So far this season, the Boston Red Sox are not receiving sufficient production from their catching core. Their catchers combined are hitting .247 with a .286 OBP. Starting catcher AJ Pierzynski is doing just fine hitting .282 with a .315 OBP along with four home runs in 47 games. On defense, Pierzynski has caught 29% of attempted base stealers which is slightly above the league average. David Ross on the other hand is really struggling. In 19 games on the season Ross is batting just .167 with a .225 OBP. Defense used to be Ross’ strong point, but now he is struggling. So far this season Ross has gunned down just 19% of would-be base stealers which is far below the league average. Not to mention the .984 fielding percentage Ross owns, which is again not good. With this being said, Boston might want to look elsewhere for a sufficient backup catcher. The man they are looking for is none other than Pawtucket Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez.
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Vazquez, 23, is having a solid year for the Pawtucket Red Sox. In 42 games he is hitting .269 with a .318 OBP along with 12 doubles. As of late, Vazquez’ bat is improving as he has hit .308 in his last ten games. It is worth noting that Vazquez fares much better against righties at the plate than he does lefties. Against lefties Ross is batting just .220 with a .291 OBP compared to his .291 average and .331 OBP against right-handed pitching.
Keep in mind, defense is his strong suit. In 31 games behind the plate for Pawtucket, Vazquez has thrown out 38% of would-be base runners and is boasting a .993 fielding percentage. In Spring Training this year, manager John Farrell said he believed that Christian Vazquez was already Major League ready on defense.
Right now, David Ross is not contributing to the Boston Red Sox. Other than calling a solid game behind the plate and being a veteran leader on the team, Ross provides nothing for the Red Sox. Boston already has enough veteran presence in the clubhouse, and could use wins more than another veteran. Since numbers never lie, to put it into sabermetrics, David Ross’ WAR is -0.3. Keep in mind, if Ross played more that number would be even lower.
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The Boston Red Sox record is 27-31 putting them in fourth place. They need to do whatever it takes to make their team better and if that means calling up Christian Vazquez than so be it. In 2013 when David Ross was out for most of the season, Boston fared just fine with Ryan Lavarnway playing a scarce backup catching duty. Obviously, Boston feels more comfortable with Vazquez behind the plate than Lavarnway though, and Vazquez would likely receive as much playing time as Ross gets now. On defense, Vazquez would make an immediate impact likely fielding just as well as AJ Pierzynski, though offense might be a struggle. To put it this way, Vazquez should be able to outperform David Ross at the plate to say the least.
To recap, the Red Sox are going to use Christian Vazquez sooner or later, so it would be in their best interest to make it sooner rather than later. The sooner Christian Vazquez gets his shot in the big leagues, the better especially with the way David Ross has been playing this season.