The time has come. The Boston Red Sox today announced that they have DFA'd catcher A. J. Pierzynski. (For those that are unfamiliar with the term DFA, it stands for designated for assignment. This is the first step towards Pierzynski being outright released.) Pierzynski may have been the single most polarizing signing of this past offseason. Many fans really did not like it at all, and Pierzynski did not do much to make fans feel any better about the signing over the course of the season.
Pierzynski provided below average defense and some of the pitching staff, such as ace Jon Lester, were much worse when A.J. was behind the plate. His offense was also not as good as it could have been, posting a .254/.286/.348 triple slash. A catcher can afford to have that kind of offense if their defense is stellar. When it's below average, though, such offense will only frustrate the fans.
To replace Pierzynski on the roster, the Red Sox promoted the defensive whiz, Christian Vazquez, from Pawtucket. The reason that Ben Cherington brought in a catcher on a one year deal was to bridge the gap until Vazquez was ready. Much has already been discussed on this blog about Vazquez's defense, which he learned by working with the Molina brothers. Vazquez will never be an offensive force, but he provides such elite defense that the Sox can afford to have his bat in the lineup. And many of us are looking forward to the clash between Jacoby Ellsbury and Christian Vazquez. It will be interesting to see Ellsbury to try to steal a base on Vazquez.
The time has come to see what Vazquez can do. And the rest of the season will likely be the time to see what some of the other kids can do too.