January 18, 2020
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Red Sox place catcher Vazquez on 60-day disabled list

Steve Mitchell | USA Today Sports
Steve Mitchell | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez runs back into the dugout during a spring training game on March 9 against the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, Florida.

The Boston Red Sox will seek a second opinion on catcher Christian Vazquez’s throwing elbow after he was placed on the 60-day disabled list Monday.

The results of the MRI exam on Vazquez’s elbow on Friday raised sufficient concerns, manager John Farrell said the next day, although he was vague about the findings. Vazquez will meet with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported.

The Red Sox filled Vazquez’s void on Monday when they acquired defensive catcher Sandy Leon from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Leon, a switch hitter, is expected to be with the Red Sox on Tuesday for their spring game against the Rays in Port Charlotte, Florida.

Ryan Hanigan, a right-handed hitter, could platoon with Leon.

The move of signing Leon likely means that Sox catching prospect Blake Swihart will start in the season in Triple-A Pawtucket and continue on his development toward becoming a starting big league catcher.

Leon played 33 games for the Nationals over the last three seasons and hit .189 with a home run and five RBIs.

Vazquez, a 24-year-old who appeared to be making progress in his throwing program, has not played in a game since March 13, when he said he felt discomfort in his elbow.

Vazquez caught in a minor league game Friday, but he was instructed to throw only back to the pitcher.

In 2014, Vazquez hit .240 with one home run and 20 RBIs in 55 games as a rookie.

In Monday night’s game, Red Sox right-hander Justin Masterson turned in a strong outing and his teammates pounded out 19 hits in a 14-2 rout of the Minnesota Twins.

Masterson (2-1) earned the exhibition win by scattering five hits over 5 ⅔ innings, allowing one run. He walked one and struck out four.

Mike Napoli blasted a solo home run to spark the offense and singled. Mookie Betts chipped in with a double, single and RBI. Shane Victorino, Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia each added a double with Pedroia driving in a run. David Ortiz contributed with two singles and two RBIs.

SOX NOTES: RHPs Edward Mujica, Junichi Tazawa and Alexi Ogando were all candidates to close games if RHP Koji Uehara opens the season on the disabled list. If Uehara has to be disabled, the stay on the shelf is likely to be a short one. Uehara has lingering discomfort in his right hamstring. He hoped to show some improvement in a 30-pitch bullpen session on Monday, but that didn’t happen. … INF Yoan Moncada, the Cuban import recently signed to a huge contract, worked out for 12 days and then saw his first minor league action at second base last week. … RHP Joe Kelly (right biceps tightness) left his March 16 start, and he didn’t pitch in a Grapefruit League game March 17-29. He didn’t believe the ailment was serious. … RHP Felipe Paulino (right biceps strain) was held out of a minor league start March 24. The ailment was not believed to be serious. … 1B Mike Napoli, sidelined for a week due to a sore right ankle, returned to action on Thursday. In his first three games back before Monday night’s game, he went 3-for-7 with a homer, a double and three RBIs.

Uehara hoped to experience some progress when he threw 30 pitches in the bullpen on Monday, but to no avail.

“Same as last time,” said Uehara, who hasn’t pitched in a game since March 14.

There has been growing inevitability for days that Uehara will start the season on the 15-day disabled list, though the Red Sox can make it retroactive in case he is ready to return in fewer than 15 days.


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