Instead he's on crutches and headed to the disabled list with a broken foot.
The Red Sox captain, relegated to backing up Victor Martinez this season, was looking forward to getting the lion's share of the work behind the plate with Martinez on the DL.
But the Rays' Carl Crawford fouled a ball off his right foot in Wednesday's game. The first test didn't show the damage, but as Varitek experienced increased discomfort, more tests on Thursday showed a displaced fracture of the second metatarsal on his right foot. It's a similar injury to that suffered by Dustin Pedroia last Friday, except Varitek's fracture is on the top of the foot, Pedroia's on the side.
The net result is the same. They are on crutches, in boots and can't put weight on their injured foot for 2-3 weeks.
"I was looking forward to being healthy and playing but you can't dictate the timing of something like this happening," Varitek said. "I thought I'd be able to play Saturday."
Instead, Varitek said he would be seeking a second opinion on his injury, just to "attack it from all sides."
The catcher shortage prompted the Red Sox to acquire Cash from the Astros. He was in the starting lineup on Friday, catching Tim Wakefield, the knuckler that he caught in his first stint with the Red Sox in 2007 and 2008.
Also, utilityman Niuman Romero, who had been obtained by the Sox from Cleveland on April 30, was promoted from Pawtucket to replace Angel Sanchez. Sanchez was traded to Houston in the deal that brought Cash to Boston.