When Ryan Lavarnway last strapped on the catcher’s gear at Hadlock Field, it was the early part of 2011, a dizzying season for Lavarnway and the Boston Red Sox.

Lavarnway, now 28 and a catcher for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, used to be one of Boston’s top catching prospects, reaching the Sea Dogs in 2010. He began 2011 in Portland, was promoted to Triple-A in June, and then was called up to Boston on Aug. 18.

At the time, the Red Sox were in a battle with the Yankees for first place in the American League East. Lavarnway stayed up for eight days. When he packed up for a return to Pawtucket, Boston led the league with an 80-50 record.

“When I got called up in August, the feeling in the clubhouse was that we were going to go out and kick everyone’s butt every single day,” Lavarnway said.

When Lavarnway was called back to the majors on Sept. 5, he sensed something amiss. The Red Sox were tumbling, 2½ games behind New York, but seemingly safely ahead of Tampa Bay (by seven games) for the wild-card spot.

“It was a different feel when I got back,” Lavarnway said. “I don’t know what happened when I was gone. I came back – I was sitting on the bench most of that month, but it just wasn’t the same ‘we’re going to kick your butt’ attitude. It was more, ‘we should be kicking you’re butt and we hope we do.’ ”

The Red Sox finished 90-72, out of the playoffs, a game behind the Rays.

“I tried to learn as much from that experience as I could,” Lavarnway said.

The lessons were not always as painful as 2011. Two years later, Lavarnway was again Boston’s third catcher. And while he wasn’t put on the postseason roster, he traveled with the team throughout the playoffs, all the way to the clinching game in the World Series.

“That was an invaluable experience even if I didn’t play,” he said. “I did all the extra work, went to all the meetings, the scouting (reports), all the practices.

“Being with the guys on a daily basis and seeing how different guys were reacting, what I observed, and what I saw what works for guys and what didn’t.”

For all his experience, Lavarnway could not crack the Boston roster. He was called up for only nine games in 2014.

Then came the crazy month of December 2014 when Lavarnway became a member of four different organizations.

Boston put Lavarnway on waivers and the Dodgers claimed him Dec. 5.

“At first I was excited because I was with the Dodgers, which is the team I grew up watching,” said Lavarnway, a native of Burbank, California.

But the Dodgers waived him and the Cubs picked him up on Dec. 19. That relationship lasted four days. Chicago waived Lavarnway, and the Orioles claimed him Dec. 23.

“The phone just kept ringing,” he said. “It got to a point where the phone would ring and my wife would say ‘well, who are we with now?’ ”

Lavarnway played 10 games with Baltimore over two months in 2015 and then was released. The Braves signed him May 30. After two weeks in Triple-A, Lavarnway was summoned to Atlanta for the rest of the year, and he hit .227 in 27 games.

Overall, Lavarnway has a .198 average and .574 OPS in parts of five seasons in the majors.

Lavarnway began this season in Triple-A, hitting .276 with a .694 OPS, until the Braves released him May 13.

“It’s been very clear to me that what I used to think was good enough is not good enough,” Lavarnway said. “You have to be excellent and you have to dominate at this level.

“‘What have you done for me lately’ is how this game works.”

The Blue Jays signed Lavarnway and sent him to New Hampshire, his first Double-A assignment since 2011. The level did not matter to Lavarnway.

“There’s the major leagues and the minor leagues,” he said. “I’m trying to get back. I’m doing everything that I can to get myself ready.”

So far, he’s hitting .274 with a .786 OPS in 33 games, and providing experience to a young team.

“It’s been great to have somebody who has been through a lot, ups and downs,” New Hampshire Manager Bobby Meachem said. “It’s refreshing to hear a veteran say that he wants to get better – which is what we’ve been trying to tell the younger guys – it’s all about getting better.

“The first thing he says to me is ‘I just want to get better and give myself another chance to get to the big leagues.’ “