Tagged: Jason Varitek

Saltalamacchia

His last name barely fits on his jersey, he
couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher last year, and he’s only hit
twenty-three home runs in his career. Yet, Jarrod Saltalamacchia
 will be catching Josh Beckett, Jon
Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, and Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2011.



Jarrod Saltalamacchia was drafted by the
Atlanta Braves with the thirty-sixth pick in the 2003 draft, one pick before
Orioles all-star outfielder Adam Jones.

In 2006 with the braves class A
affiliate, the Rome Braves, Salty had his best year of his young career. He hit
.314, with nineteen home runs, and eighty-one runs batted in. After his
breakout season Baseball America ranked Saltalamacchia as the eighteenth best
prospect in Major League Baseball.

The following year, Saltalamacchia became
the starting catcher for the Mississippi Braves (AA). In twenty-two games,
Salty hit .373 with seven big flies.

The same year, in 2007 Saltalamacchia was
called up on his twenty-second birthday after an injury to Brian McCann and
then made his major league debut.

On July 31, 2007, also in the same year, Elvis
Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Beau Jones, and Saltalamacchia were
traded to the Texas Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay.

Fast-forward three years latter and
Saltalamacchia was put on the disabled list after the first two games of the
2010 season. He was then sent down to AAA because he couldn’t do one of the
simplest things in baseball. Eventually and thankfully, Salty learned how to
throw the ball back to the pitcher.

On July 31, 2010 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for
Chris McGuiness, Ramon Mendez, a player to be named later (Michael
Thomas), and some money. He was then sent to Pawtucket.

Saltalamacchia was eventually called up after
an injury to Kevin Cash. In his first appearance in the Red Sox starting line
up on August 12, Saltalamacchia went 2-4 with a run scored.

So far, in his time in Bean town, Salty went
just 3-19 (.158), with one RBI, two runs scored, and no home runs. Yet, despite
those stats, the Red Sox are letting Jarrod Saltalamacchia control one of the
best pitching staffs in baseball.

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Change Red Sox Nation Can Believe In

*- Sorry this could have been up Monday night but I have been super sick. Today I had to go to the hospital with a temp of 104.9 F. The doctor thinks I might have mono. So if I don’t blog for a few days do not worry.

I thought the Red Sox where having a hard time scoring runs! Well how does eight runs sound along with a pitcher who struck out twelve! Unless your a Blue Jays fan that is awesome. Why did we score eight runs because of this.

