The Red Sox, who optioned outfielder Rusney Castillo to Triple-A Pawtucket following last night’s win over the Orioles, will recall catcher Christian Vazquez from his rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket tonight, reports the Boston Herald’s Evan Drellich (Twitter link). Everyday catcher Blake Swihart hasn’t hit much and, perhaps more troublesomely, has demonstrated a few defensive hiccups, including missed pop-ups and some difficulty keeping the ball in front of him. (Swihart has allowed three passed balls on the young season.) The Red Sox, for the time being, seem poised to carry three catchers on the roster with Vazquez, Swihart and Ryan Hanigan, though it’s hard to envision that as a long-term arrangement. The 25-year-old Vazquez is recovering from Tommy John surgery that was performed on him last spring and played in five games at Triple-A prior to his promotion.
Here’s more on the Red Sox…
- Yahoo’s Jeff Passan writes that the Red Sox could quickly look for a way to cut ties with Pablo Sandoval, who was placed on the DL with a somewhat dubious shoulder strain. As Passan notes, the Red Sox opted not to even bother performing an MRI on Sandoval — a test that would be standard in evaluating anything other than a catastrophic injury. Sources tell Passan that Sandoval only wants to remain in Boston if he’s able to play every day, but there’s no way the Sox will run him out there on a daily basis at this point given his struggles at the plate (in 2015 and in Spring Training), his rapidly deteriorating defensive skills and questions about his conditioning. Despite persistent speculation about a Sandoval-for-James Shields swap (which frankly makes no sense for San Diego), the Padres have cooled on Sandoval since pursuing him as a free agent in the 2014-15 offseason, Passan hears. The only way the Sox would give Sandoval regular time, Passan writes, would be if he loses weight and others in their lineup struggle. However, he can’t reestablish even a modicum of trade value without playing, creating something of a catch-22 in Boston.
- The Red Sox continue to be haunted by a series of deals from the second half of 2014, writes the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, who looks back at a series of now-ill-fated moves that began with the July 31 trades of Jon Lester for Yoenis Cespedes and John Lackey for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. Less than a month later, the Sox signed Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5MM deal, and in late November they announced the signings of Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez on the same day. Speier writes that the series of transactions helps to create a two-fold legacy for departed GM Ben Cherington, who helped the club to a 2013 World Series but has seen poor returns on nearly all transactions made from that point forth. However, Cherington’s unwillingness to deal prospects and moves to acquire young talent also left the club with a base of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Brock Holt, Swihart, Vazquez, Eduardo Rodriguez and others. And, that strong base makes it possible for the club to survive some of the more high-profile missteps (Sandoval, Castillo, etc.).