Remember last year when Bobby Valentine was rumored to be in the running for every single managerial job there was? Yeah, that was fun. Well buckle up, because here we go again.
Ken Rosenthal reports — confirmed by Gordon Edes — that Red Sox ownership has reached out to Bobby V. and that the interest is mutual. Rosenthal says that there has been a meeting between Valentine and one Red Sox owner and that he will meet with others soon. Pair this up with this morning’s report that the Sox want someone with a lot of major league managing experience, and everything is explained.
I can think of worse fits for Bobby Valentine. He’s a big personality and you probably have to be to wade into what’s going on in Boston these days. He’s managed clubs with a lot of veterans on it. He’s interesting, so when he inevitably leaves he’s the kind of guy we’re likely to hear all kinds of good leaked stories about.
It’s actually pretty perfect.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.