Red Sox manager Terry Francona said today that he wants Jason Varitek to catch two of three games this weekend in New York. He also left open the possibility that Victor Martinez — and not Varitek — will catch Daisuke Matsuzaka tomorrrow.
“It’s a possibility,” Francona said. “We’ll see. We were actually talking about that earlier. We’ll see.”
This would be the second time in a week the Red Sox have taken action to prepare for a postseason in which Varitek would play a minimal role. On Wednesday, Martinez caught Josh Beckett, with whom Varitek shares a very close relationship.
While fighting a neck injury, Varitek is batting .156 with a .238 slugging percentage since the all-star break. The possibility of Martinez catching Matsuzaka seems to be another sign the Red Sox want to lessen Varitek’s playing time in the playoffs in an effort to put their best offensive lineup on the field. Francona lauded Varitek’s actions in the face of his shrinking role.
“There’s a reasont they put that ‘C’ on his chest,” Francona said. “He may be disappointed in a little bit of a reduced role. He still exhibits a lot of leadership. He’s helped Victor.”