2015 Orioles preview: Ryan Lavarnway


With Opening Day now only days away, we continue to take a look at a member of the 2015 Orioles every day as they try to defend their American League East title this season.

March 9 – Adam Jones
March 10 – Chris Tillman
March 11 – J.J. Hardy
March 12 – Zach Britton
March 13 – Chris Davis
March 14 – Wei-Yin Chen
March 15 – Jonathan Schoop
March 16 – Travis Snider
March 17 – Kevin Gausman
March 18 – Alejandro De Aza
March 19 – Tommy Hunter
March 20 – Manny Machado
March 21 – Brad Brach
March 22 – Steve Pearce
March 23 – Darren O’Day
March 24 – Caleb Joseph
March 25 – Wesley Wright
March 26 – Delmon Young
March 27 – Miguel Gonzalez
March 28 – Ryan Flaherty
March 29 – Ubaldo Jimenez
March 30 – Everth Cabrera
March 31 – Bud Norris
April 1 – Matt Wieters
April 2 – Jimmy Paredes
April 3 – Brian Matusz

C Ryan Lavarnway

Opening Day age: 27

Contract status: Under club control through the 2018 season

Minor-league options remaining: None

2014 stats (with Boston): .000/.000/.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R, 0 SB, 10 PA

Why to be impressed: After being selected off waivers by three different clubs this offseason, the former Red Sox catcher has impressed enough to earn the backup role behind Caleb Joseph while Matt Wieters continues to work his way back to full strength. The right-handed hitter has an .824 career on-base plus slugging percentage at the Triple-A level.

Why to be concerned: Despite hitting .299 in 77 at-bats for the Red Sox in 2013, he was moved to first base by the organization last season before missing significant time with a broken hamate bone. Lavarnway beat out Steve Clevenger with better defensive skills, but he’s not nearly as good as Wieters or Joseph behind the plate, giving him limited value as a backup catcher.

2015 outlook: Lavarnway has a career .565 OPS in 301 major league plate appearances and never established himself as a consistent option for Boston. The Orioles hope he won’t be needed at the major league level for long with Wieters expected back from Tommy John surgery sooner rather than later.