|Will Sox Cash in on a fill-in for Martinez?||06.28.10 at 11:53 am ET|
Though catcher Victor Martinez having suffered a fracture of the top of his left thumb on Sunday, the Red Sox are hopeful that an exam today will reveal that the 31-year-old might be able to avoid the disabled list. But, if he does get sidelined for any period of time, there is one obvious candidate to serve as a short-term fill-in: Kevin Cash.
With minor-league catchers Mark Wagner and Dusty Brown both on the disabled list for Triple-A Pawtucket, the Sox are without any minor-league catchers in their system who have meaningful experience trying to corral knuckleballs. Both Wagner and Brown have had occasion to work with Tim Wakefield in spring training, and they also have experience catching former Sox minor leaguer Charlie Zink. But the injuries to both leave the Sox without an obvious in-house alternative to Jason Varitek to work with Wakefield in the pitcher’s next start.
Cash, of course, was Wakefield’s catcher for all of the 2008 season, and he also has experience catching Red Sox pitchers Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett (as well as relievers such as Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen and Hideki Okajima). Cash was designated for assignment last week by the Astros, who wanted to clear a roster spot for top prospect Jason Castro. He was hitting .204 with a .271 OBP, .333 slugging mark and .605 OPS in 20 games for Houston this year.
Cash accepted an assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, but the 32-year-old would likely be available for a minimal acquisition cost. He is “definitely out there” as an available catcher, according to one major-league source, and if Martinez is sidelined — again, something the Sox are hoping will not be the case — he would be an obvious fit as a short-term fill-in.
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