Ryan LaMarre couldn’t risk sleeping Friday night. He had to ensure there was no chance he would snooze through his early Saturday morning alarm.
After all, the 27-year-old outfielder almost missed his call to the Red Sox after helping Triple A Pawtucket grab a 9-1 road win Friday over the Louisville Bats — he wasn’t about to miss his shuttle to the airport.
“I was at dinner [Friday] night with a couple of my teammates and one of my buddies from the Bats and our manager from Triple A called me and he left a voicemail,” said LaMarre. “I didn’t even hear it go off, and it was pretty much, ‘Call me immediately.’
“And I called [manager Kevin Boles] back and he just said, ‘Hey, congratulations, you’re going to the big leagues, you’ve earned it. Enjoy it, go up there, keep playing how you’ve been playing, and I hope I never see you again.’ ”
After receiving the good news at 11:30 p.m., the former University of Michigan standout received a call from the PawSox trainer informing him that he would have a shuttle ride from the hotel to the airport at 4 a.m.
LaMarre went back to the hotel and packed his bags. LaMarre and infielder Deven Marrero, who was also called up, flew from Louisville to Atlanta, then to Boston, arriving at Fenway Park with plenty of time to take on-field batting practice before Saturday’s 4:05 start. Neither player ended up seeing action in the game.
“Honestly, I’m kind of tired still just from all the travel,” LaMarre said before the Red Sox’ 6-2 win. “But just looking around this place, all the history. You’ve seen it in video games, you’ve seen it in all these unbelievable playoff games, and just to be here, it’s an awesome feeling.”
LaMarre was drafted in the second round in 2010 by Cincinnati, and made his big league debut last Aug. 22, starting in center field. He appeared in 21 games in 2015, batted just .080 (2 for 25), and played all three outfield positions.
He signed with the Red Sox as a minor league free agent Dec. 14.
Making the trip from Boston to Triple A were lefthander Roenis Elias, who started Friday’s game, and outfielder Rusney Castillo.
“Sending Rusney back there was a need for more regular at-bats [to] get him on track,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Farrell acknowledged LaMarre’s transition won’t be easy, but said LaMarre proved to be one of the best options based on how he’s been swinging the bat and his versatility in the outfield.
In 43 games with Pawtucket, LaMarre hit .313 with eight doubles, six home runs, 19 RBIs, and 11 steals. He went 1 for 4 with a two-run homer in Pawtucket’s win Friday.
“It’s a challenge, particularly from a mental standpoint, for a player coming up into this role,” Farrell said.
“Their pregame becomes almost their game day. Not only staying in shape, but staying with timing as best possible. You try and find matchups that are advantageous to them.”
LaMarre’s parents were already asleep when their son tried to call them Friday. He wasn’t able to reach them until later, but said they will be in Boston Sunday or Monday. LaMarre was able to get ahold of his fiancee and her family, who immediately booked a flight out from Minneapolis to make it to Saturday’s game.
“It was last minute, I called them, she was all excited,” LaMarre said. “By the time I called her back 40 minutes later they had already booked a flight, so it was exciting . . . They’ve been supportive and it’s great to share that with them.”
LaMarre said the goal for his current stint is simply to enjoy the time in the big leagues.
“You never know,” he said. “You hear all the time about guys who just get a chance and they run with it. You just want to keep working and show them you’re not overwhelmed and you can handle the situation.”
He added he’s been having “some of the most fun” he’s ever had playing baseball during his time in the Red Sox organization.
“The group of guys they’ve got here from top to bottom is just top-notch,” he said. “I mean, I kind of got to know them in spring training and that’s just one of the things I was so impressed with, that all these big-name guys like [David] Ortiz, Hanley [Ramirez], [Dustin] Pedroia — these guys are just so welcoming and they don’t make you feel out of place.
“They rag on you just like they rag on anyone else and you feel welcome. It’s a special place. You want to come here and play well and stick around.”