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As catchers struggle, Lavarnway presents a viable option for Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  April 12, 2012 09:25 AM

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach are 2 for 20 with one extra base hit, one run scored, no RBIs and nine strikeouts.

(Jason Varitek must be somewhere thinking, "You're telling me I couldn't have done at least a little better?")

Shoppach was 0 for 3 on Wednesday and missed getting a bunt down in the third inning that could have cost the Sox a run against Toronto. He also was charged with a passed ball.

It's too early to make any judgments. But with Ryan Lavarnway in Triple-A Pawtucket, there is a viable option if the Sox want to make any changes. Valentine really liked what he saw of Lavarnway during spring training.

Lavarnway is 4 for 20 with the PawSox after going 2 for 4 with a double last night. He has not swung the bat particularly well yet, but he has struck out only twice.

Lavarnway is still developing his defensive skills. But from what we saw in spring training, the gap has closed considerably. If he starts mashing in Pawtucket and the situation doesn't get much better in Boston, the Sox will have some decisions to make.

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