Christian Vazquez

Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez to undergo Tommy John surgery

April 01, 2015 - 3:43 pm

The Red Sox' worst fears have been realized. Catcher Christian Vazquez, presumed to be the team's rifle-armed starter, will instead undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday in Pensacola, Fla. The surgery will be performed by the renowned orthopedist, Dr. James Andrews. Given the typical recovery time of roughly a year, Vazquez should be ready next spring training, but that's of little consolation in the here and now for a Red Sox team that expected Vazquez to handle not just a new pitching staff, but to shut down opposing running games with his howitzer of a right arm. Vazquez threw out 52 percent of opposing base stealers in an impressive debut last year, but that arm ended up being his undoing. He felt soreness after throwing out Tyler Wade of the Yankees on March 13, and when two weeks of rest didn't provide adequate healing, underwent an MRI. The results of that, on Friday, "found something," Vazquez said, and he was referred to Dr. Andrews. The two met on Wednesday, and the Red Sox announced the findings later at night. Without Vazquez, the Red Sox will lean on veteran Ryan Hanigan, an Andover native, to hold down the starting job, with recently acquired Sandy Leon in reserve. Neither has Vazquez's arm --€“ though Hanigan has thrown out 38 percent of opposing base stealers lifetime, and led the NL in 2012 (48 percent) and 2013 (45 percent) --€“ but they'll have to replace him.