The Boston Red Sox certainly are not lacking in the catcher department with Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart all currently on the roster.
But what the trio does lack is offensive power.
Vazquez batted .207 in 2018 with three home runs and 16 RBIs. He did miss some time due to a broken finger but caught a majority of Boston’s games. Sandy Leon amassed a mere .177 batting average with five home runs and 22 RBIs, while Blake Swihart batted .229 with three round-trippers.
While there’s a chance one of the three will be traded come Opening Day, Red Sox manager Alex Cora knows he has three special backstops.
?He did an outstanding job blocking balls,? Cora said of Vazquez, via the Boston Herald’s Steve Keegan. ?A lot of people were talking about wild pitches and passed balls in the postseason. That was the case with our guys. I think it was like 35 out of 35 blocking pitches, so that was good. He actually did an outstanding job in the postseason.?
Vazquez caught a majority of the games in Boston’s postseason run, including Game 5 of the World Series when Chris Sale struck out Manny Machado to seal the title victory. Although he went hitless in his team’s 8-5 spring training come back victory, Cora is glad to see him putting the bat on the ball.
?He?s driving the ball,” Cora said, “so he?s in a good place right now.?
When it comes to Leon, Cora said his already powerful lineup makes it easier to insert the catcher into the starting nine. Leon caught most of Rick Porcello’s starts last season, and the right-hander raved about pitching to him.
?Sandy has caught a lot the last two years and it seems like he?s caught the same guys a lot,? Cora said. ?It gets to a point sometimes you have to make decisions based on that. With the offense that we have it?s not that we?d like them to hit .200 or not get on base, but we feel like we?re still going to score runs.?
There’s been no decision about who will be the starting catcher, and Cora didn’t offer anything about who he will want traded.
?Everybody?s going to play and we?ll make a decision, so I don?t get caught up in who has a leg up or whatever,? Cora said. ?They?re three good catchers and we trust the three of them.?