Report: Ryan Lavarnway Expected to Start Season at Triple-A While Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Ross Begin in Majors

Ryan LavarnwayRed Sox pitchers and catchers are set to report Sunday in Fort Myers, but the catchers may already have their spots locked down.

With Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Ross and Ryan Lavarnway all vying for playing time, it appears that Lavarnway will be the one starting the season in Triple-A Pawtucket, according to statements made today by general manager Ben Cherington.

“For right now I think our expectations [are] Salty and Ross, they’re the two proven guys,” Cherington said Saturday morning. “We signed Ross for a reason and Salty has continued to build on each year and added some things and gotten better. We think Salty and Ross complement each other well offensively. We feel pretty good about where we are catching-wise.”

The Red Sox signed Ross, 0ne of the best backup catchers in baseball, to a two-year, $6.2 million contract in November. The signing potentially leaves Lavarnway in the minors, but given his success in Triple-A the past two seasons, Cherington is confident he will be playing in the big leagues eventually.

“Lavarnway has come a long way,” the GM said. “We think he’s going to be a really good player for us. Sometimes the clock doesn’t start exactly when the player wants to. But he’s proven at the Triple-A level that he’s capable of helping a major league team. That’s going to happen, we just don’t know exactly when.”

The 25-year-old has played 144 games in Triple-A over the last two seasons, hitting .295 in the 2012 season and adding eight home runs and 98 RBIs. He has also played 63 games with the Red Sox, where he hit four home runs and contributed 20 RBIs in 192 at-bats.

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