Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez says goodbye to E-Rod
For the first time since he was a rookie, Eduardo Rodriguez will enter a season without having Christian Vazquez as one of his battery mates. The lefty is leaving the Boston Red Sox to sign a five-year deal with the Detroit Tigers, meaning he’ll need to form a connection with another catcher on his new team.
It’s hard to imagine Rodriguez having a stronger bond with a catcher than the one he had with Vazquez. Following the news that Rodriguez was heading to Detroit, Vazquez shared a heartfelt goodbye to his former teammate on Instagram.
The post shares a series of photos of the Red Sox teammates together in the dugout, on the mound and celebrating postseason glory under a shower of champagne.
"“My brother we will miss you. Congratulations on the new chapter in your career. Love you bro,” Vazquez wrote in the caption."
Rodriguez added a comment in Spanish from his own Instagram account, which roughly translates to a message thanking his “soul brother” for fighting with him through thick and thin throughout their years together.
Vazquez made his major league debut for Boston in 2014, the same year that Rodriguez was acquired as a prospect from the Baltimore Orioles. The southpaw was called up in late May of the following season, which Vazquez missed while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
By the time Vazquez returned in 2016, Rodriguez was already a staple of the Red Sox rotation. They worked together sparingly as Vazquez was eased back in as a backup catcher but by 2017, they were paired almost exclusively together.
Rodriguez made 159 appearances in a Red Sox uniform, including 153 starts. Vazquez was behind the plate for 114 of those games. Aside from Vazquez, no other catcher has ever worked with Rodriguez more than the 24 games Sandy Leon caught for him during his five years as a backup catcher in Boston.
Vazquez and Rodriguez were both key members of the historic 2018 Red Sox team that set a franchise record for regular season wins on their way to capturing a World Series title. The experience of earning a championship ring together provides a connection between them that will last forever.
Rodriguez recently used Instagram as a platform to share his own goodbye to the Red Sox, expressing his gratitude to the franchise that gave him the opportunity to play in the big leagues and thanking the fans for their support.
The former teammates will be separated to begin the 2022 season but they won’t need to wait long to meet again. The Red Sox travel to Detroit to face the Tigers from April 11 – April 13. It’s unclear if Rodriguez will pitch in that series. If he’s their Opening Day starter, his second start would probably line up for April 10 against the Chicago White Sox, meaning he’d miss the Red Sox series. Rodriguez will return to Fenway Park for a series in Boston from June 20 – June 22.
Rodriguez will certainly be missed in Boston but his free agent departure isn’t really goodbye. It’s more like a farewell for now. They will meet again, even if Rodriguez is wearing another uniform.