|Can Christian Vazquez be what Sandy Leon was last year?||04.11.17 at 11:42 pm ET|
Christian Vazquez has played in two games so far this season and he’s yet to be retired at the plate.
The Red Sox catcher went 4-for-4 with a double, a triple and two RBIs in the Red Sox’ 8-1 win over the Orioles Tuesday night at Fenway Park. This came after he was hit by a pitch twice and doubled on Saturday against the Tigers.
Vazquez became the first Red Sox hitter to reach safely in his first seven plate appearances in a season since Ted Cox in 1977.
“To see what [Vazquez] is doing here in the early going with just a couple of starts is a credit to him staying prepared and ready, particularly swinging the bat,” manager John Farrell said.
The Red Sox’ No. 9 hitter singled in the third, doubled in the fifth to help set up the first run of the game, but really came up big late. With one out in the seventh inning he singled and then scored on an Andrew Benintendi single. Then in the eighth, he blooped a ball to right field near the line that fell and rolled up the wall, allowing the catcher to easily get to third base for a stand up triple, which drove in two runs.
It was his second career four-hit game. He also stole a base, the first of his career.
“I am trying to not to do too much and thinking through the middle,” Vazquez said. “… I am hitting the ball well. I feel good.”
Red Sox catchers seem to have a knack for being streaky despite not playing every day. Last year, Sandy Leon hit .467 in May and .355 in June on his way to finishing the year with a .310 average in 78 games. Vazquez likely will end up splitting time with Leon this year, so it’s worth wondering can he keep this up at the plate?
The likely answer is no because first off Vazquez is a career .236 hitter, but also just look at the balls he put in play Tuesday night. It wasn’t like the catcher was mashing the ball all over the field, the hits were bloop singles and bleeders that found holes in the defense.
While the success likely will not last the whole season and him hitting above .250 for the year would be considered a good season, his hot start could get him more playing time behind the plate.
Either way, Vazquez isn’t going to stress about it.
“I don’t decide that,” he said. “When they send me to play I am going to be ready.”
|Red Sox concerned with Indians’ running game, which could help decide 2nd catcher for playoffs||10.01.16 at 5:29 pm ET|
Going into Saturday, the Indians have stolen 132 bases this season as a team, which are the most in the American League and it’s been noticed by the Red Sox — the team they will face in the ALDS starting Thursday.
The Red Sox’ second catcher position backing up Sandy Leon remains up for grabs with it coming down to Ryan Hanigan and Christian Vazquez.
Vazquez is starting Saturday catching Eduardo Rodriguez, which may be a sign he could have the inside track for the spot.
Red Sox manager John Farrell was asked if he’s looking for anything in particular when it comes to deciding on a second catcher?
“Just making sure that everybody has recent game activity more than anything,” Farrell said. “We do know this, with Cleveland their running game is a major component to their offense. Controlling that is what we’ll get into more as a team as we prepare for that first round. All things being considered, the defensive capabilities of the guy behind the plate, which we’re confident in all three, you start to weigh that a little bit more heavily.”
Hanigan has started just one game since Sept. 13 and that was Thursday in New York when Henry Owens got the start the night after the Red Sox clinched the AL East. While Vazquez has started just once in the month of September, it’s worth noting it was Rodriguez’s last start against Tampa — a sign Farrell could be looking to get the two on the same page for the postseason.
Additionally, if Farrell does go by which catcher can control the running game better, it’s clearly Vazquez, who is most known for his defensive ability. This season Vazquez has thrown out 36.4 percent (8-of-22) of runners trying to steal against him, while Hanigan has thrown out 28 percent (7-of-25). For their careers, Vazquez has thrown out 45 percent of potential base stealer’s, while Hanigan has thrown out 37 percent of them.
Both players are below average at the plate with Vazquez hitting .225 this season and Hanigan .171, so it’s not like offense is a major factor for either of them.
