Red Sox

MLB Notebook: As Christian Vazquez grows as a hitter, his defense has regressed

To the list of things that have not gone according to plan for the 2019 Red Sox -- joining the performance of the starting rotation and the failure of the bullpen -- it may be time to add the team's catching situation.

Just prior to the start of the season, the Red Sox identified Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart at their catching tandem for the season, while designating Sandy Leon for assignment (and, eventually, optioning him to Pawtucket).

That alignment lasted about three weeks before Leon was summoned from Pawtucket and Swihart dealt to Arizona.

Since then, the team's pitching has improved over the horrid stretch it experience over the first three weeks, representing a positive development.

Also, Vazquez has enjoyed a breakout offensively, hitting more homers in the first half of this season than he previously had hit in his career. Vazquez's numbers with two games remaining in the first half (.298/.333/.510) are deserving of All-Star Game inclusion.

But while Vazquez has shown great progress at the plate, his play behind the plate seems to have regressed.