The Red Sox announced Friday morning that they have cut down their roster, leaving 49 players in their major league camp. Big-name prospect Blake Swihart, as well as left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, were both optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Swihart, who was batting .389 (7-for-18) with one home run, had what John Farrell called a “very strong” spring with the Sox.
"“Both very strong. You look at two young guys who are talented, strong in their own respective positions,” Farrell told WEEI. “Both had very good springs for the positions that they’re in. That is Blake coming in and not just being happy to be in big league camp, but to come in and compete. To know he, himself, is getting closer to becoming a major league player. When that time comes, who knows? And I think there are some areas that we recognized he has to continue to develop, and that’s probably as much on the receiving side, some blocking. That’s ongoing maintenance for any catcher. But I thought he showed well, very well.”"
Should the Red Sox be in need of assistance this season, Swihart could certainly be an option. However, the 22-year old catcher may not be the first option, as some would expect.
Southpaw hurler Eduardo Rodriguez also received praise from Farrell, who was impressed with the 21-year old’s ability.
"“In Eduardo’s situation, we don’t have the history with Blake, but a young, poised, extremely talented left-handed pitcher that has got a bright future,” Farrell said. “There was one outing in particular in Bradenton where he didn’t have his best stuff, and yet he didn’t let the traffic or the challenge of the inning effect the body language and poise to make pitches. He’s an impressive young guy.”"
Swihart, Boston’s #2 prospect, and Rodriguez, their #6, will both have tabs on them this season, as the Red Sox look ahead to the future.
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