The Boston Red Sox made a switch in catchers Wednesday, designating A.J. Pierzynski for assignment and calling up Christian Vazquez from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Pierzynski, who was batting .254, had one RBI over his last 15 games (53 at-bats). Pierzynski, 37, was signed to a one-year, $8.25 million deal; the Red Sox have 10 days to trade or release him.
Vazquez, who last season played for the Portland Sea Dogs, was hitting .279 for Pawtucket with three home runs and 20 RBI over 66 games.
“It’s an opportunity for us to invest in players we feel are going to be here beyond 2014, and while there may be other decisions that are forthcoming, I felt like the place we were going to start with was behind the plate and that brings Christian to us, a guy who we are high on his abilities, particularly as a defender and the ability to shut down the running game, and someone who continues to develop as an offensive player,” Manager John Farrell told the Boston Globe.
Vasquez is a standout defensive catcher and his promotion has been talked about for some time.
“We don’t look at it as a gamble at all. We feel like there’s a structure in place that will help ease his transition. There’s some familiarity from spring training,” Farrell told the Globe. “We fully expect or anticipate the playing split or the time per week to be three for Ross and four for Vasquez as a bit of a guide. David Ross’ ability to mentor in that role will be part of this, but we’re not leaving it solely up to him. But we feel like there’s a structure in place that will allow for Christian to ease into this.”
Also on Wednesday, Boston reliever Koji Uehara was added to the AL roster for the All-Star Game, replacing New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday.
It’s the first major league All-Star selection for Uehara. He was honored for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan eight times.
Uehara, a 39-year-old closer, is 4-2 with 18 saves and a 1.30 ERA this season. He joins left-hander Jon Lester as the Boston representatives for next week’s game in Minneapolis.