Valentine: Salty has turned 'into an All-Star'

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Valentine: Salty has turned 'into an All-Star'

BOSTON - Jarrod Saltalmacchia isn't in the lineup Wednesday night -- Kelly Shoppach is starting against Detroit lefty Drew Smyly -- but that didn't stop Bobby Valentine for prasing the recent play of Saltalamacchia.

"He's turned a big corner,'' said Valentine. "In the last couple of weeks, I've seen a player turn into an All-Star -- an absolute player who you can count on, who's got it. He's understands what's needed out of him and he's delivering it.''

Over his last 14 games, Saltalamacchia has hit .364 (16-for-44) with three doubles, five homers and 12 RBI in that span.

Asked what Saltalamacchia had done differently to make the recent leap, Valentine cracked: "I have a tough enough time realizing what's going on; figuring out why it's going on is a little too tough for me. But it's happening.''

Saltalamacchia has always been a streaky player. He began 2011 poorly; then, from May through August, was one of the most productive catchers in the American League. But in September, Saltalamacchia seemed to tire and wasn't in the lineup for the final two games of the season.

That streakiness has been evident again this year, with Saltalamacchia collecting just two hits in his first nine games (.080) before hitting .323 (32-for-99) since then.

This year, the test for Saltalamacchia will be to perform on a more consistent basis.

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

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Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.

 

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.