Boston Red Sox

A fractured pinky finger will leave the Boston Red Sox without catcher Christian Vazquez for at least six weeks, Red Sox manager Alex Cora confirmed in his pregame meeting with the media before Monday’s game against the Texas Rangers.

Vazquez injured the finger sliding on the basepaths late in Saturday’s win over the Kansas City Royals.

Boston’s starter at catcher in 54 of their 91 games this season, the 27-year-old Vazquez tried his best to muscle through the injury, and caught the bottom half of the inning before he was ultimately lifted from the contest. After the game, Cora confirmed that No. 7 suffered a fracture on the slide, and the team placed him on the 10-day disabled list.

Ironically, the injury occurred while Vazquez was wearing the oversized protective glove many big leaguers have started wearing when running the bases. Although it was just his first time donning the extra protection on his hand, Vazquez said he was done wearing the oven mitt after the incident, saying that he got stuck when he slid into the base.

With their starter on the shelf, Cora will be forced to platoon Sandy Leon and third-string backstop Blake Swihart at catcher.

Leon is hitting .250 with four homers and 18 RBIs in 40 games this season, and has considerable rapport with all of Boston’s pitchers. Swihart, meanwhile, has caught just 14 innings behind the plate this season.

The injury is especially damaging to the Red Sox in the sense that Swihart, considered their most valuable trade chip this deadline, will likely be needed beyond the July 31 deadline thanks to the absence of Vazquez.