Originally slated to start as catcher on Opening Day, Christian Vazquez is now unlikely to do so. He has not played in a spring training game since March 13th, and the elbow injury that he has been battling complicates the roster situation for the Red Sox.
According to ESPN, the findings of the MRI are serious enough that a second opinion will be needed. On Wednesday later this week Vazquez will see Dr. James Andews, the renowned orthopedic surgeon who has also worked with athletes such as C.C. Sabathia, Matt Harvey, and John Smoltz.
“I was not told specifically what’s going on there,” Vazquez said. “If, in fact, it involves [the ligament] to what extent, if it is involved, we just know there have been some findings in the MRI. I think before we get too far ahead of ourselves, a second opinion will be had and information compared, but clearly the MRI suggests that there’s more information that’s going to be had.”
The information given so far has been so vague because according to John Farrell the team is still in “a bit of fact-finding mode”.
If there is one thing that is for certain is that Vazquez is now unlikely to play on Opening Day, according to John Farrell. With Vazquez out at least for the time being, Ryan Hanigan is likely to be No. 1 catcher. They also have Humberto Quintero, a veteran catcher, at camp.
At this time Hanigan, who was Tampa Bay’s Opening Day catcher last season, is preparing as if he will be the team’s everyday catcher.
“I always trained to come in to be the starting guy,” he said. “That’s what I always wanted, to tell you the truth. I trained that way in the offseason, worked hard to be ready whenever my name was called.”
The best that Sox fans can hope for is that the injury is not serious enough that it will hinder him for the entire season and the rest of his career. At only 24 years of age, Vazquez still has a ton of potential and it would be terrible to see an injury like this keep him from being the best he can be.