Sandy Leon: Making Red Sox Catching Situation Interesting

I would like to start off by saying that no, Sandy Leon will not keep up his crazy offensive production. But, what I can say is that he most certainly is making the Red Sox catching situation very noteworthy.

Sandy Leon, since his call-up to replace an injured Ryan Hanigan, is currently sporting a .545 batting average, with 4 doubles, 4 RBIs, and 4 walks in only 26 plate appearances. Leon has been a pleasant surprise providing the team with offensive production at the bottom end of the lineup.

However, what is going to happen when Hanigan returns? He is now in the midst of his rehab assignment catching for Pawtucket. Things could get a little interesting.

Leon doesn’t have a minor league option. So, if the Red Sox wish to demote him down to Pawtucket, they would have to designate Leon for assignment and hope he goes unclaimed. They passed him through waivers once last year but it is very unlikely, with his recent offensive production and respectable defense behind the dish, that this would happen again. There are some teams that can definitely use him.

Leon is on a tear right now, but his career stats can’t go unnoticed. He is just a .221/ .294/ .273 career hitter and his stats weren’t all that much better down in the minors hitting .238/ .325/ .330. These stats can be a deciding factor for what the Red Sox will do with the catcher situation when Hanigan is ready for his return. Leon can potentially get designated for assignment when he is on the top of his game. However, with how he has been hitting, it is hard to see the Red Sox trying to pass him through waivers again.

Image from: Boston Herald (photo taken by Stuart Cahill)

With Christian Vazquez hitting .212/ .261/ .298 there is a possibility of him getting optioned. The Red Sox could then roster both Leon and Hanigan, and have them split time until Sandy finally cools off, then decide where to go from there.The Red Sox could even try to trade off Hanigan once activated and DFA him if it doesn’t work out. Another possibility is that the Red Sox keep the three catchers on the roster until Blake Swihart heals from his ankle sprain in order to maintain depth for the position, but this might be unlikely with current pitching troubles. Sandy Leon getting designated for assignment is by far not the only option, which is a relief to know, but don’t rule it out. You may be greatly disappointed if you do.

For now, with the lack of offense the Red Sox have received from their catchers so far this year, it is exciting to watch Sandy Leon produce offensively. What is going to happen to him, who knows? All we can do, for the time being, is just watch and enjoy Leon’s success and not take it for granted.


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