Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Federowicz? trade?-What’s your solution?

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    Gordon Edes:ominou...

    By Gordon Edes/ESPN

    “… the issue that is bubbling just under the surface -- and the cracks won't contain the lava much longer -- revolves around catcher Jarod Saltalamacchia

    The season is just 16 games old, and there are ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for the 25-year-old catcher, whose throwing problems are growing increasingly impossible to ignore.

    Saltalamacchia …missed a connection on a throw back to the mound, the ball skidding well to Lackey's right. No harm, no foul, except it brought back memories of last year's struggles with the yips, and underscored why the catcher lobs all of his throws back to the hill.”

    Weei:

    NESN and MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons joined the Mut & Merloni Show on Wednesday to discuss some areas of ongoing early-season concern for the Red Sox. In particular, he suggested that the defensive struggles of Jarrod Saltalamacchia may force the Sox to explore alternatives, given that at 39 years old, Jason Varitek is ill-suited to be an everyday catcher. 

    "You just can’t have this on a championship team, especially when a big part of that championship team is built around power pitchers who are in a couple of cases struggling for their identity," said Gammons. "I would be shocked now if Varitek doesn’t catch [Josh] Beckett all the time now. Clearly, they’ve made the decision that he’s going to catch [Daisuke] Matsuzaka, whose earned run average is massively different with Varitek catching. But I don’t think they can afford to let Jason go out and try to catch 120, 130 games. ... This is an issue that in the next two weeks is going to be addressed, and I don’t know which direction it’s going."

    Gammons said that there are few viable alternatives on the trade market.

    "If there was somebody available right now, somebody a lot better than Pudge Rodriguez, who I think would have problems with this staff, but if there was somebody available who they thought was really good defensively, I think they would immediately jump and do something. I don’t see that catcher," said Gammons. “I’ve gone through lists everywhere trying to figure out who could possibly be available. I just don’t see anybody good. There are guys out there who are OK backups. But you also have the problem of, you’ve got Joe Mauer hurt, which means that Minnesota can’t afford to trade a catcher. Somebody mentioned to me Ryan Hanigan, the kid from Andover for the Reds, just about the best backup in baseball. Good player. But [Reds starter Ramon] Hernandez is 36, 37 years old. They’re not going to trade him. I just don’t know where [the Sox] go."

      
    By Peter Abraham, Globe Staff

    OAKLAND — Jarrod Saltalamacchia started seven of the first eight games this season. Today will mark the fifth time in the last nine games that Jason Varitek will start.

    The Sox aren't giving up on him. But clearly they're edging away from him. His throwing has been erratic, he is hitting .194/.256/.222 and the pitchers have a 7.14 ERA when he is behind the plate. That is more their fault than his and we're looking at a small sample size. But when Varitek has a 2.40 ERA, it makes you wonder.

    There are two things that can happen here:

    • Saltalamacchia gets better and the Sox move forward with him.

    • The Sox give up their organizational man-crush on him and get another catcher.

    But who? At 39, Varitek may not be suited to catching every day. And he's hitting .063/167/.063. Luis Exposito and Mike McKenry are spitting the catching at Pawtucket. Neither one is hitting and McKenry is new to the organization.

    The Portland catchers are Ryan Lavarnway and Tim Federowicz. Lavarnway is not advanced enough defensively. Federowicz is and he has been hitting well so far. But that would be asking a lot, to jump him to the majors.

    What about a trade? The Sox have surplus in Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro (or Jed Lowrie) on the major league roster. Lars Anderson and Josh Reddick are in AAA, blocked from advancing. There are also some prospects (Oscar Tejeda, for instance) who could sweeten a deal.

    One alternative would be luring Bengie Molina out of retirement. But he's not going to sign unless there's a clearly defined role and playing time.

    Most teams do not entertain trades until after the draft. But as the Sox struggle to get to .500, their catching is a concern. If it doesn't improve, something has to give.

    SoxProspects.com:

    Tim Federowicz

    Portland Sea Dogs | Catcher

    Scouting Report: Well-built catcher's frame with a strong core. Line drive hitter with decent power potential. Makes good contact, mediocre plate discipline. Good pitch recognition skills. Behind the plate, Federowicz presently is above-average defensively, and has the tools to develop into a very good major league defensive catcher. Extremely strong and accurate arm with a quick release. Outstanding at throwing runners out. Quick instincts. Calls a good game and handles the pitching staff well. Working on refining his blocking skills. Average speed (good speed for a catcher).

