BOSTON (CBS) – Catcher David Ross joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Thursday morning for his regularly scheduled appearance to discuss a number of pressing Red Sox topics, including the youth movement, mentoring young catcher Christian Vazquez and fellow backstop A.J. Pierzynski being designated for assignment.
On Pierzynski being DFA’d:
“It’s always a surprise when you have a teammate that you work with everyday get released or designated. You don’t expect that. I know Christian Vazquez has a bright future ahead of him and he was waiting for us and something to happen. It’s probably a good time because he’s probably ready.
“[Pierzynski and I] have a closer working relationship than most being in the catching core. I pride myself on being a good teammate and trying to help everybody out — especially my partner in catching. Yeah we had a good working relationship. You don’t have a choice when you’re in my position. Catching is a tough position. I take a lot of pride, especially being the backup, having the starter’s back and doing what they need done in anyway I can help them. The days they don’t play I do my best and the days they do play I support them in anyway I can.”
Was Pierzynski in-tune with the pitching staff?
“I think he was doing the best he could. It’s hard. I went through some things last year coming to a new staff. It’s hard to adjust to a new pitching staff. I think he was putting his work in, doing the things he needed to do, but there does come a point where if things aren’t working out it’s time to go in a different direction. I think that’s what (general manager) Ben [Cherington] saw and (manager) John [Farrell] saw. They wanted to go ahead and turn that page.”
With Pierzynski being designated for assignment early on Wednesday, the Red Sox called up prospect Christian Vazquez from Pawtucket, or “Vazquey” as Ross calls him. Veteran Ross, 37, spoke glowingly about his new 23-year-old teammate.
“Everybody is excited for Vazquez. He’s a good kid. I think he works hard. I liked him two years ago in spring training. I really like his catching set, his skills and what he brings to the table.
“I’m not quite sure what my role will be [in mentoring Vazquez]. I feel like I have a great opportunity here to give someone some lessons that maybe I learned the hard way and maybe get their feet wet a little easier. I’m still gonna play some and I know me and Vazquey are gonna have a good working relationship. I’ll be able to help him a lot in just some of the game-calling things and some of the things I’ve learned; the little tricks in reading hitters.
“He’s already got such a good feel for baseball. It’s going to be fun for me to watch how developed he is. I’ll be on the bench watching every pitch and I’ll bounce things off of him and ask him questions. He’s not somebody that’s insecure. He’s a really positive catcher who seems really anxious to learn.”
Listen below for the full interview, including Ross’ health update on Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes catching a ball on the nose and much more: