FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox currently have five catchers on their 40-man roster, and that doesnt even include Mike Napoli, who joined the team as a free agent to play first base, but who has spent that vast majority of his big league career behind the plate.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is not worried about the crowd, which also includes David Ross, Ryan Lavarnway, Dan Butler, and Christian Vazquez. And, hes looking forward to working with Ross, who is entering his 12th big league season.
Its a huge help any time you get an older guy around to help you out, to be with you, Saltalamacchia said. The guys has been through so much. Hes not an ego guy. Hes a real nice, bright person. To be able to work with him, Im excited. Im trying to get to know. Keep my mouth shut and learn as much as I can. Its still a learning process regardless, no matter what year youre in. Just like hes going to talk to me about some of these pitchers hes never caught. Its a good atmosphere you can have when you have two guys like that who can help each other out.
Its one thing I wish I had when I was younger coming up. I wish I had a veteran guy around to help me out. Because when you got two younger guys youre trying to compete all the time and it becomes a competition rather than trying to actually help each other out and get better. So its always a great situation.
Saltalamacchia will also have his third manager in as many seasons. Saltalamacchia joined the Sox at the trading deadline in 2010, Farrells fourth and final season as pitching coach before leaving to manage the Blue Jays for two seasons. The right manager can make a big impact on a team, he said.
A big difference, Saltalamacchia explained. When you got personality like we got and the guys on this team, you got to have a leader that you can kind of trust and lean on. Terry Francona did a great job of that and I think Farrell, he was obviously with him, so theyre in the same cut. So its going to be a good thing.
Asked how much different it will be from Bobby Valentines one season with the Sox last year, Saltalamacchia replied:
Its tough. we havent gotten into it. I just know Farrell from being the pitching coach. I know him decently well. Hes a great guy. He made phone calls in the offseason, we talked. Bobby came to my house. The effort was there. Just, it was a bad situation. We had just got off a terrible September in 2011 and next year all eyes were on us. So it was kind of a bad situation. But I think were ready to move on and look forward.