David Ross lands on DL, Dan Butler called up

August 02, 2014 - 11:44 am
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It is a strange injury when a tear is described as a positive outcome. Catcher David Ross suffered what the Red Sox believe was a tear of the plantar fascia on Friday -- an injury that actually represents a positive development, as his case of plantar fasciitis had become constantly painful. With the tear, the team is hopeful that Ross' foot will heal in a fashion that permits him to play without pain. "Everything points towards that tendon having let go last night, which, in this case, is a positive," said Sox manager John Farrell. "How many days it takes to recover, we'll see, but the 15 days should hopefully help this quiet down to the point of him returning." With Ross sidelined, the Red Sox called up Dan Butler, a 27-year-old who signed with the organization as an undrafted free agent in 2009 out of the University of Arizona while playing in the Cape League. Butler (hitting .227/.306/.338 this year in Pawtucket, after amassing a .262/.350/.479 line at the same level last year) is described in the organization as a "grinder" who kept his head down and, despite lacking typical prospect status conferred upon a player who signed for a significant bonus, forced his way to the big leagues by showing good defensive skills and the ability to lead pitching staffs. "He's always had a strong reputation of handling pitchers in his game-calling," said Farrell. "In some ways, it's a real success story when you factor in that he's been a non-drafted free agent, signed out of the Cape Cod League, he was a backup catcher in college, and with all of his work, it's paid off to realize a major-league opportunity." The Sox have long viewed Butler as a strong defensive option who would be a future big leaguer, and both Butler and Vazquez have a wealth of experience with the team's young pitchers who will be making their way up to the big leagues. However, between a rotation and catching tandem that is light on experience, particularly game-planning for the big league lineups that they'll be trying to navigate, the dynamics of managing through game plans has been altered. "We're well aware of it," said Farrell. "I think the thing that is becoming more frequent is the in-between-inning conversation, whether it's a quick review of the first three hitters of an inning just to provide some reminders and things that we're seeing from at-bat to at-bat adjustments that might be made. Whether that results in more trips to the mound by [pitching coach Juan Nieves] to serve as additional reminders remains to be seen, but I think the aptitude of both guys behind the plate really lends us to executing right."

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