The Boston Red Sox shook up their situation behind the plate in a big way Wednesday.
Manager John Farrell confirmed to WEEI’s “Dale and Holley” that the team has designated veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and promoted 23-year-old Christian Vazquez from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Vazquez will make his major league debut Wednesday night against the Chicago White Sox, catching pitcher Rubby De La Rosa and batting ninth.
Farrell told the radio show that the move is not proof the “white flag is being waved,” but he acknowledged the Red Sox’s desire to give prospects playing time.
“We’re turning the page in terms of investing in young players,” Farrell said, via WEEI.com’s Alex Speier.
Pierzynski failed to live up to expectations during his brief tenure in Boston, hitting .254 with just four home runs and 31 RBIs in 72 games this season. He failed to drive in a run in his final 10 games with the team, and his most recent extra-base hit came back on June 13.
Vazquez, the No. 10 prospect in the Red Sox’s system, as ranked by MLB.com, has hit the ball well during his first full season at Triple-A (he played one game there in 2013). The young backstop has posted a .279/.336/.385 slash line and ranks second among PawSox batters in hits (68) and doubles (17).
Vazquez will be one of five rookies in the Red Sox’s lineup Wednesday night, joining Brock Holt, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts.