I have to admit, I was pretty upset when I first heard about the release of Doug Mirabelli from the Red Sox, in order to make room for the younger Kevin Cash. Secretly, I was hoping that Cash would not be able to catch Tim Wakefield, and Doug would have to be flown back to Boston and police escorted into Fenway Park again, as happened last year with Josh Bard.
On Opening Day, seeing Mirabelli accept his World Series ring in street clothes instead of a Red Sox uniform like his teammates did not sit well with me.
Curt Schilling described Doug as being someone who could bring life into the clubhouse. His off-field personality is something the Red Sox will miss, and he never once complained about being Varitek's backup. The veteran was just happy for a spot on the team.
Mirabelli's bat was never his strong suit however, and Epstein felt he could get more production from the up-and-coming Cash. So far, that presumption has proved to be more than correct.
Cash has proved himself to be a solid part of the Red-Sox offense through the first month of baseball, batting an impressive .361, better than any other player on the roster.
This is even more impressive seeing as he only plays every five days, when Wakefield takes the mound, so he is able to keep his timing while never getting consistent at bats.
The catcher came up big in last night's game against the Tigers, going 3-4 with an RBI, that resulted in a 5-0 victory over Detroit. In addition, Cash is fairing better than captain Jason Varitek is at the plate right now. Varitek is only batting .258, with double the amount of at bats that Cash has.
Looking back at last week when the Sox had trouble scoring runs, could having Cash in the lineup over Varitek have made them more productive? Maybe not, but Francona should start looking at his young catcher, and perhaps using him more frequently than once every five days.