The Red Sox have designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and called up Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket. Vazquez, 23, will be behind the plate tonight, catching Rubby De La Rosa.
According to tweets posted by WEEI's Alex Speier, John Farrell said, "We're turning the page in terms of investing in young players." and that Vazquez is up to stay and has a chance to be "a frontline catcher for years to come". Vazquez batted .279/.336/.385 for Pawtucket in 66 games this year.
Plus defensive catcher with a strong, wide frame and solid agility behind the plate. Quick release, plus-to-better arm. Consistently timed quicker than 1.9 seconds on throws to second base. Struggled in the past blocking balls in the dirt, but has made strong strides improving with controlling his body to front offerings. Firm when receiving pitches. Quick feet. Smooth footwork when firing out of crouch. Learning to lead behind the plate. Average bat speed. Has worked to quicken swing load. Extends on offerings middle-to-away well. Gets tied up by higher velocity fastballs on inner third. Must increase hitting zones to make consistent contact in higher levels. Tends to be fooled by sharp breaking balls. Fringe-average-to-average power potential. Capable of driving balls into the gap hard.In 72 games, AJP was a bust at the plate (.254/.286/.348) and a liability behind it.
Neither Pierzynski nor David Ross will be with the Red Sox in 2015. The team might as well let Vazquez get accustomed to the majors as soon as possible. It's not like the team will be pushing for a playoff spot in these remaining 72 games.