The Red Sox have announced that Christian Vazquez will undergo Tommy John Surgery, ruling out any chance that the young catcher might be able to play in 2015.
It's been a quick journey from relatively innocuous elbow discomfort to the operating table for Vazquez, whose injury was initially not considered significant enough to require so much as an MRI. A couple weeks later, and Vazquez is set to go under the knife of Dr. James Andrews, whose second opinion apparently proved no more positive than the first.
The good news for Vazquez, such as it is, is that Tommy John Surgery obviously isn't nearly the specter that it used to be. It's still the season ending surgery that players fear, but once it's actually needed, it's nothing like the career ender it used to be. Matt Wieters, who underwent the procedure in June of last year, will miss Opening Day, but is likely not far away from a return to action. If Vazquez follows a similar recovery schedule, he may well be ready for the 2016 season.
But that's just the silver lining on a terrible situation. Vazquez was expected to be Boston's primary catcher for 2015. It was a terrific opportunity with a short window given the impending arrival of Blake Swihart. There will be a spot for Vazquez' glove somewhere, be it in Boston or elsewhere, but it might take longer to earn a starting role, assuming he makes it back to full strength at all.
Until then, though, it's Ryan Hanigan and Sandy Leon or Humberto Quintero. And then eventually Blake Swihart. And with Hanigan under team control until 2017, that may be the case for a while yet.