Playoff baseball is all about the little things, which is why it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Vazquez make the playoff roster over Hanigan.
|Red Sox reinstate reliever Koji Uehara from 15-day disabled list||09.05.16 at 11:27 am ET|
Some help could be on the way for the Red Sox bullpen.
Reliever Koji Uehara, out since July 19 with a pectoral injury that threatened his season, was activated on Monday, when the Red Sox open a three-game series with the San Diego Padres, but won’t be available until Tuesday.
Uehara threw a simulated game on Saturday and emerged feeling strong, so the Red Sox activated him. He’s 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA this year, but if healthy would go a long way towards solving the team’s issues in the eighth inning.
The 41-year-old has struck out 51 and walked nine in 36 innings.
Fore more on Uehara’s activation, check out Rob Bradford’s Red Sox notebook.
In other roster news, the Red Sox also officially summoned catcher Christian Vazquez and right-handers Heath Hembree and Noe Ramirez to the active roster.
|Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: LHP Henry Owens tosses 6 shutout innings for PawSox; Rafael Devers extends hitting streak to 11 games with Salem||08.10.16 at 1:07 pm ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (61-55): W, 3-1, vs. Durham (Rays)
— The PawSox relied on six shutout innings from Henry Owens to come away with the win. The southpaw let up only three hits while striking out seven and walking four. He has fanned 23 batters in his last three starts.
“I’ve just been trying to be consistent and hone a delivery that I can repeat over and over again,” Owens said (via MiLB.com). “Since the second half, I’ve felt pretty comfortable, more consistent and more under control.”
The shutout was Owens’ fourth of the season, and the win was his first since July 16. The 24-year-old has pitched much better in Pawtucket after being sent down from the Red Sox. Overall, he is 7-6 with a 3.85 ERA in 20 minor league starts. Opponents are batting just .218 against him.
— Brennan Boesch drilled a two-run home run over the bullpen in right field in the second inning for his fourth long ball of the season. Boesch, 31, has crossed home plate in three straight games and is slashing .240/.287/.404 in 27 games with Pawtucket.
— Christian Vazquez also went deep for the PawSox, hitting a line drive over the right field fence in the fourth inning to push Pawtucket’s lead to 3-0. It’s his second Triple-A home run of the year.
“He’s quieted things down with his lower half and he’s shown better management of the strike zone,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said of his catcher. “When he’s right, he’s looking to right center, and I think he’s done a real nice job.”
Vazquez, 25, is 6-for-9 with five RBIs in his last three games. He is batting .278/.365/.400 in 26 minor league games.
— Rusney Castillo went 2-for-4 to record his eighth multi-hit performance in his last 12 games. He is hitting .412 over that span. The 29-year-old outfielder has bumped his minor league batting average up to .259 for the season.
|Monday Red Sox Farm Report: Justin Haley pitches shutout for Pawtucket; Aneury Tavarez homers twice for Portland||08.08.16 at 9:13 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (60-54): W, 6-0/L, 3-6, vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays)
— In Game 1, Justin Haley pitched a complete-game shutout, lasting seven innings in a shortened game due to the doubleheader. The right-hander let up five hits and one walk in the outing while striking out four.
“He was aggressive, worked ahead in the count and he was very efficient,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles said. “He showed that sneaky fastball and he set the tone for us today.”
Haley, 25, now has won four straight starts and pitched two consecutive shutouts. He also has pitched at least six innings in his last five appearances. He is 11-7 with a 2.67 ERA this season.
— Offensively, Christian Vazquez led the way, going 3-for-3 with a double, 3 RBIs and a run. He hit a three-run double into right-center field to plate three runs in the third inning, and that would prove to be all the support Haley needed on the mound.
Vazquez, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run against Buffalo on Friday, is slashing .276/.366/.368 and has 11 RBIs in 25 games with Pawtucket. He totaled 10 RBIs in 51 games with Boston before being sent down to Triple-A.
