Jonathan Lucroy didn’t know where (or if) he’d land in Major League Baseball after an offseason of uncertainty.
Then an opportunity presented itself.
Ron Roenicke, who managed Lucroy on the Milwaukee Brewers from 2011 through 2015, unexpectedly was given another shot at manager with the Boston Red Sox. In turn, a phone call from Roenicke to Lucroy gave the veteran catcher another chance to make a roster.
“Anytime you get an invite to try out for the Boston Red Sox, it’s definitely a huge honor,” Lucroy said, per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo.
A reunion with Roenicke also was appealing.
“We had a lot of good times together,” Lucroy said. “(Roenicke) was a really good guy and a really good manager. He’s a quality pickup for the Red Sox.”
Some of Lucroy’s best years came playing for Roenicke with the Brewers, but injuries since have plagued the 33-year-old and caused him to bounce around to five different clubs since an All-Star season in 2016.
The Red Sox added the backstop to the team’s 2020 spring training roster as a non-roster invitee, where he’ll try to win a backup role to starter Christian Vazquez over fellow newcomer Kevin Plawecki.
It’s new territory for the catcher who once was known for his offensive production.
“It’s a little strange,” Lucroy said, via Cotillo. This is the first time I’ve had to do that. It’s OK, it’s just part of the business side of baseball. Honestly, it’s what I deserve. I haven’t played good. It’s just where we’re at. You make your bed, you’ve got to sleep in it.
“Analytically, I’ve been terrible. Seriously, I’m not trying to make excuses. I’m not surprised I didn’t get a big league offer.”
Lucroy has an uphill battle to make the major league roster, but provides Boston with some organizational depth.