PAWTUCKET- Baseball is a game of opportunities. And Jason Lane has another one here in Pawtucket.
The Red Sox signed the 31-year old outfielder to a minor league contract today and assigned him to the PawSox. Lane opted out of his contract with the Yankees over the weekend and quickly signed with Boston.
“I’m excited to come here and get some bats and help this team win” said Lane
Lane spent his entire season with Scranton/Wilkes Barre, batting .236 with 16 homers and 51 RBI’s. He traditionally has provided a power bat for every team he has played but has struggled with consistency.
“I’m trying to get a little more consistent. I’ve had some good power numbers. I just want to get my average higher and have good quality at bats.”
He comes to the PawSox at a time when they are in need of outfield support. For the last two weeks Pawtucket has been without two of the better hitting outfielders in the International League in Jonathan Van Every and Chris Carter, both sidelined with strained oblique muscles. (Van Every returned to the PawSox line-up tonight) Combined the pair has hit 48 home runs and driven in 141 runs, production difficult to replace.
“You don’t want to be short going down the stretch” said PawSox Manager Ron Johnson, “We kind of battled with that the last few days of the road trip. “I’m really pleased we were able to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Lane was drafted by the Houston Astros in the sixth round of the 1999 draft. He has played parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues, with the Astros and San Diego Padres. In 497 big league games he compiled a .241 average with 61 home runs and 189 RBI’s. His best year came with the Astros in 2005 when he helped lead Houston to the National League pennant by going .267 with 26 homers and 78 RBI’s in 145 games. He also played in all 14 post season games in the Astros’ run through the postseason.
Being in the Yankee organization this season Lane knows of the importance of the rivalry between New York and Boston. And it may be to Pawtucket’s advantage if it faces Scranton in the International League playoffs.
“It’s a little different to go from one to the other but it just seemed like the best fit for me” he said.
With the PawSox in the midst of a playoff run, there is no doubt his experience, ability, and potential will do nothing to hurt the club.