— Ryan LaMarre added a solo home run in the fifth inning to further cement Pawtucket’s lead. It was his seventh shot of the year. LaMarre, 27, now is batting .300/.374/.444 in 67 games.
|Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Christian Vazquez 3-for-4 in PawSox win; Andrew Benintendi hits key 2-run triple for Portland||07.26.16 at 10:08 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (52-51): W, 7-5, vs. Rochester (Twins)
— Christian Vazquez went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run. He roped an RBI single into right field to give the PawSox a 3-0 lead. It was his second three-hit performance in five games. Since being optioned to Pawtucket from Boston on July 5, Vazquez is slashing .271/.371/.373. He averaged .226 in 51 games with the Red Sox.
— Justin Haley was able to come away with the win, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings. He fanned five batters and walked three while not giving up a run until the fourth inning. The 25-year-old right-hander has pitched at least five innings in his last seven starts. Drafted in 2012 by the Red Sox, Haley is 9-7 with a 3.00 ERA in 20 outings.
— Chris Marrero went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. He drove home the first two runs of the game, with both of his RBI hits coming with two outs in the inning. Marrero, 28, has hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games, and he is batting .291/.345/.518 with the PawSox. He also has 19 home runs, second best in the International League.
— Pat Light, Boston’s No. 13 prospect at MLB.com, came on in the middle of the ninth inning after reliever Chandler Shepherd gave up a run in the frame. Light struck out the next two batters to end the game and earn his seventh save of the year. The 25-year-old right-hander is a perfect 7-for-7 in save opportunities and has struck out 36 in 30 innings. His ERA is 2.10.
|Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Joe Kelly solid in relief for PawSox||07.21.16 at 9:42 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the minors on Wednesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (51-47): L, 3-2, vs. Toledo (Tigers).
— The PawSox got their only two runs of the game in the ninth inning, squandering solid efforts from starter Keith Couch and reliever Joe Kelly.
— Couch went seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. The 26-year-old righty is now 1-3 with a 4.50 and 1.36 WHIP in five appearances (four starts) with Pawtucket.
— Kelly tossed a scoreless eighth inning of relief, allowing one hit and one walk with a pair of strikeouts. The 28-year-old has appeared three times for the PawSox since returning from Lowell on a rehab assignment, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out eight of the 16 batters he’s faced.
— Christian Vazquez and Brennan Boesch hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to provide the only two runs for the PawSox.
— Jantzen Witte was the only member of the PawSox to get two hits in the team’s six-hit effort; however Boesch and Chris Marrero both smacked doubles.
|Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Christian Vazquez 3-for-4 for PawSox; LHP Matt Kent tosses 8 scoreless innings for Salem||07.20.16 at 11:08 am ET|
Here is a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (51-46): W, 4-2, at Toledo (Tigers)
— Catcher Christian Vazquez’s bat was red hot Tuesday night. The 25-year-old was 3-for-4 with a three-run home run and two runs scored. Vazquez was sent down to Pawtucket on July 5 after hitting .226/.278/.305 in 51 games in the big leagues. Since being demoted, Vazquez has been hitting .295/.415/.409 in 13 games.
— Starter Justin Haley pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs, 10 hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The 25-year-old right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in seven games (six starts) with the PawSox. Haley has been with Pawtucket since June 17, when he was promoted from Portland.
— In relief of Haley, Robby Scott pitched two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit with two strikeouts. Following Scott, Roman Mendez came into the ninth inning to throw five pitches and get the save.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (35-60): L, 3-2, at Trenton (Yankees)
— Mitch Atkins recorded his sixth quality start of the season, pitching six innings and allowing two runs, three hits and two walks with six strikeouts. In 21 games (12 starts), Atkins is 2-4 with a 5.15 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.
