NEW YORK -- Known as an offensive-minded catcher, Ryan Lavarnway has actually fared better defensively since being promoted by the Red Sox from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Heading into Monday night's game against the Yankees, in which Lavarnway was in the lineup as the designated hitter, he was hitting .170 with two homers and 12 RBIs.
"Well, he's working every day," said manager Bobby Valentine. "I saw him in Spring Training, and he hit OK, but they said that wasn't quite his swing, so I've been waiting. I'm a little surprised he hasn't hit better. I want him to feel good somehow before the season ends about his approach at the plate."
Despite the struggles Lavarnway has had, Valentine remains a believer.
"I haven't drawn the picture of what kind of hitter he can be, so I don't want to put it in the wrong box," said Valentine. "I think he's going to be a Major League hitter and a Major League player."
"I think he needs work, but from what I gather, he's improved an awful lot," Valentine said.