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Farrell believes in Vazquez as No. 1 catcher

Offensive struggles don't concern Red Sox manager

BALTIMORE -- Red Sox manager John Farrell has seen enough from Christian Vazquez to think the rookie can be the starting catcher next season if that's how the roster shakes out.

"I think he's ready and capable of handling that role," said Farrell. "I think what will be as important is who is paired up with him. That's not to eliminate anyone that's here. That's not to suggest who that might be.

"Christian, I think, in short order, has gained a reputation around the league to be somewhat of a shutdown thrower with the aggressiveness of his picks, of his throws to bags. Like we said, he's a focal point for a team when they're on offense, to have to contend with behind the plate."

Vazquez entered Friday night's game hitting .217 with no homers and 15 RBIs. But Farrell doesn't think those numbers are indicative of the type of hitter he can be.

"He's handled different types of pitching well," said Farrell. "The batting average, I recognize what it is. He's squared up a number of balls. Sometimes they haven't fallen. I think he's doing a very good job for us in all phases, and in response to the question on his batting average, that doesn't concern me right now."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.
Read More: Boston Red Sox, Christian Vazquez