Ryan Lavarnway found out soon after Triple A Pawtucket completed a rain-delayed, 4-2 win over Scranton around midnight Tuesday that he would be joining the Red Sox for the first time since 2011.
Daniel Nava was placed on the disabled list with an injured wrist, and Lavarnway, with the PawSox all season despite a .295 batting average with 43 RBIs and a .815 OPS in 83 games, soon found himself at Fenway.
“It’s great to be back,” Lavarnway said. “Doesn’t matter what the situation.”
His time in Boston might be brief. Lavarnway will provide a righthanded bat with Mike Aviles still nursing his turf toe and an extra backstop with Kelly Shoppach healing from a bruised shin.
“He said we’ll figure out what the plan is tomorrow,” Lavarnway said of manager Bobby Valentine. “I don’t have much, I don’t know anything more than you do at this point.”
Though Lavarnway, who hit .231 with two homers and eight RBIs in 17 games with Boston last season, has caught on a regular basis for the first time this year, his body feels the best it ever has this late in the season, thanks in large part to a managed diet and increased flexibility work.
“I’ve got to tell you, it’s a lot different than DHing half the time,” Lavarnway said. “It’s more of a physical grind, and I think I’ve already caught 20 more games than I’ve ever caught in a year. but I’ve got a great postgame routine, I’m staying in shape a lot better this year, working on my flexibility, and my body feels great.”
Lavarnway arrived in the Sox clubhouse just ahead of newly acquired reliever Craig Breslow, who was acquired from Arizona at the deadline for Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik.
Breslow and Lavarnway are both Yale products. Breslow graduated in 2002, and Lavarnway left after his junior year in 2007.
“I heard we got him, shot him a text message,” Lavarnway said. “I can’t wait to see him, because he’s always been good to me. It’ll be great working with him.”
As for the brainy archetype associated with the Ivy League school?
“I’ve never claimed to be the smartest guy in any room,” Lavarnway said, “but it might be the first time that people don’t give me credit for it.”