BOSTON The Red Sox currently have three catchers on their 25-man roster. An unusual situation at this point in the season, something that is more common after rosters expand on Sept. 1.
But, when outfielder Daniel Nava was placed on the disabled list Wednesday, Ryan Lavarnway was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, joining catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach.
On Wednesday Saltalamacchia started behind the plate, with Shoppach and Lavarnway on the bench. On Thursday, Lavarnway caught, with the other two sitting. Friday, with Saltalamacchia at home suffering from food poisoning, Shoppach caught and Lavarnway started as the designated hitter.
Having three catchers is not a situation with which manager Bobby Valentine is entirely comfortable. The main challenge is finding adequate playing time for all.
I dont know how permanent the three-catcher situations going to be, Valentine said. Its nothing Ive ever been comfortable with or even tried to do. But, if they're here the whole time, I will get them work behind the plate.
Its not the personnel with which Valentine is uncomfortable. Its the concept.
These three catchers, Im not uncomfortable, he said. Just the concept of three catchers is something I havent had on rosters before.
With David Ortiz still on the DL (he was eligible to be activated Wednesday), Mauro Gomez could have been an option for a call-up instead of Lavarnway. Gomez appeared in nine games for the Sox earlier this season, batting .300 (9-for-30) with three doubles, three RBI, a walk, and seven strikeouts.
It was probably an option, Valentine said. Lavarnways caught an awful lot, also (80 games for Pawtucket, and we feel if hes just used as a hitter, its not so bad.