Red Sox Player Profile: Jonathan Lucroy

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Red Sox Roster Preview: Jonathan Lucroy

The Syndicate's Red Sox Writers and Red Sox Podcast to be Named Later Hosts will be profiling a different Sox player each day to get you ready for the 2020 season.  Today's featured player:

Jonathan Lucroy

Photo courtesy of LosAngelesTimes.com






















The Red Sox added another catcher to the mix at the start of Spring Training and signed Jonathan Lucroy to a minor league deal. 

Info

• Position(s): Catcher / First Baseman
• 2020 opening day age: 33
• Bats / Throws: Right / Right
• Height / weight: 6'-0" / 200 pounds
• Nickname: Luc
• How acquired: Minor-league free agent, non-roster invite
• Contract status: Minor League Deal, free agent 2021
• 2019 Stats: .232 BA, 8 HR, 36 RBI, 68 hits, 0 SB, 30 runs, .305 | .355 | .660 | WAR -1.0

2019 Season:  Lucroy signed a one-year deal for $3.35 million with the Los Angeles Angels on December 28, 2018.  Lucroy never performed the way the Angels thought he would last season.  In his short stint with the Angels, Lucroy struggled offensively hitting .242 / .310 / .371 batting line. 

The Angels opted to designate Lucroy for assignment in August of last season.  Prior to Lucroy being designated for assignment, the veteran catcher was involved in a home plate collision with former Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick. 

Shop for officially licensed MLB Jerseys from Majestic at Shop.MLB.comOn July 7, 2019, the Marisnick collided into Lucroy at home plate, as he was trying to score on a sacrifice fly in a tie game.  Marisnick was called out for interference for the collision and Lucroy suffered a concussion and a broken nose as a result from the play. 

Major League Baseball suspended Marisnick for the collision saying, "While I do not believe that Jake intended to injure Jonathan, the contact he initiated in his attempt to score violated Official Baseball Rule 6.01(i), which is designed to protect catchers from precisely this type of collision."

“The last thing I remember, I was kind of inching my way up the line and reaching for the baseball,” Lucroy said.  “The first thing I remember after that is when they put me on the golf cart.  He knocked me out.”

Lucroy would go on to sign with the Chicago Cubs following his DFA from the Angels.  He was added to the Cubs due to an injury to their catcher Willson Contreras.  In 27 games with the Cubs, Lucroy hit an underwhelming .189 and hit one home run and had six RBI.

2019 Key Stat:  Lucroy has not been the same player since he was traded by the Brewers a few seasons ago.  He is a very coachable player even at his age and is recognized for his ability to handle a pitching staff.  He will probably not return to his 2016 form where he hit .292 and had 24 home runs with a .885 OPS that season.  Lucroy hasn’t hit higher than .242 in the last three seasons.  Lucroy is known for his ability to communicate with his pitchers and the time he takes to get to know the men who are going to pitch to him. 

BSS Red Sox Podcast TBNL 2020 OUTLOOK

Lucroy provides additional depth behind the plate for the Red Sox.  The Red Sox are set to go into the season with Christian Vazquez as their starting catcher.  Unless an unforeseen trade involving Vazquez he will be the guy to start with Kevin Plawecki to be his back up. 

Lucroy will bring a veteran presence to a team that has seen some instability this offseason.  In addition, Lucroy has a connection to current Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke.  The two were together in Milwaukee when the Roenicke managed the Brewers and Lucroy was an All-Star catcher. 

Despite having Plawecki, if Lucroy has a strong spring he could get the nod and make the major league roster.  The other factor to watch in camp is Lucroy has been ace Chris Sale’s personal catcher in camp.  If Sale shows he's comfortable with Lucroy and the veteran catcher looks good this spring, he could very well bump Plawecki. 

“Anytime you get an invite to try out for the Boston Red Sox, it’s definitely a huge honor,” Lucroy said to MassLive.  Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has been adding depth to the organization all winter, Lucroy provides leadership and depth to the Red Sox.

Odds are that Lucroy will not be able to crack the Red Sox 26-man roster, but the veteran will provide help to a position that lacked depth heading into this offseason.  

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Red Sox Player Profile: Jonathan Lucroy
Red Sox Player Profile: Jonathan Lucroy
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