Boston Red Sox call up first wave of September reinforcements
By Sean Penney
The veteran catcher will be activated from the 15-day disabled list after missing nearly a month with an ankle injury.
Hanigan has provided the Red Sox with very little offensive production this year, hitting a meager .158 with a .437 OPS. The team picked up Bryan Holaday to help fill the void during Hanigan’s absence, but he has somehow managed to be even more inept at the plate in the eight games he has appeared in for the Red Sox. It’s likely that Hanigan moves ahead of him on the depth chart as the more trusted option.
He’s always been considered a solid defensive catcher, so Hanigan can still provide value even when he’s not hitting. He can reclaim his position as the primary catcher for knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright, who has been in a funk since his return from a shoulder injury. Perhaps reuniting with Hanigan as a battery mate is just what Wright needs to get back on track.
Having a third catcher around also helps ease the workload on Sandy Leon. He took the league by storm, hitting .350 through his first 55 games, but is only 5-for-28 with 10 strikeouts in his last eight games. Has the magic worn off or is he merely wearing down? The added depth should help keep him fresh as we head toward October.
Carrying an extra catcher will also allow manager John Farrell to feel more comfortable pinch-hitting for one of them. He’s been hesitant to hit for Hanigan or Holaday in the past because it would leave him without a backup if anything were to happen to Leon after coming in as a replacement. That’s no longer a concern with three catchers on the roster.
Next: Deven Marrero