UPDATE: MLB.com's Ian M. Browne is reporting Vazquez will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday for a look at his elbow injury.
Vazquez will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday for second opinion on ailing right elbow.— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) March 29, 2015
A visit to Dr. Andrews for an elbow injury is often a bad sign, as he's performed surgery on or seen such injured players as Rob Gronkowski, Matt Harvey and Bo Jackson. The worst-case scenario is season-ending elbow surgery. The team will have a clearer idea of its starting catcher's prognosis come Wednesday.
ORIGINAL STORY: The news out of Fort Myers Saturday morning is not good for Red Sox fans.
Christian Vazquez, who hasn't caught since March 13 after experiencing a sore right elbow, revealed to reporters at JetBlue Park Saturday that doctors "found something" after reviewing an MRI the Red Sox starting catcher had on Friday according to the Boston Herald.
Vazquez said he would seek a second opinion and admitted he was nervous about the potential outcomes of those followup exams.
“They found something. I’m looking for a second opinion of what happened,” Vazquez said according to the Boston Globe. “I don’t know what happened yet, but they’re watching now the MRI. I’m looking for a second opinion for the answer.
“I’m waiting. I’m waiting. I don’t have the answer yet. I’m waiting. Maybe tomorrow – I don’t know. I’m waiting right now,” said Vazquez. “They don’t know yet. They told me they found something, but I’m looking for a second opinion. They hope it’s not bad.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell has all but ruled Vazquez out for Opening Day.
"There’s some findings in the MRI," Farrell said according to the Providence Journal. "To what extent, that’s not (been) determined right now. We’re still in a little bit of a fact-finding mode right now...
"It’s hard to see him being available Opening Day."
The setback for Vazquez may open up the door for Blake Swihart, the No. 1 ranked catching prospect in baseball who will turn 23 next week.
Swihart, who was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket last week, but played with the big club in Vazquez's absence, had been tearing the cover off the ball in limited Grapefruit League action. batted .333/.385/500 (8-for-24), with a home run, five RBIs, and five runs scored.
“Definitely,” Swihart said to the Herald when asked whether he proved he can play in the big leagues. "I think everyone has to believe you have the skills to play with these guys if you’re going to make it in this game."
It will be interesting to see -- if Vazquez is out for an extended period -- if Red Sox GM Ben Cherington calls up Swihart to start the season, thus also starting the clock on his service time in the big leagues, which could cost the Sox a year of control before Swihart could opt for free agency.
The other option appears to be the Sox calling up Humberto Quintero, the veteran catcher who has had major league time with the Mariners, Padres, Astros, Royals and Phillies.
Penciled-in backup catcher and Andover native Ryan Hanigan has played in only eight games this spring, batting .250 (4-for-16) with no extra-base hits thus far.