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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.

8 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Richard Bergstrom

Are the Red Sox as an organization really giving these two such little guidance? Shouldn't they have a manager or coach telling Saltalamacchia what Bowden should be throwing? Or giving Bowden and Saltalamacchia some kind of game plan for the other team?

Aug 02, 2010 23:14 PM
rating: -1
 
David Laurila

Richard - I am certain that happens, but as I noted, Saltalamacchia literally reported to the team hours before I got him and Bowden together. Presumably he was briefed on last night's starting pitcher prior to the game, but learning everyone on day-one wouldn't be realistic.

Bowden entered the game in the seventh inning and faced six batters. He retired five of them, two on strikeouts, while allowing a single.

Aug 03, 2010 07:28 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

I do think it was a neat opportunity to be able to interview new teammates at the first time they met each other. Still, I guess I found what was said a but weird...

Aug 03, 2010 09:17 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Er... a bit weird.

Aug 03, 2010 09:17 AM
rating: 1
 
AutomatedTeller

The Sox coaches generally serve tea and get the pitcher and catcher to sing Kumbaya.

I'm sure the guidance was more "ok, let's go over the game plan for thes guys - Salty - have you talked the pitchers yet?"

It's AAA, not rookie ball. These guys are supposed to have a clue.

Aug 03, 2010 08:54 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

"These guys are supposed to have a clue"

I agree, these guys are supposed to have a clue.. but they really didn't act like it in the interview.

Aug 03, 2010 09:16 AM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

Well, also --- there's the conversation you have with reporters and the one you have without them.

Aug 03, 2010 18:58 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Laurilla's done many interviews on here with minor and major league players who talk about their approach and game plan and the like. I don't think the idea that he was a reporter was weird. Maybe they were caught off guard with a group interview or they had their mind focused on the game or something, but as I said it was a weird kind of discussion. Are they really just "winging it" like they say they are, or being coy to keep their master plan out of a reporter's hands, or what..

Aug 03, 2010 22:54 PM
rating: 0
 
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