At 27, is Saltalamacchia a player the Sox can build around or a placeholder until Lavarnway is deemed ready?
“This is really my second full year of playing,” Saltalamacchia said. “I feel like I’m going to get better. I think I can hit for a better average, especially in RBI situations.
“With everything that has gone on, I’ve been more worried about the pitching and catching aspect of it than the hitting. I really had to focus on the catching.”
Globe | His game? It varies
Peter Abraham does a good job chronicling the pluses and minuses of Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
I have a tendency to be negative about him, mostly because I prefer players who can keep an OBP north of .300. And I'd rather not watch someone strike out three times per night.
But he does have power, he does have work ethic, and he does seem to be durable. Meanwhile, his performance behind the plate seems a little lackluster (Valentine calls it "fine" in the article), but Abraham notes he's had to deal with 25 different pitchers this year, plus multiple pitching coaches.
In short, I really don't know what to do about Salty. I don't think he's a cornerstone piece by any means, but I suppose it's fair to say that he represents a good value. What I would be interested in, were I Ben Cherington, is what his value is elsewhere. Would some other team be interested in overpaying for him (whatever he deems is "overpaying")?
Because I do think Ryan Lavarnway will be a better pro. He might not be next year...but we're also probably not doing too much next year. Is it the end of the world if we suffer through an underperforming year while he learns the ropes?
These will be tough questions for Cherington to answer. But I think they're important, because Salty represents one of the few guys who's even played decently this year, and who might entice another team, should Cherington choose to go in that direction.
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