BRADENTON, Fla. — A.J. Pierzynski gave the Boston Red Sox a scare during Monday’s spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field.
Pierzynski rolled his left ankle while running the bases in the seventh inning, causing the catcher to limp off the field in favor of a pinch runner. It’s the second time Pierzynski has had an issue with the ankle this spring, although the veteran backstop said after exiting Monday’s game that the injury is “no big deal.”
“If I had to play tomorrow, I’d be fine,” Pierzynski said. “Same thing I did earlier. I just kind of rolled it a little bit. When you first do it, it hurts like hell and then it gets better as the day goes on.”
Pierzynski has been the model of durability throughout his major league career, only landing on the disabled list twice in his 16 seasons behind the plate. The 37-year-old has played at least 128 games each of the last 12 seasons.
The Red Sox have plenty of catching depth, with David Ross serving as the backup and Christian Vazquez, Blake Swihart, Ryan Lavarnway and Dan Butler also attending Boston’s major league camp this spring. But the Red Sox certainly have high expectations for Pierzynski, a two-time All-Star who earned a Silver Slugger with the Chicago White Sox in 2012.
It appears Pierzynski and the Red Sox dodged a bullet Monday.