Jason Varitek Says It’s ‘A Joy’ to Watch Jarrod Saltalamacchia Fill Catcher Role


Jason Varitek Says It’s ‘A Joy’ to Watch Jarrod Saltalamacchia Fill Catcher RoleBOSTON — This is Jarrod Saltalamacchia's pitching staff now.

For 15 years, that distinction belonged to former captain and catcher Jason Varitek. As Saltalamacchia has inherited the duties full-time for the first time in his career, he's certainly impressed his tutor.

"To see those things is such a joy, just watching him catch at the beginning of the season," Varitek said. "The way he's catching the ball, the way he's moving, the way he's doing things, it's nice. His work and everything he's gone through the last year and a half and before that, it looks good."

Saltalamacchia's offensive output, however, hasn't been too shabby, either. With 18 home runs this season, Saltalamacchia is just seven long balls shy of Varitek's career high in blasts and eight short of the franchise record for catchers.

Through 75 games, Saltalamacchia has already eclipsed his career-high total in homers, a mark he established last season with 16. But the bevy of bombs is no surprise to Varitek.

"Everybody started to appreciate what Salty's doing more when he had 10, 12, 13, 14 home runs," Varitek said. "He was catching the ball, throwing the ball and doing the right things behind the plate well before that."

Now that the Varitek era is over, Saltalamacchia has taken advantage of the experience to find his identity.

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