Red Sox’ Jonathan Lucroy Embracing ‘Dad’ Role While Working With Younger Players in Pawtucket

Upon signing a minor-league contract with the Red Sox back in February, veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy looked to get his career back on track with a new club.

Initially, the 34-year-old took the first steps towards revitalizing his career when he was one of three backstops to make Boston’s Opening Day roster last month. However, Lucroy’s first stint with the Sox did not last all that long, as he was designated for assignment on July 29 after getting just one major-league at-bat and was subsequently outrighted to the club’s alternate training site in Pawtucket on August 1.

Since that time, Lucroy has been consistently working out at McCoy Stadium and is waiting for his chance to get back to the majors. Whether that is with the Red Sox or another club really does not matter.

“I cleared waivers, so there were no other teams that claimed me. That means no one wanted me,” he said during a Zoom call Friday. “That doesn’t mean that that can’t happen still. I’m here to continue to play games and continue to work to get better. If the Red Sox need me, I’ll be available. If another team needs me, then I’m sure we can figure something out where I can go play for them. It’s just a matter of opportunity and improving upon my game here. That’s all I’m worried about. I’m just happy to have a place to play and happy to have a place where I can work to improve.”

In the meantime, with all the knowledge and wisdom he has gained in 10-plus big-league seasons, Lucroy has embraced a mentorship role in Pawtucket while surrounded by younger players who eager to absorb as much information as possible.

“I try to leave myself open and I’ve told guys ‘Hey, I don’t want to smother anybody or try to force myself on people,'” said the veteran backstop. “I want them to come and ask me first. Like, if I see someone on the field I’ll say something to him once and leave it alone. But, I don’t want to go and just try and be all over them. They’ve been making fun of me, they call me ‘Dad’ in there. It’s just little things here and there. If guys want to come talk to me about anything, I’ll do my best to help them anyway I can.”

If for whatever reason the Red Sox find themselves in a position where Lucroy could get another crack of things in the majors this season, the two-time All-Star would again have to be added to Boston’s 40-man roster in order to make that happen.

 

Red Sox Announce 30-Man Opening Day Roster for 2020 Season

The Red Sox have released their 30-man Opening Day roster for the 2020 season, the club announced earlier Thursday afternoon.

As manager Ron Roenicke told reporters last week, the Sox will carry 15 pitchers and 15 position players on their roster to begin the year.

Among the notable additions to Boston’s Opening Day squad are right-handers Phillips Valdez and Dylan Covey, left-hander Josh Osich, catcher Jonathan Lucroy, and infielder Jonathan Arauz.

Among the notable players who were left off the Sox’ active roster are left-hander Brian Johnson, right-handers Zack Godley and Chris Mazza, and infielder Yairo Munoz.

In order to make this all happen, the Red Sox needed to recall Valdez, Osich, Jeffrey Springs, Matt Hall, and Colten Brewer from the minors while also giving 40-man roster spots to Covey and Lucroy.

By adding Covey and Lucroy, Boston’s 40-man roster now stands at 37 players, meaning someone like Johnson, Godley, or Munoz could be added at a later date if necessary.

As mentioned in the tweet above, Darwinzon Hernandez, Eduardo Rodriguez, Josh Taylor, Chris Sale, and Dustin Pedroia will begin the truncated 2020 season on the injured list. The first three players listed here should be able to re-join the Red Sox relatively soon. The other two? Not so much.

All teams will be allowed to carry 30 players on their active roster from now until August 6, when rosters will be reduced to 28 players. Two weeks after that date, on August 20, rosters will again be reduced to the conventional 26 players.

So, even though Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have put together this here Opening Day roster ahead of Friday’s season opener against the Orioles, there will still be some important decisions to make down the line.