|Jarrod Saltalamacchia on his struggles: ‘It’s why they call it an average’||07.18.12 at 7:52 am ET|
Jarrod Saltalamacchia knows the ugly truth.
His offensive numbers in July have not been a thing of beauty.
After going 0-for-3 Tuesday in a 7-5 loss to the White Sox, with another strikeout, he is now 4-for-40 (.100) in July with 18 strikeouts in his last 28 at-bats.
How things have changed. On June 30, he was considered an All-Star caliber catcher, batting .254 with 15 home runs and handling a pitching staff that had started to come into its own with the likes of Aaron Cook, Felix Doubront and Franklin Morales coming out of nowhere to shore up the rotation.
Now, he’s down to .229, has just two homers this month and is just trying to grind through and focus on handling the pitching staff, advice he was given by former teammate Jason Varitek, who went through many of the same battles at the plate while trying to do the tougher job of catching.
“It’s one of those things, it’s why they call it an average,” Saltalamacchia said after Tuesday’s game. “It averages itself out. Right now, it’s not going too well but you know what, my job is behind the plate. So, I haven’t been contributing much at the plate but I think I’ve been doing pretty well behind the plate, and that’s what matters most, getting these pitchers through the game and anything else is a bonus.
“I’ve always felt that way anyway but seeing what Tek’s been through in his career and knowing what he’s done in his career, it felt a little better to have him say that to me. That’s just the fact of the matter, that’s what it is. I need to get these pitchers through the game.”
Sox manager Bobby Valentine did offer his insight into what has brought Saltalamacchia back to earth this month.
“He’s just not laying off the pitch down,” Valentine said. “You know, soft and down. It’s an old catch 22, if it’s a ball, take it and if you keep telling yourself not to swing at it, you usually swing at it. It’s one of those things.
“But he did come out early [Tuesday], had a few rounds of extra BP.”
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