As pitchers and catchers hold their first official workout tomorrow, one of the big storylines to watch is who will be the starting catcher for the Red Sox.
Since Blake Swihart has some minor league options left on his contract, it seems likely that the battle will come down to Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez. If Leon or Vazquez were to be sent down to the minors, after all, they would have to go through waivers and the organization probably doesn’t want to lose either player.
So the obvious question becomes, who will it be? As of right now, John Farrell says there is going to be a competition “to a certain extent.”
It might be a competition, but Sandy Leon appears to be the favorite after the 27 year old had a .310/.369/.476 batting line last year. While Vazquez has had the time to fully recover from Tommy John’s surgery, you simply cannot ignore the impressive stats that Leon put up last year. And it appears as though Red Sox officials agree.
“What Sandy Leon did last year, I don’t know that anyone anticipated the offensive production,” Farrell said at the Boston Baseball Writers dinner over the winter. “He was fantastic. If we were to start today, he’d go in probably as the lead guy to the position.”
Now that we’re closer to the start of Spring Training, however, Farrell is leaving the door open a little more. In addition to his comments about it being a competition, Farrell highlighted that he thought all three players represented a strong group of players when he was asked about the organization’s catchers.
“We’ve got three guys that are fully healthy, that’s No. 1, particularly with what Blake went through last year and the surgery in the offseason,” Farrell said according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. “But with Sandy, Christian and Blake, yeah we feel really good about the core group that’s there. We’ll see how things unfold.”
So as it stands now, it appears to be Sandy Leon’s position to lose but it really does come down to how they perform during Spring Training.