Sox cut Mirabelli

Uh, this was a surprise. Doug Mirabelli was a late scratch from today’s lineup, and the next thing we know, he’s leaving in his street clothes. Turns out the 37-year old catcher was cut from the team today.

For me, the main thing is I hope he knew this was coming and he’s okay with this. You don’t treat a veteran player like this, no matter how much his skills have regressed, especially one who’s been with the team and taken a significant pay cut to stay for another year. ‘Belli has been there with his .231 lifetime average whenever the Sox needed him, and almost forced his way back to Boston a couple of years ago when he was traded to San Diego. I’ve been saying from the start that we should have just let him be after last season, it’s more dignified that way.

Anyway, the speculation out there right now is that 30-year old Kevin Cash, a non-roster invitee to camp, will take Mirabelli’s spot on the 40-man roster. Cash filled in pretty well for Mirabelli at the end of August when Mirabelli had to sit with back issues. In addition to being seven years younger, he’s known as an excellent defensive catcher, and at the dish he’s not any worse than Mirabelli at this point. I think the goal here is to train a younger catcher under Jason Varitek, to pass on the preparation method and work ethic of the captain before his knees give way.

There is a possibility that the catcher who will take the backup job will be Dusty Brown, who at age 26 has shown a lot at this year’s training camp. I would be very surprised to see the Sox move George Kottaras up to the bigs at this point, as he’s still a work in progress defensively. But my money’s on Cash (pun intended), who has experience catching Tim Wakefield and some working relationship with the staff from last year.
Also today, Curt Schilling was moved to the 60-day DL, making room for Lincoln Holdzkom, a 25-year old right-handed pitcher who was returned to the Sox by the Phillies, who took him in the Rule 5 draft this year. He should be assigned to Portland or Pawtucket.


7 Responses to Sox cut Mirabelli

  1. FireDannyAinge says:

    The difference is when Doug played he contributed. Cash is a horrible player and an automatic out.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    FDA, I won’t argue that Cash is good, but he could probably replicate what Mirabelli has done the last 3 years in the backup role (also an automatic out). He’s younger and healthier, and can catch other guys on the staff besides Wake. When he came up with the Jays, he was not completely hopeless at the plate; who knows if the problem isn’t simply playing time? He might be able to post a .220-.240 average.

    Mirabelli was a very solid backup catcher and good threat against lefties in his day.

  3. FireDannyAinge says:

    He might be an ok catcher but his hitting is atrocious and I really don’t see it getting better hitting 6 innings once every 5 days IF Wakefield stays healthy.
    Mirabelli had been injured the last two years including a game where he got a huge hit, drove in some runs and then got hurt on the base path. I think it was a Yankee game.

    IMO of course.

  4. vinylord says:

    If you expect anybody in New England to take you seriously, you’ll need to change your name from “FireDannyAinge” to “DannyAingeRules”. Do you follow basketball at all?

  5. redsoxtalk says:

    FDA, Mirabelli doubled off John Lackey and scored on Aug 17 at Fenway as part of a 6-run rally, and left the game with a strained calf. He played one more game until Sept 17, which the Sox can’t afford from Tek’s backup.

    Look, I’m not knocking Mirabelli, I’m grateful to him for what he’s done, and I think he deserves a lot of respect for that, but he’s just past his time. I don’t think Cash is as terrible as his lifetime .167 average. Mirabelli is a good streak hitter, and he’s had his share of big hits, but he’s also played 6 1/2 years with the club. I’m sure that Cash will have his moments too, if he plays (he did go 2-3 with a double in a 10-1 game at Chicago last year).

  6. Pat says:

    The thing I didn’t like about potentially having Mirabelli and Varitek as our catchers this year was the huge risk in both of them getting injured. It seemed like a definite possibility.

    We have good reason to believe our lineup can match or pass our run production from last year, so it seems like we can afford to give Cash 4 ABs a week.

    This is a bad time for catchers in the Red Sox. Varitek is nearing the end of his run, and we don’t have anyone ready (yet) to replace him. I think we can expect to have transition years with some of our positions, around now being the catcher, in the not so distant future, maybe left field.

  7. redsoxtalk says:

    Pat, you anticipate me again. I am writing a post that addresses a lot of those very same issues. Still being polished, but will be ready v soon.

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