Red Sox

Red Sox Notebook: Determining optimum number of games for Vazquez; emphasis on fundamentals continues

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Christian Vazquez put an added emphasis on conditioning this past winter, hiring a nutritionist and personal chef, while dropping 15 pounds. It was with an eye toward holding up for a 162-game season, and, he hopes, a heavier workload for the Red Sox behind the plate.

Now he and the Red Sox just have to determine how big that workload is and how it translates to number of games played.

"He put the work in his offseason,'' said Alex Cora. "I'm happy to see him the way he looks right now. The next step is to lead the (pitching) staff; that's what we want. He put himself in a great spot. We just have to make sure we take care of him behind the plate. We want the best version of Christian Vazquez and I think we have a pretty good chance to see it this year. Hopefully, he can feel fresh going into August and September and what we're trying to accomplish.

"I sat down with Jason (Varitek) the other day and he's going to let us know. If you say a number, they think 'Oh, you're not going to play me every day?' But if you're catching eight out of 10, that's a lot of games. If you start adding and subtracting, that's enough. We've got a capable backup guy (Kevin Plawecki) and he's going to help us, too. We're very comfortable with the catching situation.''

If you are, indeed, "doing the math,''