The Boston Red Sox’s blowout win Saturday night came at a great cost.
During the seventh inning of Boston’s 15-4 win over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium, catcher Christian Vazquez fractured the pinky finger on his throwing hand during an uncontested slide into second base. The Red Sox backup has been placed on though 10-day disabled list, although it remains unclear just how long he’ll be out. He’ll have an MRI on Monday to determine the length of absence, according to The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham.
The Red Sox recalled reliever William Cuevas on Sunday to replace Vazquez’s spot on the roster. The team also placed lefty Brian Johnson on the 10-day D.L. with a hip injury.
Here’s the full list of Sunday’s roster moves:
After Saturday’s game, Red Sox manager Alex Cora talked about Vazquez’s injury.
“We’ve been carrying three catchers the whole time,” Cora said, via Abraham. “Blake (Swihart) is going to catch … but it’s a big hit to us.”
Sandy Leon, who will assume primary catching duties in Vazquez’s stead, is hopeful his teammate won’t be sidelined for too long.
“I feel awful for Christian,” Leon said. “We’ve been playing back and forth since last year, sharing the job. Hopefully it’s not something that keeps him out a long time.”
The loss of Vazquez is a tough blow to the Red Sox, who deploy one of the premier defensive catching tandems in Major League Baseball. It also further weakens an area that has struggled to provide offense all season long.
Boston has received a .230 batting average from its catchers, good for 15th in baseball. The seven home runs and 32 RBIs the Red Sox have gotten from the position both rank 25th in the big leagues.
If there’s any silver lining to be found in Vazquez’s injury, however, it’s that Blake Swihart, who has struggled both at the plate and in finding a role, finally might get a chance to find some success, as well as some consistency.
Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images