Christian Vazquez Returns To Red Sox Lineup For First Time Since 2014

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Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez

Photo via Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez

Christian Vazquez is back.

Vazquez will start behind the plate and bat eighth Friday night as the Boston Red Sox begin a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. The 25-year-old catcher hasn’t appeared in a regular-season game since 2014, as he missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery toward the end of spring training.

Vazquez was activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday after five rehab games with Triple-A Pawtucket. He went 6-for-13 with a double, two RBIs and seven walks in those contests.

Blake Swihart was optioned to Pawtucket with Vazquez returning. Swihart had been pegged the Red Sox’s starting catcher going into this season, but he has struggled at times defensively. Vazquez is a superior defender whose game-calling ability has been lauded throughout the organization.

Rick Porcello, who raved about Vazquez before the young backstop went down last spring, will toe the rubber to begin Friday’s series opener. He allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings Saturday in his first start of the season against the Jays.

The complete lineups for Friday’s game are below.

RED SOX (4-4)
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Brock Holt, LF
Christian Vazquez, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Rick Porcello, RHP (1-0, 6.00)

BLUE JAYS (5-5)
Kevin Pillar, CF
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Justin Smoak, 1B
Michael Saunders, LF
Ryan Goins, 2B
Josh Thole, C

R.A. Dickey, RHP (1-1, 8.10)

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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