June 12, 2011

Sea Dogs Notebook: Vazquez plays final game for Portland

On a day when rain sets up a Sea Dogs doubleheader today, Will Vazquez announces his retirement.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - When Will Vazquez played third base Friday night for the Portland Sea Dogs, his mind was active, though at peace.

click image to enlarge

Portland Sea Dogs backup catcher/infielder Will Vazquez talks with his wife Hannah and their daughter Mia during spring training. The 26-year-old Vazquez played his final game with the Sea Dogs Friday night.

Press Herald file


WHO: Bowie Baysox (Michael Ballard 0-0, and Steve Johnson 4-1) at Portland Sea Dogs (Stolmy Pimeltal 0-7, and Stephen Fife 6-3)

WHEN: Noon

WHERE: Hadlock Field

It was his last game.

Vazquez, 26, retired from pro baseball after the game.

"I was a little more reflective (during the game)," Vazquez said by phone on Saturday. "I noticed everything that was going on. I was really thankful I was in the lineup."

Vazquez, a 30th-round draft pick in 2007, served as Portland's backup utility player and third catcher. He performed a lot of duties, especially as the bullpen catcher, but he rarely played. Friday was only his 11th game. He was batting .111 (4 for 36).

A graduate of Kent State (with a degree in history), Vazquez is married (Hannah) with an 11-month-old daughter, Mia.

This was not the first time Vazquez had considered retirement.

"I think about it, usually at the end of the season," Vazquez said. "I have a family and I'm not making too much money.

"A lot (of factors) went into the decision. An opportunity came up."

Vazquez has taken a job as the assistant baseball coach at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., where Vazquez and his family live.

Vazquez told Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles of his decision Friday night, but Boles did not announce it until Saturday.

"I wanted to give him a night to think about it," Boles said. "But he seemed comfortable with his decision. I was glad to hear he is staying in the game." 

BASEBALL AT Hadlock Field will feature a doubleheader today, to make up for Saturday's postponed game, due to rain.

The starting time has been moved up an hour to noon. Portland and Bowie will play two seven-inning games. 

THE SEA DOGS announced several moves, as well as Vazquez's retirement.

Two players were placed on the disabled list -- third baseman Will Middlebrooks (right triceps strain) and lefty reliever Kyle Fernandes (left quad strain).

Starting pitcher Stolmy Pimentel was activated from the disabled list and will pitch today.

Two players were promoted to the Portland roster -- first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez from advanced Class A Salem, and utility player Drew Dominguez from Class A Greenville.

Rodriguez, 25, has an interesting background. He was originally signed by the Yankees in 2004, as an 18-year-old out of Columbia. He was released in 2008 and played independent-league ball the next year.

The Red Sox signed Rodriquez before the 2010 season, which he spent in Greenville, batting .281 with 14 home runs.

In Salem this year, Rodriguez was batting .317 with nine home runs in 56 games. His OPS was .976.

With Jorge Padron -- the Sea Dogs starting first baseman since the beginning of the season -- still in Portland, Boles said he will alter the lineup often, giving both players a chance to play first, as well as be the designated hitter. Rodriguez can also play the outfield.

Dominguez, 24, is a native of Braintree, Mass. He signed with the Red Sox in 2009 out of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. 

Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:


Twitter: ClearTheBases


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