Predicting Jonathan Lucroy’s future with the Boston Red Sox.
In just two weeks, all of the Boston Red Sox unknowns should be answered. A lot of decisions still have to be decided from now to then, however. One area that is pretty much locked up is the catcher position, or is it?
Going into Spring Training 1.0, it was clear that Christian Vazquez would be the starter and Kevin Plawecki would claim Sandy Leon’s role after he was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Right when Spring Training 1.0 started, the Red Sox decided to sign Jonathan Lucroy to a minor league deal, which included an invitation to Jet Blue Park.
The Red Sox probably assumed he would only be playing in the minors after struggling in 2019 (most likely due to a herniated disc in his neck), although he had different plans.
During Spring Training, he went 6-for-20 (.300 average) in 12 games, driving in 3 runs. His success led the team to reconsider whether or not Lucroy deserves an Opening Day roster spot. His presumed competition in Plawecki, however, also had a strong Spring Training, finishing with a .474 batting average.
Once everything was shutdown, Lucroy didn’t take any time off. He mentioned over a Zoom call with reporters that he often caught for a few Red Sox relievers at a facility in Dallas, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith.
"“I caught (Ryan) Brasier, (Colten) Brewer and Work throughout the whole break,” Lucroy said. “We had a facility that we could go to that was private that we were able to get into and work at. And so I was able to stay on top of those guys and work with them on their pitching. Very fortunate for that. We had a whole group going.”"
When the initial player pool was announced for Summer Camp, it was shocking to not see Lucroy. After a strong Spring Training, did the Red Sox assume he had no chance of making the majors in 2020?
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It appeared that the Red Sox had to settle something within his contract and he was added to the player pool soon there after. He would have another opportunity in Spring Training 2.0 to secure an active roster spot.
Throughout workouts in July thus far, he has continued to impress the Red Sox coaches. It’s clear that Lucroy is willing to play wherever he is needed. Other than at catcher, he was actually working out at first base with Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke.
Most people are unaware that Lucroy is not only a catcher. He has played first base in the past, having played there 18 times throughout the 2019 season.
The Red Sox love versatile players. Players that can fill multiple roles on the active roster typically benefit the team a lot (one example is Brock Holt). Since Lucroy could backup Vazquez and Plawecki at catcher, as well as Mitch Moreland at first base, his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster only increase.
Lastly, he has killed it in the first two intrasquad games. So far, he is 4-for-4 with 4 singles. He is definitely in great shape, hitting well against some of the better pitchers on the roster.
Throughout the few months that Lucroy has been apart of the Red Sox organization, he has shined. He has proven that he is fully healthy and no longer feeling the effects of a herniated disc that affected him for three seasons. He’s definitely someone to look out for in the next few weeks and he’s another candidate to have a breakout season.