LOS ANGELES -- The fit was too cozy to pass on. As serviceable backups go, catcher Bryan Holaday was a grooved fastball for the Boston Red Sox, and they pounced on the waiver wire Friday to grab him. The Texas Rangers had released the 28-year-old after trading for All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy on Monday, and with Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan on the disabled list after an ankle injury suffered Thursday in Seattle, Holaday's appearance on the wire was timely.
Holaday was working out at home in Fort Worth, Texas, when the Red Sox came calling. He hit .238/.290/.405 with two home runs in 94 plate appearances with the Rangers this season.
Holaday’s past experience with the Detroit Tigers, from 2012 through 2015, meant key players in the Red Sox organization -- general manager Dave Dombrowski, No. 1 starter David Price and team wins leader Rick Porcello -- were already familiar with him from their days in the Motor City.
“Very good timing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Dave has a lot of history with Bryan from back in Detroit, and both pitchers, there’s a comfort level there and there’s a known commodity to his game-calling and the way he handled guys, the teammate that he is.
“I felt like this was not only timely, but another good fit from a team standpoint.”
Holaday found his new locker nestled between Porcello’s and Price’s in the snug visiting clubhouse at Dodger Stadium. Holaday sees those relationships as reasons for a seamless transition with the Red Sox.
“We have that history from Detroit. I’m super excited. I couldn’t be happier to be here,” he said. “Luckily, I have a history with Porcello and David Price, so that definitely helps out a ton.”
Farrell could put that familiarity into play as soon as Sunday, when Price pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the series finale. However, Farrell did say that with a day off this Monday and Sandy Leon playing well -- he had a home run and four RBIs Friday and was hitting .374/.409/.598 with a 1.007 OPS in 117 plate appearances going into Saturday -- it would be difficult to put him on the bench for Holaday.
“You can’t turn away from the way Sandy has handled our guys and certainly from the way he’s swung the bat,” Farrell said. “I know it’s a quick turnaround for Sandy [with a day game after a night game], so we’ll see how he comes out of things physically [Saturday].
“There would be no hesitation for Bryan to handle David [on Sunday], but still, the way Sandy is playing and Monday being an off day, it’s hard not to turn to him right now.”
Pedroia available: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who fouled a ball off his left ankle Friday night, reported some soreness Saturday morning, but the area was well enough that Farrell declared him available to pinch hit in the second game here.
Farrell also said the progression from Friday to Saturday was enough that he was confident Pedroia would be back in the lineup Sunday.