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August 2, 2010

BP Unfiltered

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, meet Michael Bowden

by David Laurila

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is now a member of the Red Sox organization, having come over from Texas at Saturday’s trade deadline, which means he has to get to know a whole new set of pitchers. The erstwhile Rangers catcher reported to the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox today, and following batting practice he sat down to talk to one of them for the first time. It was: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, meet Michaal Bowden; Michael Bowden, meet Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

David Laurila: The two of you are literally meeting for the first time. What do you need to know about each other?

Bowden: Just kind of his preferences -- what he likes to do in certain counts -- and certain hitters that he’s seen. But it’s more or less him getting to know me, specifically, and what I like to do. It’s us getting on the same page.

Saltalamacchia: It’s one of those things where it’s his ballgame out there, so I want him to throw what he wants to throw with conviction. We can obviously use some of the hitters’ weaknesses, but I want to know his strengths; we’re going to pitch to his strengths. I’m assuming that his fastball is one of them, so we’re going to pitch off his fastball if that’s what he’s used to doing. That’s the main thing I need to know, what his strengths are.

DL: As we speak, what do you know about each other?

Saltalamacchia: Let’s see, he’s a left-handed shortstop, I think. No, obviously I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about him. And a couple of years ago, I think they were actually trying to trade me for him. I’m glad it didn’t happen; I’m glad that we’re here playing together, because he’s obviously got a bright future and I’m excited to work with him.

Bowden: I’ve heard a lot about him over the past few years, just going up the ranks. But it’s going to be fun; it’s going to be fun to work with him and just kind of get to know him. It’s fun working with new guys, but it’s also kind of an adventure. The first time I’m going to throw to him -- I’ll probably come into the game tonight in relief -- he’s going to come out to the mound and we’re going to go over our signs. He’s also going to ask about the signs with a guy on second. I’ll show him what I’ve got with my eight warm-up pitches, and we’ll kind of just go from there. That’s going to be our first real introduction to one another. So it’s kind of an adventure, but we’ll probably get on the same page fairly quickly. He’s going to see my strengths -- what I like and what’s working -- and I’m sure that he’s smart behind the plate, so we’re just going to work off of each other, roll with the waves and see how it works.

Saltalamacchia: I think he’s going to pitch his game, regardless of who is up there, whether it’s A-Rod or me -- whoever it is. I’m looking forward to catching him.

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