After their Patriots’ Day loss on Monday, the Red Sox find themselves at .500 with a 6-6 record. They find themselves with a far different team today than they did just a mere week ago. It remains to be seen if the changes will be for the better, but it is hard to imagine how it won’t be.
Stock Rising: Christian Vazquez
Okay, Christian Vazquez had a tough day on Monday, but we’ll forget this game even happened and focus on the immediate impact he had over the weekend after being called up on Friday. He immediately picked off a runner off first base in the first inning of his first game back and barely missed a home run in his first at-bat. He has already been behind the dish for Rick Porcello and Clay Buchholz’ best starts of the season. Coincidence? Vazquez may be getting a bit over-hyped right now. He will not solve all the Red Sox ills, but it is comforting having him behind the plate. There may be no better catcher at framing pitches in the game today. He has also shown already that his arm is recovered from the Tommy John surgery he underwent last year. His bat hasn’t been half bad, either.
Stock Rising: Steven Wright
It might seem comical, but the best pitcher in the Red Sox rotation this year has been someone who wasn’t even supposed to be in the rotation. Steven Wright has been superb. Eliminate the first inning of his two starts, and Wright has been unscored upon this season. Okay, he gave up two runs in each of those first innings, but settled down after both times. What happens if and when Eduardo Rodriguez returns to the rotation in another month? Wright deserves to stay in the rotation, but do the Red Sox send Buchholz, Joe Kelly, or Rick Porcello to the bullpen? Highly unlikely. Wright is out of options so he can’t be sent down to Pawtucket.
Stock Rising: Travis Shaw
The third base starting job now, without a doubt, belongs to Travis Shaw. Pablo Sandoval is hurt, and may be done for the season. Shaw is the leading hitter for the Red Sox among the regulars. He is hitting .342 with a home run. He led the team last week with 6 RBI. Now if only John Farrell will stop pinch-hitting for him in the sixth inning of games.
Stock Falling: Pablo Sandoval
Stock falling? His stock may be worthless right now. It may have been worthless even before he woke up one day last week unable to lift his left arm. Now he is visiting, gulp, Dr. James Andrews. That’s never a good sign for an athlete– and I use that term loosely with Pablo Sandoval. This is shaping up, no pun intended, to be a lost season for The Huge Panda. He is on the disabled list for now. He may require surgery which could sideline him for a very long time. Get better, Pablo, and come back ready to play in 2017.
Stock Falling: Rusney Castillo
Rusney Castillo didn’t get hurt. He just got downright demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. See ya. Who knows if and when he’ll ever see the field in Fenway again. Maybe if someday John Farrell ends his love affair with… Chris Young. Did you think I was going to say someone else?
Stock Falling: Blake Swihart
Blake Swihart was also demoted to Pawtucket last week. Swihart was once viewed as the catcher of the future for the Boston Red Sox. Now that title belongs to Vazquez. Swihart has struggled, defensively, this year. Now that Vazquez is up in Boston, management wants to try Swihart out at other positions in the minors. That means Vazquez will be the everyday catcher in Boston for the foreseeable future. Expect Swihart to be floated around as trade bait come June and July.