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.
or worried about this injury. If Dice-K did not get hurt he probably would have won twenty games last year.
Today, Friday the 13th was the first full day of pitchers and catchers camp. It came just in time although it could have been earlier. Today there are two college basketball games, seven hockey games, a golf tournament, four women’s basketball games, and the 2009 Rookie Challenge. Some could argue that today is the loneliest day in the history of sports. It would be the loneliest day in sports if the NBA Rookie Challenge wasn’t today at nine P.M. eastern. I’m getting off track though. I know that all the first few days of pitchers and catchers camp is just conditioning, stretching, and throwing the ball around. The real work doesn’t start until Monday when position players report to camp. The only problem is Kevin Youkillis and Chris Carter will not arrive at camp . . . because they are already there. I think it would be kind of boring to be the only two position players (besides catchers) to be there. Like all of the drills would be mostly related to the pitchers and catchers. I’m sure they have someone else training Youk and Carter though. Everyone seems healthy or better. It looks like Brad Penny and Jon Smoltz or doing great but Mike Lowell might need a little extra time maybe till the end of spring training but he should be able to practice Monday. Josh Beckett is also looking great. When he threw yesterday he seemed like when he had his 2007 form according to reports. Jed Lowrie who got a left wrist sprain and an unknown fracture should also be ready to compete for the starting spot at shortstop. Julio Lugo also will be after recovering from a torn right quad. David Ortiz looks healed and should have a Big Papi type season smacking 40 homers out of the yard. Mark Kotsay looks to be the only Red Sox position player not ready for spring training. He underwent back surgery and looks like he will be ready in May. Another big question for the Red Sox in spring training is will Josh Bard be able to catcher knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield? I think he will. There will be a few rough spots, most of them coming in spring training but I think he will. Sure he stunk last time he tried t catch him but he saw a guy catch a knuckleballer in San Diego with the Padres and that must count for something. Spring Training is where champions are made. Prospects get called up, players meet new teammates, and baseball starts again.
Tom Glavine a low risk high reward player said he felt good after throwing of the mound for the first time since elbow and shoulder surgery in August. Glavine is a local guy according to Julia (Julia your “dream” came true) over at Julia’s Rants. Glavine’s longtime teammate John Smoltz recently signed with the Red Sox. Glavine, a free agent, made thirteen starts last season. He went two and four, with 37 strikeouts, and a ERA 5.54. Tom Glavine is 42 years old. Glavine is a sure first ballot hall of famer he has 305 carer wins, an ERA of 3.54, and has 2,607 strikeouts. Glavine has played twenty-two seasons with the Braves on two different occasions and the New York Mets. He has won twenty games five times. While Glavine is a great player and I am sure he would love to go to the Red Sox, but Boston already has eight starters in Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Dice-K, Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny, Smoltz, Clay Buchholz, and Michael Bowden. Smoltz though could come out of the bullpen and I think Clay could too. As for Bowden he’ll come up from AAA in mid-season. He would probably cost a around the amount of Smoltz and is better. Am I saying that I would rather have Glavine then Smoltz? No, Smoltz will not pitch till June but he can be a starter or come out of the bullpen which I wish every pitcher could. Glavine will should sign with a team with young pitchers, the Rays, Twins, A’s, D-Backs, Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Nationals, Marlins, or maybe even the Padres. he also could resign with the Braves who have signed Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami. The Braves also traded for former Chicago White Sox, Javier Vazquez. Vazquez is listed as the Braves ace on Braves.com don’t get that one. I would put my money on the Brewers or the Braves. The Brewers lost C.C. Sabathia to the Yankees. Ben Sheets, the other Brewers ace is still on the market. One game I would love to see, Red Sox vs. Brewers, Jon Smoltz vs. Tom Glavine, at Fenway Park.
First- Sorry I didn’t blog the past few days, I had a ton of home work.
First- WOW! Today is the slowest day in sports ever. So slow I was going to put this story up around spring training.
Si.com and sikids.com is reporting that the Red Sox tried to trade for Florida Marlins star shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez played two games with the Red Sox in 2005 then got traded to Florida for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. The Marlins wanted Red Sox prospect Clay Buchholz and Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury for Ramirez. The Red Sox first started showing interest in Ramirez after losing Mark Teixeira to the New York Yankees. The Red Sox are happy at shortstop with Jed Lowrie so it is possible that the Red Sox could have used Hanley Ramirez in centerfield, making Ellsbury the forth outfielder that the Red Sox needed, unless Jacoby Ellsbury got traded in that trade. Ellsbury led the A.L. in stolen bases while Ramirez is one of the best young players in the game. The trade didn’t go throw,making Ramirez still a Marlin.