Lavarnway called up, maybe for good

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
8:45
PM ET
BOSTON -- It’s quite possible Red Sox catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway will never see the minor leagues again.

Lavarnway was recalled to Boston from Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday afternoon after the Red Sox placed outfielder Daniel Nava on the 15-day disabled list with a left wrist sprain. Lavarnway arrived at Fenway Park at approximately 4 p.m. and is available as a right-handed bat off the bench in the series finale against the Detroit Tigers.

“It’s great to be back,” Lavarnway said. “It doesn’t matter the situation.”

Since Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach have the catching duties under control, having Lavarnway on the roster allows Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to pencil Salty into the DH spot while David Ortiz remains on the DL. Shoppach is currently battling a sore shin after he fouled two pitches off his leg during Tuesday’s 4-1 rain-shortened win over the Tigers.

“I loved him in spring training, and since he’s continued to make improvement,” Valentine said. “Offensively, [PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler] says he’s definitely ready and will continue to improve and we hope he continues to improve. Defensively, he’s the same but ready, and we want him to continue to improve.”

Lavarnway hit .295 with 22 doubles, eight home runs, 43 RBIs, 50 runs scored and 40 walks in 83 games for the PawSox this season.

“This has been my first opportunity to catch on an everyday basis, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s a lot different than DH-ing half the time,” he said. “It’s more of a physical grind. I think I have already caught 20 more games than I have ever caught in a year, but I’ve got a great postgame routine and I’m staying in shape a lot better this season. I’m working on my flexibility and my body feels great.

“This is the best my body has felt this deep into the year, regardless of how many game I’ve caught. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in August.”

Lavarnway made his major-league debut with Boston in 2011 and batted .231 with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs in 17 games over two stints.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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