Catcher attempted throwing out runner against Blue Jays
By Quinn Roberts
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Christian Vazquez may have caught just four innings in the Red Sox's 2-1, 10-inning loss on Friday to the Blue Jays, but it said a lot about the progress he's making in his comeback from Tommy John surgery.
While Vazquez caught two innings in his first start of the spring on Tuesday against the Orioles, Friday marked the first time he had the chance to throw a runner out.
Vazquez showcased his strong arm in the bottom of the third inning on a snap throw to first base with Blue Jays shortstop Jio Mier straying just far enough from the bag.
"I almost got him at first base. I thought I got him," Vazquez said. "It felt so good. It was my first attempt. It was a good day."
That type of play is something Red Sox manager John Farrell felt was necessary to keep Vazquez on track and increase his workload. Farrell expects Vazquez to catch five innings early next week.
"The reaction plays, the off-balance throws that are made in not the truest arm slot, he was able to react and get plenty of strength on the throw," Farrell said. "He came out with a smile on his face and another step in the right direction."
Vazquez was also tasked with catching knuckleballer Steven Wright, who allowed three hits in four scoreless innings.
"I have a history with Christian because we have spent so much time in Pawtucket together. Our catchers do a great job," Wright said. "It's nice to see him back there again. It's been a long road for him. He's been working his butt off to get back and he's looking really good. I'm happy to throw to him."
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.