Christian Vazquez traded his catcher’s mitt for an infielder’s glove Monday, as Red Sox manager Alex Cora called on the young backstop to play second base in Boston’s series finale against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
“Piece of cake,” Vazquez joked, per MassLive.com.
Several factors played a role in Cora’s decision to start Vazquez at second base: Brock Holt remains on the injured list with a scratched cornea, Eduardo Nunez seemingly is dealing with something (either illness or an injury?), and the Red Sox still are managing Dustin Pedroia’s workload as the four-time All-Star works his way back from a knee injury.
Vazquez has some (limited) experience in the infield — he’s appeared in four games at third base at the major league level and even played first base in the 2018 World Series — so Cora felt comfortable enough to plug him in at second base while giving Blake Swihart the start at catcher. Vazquez had started three games in a row behind the plate.
“Ground balls, I’m going to block it. I’ve got a cup,” Vazquez joked, per MassLive.com. “Don’t worry.”
“I take a lot of ground balls like every day at third base with the guys,” he added. “So it’s nothing new.”
Well, technically, it is “new” for Vazquez as far as major league game action goes. But he was more than willing to embrace the challenge — a fitting gesture on Marathon Monday in Boston.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Sousa/USA TODAY Sports Images