1. Dustin Pedroia- 2B
2. J.D. Drew- RF
3. Kevin Youkilis- 1B
4. Jason Bay- LF
5. Mike Lowell- 3B
6. David Ortiz- DH
7. Jason Varitek- C
8. Jacoby Ellsbury- CF
9. Nick Green- SS
Yep Pedroia batted first, J.D. batted second, Bay batted cleanup, Mikey batted fifth, and Jacoby batted eight. If I remember correctly Pedroia batted first for most of his 2007 year in which he won the Rookie of the Year award. Jacoby just had a twenty-two game hit streak snap the other day and now is batting eight.  And Big Papi is still batting sixth.
Overall I love the line up. It is spread out so every three batters there is at least one guy who could hit a home run (Youk, Bay, and Tek) along with fast guys who can turn singles into doubles (Pedroia, Bay, and Ellsbury). 
Yes Pedroia and Bay only have thirteen combined stolen bases but they are players who are super fast but do not steal that much. For example look at Andre Ethier and Hunter Pence. They only have eight combined stolen bases but can turn singles into doubles easily.
Anyway I am getting off topic. Now Tuesday after the off day or the next time Julio Lugo plays I would bat Ellsbury last. Yes call me crazy whatever. Jacoby batted behind Varitek so if Varitek is say at second and Ellsbury at first Ellsbury cannot steal. Lugo is another guy with speed but he never really steals much. 
But look at it this way Lugo’s on base percentage is .345 which yes is .010 points higher then Jacoby’s but Lugo has 21 hits in 23 games. Ellsbury has 64 hits in 49 games. Lugo has eight walks while Ellsbury has eleven. Lugo’s batting average is .276 while Ellsbury’s is .299. So maybe OBP is a messed up stat. Or maybe Lugo gets a little more lucky and more errors happen when he is up.
Anyway it is better then having your catcher hit in front of a speedster. Of course though I wish Jed Lowrie started and not Julio Lugo started at shortstop.
My favorite change in the lineup was Pedroia batting first and J.D. Drew batting second. Drew should not have batted third at all. Yes he has seven home runs but he is not a third batter. Pedroia could bat anywhere in the lineup as he gets on base, can steal, rarely strikes out, and one some days (like yesterday) he can hit for power.
Your first and second guys have to have a high OBP so you big guys can drive them in. Drew seems like he always gets on base as his OBP is .359 this year and his carer OBP is .391. Pedoria’s OBP is .416 for this year. 416 which is tied for fifteenth in baseball. (Youk has the highest with .478.) Then if Youk gets on base (and he probably will) Jason Bay is tied for the most RBI’s in baseball with Adrian Gonzalez with 49 in just two months!
Now there are a few ways to get Big Papi going so he can turn back into the feared slugger he is. One is you could drop him to the seventh spot or even last. Then after Big Papi has say a four hit game or gets two doubles or whatever Terry would move him up one spot as at and Ortiz would say, “Finally Something Good Happened,” and Ortiz would slowly move up till he becomes the slugger he is. However with Jason Bay having an MVP season maybe he will stay at fifth.
The other thing that has the highest risk would be if he gets voted into the Home Run Derby. If I remember correctly Ortiz was third in fan home run derby voting in the A.L. Which  I think would put him in the derby even though he only has one home run. 
That could be good or bad. That could have Ortiz swing for the fences more which as everyone knows makes guys strikeout. Now the good news about the bad news (If that makes since) is that that would be in the first half of the season. If Big Papi hits a ton of home runs in the derby (which he will) I believe he will start hitting again just in time for the playoff run.
I like Ellsbury batting eight because like I said before it spreads the “wealth” of the lineup. So when whoever is batting it is not going to be a one-two-three inning because Ellsbury’s OBP is .335 and his batting average is .299 like mentioned previously.
So how did the lineup end up doing? Well they scored eight runs and had eleven hits. Pedroia went one for four with a home run and three RBIs. J.D. Drew went one for four with one RBI and two strikeouts along with a sacrifice fly. Youk had a great game as he went two for four with three runs two RBIs. He also had two home runs.
Jason Bay went two for three with one run, RBI, strikeout and he hit his fifteenth home run of the year. He also had two doubles. Mike Lowell went two for five with an RBI and three strikeouts. He did have a double though. But maybe The Red Sox should consider moving him if he has a few more bad games. Big Papi went one for five with a run a double and a strikeout.
Jason Varitek went zero for two with three walks and a run. Jacoby went one for three with a walk. See he could not use his speed with Varitek in front of him. Nick Green (who should start at shortstop till Jed Lowrie gets back) went one for four with a run. Nick had a double but got picked off at first after his walk.
So hopefully this lineup will score more runs. I believe it will. Facing Detroit Tuesday their pitching has to be good but Detroit does not have the best starting pitchers besides Justin Verlander. I am predicting they sweep the Tigers.

Ten Years Changes A Team- Infield And DH

I was playing MLB 2K8 the other day on my Wii. I was the Royals and I was trying to make them a good team. In the game they are the 29th best team. The worst team is the Marlins but that would be to easy to make them good. I went to 2015 and won a World Series with guys like Ryan Zimmerman and Zack Greinke winning the MVP and Cy Young. I played four more seasons till 2019. I actually played one of the games against the Red Sox. Most of the games I just sim. It showed Michael Bowden on the mound for Boston. That got me thanking. What would the Red Sox be like in ten years . . .

