2006 was not exactly a banner year for Red Sox catchers. They ranked 25th out of 30 teams in OPS at the catcher position, at .668. The Yankees, our favorite barometer, ranked 5th at .812. That’s a huge difference. Can we expect improvement in 2007? I think so.
Reports say that Jason Varitek injured his back during the WBC and was never the same after. His career OPS is a solid .798 after a dismal .725 in 2006. The three years prior to 2006 they looked like this:
Look, the Sox aren’t going to have the offense they had in 2003 and 2004. Those were record-breaking juggernauts. But they can get back to respectability if Varitek simply approaches his career average of .798. He doesn’t even have to get to the 2003-2005 numbers. But the Sox are going to struggle at the bottom of their lineup and Varitek needs to get better. I think he will.
We know Mirabelli can’t hit anything, so maybe the Sox will teach George Kottaras how to catch the knuckler.