NORTH PORT, Fla. — Christian Vázquez looked like a boxer on the wrong side of a knockout when he sat down for an interview Monday.
Even over Zoom, the large cut under his left eye looked ugly.
“You like my scar?” he said.
Vázquez wasn’t smiling last Thursday when he was hit in the face by a ball thrown by teammate Hirokazu Sawamura during a defensive drill on a practice field at Fenway South.
“I was watching first,” Vázquez said. “I was talking about something at first base and Sawamura threw the ball and hit me. I saw the ball right in my face. It knocked me down.”
Vázquez’s sunglasses shattered, and the bottom part of the lens cut his face.
“Those sunglasses saved my eye,” Vázquez said. “If I don’t have the sunglasses, it’s a different story.”
Vázquez was stunned for a few moments.
“All hits in the face, you’re worried,” he said. “I was worried about my eye. When I got hit, I opened the eye. I was seeing, so that’s a good sign. That’s the only concern I had.”
Vázquez hasn’t played since then but hopes to get in Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves or take live batting practice.
He caught Eduardo Rodriguez in the bullpen Monday, hit in the batting cage, then traveled over to the Twins complex to get some at-bats, but only to track pitches.
“My eye’s good,” he said. “I can see perfect.”
Vázquez has been checked out by doctors, and his eyesight is fine. He’s scheduled for another examination in Boston Wednesday and expects to be in the lineup Thursday for Opening Day.
“It’s one of those we’re not 100 percent sure he’ll be there but there’s a pretty good chance he’ll play on Thursday,” manager Alex Cora said.
Doctors are planning to replace the stitches with some butterfly bandages before the game Thursday. But he’ll have a scar.
“But my wife likes it, so we’re good,” Vázquez said.
If Vázquez isn’t cleared until later in the week, or if the Sox decide to carry a third catcher for a few games, Cora said they would call up somebody from the 40-man roster. That would be either Ronaldo Hernández or Connor Wong.
Jett Bandy and Chris Herrmann, who both have major league experience, are in camp on minor league contracts. But adding one of them to the major league roster would require creating an opening on the 40-man.
Cordero in the clear
Franchy Cordero, who played five innings Monday, has done enough to make the Opening Day roster.
“The chances of him breaking with the team are very solid — very solid,” Cora said.
Cordero is 5 of 17 in six Grapefruit League games after striking out three times in Monday’s 4-0 victory against the Braves. He’ll likely pinch hit Tuesday so Cora can give Alex Verdugo some innings in left field.
It took a while
J.D. Martinez went 52 at-bats in spring training before hitting his first homer, a shot to left off Ian Anderson in the third inning. Martinez walked in his third plate appearance, this time facing Sean Newcomb. He tried to take third on a single down the right-field line by Marwin Gonzalez, but Ronald Acuña Jr. threw him out … The Braves bent the rules a bit during the game. Anderson was taken out with two outs in the top of the third. But he took his turn at bat in the bottom of the inning to get an-bat and struck out. With no designated hitter in the National League this season, Anderson wanted to get up … Xander Bogaerts, who didn’t get into a game until March 12 because of a sore right shoulder, has 35 plate appearances with one game left.