McAdam: Look past Molina for catcher help

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McAdam: Look past Molina for catcher help

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

Bengie Molina isn't the answer for the Red Sox.

Maybe the Sox ownership will loosen the purse strings and green-light the signing of Molina. Then what?

Molina has been in retirement since last November, when the World Series ended. He didn't take part in spring training this year, and even if he's been keeping himself active -- hitting in a cage, catching bullpen sessions -- it's likely he would need almost a monthat the minimum to round into Major League playing shape. By then, it would be nearly mid-June and more than a third of the season will be over.

If the Sox are looking for more offense from the catching position -- they've gotten almost nothing from the duo of Jason Varitek and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to date -- it's worth noting that Molina hit a whopping .249 in 118 games split between the Giants and Yankees.

That represents an upgrade over the two catchers currently on the Red Sox roster, but it's not about to kick-start the entire lineup.

If the Red Sox are looking for someone to better call games and handle pitchers, it will take time for Molina to familiarize himself with the current staff. And other than the 57 games over the final 2 12 months of last season, Molina last regularly caught in the American League five years ago, meaning he'll need time to acclimate himself to A.L. personnel.

One area which definitely needs improving behind the plate for the Red Sox is throwing. Combined, Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek have thrown out just eight would-be base-stealers all year. Last year, Molina gunned down 23-percent of baserunners -- an upgrade, to be sure, but not considered even league-average.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park. 

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.