The glorious return of Christian Vazquez has begun!
After being sidelined all of 2015 thanks to undergoing Tommy John surgery, Vazquez is finally getting some time behind the dish as he is slated to appear in his first Spring Training game on Tuesday.
Christian Vazquez will get his first start behind plate Tuesday. #RedSox
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) March 6, 2016
While Blake Swihart has the Sox’ vote of confidence (and pretty much everyone’s for that matter) as the starting catcher, Vazquez has sounded like a man on a mission to reclaim the spot that was originally his to begin with back in 2014. For Vazquez, a light-hitting but hard-throwing catcher, everything seemed to be falling into place after taking the starting job in 2014.
Then reality hit hard as he went down with an injury last spring and spent the entire year on his bum trying to recover. To be honest, he was almost forgotten, at least by me, after Swihart ooh’ed and awe’d Red Sox Nation batting .274 in his rookie year while handling himself adequately behind the dish.
While many seem to lean towards it being one or the other, personally I wouldn’t mind a tandem. Swihart is easily the superior hitter and frankly he always will be. But Vazquez demonstrates a mastery behind the plate as an elite defensive catcher–which is just as rare as an elite-hitting catcher. The Sox have two perfectly suited sides to the same coin, and while we can’t find a way to mash them into one super-stud player, we can platoon the pair and see how it goes.
It’s worth a shot, though if Vazquez shows the potential to hit around .270-.280 Swihart may be in trouble.