John Farrell puts the breaks on Christian Vazquez fast track for Opening Day

Mike Petraglia
March 26, 2015 - 1:57 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- To listen to Christian Vazquez Thursday afternoon after his work on the back fields of JetBlue Park, Red Sox fans would feel confident in thinking their star young catcher has put his elbow issues in the past and will be back in time for the opening in Philadelphia April 6. "I'm going to throw [Friday] but I don't know if it's going to be on the bases but I'm going to make my throwing program again [Friday]," the 24-year-old catcher said. "But it's better every day and I'm happy with that. I'm going to ready to start the season, for sure. I feel better every day and I'm going to be fine." Was he nervous when the issue in his right elbow first presented itself earlier this month? "I was a little bit nervous but it's fine," Vazquez said. "I trust my guy here and the medical staff here is great and I trust it." When will he back to games? "Very soon, very soon, very soon. We have a great medical staff here and I'm going to be ready," he said. "I threw to the bases today and I got to second base normal. I was fine and I'm going to be good." Then came the reality check from his manager John Farrell, who clearly appreciates the youthful enthusiasm but must err on the side of caution with such a golden arm to protect. Farrell repeated the message he delivered before the game that the team will perform more tests Friday before allowing Vazquez to progress to the next level. "Encouraged by how he felt. To say that he's game-ready, no, he's not. But steps of progression are being had. Yeah, I was there when he threw. He's going to go through a full work-up [Friday]," Farrell said. "I wouldn't say he's game-ready yet, but we'll get further information upon the exam." And while Vazquez said he threw to second base Thursday with no issues, Farrell said it was not at 100 percent. "No, not yet. And he was restricted by the intensity and that was the design of the throwing today," Farrell said. "To turn him loose, we're building up to that."
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