    What's your solution

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from chuchos. Show chuchos's posts

    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    Is this an injury issue?  I just can't understand how a ball player can't throw a baseball.
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    You know what was weird . . . They didn't even mention it on the broadcast last night. Orsillo and Remy were talking when he threw that ball all weirdo like, and they didn't say anything. I thought that maybe I'd seen it wrong or something. Lackey looked annoyed.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    I can think of at least 3 times so far this season where he's done it.  Hopefully he'll settle down once his bat gets going.  This wasn't an issue in spring training when he was hitting well.
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    In Response to Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia:
    [QUOTE]Is this an injury issue?  I just can't understand how a ball player can't throw a baseball.
    Posted by chuchos[/QUOTE]It is weird how guys get mental blocks on things. Does anybody not remember Chuck Knoblach the 2B on the NYY dynasty teams of the 90's that woke up one day and could not make the throw from 2B to 1B?

    Eventually the NYY had to move him to LF, where he threw fine for a converted 2B, until his cotract and MLB career expired.

    Golfers call it the yips and once it sets in, it can get ugly. 
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    In Response to Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia : It is weird how guys get mental blocks on things. Does anybody not remember Chuck Knoblach the 2B on the NYY dynasty teams of the 90's that woke up one day and could not make the throw from 2B to 1B? Eventually the NYY had to move him to LF, where he threw fine for a converted 2B, until his cotract and MLB career expired. Golfers call it the yips and once it sets in, it can get ugly. 
    Posted by fivekatz[/QUOTE]

    Steve Sax had it too.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    Send him to the minors.

    He is obviously not ready for prime time.

    Years ago the Blue Jays brought Roy Halladay up way too soon and he had to go all the way back to A ball. They fixed him and became a star.

    Get a veteran catcher to share duties with Varitek until this guy is ready for the majors.

    Is Doug Mirabelli still available?
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ronho. Show ronho's posts

    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    Dale Murphy, two tiem NL MVP was a promising catcher who couldn't throw the ball back to the pitcher--did an excellent job as an outfielder!
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    The bottom lin eis that this guy is NOT, I repeat, he is NOT a Major League Catcher! why isn't this obvious by now?????
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from -EdithBunker-. Show -EdithBunker-'s posts

    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    Weei:Kruk on M&M: Sox pitchers don't trust Salty

    ESPN baseball analyst John Kruk, in his weekly interview on the Mut & Merloni Show, suggested that the Red Sox' three-game winning streak against the Blue Jays gave up glimpse of what he expected from the club. Even so, Kruk acknowledged that he does have some questions about the club, including the team's catching situation.

    Through the first 15 games of the season, Red Sox pitchers have a 2.40 ERA with Jason Varitek behind the plate and a 7.29 mark with Jarrod Saltalamacchia calling signals. Kruk suggested that he doesn't think the disparity is a coincidence.

    "[Josh] Beckett and Daisuke [Matsuzaka], their best starts of the year just happened to be with Varitek behind the plate? I don’t think so," said Kruk. "First of all, the thing with Jarrod Saltalamacchia is this. He’s never established himself as an everyday catcher. All we heard about when he was in Atlanta was, ‘Oh, this guy is going to be the second coming of Johnny Bench – switch-hitter with power to both sides, he can call a game, he can throw.’ He’s never proven it. You wonder why a guy who was supposed to be this great has been with his third organization already at such a young age. There has to be something there where two other organizations felt this guy isn’t an everyday catcher, we can get by with someone else.

    "To me, the thing that Varitek does back there with that pitching staff, they trust him. They know that when he puts a finger down, there’s a reason why he wants that pitch and they throw it," Kruk added. "Saltalmacchia puts a finger down and they’re like, ‘Uh-oh, why does he want this?’ There’s questions. Everything is questioned with a catcher you don’t trust. You don’t have full faith in him because you haven’t spent a lot of time with him. Can he develop into that? I don’t know."

    At the same time, Kruk said that manager Terry Francona has a difficult decision about how to manage his catching situation, given that Varitek (at age 39) is at a stage of his career where his playing time needs to be limited.

    Kruk also expressed surprise that Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez appeared to be trying to pull the ball during the series against the Jays, rather than using his natural swing to drive the ball the other way. Even so, Kruk expected that Gonzalez would make an adjustment to achieve his typical results.

    Carl Crawford was another matter.

