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Red Sox designate A.J. Pierzynski for assignment, call up Christian Vazquez

07.09.14 at 2:57 pm ET
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The Red Sox have designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment, manager John Farrell confirmed to Dale & Holley Wednesday afternoon. In a corresponding move, the team has called up Christian Vazquez, who will get the start behind the plate Wednesday night.

“It’s at that point in the season where you start to look to invest in young players and take advantage of the games remaining for us,” Farrell said. “We look to players who might be here beyond this season, and in that case it’s Christian Vazquez.”

Pierzynski has posted a .254/.286/.348 line with four home runs and 31 RBIs this season. The team had signed him to a one-year, $8.25 million deal before the season.

Pierzynski’s designation opens up a spot for Vazquez, considered one of the organization’s top prospects. In 66 games in Pawtucket this season, Vazquez has posted a .279/.336/.385 line with three homers and 20 RBIs. His best asset, however, is his defense, which is viewed as potentially Gold Glove-caliber. He’d thrown out 40 percent of would-be base stealers this year.

Farrell said the move has nothing to do with any character issues involving Pierzynski, but instead is simply a move to give a younger player a shot.

“No, not at all,” Farrell said when asked about any personality issues. “This has been a matter of us taking a look internally at, what are the players we’re going to continue to build forward with? And we’ve started with what’s taken place behind the plate.

“We’re turning the page in terms of investing in young players. … I wouldn’t say that the white flag is being waved, because inside our clubhouse, I can honestly tell you that feeling does not exist.”

Some background on Vazquez:

Christian Vazquez thinks he’s ready (July 2014)

Future bet with Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts (podcast, June 2014)

How catchers Christian Vazquez and Dan Butler forced their way to prospect status (podcast, March 2014)

The making of Christian Vazquez, Catching prospect (March 2013)

 

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