The Boston Red Sox activated catcher Christian Vazquez from the disabled list and sent catcher Blake Swihart to Triple-A Pawtucket, in hopes of kick-starting the team’s woeful pitching rotation.

The Red Sox also called up infielder Marco Hernandez – who was on the Portland Sea Dogs roster last season – to replace outfielder Rusney Castillo, who was sent to Pawtucket on Wednesday.

Vazquez is in the lineup Friday night, catching starter Rick Porcello, and batting eighth. Boston plays host to the Toronto Blue Jays at 7 p.m.

Boston (4-4) features the worst starting pitching in the American League (6.86 ERA). Vazquez, 25, who missed all last season after Tommy John surgery, is considered one of the top defensive catchers in the game.

Swihart, 24, was batting .278 with a.669 OPS in six games. A switch-hitter, Swihart’s offense is a strong part of his game, but his defense is not as strong as Vazquez’s.

Both Vazquez and Swihart came up through the Red Sox system and played in Portland.