I see a very young team that is like the Marlins in some ways. The rotation would be great, young, with the experience needed to go all the way. The lineup would have guys all over who could hit the ball every where. There would be homers around the Pesky Pole, doubles off the monster, and singles that would fall for base hits. Players like Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, and Tim Wakefiled would be a thing of the past. Jeff Bailey, Lars Anderson, and Luis Exposito will be the present.
At first base will be Lars Anderson. Anderson will make his major league debut in 2011. His first three seasons will be from the bench but then when Mike Lowell turns 40 and retires Anderson will get the full time spot at third. Over time his home run totals will go up from ten to twenty to thirty to thirty-five in 2019. Most of Anderson’s home runs will be line drives. Unlike some players who golf when they swing Anderson has a very smooth swing. Anderson will improve his eye and will lead the league in walks sometime around 2017. He will not win Rookie of the Year due to the fact that his first few seasons will be played from the bench. However in 2019 he will be in MVP talks. Anderson will have a pretty good OBP and a decent average around .285 in 2019. Anderson will be a lot like Justin Morneau of the Twins once he gets called up.
At second it is a no brainer. Dustin Pedroia will still be there. He will be 35 but will still be standing strong. Over the next ten years his home run numbers will increase to twenty in 2014. They will stay like that till 2017 when they will start to decrease. Pedroia will steal more stolen bases as he gets older. In 2017 he will start to decline in that stat along with hits, RBI’s, and OBP. Pedroia will still be the same Pedroia and will be a leader on and off the field. While I am highly doubtful there is a chance that he could become captain of the Red Sox once Jason Varitek retires. Pedroia will make numerous all-star teams and will be the starter at most of them till 2017. Pedroia may have already won an MVP but will still improve till 2017 when he will exit his prime and Boston will probably draft a good talented second baseman. One that will have to follow up a Hall of Fame carer.
Shortstop will be Jed Lowrie. Lowrie will never be a power hitter but like Pedroia will get younger legs as he gets older. His carer high for home runs in a season will probably be fifteen but will have an average higher then .300 for his carer along with a high OBP. He will improve his fielding skills and will start to become a leader. Jed will be 35 like Pedroia. He will not though have a Hall of Fame carer like Dusty though. Even though Jed is not the best fielder and could improve his arm he will win around two Golden Gloves sometime around 2013. Lowrie will probably make four all-star games and will start at one. Jed will be a franchise player who will play only for Boston. He will get into the Red Sox Hall of Fame but will not have 3,000 hits or 500 home runs. He will probably have 2,500 hits and 200 home runs for his carer.
At third is Youk. Mike Lowell will retire in 2014 when he turns 40. Youk will move across the diamond and Boston will put Anderson at first. Youk will have a great carer. In 2011 he will win an MVP. By the time he turns 40 (which would be in 2019) Youkilis will have had 475 home runs and 2,500 hits. Youkilis will win around five SIlver Sluggers and eight Golden Gloves, six at first and two at third. Youk has a chance to break Ted Wiliams’ all-time care OBP which is .4817. However by then it could be held by Albert Pujols. Youk also has a chance to break Barry Bond’s single season record for OBP which is .609. Youk gets on base what seems like every time. Youk’s offensive carer will be a lot like Jim Rice’s just better and it will only take him thirteen tries to get into the Hall of Fame.
Catcher is a problem. Jason Varitek will most likely retire after 2010 which is the last year of his contract. Boston could have George Kottaras become the everyday catcher. Luis Exposito is promising but is only in A ball. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was nearly traded to Boston this offseason. I believe all three will get the chance the next few years. I believe Boston will traded for Saltalamacchia this offseason. Kottaras will stay as Tim Wakefield’s catcher till Wakefield retires. Exposito though will be the catcher in 2019.
Luis Exposito will be 32 in 2019. Exposito is pretty balanced but that is not much of a good thing as he does not hit a ton of home runs but will have a higher average. However he could hit twenty-five home runs in his prime. His arm could use some work when trying to throw out base stealers but is  great at blocking pitches. He has a strong arm but could work on his accuracy. From what I know and I do not know much about him he is very popular in the clubhouse and seems to be a fan favorite. He will probably make his debut in 2013 and will start at catcher in 2014. I am not so sure about him but he has five years to prove himself to me. 
Big Papi will retire at the age of 43 which would be in 2019. Big Papi by then will have made seven all-star games and will have won six silver-sluggers. Big Papi will have hit nearly 500 home runs by then and will hit number 500 in 2019. Big Papi will have had 2,500 hits when he retires. Ortiz will continue to be a fan favorite and after Varitek retires he has a chance to become the captain. However I believe Pedroia is more likely to become captain. Papi will retire with 515 home runs which will be good enough for twenty on the all time home run list. Big Papi will be just like “The Hit Dog” just he is going to get into the Hall Of Fame.
After Big Papi retires the job is up in the air. I think Boston will draft a D.H. in the next five years. If he is not ready Jeff Bailey will take over for one season. However I do not think that will be a problem. Whoever does follow Big Papi will have to follow someone who is the greatest D.H. of all time.

