Thursday, April 17, 2014
In late August of the 2006 season, the Boston Red Sox sent up a white flag and traded away pitcher David Wells to the San Diego Padres, for a player to be named.
That player turned out to be catcher George Kottaras, and life changed for catchers Alberto Concepcion and Dusty Brown.
Concepcion and Brown had handled the Portland Sea Dogs catching duties in 2006 and were readying for the playoffs. The Red Sox obtained Kottaras and sent him to Portland to get a sample of his play in the post-season.
That signaled the end for Concepcion. He looked to be a prospect in the making when he arrived in Portland in 2005. But after a strong start, his average slid down to .249 ... then .227 in 2006.
With the addition of Kottaras, Concepcion became the third (and unused) catcher. He asked for his release after the season, then played a season each in the Dodgers and Marlins organizations.
When we last checked, Concepcion had returned to his Alma Mater, the University of Southern California as a student and assistant baseball coach.
Brown and Kottaras both caught for Pawtucket in 2008. Brown hit .290 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI. Kottaras hit .243 with 22 home runs and 65 RBI.
But Kottaras got the major league call-up in September. Kottaras was out of minor league options and the Red Sox needed to looked at him.
In spring training of 2009, Kottaras and Brown were supposedly battling for the back-up job in the majors but. But it was not an even playing ground because Brown still had minor league options. If Kottaras was not on the major league roster, the Red Sox might lose him.
Kottaras held the back-up job in 2009, but was released after the season. Boston had picked up another catcher by the name of Victor Martinez.
Brown stayed in Pawtucket through the 2010 season. Out of options, he was taken off the Red Sox 40-man roster, and Pittsburgh signed him.
And that brings us to 2011. Boston continues to look for catchers. Maybe the Red Sox found one in Jarrod Saltalamcchia.
Take a look at the Red Sox catching situation in the Sunday Column.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court
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