Three catchers on roster creates challenge

Three catchers on roster creates challenge

Three catchers on roster creates challenge
BOSTON -- With three catchers on the roster, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine's biggest challenge is how to best divide playing time.

Since the Red Sox recalled Ryan Lavarnway from Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday, Valentine has rotated catchers with Kelly Shoppach getting two starts against one each for Lavarnway and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

It's a new dynamic for Valentine and one he's not 100 percent comfortable with.

"I don't know how permanent the three-catcher situation is going to be. It's nothing I've ever been comfortable with or tried to do, I don't think," Valentine said before Saturday's game against the Twins. "But if they're here the whole time I will get them work behind the plate."

When asked why the Red Sox chose Lavarnway to fill the roster spot opened when outfielder Daniel Nava went on the disabled list instead of Pawtucket's Mauro Gomez, Valentine backtracked.

"These three catchers I'm not uncomfortable with. Just the concept of three catchers is something that I haven't had on rosters before," the manager said. "[Gomez] was probably an option. Lavarnway has caught an awful lot also and we feel that if he's just used as a hitter, it's not so bad."

Lavarnway caught Jon Lester Thursday and went 0-for-3 with a walk, though Lester had one of his best starts of the year. Boston's No. 3 overall prospect was 1-for-5 with a double Friday as the designated hitter.

Shoppach got the nod on Saturday for the second straight day, partly because Saltalamacchia was dealing with food poisoning on Friday. But Saltalamacchia started at DH on Saturday and appears to be healthy.

"He said he felt really good when he woke up this morning, came here, lifted some weights and has got it out of his system," Valentine said.

The Red Sox likely won't carry three catchers once David Ortiz returns from the DL some time next week, but for now it's another daily decision for Valentine.