    "The thing with Carl Crawford is, more than mechanical now, it’s mental. You saw the game [Monday]. They kept the camera on his face after every swing and every out, back in the dugout," said Kruk. "I’ve had that look often. It’s that look of, ‘Did I ever play this game before, and if I did, was I any good?’ Because right now, he thinks he’s the worst baseball player in the world. He’s close to being right. [Sox hitting coach] Dave Magadan has to get in his head mentally, because right now, he doesn’t think he can play baseball."

    Kruk also discussed the emergence of Jed Lowrie, Daisuke Matsuzaka's performance on Monday (which Kruk attributed to "terrible game-planning" by the Blue Jays) and more.

     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    SoxProspects.com:
    Tim FederowiczPortland Sea Dogs  |  Catcher
    Scouting Report: Well-built catcher's frame with a strong core. Line drive hitter with decent power potential. Makes good contact, mediocre plate discipline. Good pitch recognition skills. Behind the plate, Federowicz presently is above-average defensively, and has the tools to develop into a very good major league defensive catcher. Extremely strong and accurate arm with a quick release. Outstanding at throwing runners out. Quick instincts. Calls a good game and handles the pitching staff well. Working on refining his blocking skills. Average speed (good speed for a catcher).
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for Saltalamacchia

    Blood in the water. When the second best offensive catcher in the game got heat for not being Jason Varitek, how the RS thought Salty was going to escape this unless everything went right is beyond me. And no matter how much I am rooting for the kid, I must admit things aren't going right.

    And far from going right just for Salty, the RS have their prize FA signing not hit his contract (147) and the starters and the bullpen taking turns on who is going to be crummy tonight.

    Blood in the water and no backup plan....except see how fast we can wear Tek down to the bone.
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons/Abraham thoughts-Federo...

    fivekatz: Would you bring up Tim Federowicz from Portland or try to make a trade?

     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons/Abraham thoughts-Federo...

    In Response to Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons/Abraham thoughts-Federowicz? trade?-What’s your solution?:
    [QUOTE]fivekatz: Would you bring up Tim Federowicz from Portland or try to make a trade?
    Posted by -EdithBunker-[/QUOTE]Bringing any kid into this situation is almost cruel. Benji Molina if he was willing to catch 60% of the games is an interesting option. Veteran guy who knows the hitters in the league, carries enough cache to command the respect of the staff and keep the media some what quiet about catcher's being the ones that hang breaking balls, a clear step up defensively (not game calling) from either of our current guys.

    It is a tough move because it means the RS will have thrown their hands up on Salty for the season and that has the potential to devastate the kid's career

    BUT while the RS are not staring into the abyss yet, they can see it from here and they need to change the momentum some how. And i just don't see that they have that change maker in the system or that a typical trade is going to do it either. Molina is the most compelling guy but who long does it take for him to be MLB ready and will there be a season left to save?

    Betting the season on Salty and Tek was a very risky move for Epstein and it just hasn't panned out because while he thought that the players he had surround them with would mask it, the players early struggles have put a spotlight on it.  
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from BaseballGM. Show BaseballGM's posts

    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    The solution wasn't Walmart shopping and Friday the 13th, Part XXXXX Varitek. Vmart should have been signed, he wanted to stay. After that, they should have gone out and signed the best defensive catcher veteran with a weak bat they could find via trade or FA. They then should have had them on a winter program communicating with and spending hand holding time with the pitchers they would primarily catch on a 3/2 type of basis, DH'ing against most starting LHP, playing the few games that AGon sits out. VMart would catch about 100 games, all of Buch's starts, DH about 20 to 30 games, play 5 or 10 games at 1st.

    The good news is that this issue is not why this team is struggling out of the gate. It's pitching well when it isn't hitting a dime, or hitting well when it isn't pitching a dime. That will even out over 162 games if Lester, Beckett and Buch perform like they are most likely to perform. Beckett was a question, but his early signs are that he's dedicated and ready to put up a good year. Buch has all the pitches and almost surely will be able to pitch at a #3 level. Lackey and DiceK are bottom rotation guys who simply need to be able to keep the team in 2 or 3 out of 5 starts.

    Edes is bereft of meaningful topics.
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons/Abraham thoughts-Federo...

    In Response to Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons/Abraham thoughts-Federowicz? trade?-What’s your solution?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons/Abraham thoughts-Federowicz? trade?-What’s your solution? : Bringing any kid into this situation is almost cruel. Benji Molina if he was willing to catch 60% of the games is an interesting option. Veteran guy who knows the hitters in the league, carries enough cache to command the respect of the staff and keep the media some what quiet about catcher's being the ones that hang breaking balls, a clear step up defensively (not game calling) from either of our current guys.
    Posted by fivekatz[/QUOTE]

    Forget about it being cruel for just a minute, we're talking about a guy who has played all of 9 games above A ball.  No, he is not the answer this year.

