When the Boston Red Sox signed veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski, it was met was a mixed reaction. Pierzynski is sometimes looked upon as one of the most hated active players in baseball. Others commend his ability to call a game behind the plate. Regardless, Pierzynski carries a reputation and that won’t ever go away.
What’s bothering me the most about Pierzynski is that he’s starting to become an automatic out when he steps to the plate. He got off to a decent start to start the season, hitting .275 and .300 respectively in the months of April and May. But now, as the summer begins and the Red Sox are in desperate need of run production, Pierzynski is doing his part to make sure the Red Sox get an out when he’s at bat.
In the month of June, Pierzynski hit .162 with zero home runs and only four RBIs. I can deal with those stats if they were for two weeks, but an entire month is just not acceptable. Add in the fact that the Red Sox are one of the bottom teams teams in offense, we can’t afford to keep putting all these holes in the lineup.
With Pierzynski struggling and David Ross not exactly the bat you want up in a clutch situation either, I wonder if it’s time to give Ryan Lavarnway a shot. Yes, Lavarnway is currently on the disabled list and will be out until late July, but at this point, I’m ready to give the kid a shot and see what he can bring. Without a real obstacle in getting to the majors Lavarnway could theoretically be the man behind the plate come next season.
Pierzynski may not take such a demotion kindly, so the Red Sox may be forced to trade him. Don’t expect much in a way of a return for him, a minor leaguer who will never even sniff the majors, but he’s really not contributing much to the Red Sox this season.
If the Red Sox stand any chance of making the playoffs, they have to start ridding themselves of the excess fat. Pierzynski is the way to start on that account.