LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- While the Red Sox might go with young players at shortstop and center field next season, they are utilizing a veteran tandem behind the plate in A.J. Pierzynski and David Ross.
Where does that leave Ryan Lavarnway, who hasn't been able to make his mark in limited Major League stints?
"Well, he's a good hitter and an improved defender," said general manager Ben Cherington. "Obviously we made a decision not to just pencil him in the lineup next year. We still like him. I think that overall at that position, we've obviously got two veterans with one year left who are on contracts and a bunch of young guys behind them."
In other words, Lavarnway might get a chance with the Red Sox in 2015, but it's unlikely for '14.
"If they're healthy, Pierzynski and Ross will start the year as the catching tandem," Cherington said. "I think there's plenty of opportunity and competition down the road, and not too far down the road. Nothing's really changed. I'm sure he'd prefer to have an open door to a Major League job and we might not have that quite yet. We like him and still believe in him."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.