It’s been a long 361 days since Christian Vazquez tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow last March, an injury that required Tommy John surgery and a lengthy recovery that cost him the entire 2015 season. Tuesday, the waiting finally was over, as the Boston Red Sox’s 25-year-old catcher crouched behind the plate in game action for the first time since the injury.
?It was two innings — and a happy player coming off the field after what he?s gone through,? manager John Farrell said, via ESPN. ?He looked very comfortable. He handled a couple balls in the dirt clean. You look at his throws down to second in between innings, it looked similar to what they were pre-surgery. A productive day in a lot of areas, and Christian was one of them.?
Vazquez told reporters after the game that he was “nervous a little,” but that the feeling subsided once batters dug in. He finished 0 for 1 with a groundout, and helped left-handed starter Roenis Elias out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the second of his two innings of work.
“I’m back,” Vazquez said, via WEEI. ?That was my goal, to get back to the field and do my things, do my catching things. I?m happy. I?m excited. It?s a long year to get back, but I?m here.”
Boston will continue to take things slowly. His next game action is scheduled for Friday, and he’ll hit against Koji Uehara in a live batting practice session in between.
So call Tuesday a success. Well, except for one thing.
“I was hoping that somebody steals,” Vazquez admitted.
No such luck. Even with 361 days off, opposing base runners know better than to run on Vazquez.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images