Despite playing mostly good baseball and owning the 2nd best record in the MLB entering today, the Boston Red Sox have some clear deficiencies within their team. There’s the inconsistent bullpen, the maddening base running errors, and most glaringly, the lack of production from the catcher position.
Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon have split time behind the plate for Boston this year, with Vazquez the clear cut #1 and Leon carving out a nice little place for himself as Chris Sale’s personal backstop. For everything that they’ve provided in terms of defense and game management, though, they’ve lacked in offensive contributions.
(Photo credit: Boston Herald)
Collectively, the two are hitting .173 and have combined for just 4 doubles, 1 HR, 10 RBI and 13 runs scored. They’ve reached base only 33 times and have struck out on 27 occasions as a unit. Even more worrisome is their barrel per contact rate, with Leon barreling 5.6% of the pitches he’s hit and Vazquez barreling exactly zero. To put it plainly, they’ve been inept with the bats.
So, what do the Red Sox do about it? Trade rumors have been thrown around, as have assignments to the minors or waivers, but Boston signed Vazquez to a 3-year extension in the offseason, so they clearly see him as the catcher of at least the near future, and Leon has been a constant in the Red Sox plans since he joined the team in 2015. Besides, what kind of trade value could they possibly carry at this point with both of them sitting below the Mendoza line? It seems unlikely that either will be dealt in any capacity, and it’s absolutely impossible that both go somewhere else and theoretically leave the Sox with only one catcher on the roster (Blake Swihart).
So, what Boston is left with is a hope that either one or both of them will turn it around. If they fail to do so, the Red Sox will continue to be left with a black hole at the bottom of their batting order. Stay tuned, folks.