Boston Has its ‘Tek Back

Jason Varitek resigned with the Red Sox on a $5 million, one year deal with a club option for 2010 worth $3 million. In 2010 he could also earn an extra $2 million if he gets all of his incentives completed. The deal isn’t official yet though and we all remember what Rafael Furcal did this offseason, but I don’t think Varitek would do that. Varitek turns 37 in April. In twelve major league season, all with the Red Sox he has batted .263, with 161 home runs, 654 RBI’s, 1,156 hits, and 25 stolen bases. He is an excellent fielder with a carer .993 fielding percentage and the 2005 Golden Glove award for catchers. He also works very well with pitchers. He has caught four no-hitters in his carer. In 2008 Varitek had a down year batting .220, with 13 home runs, 43 RBI’s, zero stolen bases, and 93 hits. Varitek did however get voted in to his third all-star game as back up to Twins catcher Joe Mauer. Varitek is also a decent hitter. He won the 2005 Silver Sluggers for catchers. Varitek has won two World Series, 2004 and 2007. His postseason stats consist of a .237 batting average, eleven home runs, 33 RBI’s, 54 hits, and zero stolen bases. Varitek has been the Red Sox captain since the 2004 offseason. This is a fantastic move by the Red Sox. Varitek is the heart of Red Sox Nation in the best of times and the worst of times as William Shakespeare would say. Varitek is a Red Sox legend and soon to be a baseball legend. I mean he is the only player ever to catch four no-hitters! While Varitek wasn’t the best slugger he was awesome. Am I saying Varitek will go into the baseball hall of fame? Maybe, I don’t know. I would probably say no but he would come very close. The next thing on the Red Sox to do list is win the 2009 World Series but a few things could be added before that happens, like sighing or trading for a young catcher or trading some guy who “forces” the Red Sox to trade him. cough *** cough *** Manny Ramirez *** cough *** cough

Captain Jason Varitek   "Tek" by garreyf.
flickr.com

Jason Varitek gives Alex Rodriguez a face full of catcher's mitt, setting off a benches-clearing incident July 24.
boston.com

Jason Varitek
examiner.com

Pettitte Stays in Pinstripes, While Varitek is do This Week

Andy Pettitte, 36, signed a one year, $5.5 million dollar deal with the Yankees. The deal could be worth up to $12 million dollars if he reaches all of his incentives. Contracts with incentives are the best contracts, you can’t overpay or underpay a player who has incentives in the contract. Pettitte was 14-14 last season with a 4.54 ERA. He also had 158 strikeouts in 33 games, 204 innings pitched. Pettitte played nine seasons with the Yankees before joining the Houston Astros from 2004-2006 and then went back to the Yankees after the 2006 season. The Yankees rotation is now set to be C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Chein-Ming Wang, Pettitte, and then Joba Chamberlain. I think Phil Hughes should be the fifth starter and not Joba. Joba went 3-1 this season as a starter. Joba needs to stay in the bullpen so in a few years when Mariano Rivera retires Joba can become the closer, but I am getting off track. In order for Pettitte to come back on to the roster the Yankees designated Chase Wright for assignment. Wright went 10-3 this season at Double-A and Triple-A

Andy Pettitte

The Red Sox have set a Friday deadline for Jason Varitek. The deal would pay him a base salary of $5 million dollars for 2009 and a club option for 2010 worth $5 million dollars. if he doesn’t make his mind up by Friday Boston would likely trade for a younger catcher, maybe Jarrod Saltamacchia (that was a mouthful), of the Texas Rangers or Miguel Montero, of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Varitek will turn 37 in April. Last season he batted .220, with 13 home runs, and 43 RBI’s. He was backup to Joe Mauer of the Twins in the 2008 All-Star Game , his third all-star game, at Yankee Stadium and caught Jon Lester’s no-hitter.  Varitek will probably start this season and will have Josh Bard or a young catcher as his backup this season and in 2010 will mentor a young catcher. It is also possible that Boston wants a young catcher to catch knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. That is unlikely though because Wakefield is close to retirement. I hope Varitek comes back tomorrow! 


Jason Varitek gives Alex Rodriguez a face full of catcher's mitt, setting off a benches-clearing incident July 24.

I love this picture.

Also I just noticed that in past entries “Varitek” is spelt “Varitex.” Sorry.