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11/14/12 9:30 PM ET
Red Sox step up search for hitting coach
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
AMHERST, Mass. -- Another prospective Red Sox hitting coach, Victor Rodriguez, interviewed with the club on Tuesday. "We'll probably have one or two others later this week," general manager Ben Cherington said Tuesday night at an event at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The Red Sox also plan to hold interviews for their vacant first-base coaching position this week, Cherington said. Rodriguez, 51, has been the Red Sox's Minor League hitting coordinator for six seasons. His son, Victor Luis Rodriguez, is a scout in the organization. The elder Rodriguez played in the Majors briefly, in 1984 and '89. Rick Schu, 50, is also a candidate for one of the coaching positions the Sox are trying to fill. Schu has been an organizational hitting instructor for the Nationals since 2009.
Red Sox like upgrade Ross provides
AMHERST, Mass. -- On Wednesday, catcher David Ross was signed to a two-year contract through the 2014 season.The Red Sox now have a glut of catchers: Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Lavarnway. Reports connect the Red Sox to the pursuit of free-agent catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli as well. General manager Ben Cherington on Tuesday indicated that, although the Red Sox already had two able bodies at catcher -- more than they can say at other positions -- they felt they had room to do better. "We're really just trying to strengthen the position," Cherington said. "We know that there's -- we lost 93 games, so we're trying to strengthen all areas of the team, not just the ones that sort of seem more obvious." Ross had a 3.56 catcher's ERA in 2012. That's better than Saltalamacchia's 4.84 and Lavarnway's 5.75, but Lavarnway had just 25 starts behind the plate. That's not a precise measurement, though: Evaluating catchers' ability behind the plate requires a lot of subjectivity. "[There are] sort of obvious measurements, throwing out runners and things like that," Cherington said. "As far as the impact a catcher has on pitching, pitch-calling and balls and strikes, other elements, it's something we spend a lot of time on, but I can't say that we have figured it out to any exact science."