Lucroy was added to the Red Sox's 60-man roster Thursday. Boston adjusted Lucroy's contract earlier in the week with the intention of adding him to the player pool, and Thursday's announcement makes it official that he'll serve as a non-roster invitee as camp resumes. He'll likely compete for the backup catching job with Kevin Plawecki.
Lucroy's name was left of Boston's 60-man player pool, but he will be added to the list during the upcoming week, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports. The Red Sox are adjusting Lucroy's contract, so his exclusion from the player pool is a procedural issue. He will be in camp and added to the pool. Lucroy and Kevin Plawecki are battling for the backup job behind Christian Vazquez.
The Red Sox will have the flexibility to keep both Lucroy and Kevin Plawecki if MLB expands rosters from 26 to 29 players for the first month of an abbreviated season, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports. The two catchers are locked in a roster-spot battle to back up starter Christian Vazquez, but each could be carried if the rosters are temporarily expanded as expected. The freedom to keep three catchers is something upon which interim manager Ron Roenicke went back-and-forth prior to the shutdown. With the expanded rosters, he'll have a free month of regular-season competition to evaluate which is the better fit. From a batting perspective, neither Lucroy (6-for-20, .300) nor Plawecki (9-for-19, .474) separated himself from the other during spring training.
Lucroy went 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI in Wednesday's spring game against the Rays. Lucroy is catching regularly after he was signed during the early days of spring training. He's hit safely in four of his last six at-bats after a 2-for-14 start in the Grapefruit League. "Yeah, I'm seeing the ball good and I've been able to see the ball deep and I've been able to put good swings on it and make good decisions," Lucroy told Ian Browne of MLB.com. "I'm definitely feeling a lot better." Lucroy and Kevin Plawecki (.474) are competing to back up starter Christian Vazquez.
Lucroy made his spring debut Thursday, substituting for designated hitter J.D. Martinez and going 1-for-2 in a loss to Phillies. Lucroy wasted no time making an impact, as he connected on a pinch-hit double off the replica Green Monster in the bottom of the seventh inning. He and Kevin Plawecki are competing to back up starter Christian Vazquez. Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke envisions Lucroy seeing his first game behind the plate this weekend, according to Ian Browne of MLB.com. Entering his age-34 season, Lucroy is no longer viewed as a primary catcher.
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