— Andrew Benintendi and Nate Freiman each went 2-for-4. In the sixth inning with Mauricio Dubon on base, Benintendi hit an RBI triple to center field. Freiman then hit a single to left to score Benintendi. Freiman is hitting .271/.341/.453 in 53 games, while Benintendi is hitting .282/.346/.487 in 52 games.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (56-38): W, 1-0 in 11 innings, vs. Potomac (Nationals)
— With one out in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 11th inning, Rafael Devers and Nick Longhi hit back-to-back doubles to win the game. Longhi has the second most doubles on the team with 23 and Devers is third on the team with 22. Devers finished the game 3-for-5 with two doubles and Longhi went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.
— Left-hander Matt Kent threw eight scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks (one intentional) with eight strikeouts. Kent reached career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts. Kent was the first Salem pitcher since Teddy Stankiewicz on May 25, 2015, to throw eight full innings. The 23-year-old is 8-4 in 17 starts with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
— Jamie Callahan picked up the win after pitching three scoreless innings of relief and allowing just one hit while recording three strikeouts. In 23 games this season Callahan is 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (48-45): No game scheduled.
— Greenville wills start a three-game series at Greensboro (Marlins) on Wednesday night.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (19-13): L, 4-2, vs. State College (Cardinals)
— Brian Johnson made his second rehab start in Lowell on Tuesday. Johnson threw six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and one walk with six strikeouts. In Johnson’s two rehab starts he has not allowed an earned run and only seven hits in 11 innings pitched.
— Chris Madera and Carlos Tovar each went 2-for-4, while Robby Scott and Andy Perez each drove home a run.
|Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Joe Kelly tosses scoreless inning of relief with Lowell; Christian Vazquez goes 1-for-4 with Pawtucket||07.07.16 at 9:59 am ET|
Here’s a look at what happened in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (45-42): L, 8-6, vs. Charlotte (White Sox)
— Power was not an issue for the PawSox Wednesday with Henry Ramos, Chris Marrero and Chris Dominguez all parking homers in the game. With the exception of Deven Marrero and Rusney Castillo, each Pawtucket starter had at least one hit, with Chris Marrero grabbing a pair of them.
— Henry Owens went six innings and allowed five runs on five hits, while walking four and striking out six. The 23-year-old lefty is 5-5 on the year with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
— The only other pitcher for the PawSox — Wesley Wright — got handed the loss in release, falling to 0-2 this year. In two innings of work, he allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout.
— In his first game back with Pawtucket since April 12, Christian Vazquez was 1-for-4 on the night with a strikeout.
|Red Sox moves: Christian Vazquez optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, Ryan Hanigan activated to 25-man roster||07.04.16 at 6:21 pm ET|
While many saw the move coming, it became official after Monday’s 12-5 win over the Rangers.
With catcher Ryan Hanigan set to return to the big league club from a neck strain, the Red Sox have optioned Christian Vazquez back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
“He answered the durability question that we needed to see, and that was back-to-back nine innings caught,” manager John Farrell said of Hanigan. “Someone who’s been an accomplished big league catcher, particularly defensively and handling a pitching staff. It was time for him to come back to us.”
Vazquez has been struggling at the plate this season — hitting only .226 in 51 games — and Sandy Leon has been very impressive during his stint with the team since Hanigan went down. Leon went 4-for-5 with three doubles on Monday and is now batting .500 on the season.
The team can’t have three catchers on the roster and with Leon without options, the Red Sox were left with little choice but to option Vazquez.
“I think players are understanding of what goes on around them, I think they’re fairly aware,” Farrell said. “In Sandy’s case, where he’s out of options — at that position, you’re always a foul tip away from needing another guy. From the performance of Sandy in combination with the organizational depth, we felt like this was the move we needed to make.”
Additionally, Farrell announced Sean O’Sullivan will start Friday against the Rays and Clay Buchholz will pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the first half. O’Sullivan was strong in his start on Sunday, allowing two runs over five innings in earning the win over the Angels. Buchholz will give the team a long relief man out of the bullpen, something they desperately need of late with so many relievers logging a lot of innings.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
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