Lavarnway back up with the Red Sox

Lavarnway back up with the Red Sox
August 1, 2012, 10:53 pm
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BOSTON -- It was probably a bit longer than anybody might have expected, but 24-year-old Ryan Lavarnway is back in a Boston big league clubhouse.
The young catcher impressed Sox officials last season when he hit .231 with a pair of home runs and 8 RBIs in 17 games in Boston at the tail end of last season.
But Lavarnway had spent the entirety of this year at Triple-A Pawtucket paying his dues while waiting for another chance.
That all changed on Wednesday as the Sox sent outfielder Daniel Nava to the 15-day disabled list with a pair of sore wrists, and brought up Lavarnway to add a little more right-handed pop to the bench.
Lavarnway also gives the Sox another able-bodied catcher as Kelly Shoppach deals with a nagging shin injury caused by a couple of poorly placed foul balls off his in-step.
Both of his wrists have been bothering Nava a little, so were going to make sure he gets fully healed on the disabled list, said Bobby Valentine. Since Mike Aviles is still dealing with that turf toe and Kelly has the shin issue, Lavarnway is here for right-handed protection well need later in the game.
One thing Lavarnway wont be: the smartest guy in his clubhouse for the first time in his pro baseball career. Thats because the Red Sox also traded for fellow Yale graduate and molecular biophysicist enthusiast Craig Breslow during the July 31 trade deadline. Breslow was yet to arrive 90 minutes before game time due to inclement weather in Boston, and there was some question whether hed be ready for game time.
Ive never claimed to be the smartest guy in any room, but this might be the first time people dont give me credit for it, quipped Lavarnway.
Lavarnway slugged .295.376.439 in 367 at bats with the PawSox this season while serving as their every day catcher, and continued to add to his resume as one of Bostons best young prospects.
Strapping on the catching gear every day was something a little different for a player that had routinely switched off between designated hitter and catcher during his career.
But Lavarnway said he was enjoying the challenge, and his defense has vastly improved over the last couple of years.
Its great to be back. It doesnt matter what the situation is, said Lavarnway. Its been my first opportunity to catch on an everyday basis and Ive got to tell you its a lot different than DH-ing all the time.
Its more of a physical grind. I think Ive already caught 20 more games than I did all of last year, but Ive got a great postgame routine and my conditioning is as good as its ever been.
He knew he was headed for Boston after finishing a rain-delayed game around midnight on Tuesday night, and was clearly happy to be back. But Lavarnway also hadnt allowed frustration to creep into his mind while lodged behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Shoppach on the organization depth chart this season.
If you focus on the day-to-day routine then its easier, but if you get away from that then its a little tougher, said Lavarnway.
Did Lavarnway ever get ahead of himself in Pawtucket?
You try to focus as best you can, said a smiling Lavarnway.
Good answer, smart kid.