With Spring Training starting up, it is time to look at each MLB teams roster. One of the more intriguing teams is the Boston Red Sox, as they hope to become the first team since the 1999-2000 New York Yankees to repeat as World Series champions.
Entering the Spring the biggest question revolving around Boston is the status of their bullpen, but the catching position is also something people have been delving into. With Blake Swihart, Christian Vasquez, and Sandy Leon all still here, something is going to have to give.
President of baseball operations has already stated that he does not anticipate carrying all three catchers at the start of the year. Leon has a great rapport with the starting staff. Vasquez is a great defender but has a little bit more of a bat, and Blake Swihart has the best hitting ability and highest potential of any of the three.
It will be interesting to see who the Sox decide to keep, but I highly doubt that one of them ends up getting traded. The Red Sox have been exploring the possibility of moving one of the backstops since January and have yet to find a suitor. The only guy that would maybe garner a return is Blake Swihart and I have a strong feeling the Sox would love to keep their former top prospect.
My thoughts are that Sandy Leon is the one to go. Yes, he is great behind the dish, but he is almost inept in the batters’ box. Batting .177 in the major leagues is just something that can not happen. It is understandable that the staff loves Leon, but if the pitchers are good the pitchers are good. Having Vasquez catching them makes little difference (in my opinion) while you add a little more pop at the bottom of your lineup.
A combination of Vasquez and Swihart has been the catching plan for Boston for a long time, and I think it finally comes to fruition this season. Both Vasquez and Swihart are younger than Leon and have more room for growth. The Sox also have a financial commitment to Vasquez, as they gave him a 3-year extension at the start of last year. We know what Leon is, he does not have a big deal, and he can not hit for crap. For those reasons, I think Leon is the odd man out on the Sox 25-man roster at the start of 2019.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)