Jarrod Saltalamacchia is in no danger of being removed from the Red Sox roster this season, but, for future years, his place on the squad is much less clear.
The 28-year-old catcher belted 25 home runs in 121 games last year and although he has only knocked out 8 in 73 games in 2013 thus far, his numbers in other areas are improving. After batting a pedestrian .222 in 2012, Saltalamacchia has upped his average to .269, and he's driven in 37 runs in just over half the number of games it took him to produce 59 RBIs last season.
Still, he may be secure now, but has he been good enough to solidify his place long-term?
The Baseball Show trio had something to say on this subject.
Lou Merloni suggested that Saltalamacchia's offensive production is something that is helping his case.
"Listen, Salty gives you, regardless of his inconsistencies and the fact that he's up-and-down all year long, offensively, above-average production," Merloni said. "If you hit .240 and you hit your 15 home runs and drive in 53 RBIs, that's average and Salty does more than that."
Despite this, the catcher does have his obvious flaws.
"Is he doing a better job with this rotation, yes he is," Merloni said. "Team ERA is still 4.2, 4.3 with, but with David Ross it was like a 3.00. So, you have to evaluate him defensively as a catcher, not just the offensive production."
And the Sox have a prospect down in the minors who could be gunning to take over for the 28-year-old.
"The Sox really like the kid Vazquez down in the minor leagues," Merloni said. "I've actually heard some people kind of compare him as far as the catch and throw things, and it might sound a little ridiculous but, to Pudge Rodriguez. He's that special of a catch and throw guy."
The Boston Herald's Steve Buckley concurred on this point, stating that this young guy is garnering quite the reputation.
"He's more traditional, he's short, he's 5'9"-5'10", and all I can say is the small sample size I've seen out of him I like," Buckley said. "The larger sample size from a lot of other people have seen about him, they rave about him."
So, will Saltalamacchia be with the Sox long-term? Take a look at the video above and see all of what the Baseball Show crew had to say.