    If Bengie was willing to come over here, I think he could be a good solution.  Salty needs to be given more time, but Bengie also needs time to get ready.  If Salty's struggles continue, it will be interesting to see how long the Sox wait to pick up the phone.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    In Response to Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Federowicz? trade?-What’s your solution?:
    [QUOTE]The solution wasn't Walmart shopping and Friday the 13th, Part XXXXX Varitek. Vmart should have been signed, he wanted to stay. After that, they should have gone out and signed the best defensive catcher veteran with a weak bat they could find via trade or FA. They then should have had them on a winter program communicating with and spending hand holding time with the pitchers they would primarily catch on a 3/2 type of basis, DH'ing against most starting LHP, playing the few games that AGon sits out. VMart would catch about 100 games, all of Buch's starts, DH about 20 to 30 games, play 5 or 10 games at 1st. The good news is that this issue is not why this team is struggling out of the gate. It's pitching well when it isn't hitting a dime, or hitting well when it isn't pitching a dime. That will even out over 162 games if Lester, Beckett and Buch perform like they are most likely to perform. Beckett was a question, but his early signs are that he's dedicated and ready to put up a good year. Buch has all the pitches and almost surely will be able to pitch at a #3 level. Lackey and DiceK are bottom rotation guys who simply need to be able to keep the team in 2 or 3 out of 5 starts. Edes is bereft of meaningful topics.
    Posted by BaseballGM[/QUOTE]Much of what you say is true the RS issues far from begin and end with the young catcher.

    But there is an under lying factor here which is whether it is Salty or not, the RS are getting closer and closer to having to make bold changes for change sake alone and frankly Salty is playing worse and worse as time goes on. Right or wrong I think there is a train moving down the tracks at this point and Salty is playing like he thinks so too. 

    He isn't helped by the fact that when Tek is catching for the most part the pitchers are throwing the ball better, be it an anomoly or not. The ghost of Jason Varitek casts an awful big shadow in this town but that could be a topic in itself and one which I think you have expressed yourself on in the past in great detail.

    You rightfully point out the RS should have gone a different route with the catchers and I am a big fan of Victor's yet I think the RS were not willing to bust the luxury cap ceiling big time to land him, do the other things they did and forgo the picks that Martinez netted too.

    I am not sure who that unamed veteran catcher you suggest would have been but I am curious to see who you think they missed out on. IMO they would have stacked their deck with that player if they could have found him, just like they would have with Russell Martin if the NYY hadn't made him a more attractive offer.

    Just my take
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    Crawford was a value mistake, long term, and totally unnecessary on the 2011 team. VMart's price was not that high, given the kind of hitter he is and the fact he can split time at catcher.

    Your points are good, but VMart wouldn't have "busted the CBT lever" if the cards were played differently.

    Salty is easily replaceable with something not quite as bad, so it's not a big issue at all. Too early to pull the plug on a poorly conceived plan from Theo.
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    Whatever they do, Varitek isn't the starting catcher. He is just an awful hitter. And don't present the argument that he's great with the pitching staff.

    So far, he has cost this team a run or two today by not putting the ball in play to the outfield or getting a hit.
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    also gloseed over is that the Don and Jerry yuk show missed it...boy are they terrible. I don't think that Jerry has said one interesting thing yet this year that made me give it thought. Even Kruk, has more insight on the Sox than Jerry, who is there every day 
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    In Response to Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Federowicz? trade?-What’s your solution?:
    [QUOTE]Here's a thought - start Lowrie at SS and send MacDonald back to AAA.  He doesn't server a purpose on this team and Scutaro can play the outfield coming off the bench if necessary. Bring up Federowicz or Exposito as a 3rd catcher to take some of the pressure off Salty and let them split playing time by thirds.  Both have strong arms and can come into the game at a crucial point to help neutralize a running game as well.
    Posted by slomag[/QUOTE]
    So a 3rd catcher has more value than a 2nd RHH OF?  Scutaro doesn't have the arm for OF after his rotator cuff injury.  He barely has the arm for SS at this point.
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    Boston Red Sox Shop:
    "Top catching prospects Tim Federowicz, Ryan Lavarnway refining different skills

    If the Red Sox somehow could combine Tim Federowicz and Ryan Lavarnway, they’d have themselves an awfully impressive catcher.

