Blake Swihart has been designated for assignment and it leaves Boston Red Sox fans raising eyebrows, wondering what comes next.
The Boston Red Sox are the only team in the major leagues to have not yet won a series this season. Standing at 6-11 entering a two-game set with the New York Yankees, and coming off a split at Fenway Park against a laughable Orioles squad, the Red Sox designated for assignment one of their more recyclable bats and versatile gloves this morning, Blake Swihart.
At the beginning of the season, Boston DFA’d Sandy Leon. Out of the trio of catchers that the Red Sox went into spring training with, Leon was by far the best defensive catcher but lacked a bat with pop. They decided to go with Christian Vazquez and Swihart to open the regular season, and now that Swihart is virtually gone.
Which makes this move all the more confusing.
This season in 26 at-bats, Swihart had an average of .231 along with a home run, 4 RBI, and 4 runs scored. It’s a very small sample size but Swihart also brings a share of versatility to the table, being able to play left field and also first base when necessary.
Instead, Boston is turning back to Leon, which makes sense given what he’s provided the club in the past. Last season, Leon hit .177 with 5 homers and 22 RBI in 89 games. Defensively, he gunned down 26% of runners trying to swipe a base.
The biggest reason that this move is a head scratcher to many Red Sox fans is strictly because of the fact that the team is struggling so much and Swihart seems to be the least of the problems. The starting pitching has been virtually useless, and perhaps the thinking between manager Alex Cora and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is that Swihart doesn’t call a good game or have good chemistry with the staff.
Swihart, at one time, was a top catching prospect in the game and has shown flashes of stardom throughout his time in Boston. Wherever he ends up, he will surely have an impact for that ballclub.
But for now, the Red Sox are riding with Vazquez and Leon to try and right this ship. Leon will be catching Chris Sale tonight in the series opener at Yankee Stadium.