Saltalamacchia hopeful of All-Star bid

Saltalamacchia hopeful of All-Star bid

Saltalamacchia hopeful of All-Star bid
SEATTLE -- Aside from David Ortiz, who appears a near lock to make the All-Star team, the other Red Sox player who seems to be drawing the most consideration is catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

While Ortiz is a perennial All-Star, this would be a first for Saltalamacchia, who has blossomed this season.

"I think it would be a great accomplishment seeing where I was at two or three years ago and being where I'm at now -- it's something I would definitely love to do," Saltalamacchia said. "I'm hopeful it would happen, but if not, we have a bigger picture of things and continuing to try to win and make it to the playoffs."

Manager Bobby Valentine has been a big backer of Saltalamacchia's since he was hired last November.

"He's played like an All-Star, so he could get the recognition from the fans, front office of the league, or whoever it is that selects them. He's been playing great," Valentine said.

Saltalamacchia is hitting .254 with 14 homers and 35 RBIs. His 14 homers are tops in the Majors among catchers. He leads American League backstops with 27 extra-base hits and slugging percentage (.539).

What has allowed him to take his game to the next level?

"I think it's the atmosphere, the trust and the belief that the organization and my teammates have in me," said Saltalamacchia. "Obviously [catching instructor Gary] Tuck and [former Red Sox captain Jason Varitek] were a big part of that last year with me and developing me and getting me in the right frame of mind and the right basics down. I kind of let myself just do the rest and continue to believe and play hard."