More changes to the Red Sox roster as 1B-catcher Ryan Lavarnway was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamate fracture today. He left Thursday night’s game in the bottom of the fifth inning with a sore left wrist.
To fill Lavarnway’s spot outfielder/first baseman Alex Hassan — raised in Milton and BC High graduate — was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. Hassan will wear No. 68 — last worn by Jose Iglesias — and will be active for tonight’s game against the Rays.
“Being from the Northeast you always just felt like a longshot just because you were developmentally a little behind as far as game reps than some other guys were around the country and from other climates,” Hassan said at Fenway Park before Friday’s night’s game. “So I guess I always felt like an underdog, I’d overcome just being a little bit… just not playing as many games as some other guys, so yeah, that’s a huge part of who I am, just kind of persevering and trying to find a way.”
Hassan got a chuckle from the assembled media in the Sox clubhouse when he said some of his favorite players to watch growing up were Mike Greenwell, Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, Troy O’Leary …and “Jose Offerman was one of my favorites, and he was actually in winter ball, he was part of our front office, so I got to meet him, which was cool.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell spoke about the reasons for calling up Hassan.
“With the injury to Ryan Lavarnway we needed another righthanded bat,” Farrell said. “The versatility is similar to Ryan’s, in addition to playing first base, he can go to the outfield. He’s moved around to two corner outfield spots, as well as 7-8 games at first base. It’s an opportunity for him to come and make his major league debut.”
For Hassan, 26, this marks his first career major league stint. In 45 games with the PawSox Pawtucket this season, Hassan has struggled, batting .217 with 10 doubles, one home run, and 19 RBIs. Born in Quincy, raised in Milton, and a four-year letter winner at Boston College High School, Hassan was signed by the Red Sox as a 20th-round selection in the 2009 June draft.
“It’s not like this was part of my dream, this was literally my dream,” Hassan said. “It’s hard to put into words at this point, but I’m really excited to be here. I can’t really put it into words right now.”
Lavarnway, 26, was recalled by the Red Sox for his first major league stint of the year on Monday. He made his first career major league start at first base before exiting the game Thursday night. Lavarnway was batting .265 with seven doubles, two home runs, and 11 RBIs in 44 games for the PawSox this year. Farrell said he did not think Larvarnway’s injury would be season-ending.