JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The Boston Red Sox called-up catcher Ryan Lavarnway today (8/18/2011) from the minors, where he has pounded a total of 30 HRs for the franchise’s AA and AAA squads.

The 24-year-old backstop is the second Jewish player to be promoted this week. Philadelphia Phillies reliever Michael Schwimer was promoted Tuesday (8/16/2011). Once they take the field, the pair will be the 11th and 12th Jews to play in the Majors this season.

By coincidence, Lavarnway is filling a roster spot left open by 3B (and fellow Jew) Kevin Youkilis, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a sore back.

A Yale University alum who was selected in the 6th round of the 2008 amateur draft, the 6’4″, 225-pound Lavarnway led all Red Sox prospects with 102 RBIs last year. This season he has driven in 85 runs while boosting his HR output from 22 to 30 (see stats). His combined batting average is .293 — even after a 2-for-26 slump the last 7 games — and his on-base percentage is a strong .372.

Some have questioned Lavarnway’s catching prowess, but the Burbank, Calif., native’s hard work appears to be paying off. He has made only one error this year and has erased 35 percent of all base-stealing attempts. (This article has some good quotes from Lavarnway and Red Sox scouts about his catching.)

According to the Boston Herald, Lavarnway will make his MLB debut as a designated hitter when the Red Sox face the Kansas City Royals at 8:10pm ET. He is scheduled to bat 7th in the order.

As for Schwimer, the Phillies will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight at 7:05pm ET.

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