    Federowicz has long been the best defensive catcher in the Red Sox system, a catch-and-throw specialist who has a well-developed sense of how to call games. Lavarnway might have the most advanced bat of any hitter — at any position — in the Red Sox system, and his ability to hit for power is unrivaled in the system now that Anthony Rizzo has been traded away.

    But the Red Sox don’t get to combine Federowicz and Lavarnway. All they can do is hope the two catchers, who likely will start the season splitting time at Double-A Portland, will push each other to get better. That work began at Single-A Salem last year, and it continued last week at the Red Sox rookie development program.

    “Me and Ryan have always been great friends,” Federowicz said. “It’s good that he’s starting to do a little bit better these days. He’s definitely improved his catching. He’s good competition, and it’s great to have competition because it makes you play your best. I feel it’s going to be good for both of us to be competing at the same position.”

    Said Lavarnway, “Being around Tim Federowicz and (Luis) Exposito has benefited me. Tim, especially, is a very good catcher, very talented defensively. Being around him every day helped me raise my bar. It gave me a sense of urgency. When you have guys fighting for that same big-league spot on the same team as you every single day and you’re doing your drills with them, you want to do them a little bit better.”

    After a season in which he hit 22 home runs and slugged a .489 in a season split between Salem and Double-A Portland, Lavarnway emerged as the top catching prospect the Red Sox have in their system. His power and his approach at the plate — he drew 70 walks in fewer than 550 plate appearances — turned last season into a breakthrough season.

    All he has to do now is refine what he can do behind the plate. He caught in Little League, but he played in the outfield in high school and in his first two seasons at Yale. It was only three years ago that he switched back to catching full-time, and he’s still catching up.

    “He’s made himself into what we’ve seen today, so we feel like he’s going to continue to make himself into an even better defensive player,” Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen said. “The blocking, receiving — the technical aspects of catching certainly still need to improve, as they do with any minor-league player. As he gets into the upper levels, the game-calling, handling the pitching staff, when he gets into big-league camp, when he goes over and catches some of those big-league guys, that’s going to be a big shift for him. He’s a really smart kid, so he’ll be able to absorb all those things.”

    Said Lavarnway, “My swing has always come really naturally to me, my swing is what I really focused on with my father growing up. Defensively, I didn’t really realize how far I had to come. Realizing that, seeing these guys in the major leagues, and these other catchers in the minors, made me realize how far I had go.”

    Federowicz has had to deal with the opposite problem. He stalled in Salem a year ago, missing out on the promotion that went to Lavarnway because he struggled so much with the bat. He hit .240 with a .305 on-base percentage in April, and he finished the season with a .253 batting average and a .324 on-base percentage. He hit 34 doubles, but he hit just four home runs.

    “We didn’t necessarily see the consistency of approach day to day,” Hazen said. “We need to see him up the middle a little bit more. He gets a little bit pull-conscious at times. That’s something we’ve worked on with him from an offensive standpoint.”

    But Federowicz has been reluctant to dwell on his offensive numbers this offseason. He has preferred instead to invest the bulk of his energy into his work behind the plate and with his pitchers.

    “I need to make sure I focus 100 percent on the pitcher and making sure that I get him through as many innings as he can physically get through,” he said. “That’s a big part of my game, and that’s what I strive on, being able to get those pitchers through and keeping them from letting up runs and all of the above. That’s what I really need to focus on.”

     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    The two of them are a grim 8 of 56 at the plate.

    Here are two words for you: Ramon Hernandez, the Reds backup. Ben Badler of Baseball America Tweeted that the Red Sox should look into him and I think there's some validity to that idea.

     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    So the knock on Federowica is that he is not a big offensive threat.  Yet the Sox have two catchers who combined are hitting below .150.  Could Federowicz be any worse?

    That said, I think Molina is the answer, if he can be coaxed out of retirement.
     
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    Re: Gordon Edes:ominous signs that a worst-case scenario is developing for SaltalamacchiaAlso Gammons's/Abraham's thoughts-Fe...

    Edith,

    what would it take to get Hernandez from the Reds; that is the question.  If Molina can be had for nothing more than a contract and playing time guarantees, I would prefer that solution.  Then I would bring Federowicz up from Portland and ship Salty down to learn to play 1B and spend some time DHing and getting his swing in order.  He could still be a useful DH/1B option for 2012 if he can get his offense in order.
     
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