ALUMNI REPORT: CASH
In this week’s Alumni Report we take a look at Former Syracuse catcher Kevin Cash.
Cash had his contact purchased by the Boston Red Sox on Saturday after Doug Mirabelli was placed on the DL. He was immediately placed in the lineup on Sunday and also started last night, catching knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. He will continue to be Wakefield’s personal catcher until Mirabelli returns.
In 59 games for Pawtucket this season Cash hit just .159 but did hit 7 HR and drive home 25 runs. He was the back-up in Pawtucket to George Kottaras, whom the Red Sox chose to keep in Pawtucket playing on a regular basis. Also helping Cash was he is the better defensive catcher and often caught Pawtucket’s two knuckleballers Charlie Zink and John Barnes.
He was originally signed by the Blue Jays as a non-drafted free-agent out of Florida State where he was an infielder. While playing in the Cape Cod League in 1999 both catchers on Cash’s team were injured and he voluntered to play the position. In his first inning catching he threw out two baserunners and it just so happened that Blue Jays scout Tim Wilken was in attendance.
He was the first of many former infielders the Jays converted to catchers (Joe Lawrence, Curtis Thigpen, Robinzon Diaz). He has become a solid defensive catcher, in 2004 he threw out 42.4% of base stealers when the Major league average was 25.5%, but while concentrating on defense his offensive numbers have declined.
The 30-year old spent two seasons in Syracuse and was the SkyChiefs selection to the All-Star game in 2003. He hit .270 with 28 doubles, 8 HR and 37 RBI in 93 games that year and was promoted to Toronto on August 11th. He started 32 of the Jays final 44 games to finish the season.
In 2004 he was the Jays Opening Day catcher before going on the DL at the end of May. While on the DL Greg Zaun took over the everyday catching duties and when Cash returned he was the backup. After the 2004 season Cash was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for pitcher Chad Gaudin.
He spent the majority of the 2005 and 2006 seasons with Triple-A Durham. He appeared in 13 games for the Devil Rays in 2005 making 10 starts. He signed with the Red Sox as a Minor League free agent before the 2007 season.