Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said that he expects Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ross to be the two pitchers on the Opening Day roster, leaving Ryan Lavarnway likely headed to Triple-A Pawtucket, according to WEEI.com.
“Well, right now, our expectation is Salty and Ross, their the two proven guys and we signed Ross for a reason and Salty has continued to build on each year and has added some things and gotten better and he’s a power threat and capable of being one of the best catchers in the league,” Cherington said, according to WEEI.com. “We’ve seen that. We’ve seen other parts of season where he’s struggled. He’s still a young guy. We expect him to continue to develop and he might be even better this year than he was last year. We think Salty and Ross complement each other well. And we feel pretty good about where we are catching-wise.”
Saltalamacchia might become one of the best power-hitting catchers in the league — actually he already is one of the better ones — but I don’t feel like at his age he has the potential to become one of the best catchers. His defense is poor and I feel like he has yet to gain the full trust of his pitching staff. And even though he hits for power, his strikeout numbers are too high and his on-base percentage (.288 each of the past two seasons) is way too low.
As for his power, the 25 homers he hit last season was third among all major league catchers. But he hit just eight of them during the second half of the season.