The Boston Red Sox have sent Blake Swihart to Arizona to reunite with two familiar faces in Mike Hazen and Torey Louvllo.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed former Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart and received bonus money while sending outfield prospect Marcus Wilson to Boston. Swihart was with the Sox for the past five seasons. He played in 129 games, had nine home runs, 58 RBI’s, and a career batting average of .255. This season he hit .231/.310/.385 with one home run.
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The Red Sox DFA’d Swihart on Tuesday as he was the odd man out in the Red Sox catching rotation. He is currently ranked 17th in Baseball Americas Prospect rankings. Currently, his exit velocity is a career-high 88.3 this season. Also, his hard hit percentage is up from 26.7% in 2018 to 42.1 In 2019. With the Sox struggling to begin the season they panicked and brought back Sandy Leon from Triple-A and DFA’d Swihart.
It really didn’t matter who the Sox had at catcher during the games. Yes, it’s good to have strong communication with a pitcher and catcher but if the pitcher is having trouble with his location then that’s mostly on the pitcher than the catcher. Swihart now enters familiar territory with the Diamondbacks’ General Manager and Manager. Both Mike Hazen and Tory Louvllo like Swihart and think he can be an asset to the Diamondbacks.
Swihart can play multiple positions around the field to help Arizona as well. He’s played first base and left field besides catcher this year. Swihart has a better chance to make something out of himself in Arizona than he did while in Boston. It feels like Boston threw him around to different positions a lot with no real plans for his progression.
The problem with Swihart was he never got the playing time he needed to be successful. The Sox are stacked with talent from Mookie Betts to J.D. Martinez even though their record doesn’t show it. Swihart was mostly a bench warmer behind Sandy Leon and Christian Vasquez. He wants to play more and he’ll get that opportunity in Arizona.
Torey Louvllo was the bench coach for the Red Sox before he took the manager job in Arizona. Like I said the familiarity with Hazen and Louvllo is huge for Swihart to have a chance. It’ll be interesting to see how the Diamondbacks use Swihart but whatever position it is I’m sure he’ll make out fine.
As for the Red Sox moving forward they’ll have two catchers and move on from Swihart with no hard feelings. In the game of baseball things don’t always work out how they should and sometimes it takes a change of scenery for a player to fully reach his potential. We wish Blake all the best in Arizona and thank him for his years of effort and hard play.