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Varitek thriving in back-up role.

by Chris Allen

One of the most consistent hitters for the Red Sox this year has been Jason Varitek. It is true that he is only playing once or twice a week but when he's in there he is producing. In eight games this year he hitting .357 with four homeruns and eight RBI. He still has a high strikeout total with nine but he hasn't been the black hole in the lineup that we've gotten used to the last couple of years. Sure it's early and April and May are the months that he has the highest career batting average at .278, but it is encouraging to see him off to a hot start especially with so many others in the lineup scuffling. Do you remember that year when Mirabelli was the back up and he contributed every time he was in the lineup? No, me neither. 
Seriously, with Drew and Ortiz off to such slow starts we need all the help we can get even if it is only once or twice a week. Whether or not Varitek can keep it up all year is something that remains to be seen. Last year after the trade for Victor Martinez, Varitek saw a drop in playing time but still started twenty eight games over the last two months. He responded by hitting around .133 with around a million strikeouts. However this was after being the primary catcher for the first four months of the season. Let's hope he can keep contributing like this all season.

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