Notes: Varitek forced to catch Wakefield


Notes: Varitek forced to catch Wakefield

By SeanMcAdam

NEW YORK -- It had been six long seasons since Jason Varitek last caught a game by knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Wednesday night, after Wakefield got the win in a 11-6 Red Sox victory over the New York Yankees, Varitek pronounced himself mostly satisfied.

"I hadn't caught him (for an extended period) in a long time,'' said Varitek. "You need reps with Wake and I had no opportunity to prepare. No side work. It was a grind.''

Varitek caught Wakefield for multiple innings in the spring out of the bullpen, and also handled him for several side sessions.

But even then, Varitek said, he estimated it had been "a few weeks'' since he had caught Wakefield at all. The Sox have mostly paired Wakefield with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was unavailable Wednesday night with a stomach virus.

"The tough part today,'' said Varitek, "was he'd throw one and it would spin. Then he would throw another and it woudld be a double-breaker, left and right.''

Varitek said he learned a lot watching former teammate Doug Mirabelli catch Wakefield for several seasons. Catching instructor Gary Tuck also incorporated some things to help Varitek.

"I was pretty happy,'' concluded Varitek of the night.

The Red Sox got some good news on another catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Saltalamacchia was violently ill Tuesday night and again Wednesday, and for a while late Wednesday afternoon, the Sox were concerned that Saltalamacchia might be suffering from appendicitis and would require a surgical procedure.

But after tests conducted at a New York hospital, it was determined that Saltalamacchia was suffering from what Terry Francona termed "intestinal turmoil.''

Saltalamacchia was in the clubhouse for a while Wednesday night before returning to the team hotel. He wasn't scheduled to catch the series finale with Josh Beckett and probably won't be available until Friday -- at the earliest -- when the Sox begin a weekend series in Toronto.

The Sox were able to summon Luis Exposito on short notice from Pawtucket. He arrived at Yankee Stadium about an hour before game time.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17


Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.

Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.

In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game:

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.'s Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal. 

Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016. 

The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.

More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.