The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
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

It Is What It Is Cast: Pa…

It Is What It Is Cast: Patriots prepare for Matt Forte and the Bears

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price look ahead to Sunday's game against the Bears and what the Patriots need to do to contain dynamic running back Matt Forte.

Peter King with Dale and Holley

We check in with SI/MMQB's Peter King for his weekly take on the Patriots and all things NFL.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley

We sit down with Bill Belichick on a Patriots Monday and get his take on a nail-biting win over the Jets, as well as his feelings on Peyton Manning breaking the NFL record for touchdowns.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Kir…

We Hate Dwyane Wade - Kirk Minihane Previews the Celtics

Kirk Minihane joins the We Hate Dwyane Wade Show to preview the upcoming Celtics season. Ben and Sam also discuss the Rajon Rondo/Jeff Green trade rumors and dabble in the classic NBA analytics debate.

NWOA Injury Report - Rajon Rondo

Dr Nick Leung for the Newton Wellesley Orthopedics Association joins Ben to talk about Rajon Rondo's broken hand.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - 10-1-14

The debut edition of the We Hate Dwyane Wade show. Ben and Sam preview the Celtics and talk about other summer news around the NBA.

Joe Castiglione wraps up …

Joe Castiglione wraps up the 2014 Red Sox Season with a Poem

Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.

Mut and Bradford on the disappointing season for Jackie Bradley, Jr and Xander Bogaerts 9-28-14

Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.

Minor Details Ep. 101: Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett on the state of the Red Sox system

Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.

Jack Edwards with Dale an…

Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

We talk pucks with Jack Edwards of NESN for his take on an impressive win over the San Jose Sharks and the state of the B's in general.

Andy Brickley, NESN, thinks Torey Krug can be an all-around defensemen, 10-22-14

Brick talked about the emergence of Torey Krug as a solid D pairing with Seidenberg and how well the Power Play is playing. He contributes that to 2 different units competing. Brick also likes the versatility of Simon Gagne.

Tony Marinaro from TSN 690 in Montreal yells about Bruins-Habs 10-17-14

The world's biggest Canadiens fan Tony Marinaro joins MFB after the Bruins and Tuukka Rask suffered another loss in Montreal.

The revenge of the produc…

The revenge of the producers 10-22-14

D&C react to Sausage and Curtis's podcast.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Gubernatorial debate 10-22-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

Gay players in the NFL 10-22-14

A heated debate on how hard it will be for a gay person in the NFL.

Three For All - Vermont G…

Three For All - Vermont Gubernatorial Debate

The show took a look at all the hilarious sounds of last nights Governor's debate in the great state of Vermont.

Andy Brickley, NESN, thinks Torey Krug can be an all-around defensemen, 10-22-14

Brick talked about the emergence of Torey Krug as a solid D pairing with Seidenberg and how well the Power Play is playing. He contributes that to 2 different units competing. Brick also likes the versatility of Simon Gagne.

Kirk Minihane blasts his own show, 10-22-14

Sausage and Lumpy, the producers for the D&C show, recorded a podcast yesterday. They left A LOT of stuff on the cutting room floor. Luckily, MFB picked it all up and played the unedited version during the midday show. Kirk joined the show to discuss how hard it is working with Callahan and his two producers.

Darrelle Revis sent home …

Darrelle Revis sent home for being late to team meeting: Response and Reaction

We discuss the breaking news that Darrelle Revis was sent home yesterday for being late to scheduled team activities. Was it the right move by Bill Belichick? We discuss.

Jack Edwards: Even if Griffith lights it up, Bruins still need to make a move

We talk pucks with Jack Edwards of NESN for his take on an impressive win over the San Jose Sharks and the state of the B's in general.

Bob Ryan, author of Scribe: My Life in Sports with Dale and Holley

We sit down for an extended look at his new book with the great Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe.

10 Years since the Red So…

10 Years since the Red Sox began their comeback and eventual World Series Championship

Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.

The Patriots record during the regular season and Super Bowl

Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.

Bill Belichick and the Patriots Draft History

Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.

Sausage and Curtis fight …

Sausage and Curtis fight back 10-21-14

The Dennis & Callahan Show producers fight back.

D&C's Breaking Balls: The Proust Questionnaire and our producers suck 10-21-14

On this edition of Breaking Balls, Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss their producers' performance and take the Proust Questionnaire.

The Fantasy Football Hour with Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson - Week 7, 10-19-14

This week Pete gives the listeners a brief, but enthusiastic history lesson the ineptitude of the New York Jets. They also help you set your final rosters for your Week 7 fantasy teams.

D&C's Breaking Balls: The…

D&C's Breaking Balls: The Proust Questionnaire and our producers suck 10-21-14

On this edition of Breaking Balls, Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss their producers' performance and take the Proust Questionnaire.

More from this show

The revenge of the produc…

The revenge of the producers 10-22-14

D&C react to Sausage and Curtis's podcast.

More from this show

Tedy Bruschi: I recognize…

Tedy Bruschi: I recognize the greatest of Manning, but I'm still going with Tom

Full Tilt, Full Time #54 Tedy Bruschi talks to Dale and Holley about a record breaking night for Peyton Manning, and a tough win for the Patriots this past Thursday.

More from this show

Sausage and Curtis fight …

Sausage and Curtis fight back 10-21-14

The Dennis & Callahan Show producers fight back.

More from this show

Bill Belichick (wryly): I…

Bill Belichick (wryly): It's comforting to know Manning has thrown more TD's against us than anyone

We sit down with Bill Belichick on a Patriots Monday and get his take on a nail-biting win over the Jets, as well as his feelings on Peyton Manning breaking the NFL record for touchdowns.

More from this show

Weei Writers