grumbling from Shoppach regarding playing time, the situation seemed to fit Saltalamacchia, who just missed out on making the American League All-Star team after having totaled an .807 with 17 homers in the first half.

But while Saltalamacchia would catch 472 2/3 innings in the season’s first three months, he served as the Sox’ backstop for just 353 2/3 frames in the final three. Despite the role change (which was pushed along by a combination of David Ortiz’ injury and the team’s desire to see more of Lavarnway), Saltlamacchia felt like the ’12 experience was still a big step in the right direction.

“A lot of times I forget where I was at two or three years ago, and a lot of people forget that, as well,” he said. “Just physically and mentally, what your body goes through, nobody understands your body is really, really tired and you have to depend on skill. But I always felt differently with myself where I felt as the year goes on I get better and better and my body gets used to it. Last year splitting time and really DHing in the last couple months of the season, it was tough. I had to learn on the go again.”

Audio On Demand

Christian Fauria of Ordwa…

Christian Fauria of Ordway, Merloni and Fauria fame joins NFL Sunday to discuss bye weeks, the possibility of a permanent team in London and more -- 10-4-15

Christian joins the boys to discuss bye weeks and when the ideal time is to get one. The guys ask him about a permanent team in London and his opinion on if it would work. Then he gets into the Pats and if any team in the AFC East will step up.

NFL Sunday with Greg Dickerson and Chris Price -- The Dolphins are embarrassed yet again -- 10-4-15

Greg and Chris discuss the debacle that is the Miami Dolphins in the midst of getting beat pretty badly in London by the Jets a week removed from getting destroyed by the Bills. Where does Miami go from here?

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, joins NFL Sunday to discuss the Pats and the rest of the AFC during the bye week -- 10-4-15

Curran calls Greg and Chris to discuss the struggles of the Dolphins and Colts along with the state of Pats durng their bye. He gets into the defense and how they've performed, specifically the secondary and Devin McCourty.

Celtics Podcast - Media D…

Celtics Podcast - Media Day and The Wire

Sam Packard is joined by his brother Nick, as he breaks down his favorite moments from Celtics Media Day. Sam then tries to compare each member of the Celtics roster to a character on The Wire, with varied results.

We Love Anthony Davis - Should the Celtics Trade Avery Bradley?

Sam Packard is joined by Jared Weiss of CLNSRadio.Com to talk about trading Bradley and the upcoming Celtics Media Day.

We Love Anthony Davis - Space Jam and Celtics Summer League with Jay King. 7-23-15

Jay King of joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.

Dave O'Brien signs off Re…

Dave O'Brien signs off Red Sox Radio after 9 seasons

Dave O'Brien has called Red Sox baseball games with Joe Castiglione since 2007. Dave is going to the NESN booth next season to take over for Don Orsillo as the Red Sox TV play-by-play man. Dave talks about his time with Joe and the Red Sox Radio broadcast and closes out a very meaningful chapter of a tremendous career. Joe Castiglione offers his thoughts and well-wishes to Dave and closes out, as is tradition, with the Bart Giamatti poem.

Torey Luvollo with Dale, Holley and Thornton

We check in for a final time this season with Red Sox interim manager Torey Luvollo as look ahead to 2016 with him.

Blake Swihart Player of the Game Interview 09-29-15

Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart who had his first career multi home run game as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 10-4 and extend their winning streak to a season high 5 games.

Butch & Bradfo featuring …

Butch & Bradfo featuring DJ Bean talk #Bruins lines and season outlook

DJ Bean joins Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford in studio with the pre-season ending to discuss the upcoming season's line combinations and the changes made in the offseason.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney with Dale and Holley

Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.

Fluto Shinzawa, NHL reporter for the Boston Globe, joins the Sunday Skate crew to discuss the future of the Bruins franchise 4-19-15

The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.

Final weigh-in- The produ…

Final weigh-in- The producers tip the scales 10-2-15

Which producer lost weight? And which one gained weight?

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines- The truth behind the viral fisherman 10-2-15

All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.

Bobby the gang member on gun control 10-2-15

Bobby calls in from the streets to talk about gang life and gun control.

How far off are the Red S…

How far off are the Red Sox from being good next season? 10-2-15

With the emergence of the young players for the Red Sox this season, they're starting to look like they can be competitive next season. The guys discuss this and talk more about whether Farrell should be the manager next season when he gets healthy.

Should John Farrell be the manager of the Red Sox when he gets healthy? 10-2-15

Leaks have come out over the last few days that John Farrell will return to the Red Sox when he gets healthy, but is this the right decision? Glenn, Lou and Christian discuss whether or not his job should be safe.

Was Ben Roethlisberger on his cell phone last night during the game? 10-2-15

It looked like Ben Roethlisberger was on his cell phone during last night's Thursday Night Football game against the Ravens. Should this be a big issue? Do Patriots fans have reason to be upset that the NFL isn't making this a big deal?

The Pats are in Rex's hea…

The Pats are in Rex's head because he has a 'prison-guard mentality'.

One of our favorite segments every week is when we get the chance to talk to the playmaker, Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin.

How is it possible that steroid-suspended A-Rod is a candidate for MLB Comeback Player of the Year?

A player that was suspended for PED use is really the top candidate for baseball's comeback player of the year? How is that possible? We discuss it.

Dale and Holley's Final Drive - 10-02-15

We wrap up the week with some of the best sound bites that you may have missed.

Chris Villani and John To…

Chris Villani and John Tomase: All hail the great and obvious Judge Berman

Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.

Planet Mikey - Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Brady Exonerated!

Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.

Planet Mikey - What should the Red Sox outfield be?

Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.

#RedSox Farm Report Podca…

#RedSox Farm Report Podcast - Top 10 Prospects and Season in Review

Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable take a look back at the 2015 season for the Boston Red Sox and their affiliates, including who the guys think should be classified as the team's Top 10 prospects. Also, a check in with play-by-play voices this year in Pawtucket, Portland, Salem, and Greenville as well as Ken's one-on-one interview with Offensive Player of the Year Sam Travis.

Unsportsmanlike Podcast - Jen Royle Drops The Gloves NSFW

Jerry is joined by former sports reporter turned professional chef Jen Royle to discuss her upcoming fight for Haymakers For Hope.

SoccerCast - What the Hell is wrong at Chelsea?

We discuss the woes of Chelsea and Liverpool and the Revs rebounding to push into the playoffs. Plus the book on YoungBen is very flattering.

Red Sox manager Torey Lov…

Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo with Dale and Holley

We check in for a final time this season with Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo and look ahead to 2016 with him.

More from this show

We react to the shooting …

We react to the shooting in Oregon 10-2-15

Another day and another school shooting, it's becoming far too common. Have we become numb to it?

More from this show

The Apple Doesn't Fall Fa…

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree-Phil and Chris Simms 10-2-15

Dino, Gerry and Kirk look at the talented father-son duo.

More from this show

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Was Ben Roethlisberger on…

Was Ben Roethlisberger on his cell phone last night during the game? 10-2-15

It looked like Ben Roethlisberger was on his cell phone during last night's Thursday Night Football game against the Ravens. Should this be a big issue? Do Patriots fans have reason to be upset that the NFL isn't making this a big deal?

More from this show

Weei Writers