Boston Red Sox forgotten gems
Pitchers and Catchers
Scott Atchison didn’t arrive in the majors until he was 28-years-old and then it was only for a series of quick – very quick – cups of coffee. In 2008-2009, Atchison played for Hanshin in the Japanese Professional league before returning to the states to sign with the Red Sox in 2010, where he would start in Pawtucket – a 34-year-old in Triple-A.
The Red Sox needed some bullpen help and up came Atchison for three seasons, where he posted a 5-4 record and 3.18 ERA before receiving his walking papers and became a free agent. What followed were trips to the Mets, Indians, and Twins. Terry Francona sought out the veteran right-hander and he did post a 6-0 record for the Indians in 2014.
Atchison personified the player who just never gave in and eventually stuck around to make almost five million dollars. For Boston, I remember him for his grizzled look and his never give an inch to a hitter attitude.
Rich Garces was Pablo Sandoval like in appearance, which got him the well-deserved El Guapo nickname, but he could pitch and would certainly be a compliment out of the current bullpen. “El Guapo” was a right-hander who could certainly bring some heat with his fastball.
Garces actually pitched seven years for Boston and appeared in 261 games going 23-8 with a 3.78 ERA and lasted until 2002 and then resurfaced in 2007 in the Cam-Am League – an independent league.
Garces played for the Nashua Pride and I had the pleasure of watching “El Guapo” pitched against the Brockton Rox.
For trivia fans, the Pride was managed by Butch Hobson and had recently suspended Chris Colabello on their roster.
The value of defensive catching can never be dismissed and that includes not only the physical aspect but the mental one of keeping pampered pitchers focused and that really surface in the 2013 World Series with David Ross.
Ross hit only .188 in the WS but his defense calmed everything down. During the season, Ross was plagued with injuries and hit only .218 but he was not in the lineup for hitting but stability. Another member of the 2013 team that was exceptionally gifted at earning the respect of both players and staff. Hopefully, he will manage.