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Red Sox Have a Catching Problem

Reese McGuire and Connor Wong were the future, according to Chaim Bloom’s actions at the trade deadline when he sent Christian Vazquez off to Houston to win his second World Series. Meanwhile The Red Sox have given up more stolen bases than anyone in the game as to my typing this last word here.

Connor Wong was part of the deal that sent Mookie Betts west and McGuire came to Boston from the White Sox moments after the Vazquez trade. There was never any consideration to bringing Vazquez back. Bloom was going to have two of the players who came back in the Betts trade ( Alex Verdugo ) on his roster come opening day 2023 if he had anything to say about it. And sadly for Red Sox Nation. He did.

It might be unfair to lump Wong in here with McGuire. No one has attempted a base swipe while he’s been behind the dish. While McGuire has given up 14 stolen bases and thrown out NO ONE. Fourteen in fourteen attempts. That's not bad, it's disgustingly bad. But the Right handed batting McGuire is here and with good reason. Wong, Bloom's big get from the Betts trade hasn't a lick at the MLB level .192/.259/329. Enter Lefty Hitting Reese who is currently belting .308 in his first 13 at bats and week behind the plate. That's 50 points higher than his career average. While Wong is batting .083 in his first 12 trips to the dish. Not too far off of his career number of .192

I understand these are short sample sizes. But defensively Wong doesn't have a leg to stand on either. In AAA Wong has thrown out just 24 of 68 base stealers. Those numbers are comparable to what McGuire has done through his MLB career where he has thrown out base thieves at a 28% clip ( that's league average) . If you’re wondering right now about Jorge Alfaro? he’s in Worcester, but like Wong he bats from the right side and still has an MLB average 28% success rate. Seeing the issue ?

Nothing in their past should have given Bloom pause to either keep Vazquez or at the very least try to bring him back to Boston last offseason as a free agent, Vaz ended up with a three year deal to wear a Twins uniform for a paltry 10 million dollars a season. Vazquez throws out runners at a 34% success rate. Well above that league average. Not to mention his stick. And postseason experience. But the Betts trade.

But here we are with at best a pair of average arms behind the dish, giving up more stolen bases than any team in MLB. In an era where the league is begging for bases to be swiped. Yes numbers are up across the league in attempts and the success rate is 80% a lot of this has to do with the new pitching rules instituted. ( don’t get me started) But a lot of this has to do with Bloom’s ego and John Henry’s tight pockets.

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