Blake Swihart made his return to the BoSox, but it wasn’t behind the dish. Instead the catcher got the start in left in the wake of Brock Holt’s trip to the DL thanks to a concussion suffered while playing second against the A’s.
Swihart struggled behind the plate at the big league level as his ability to call pitches and command the game was questioned. Christian Vazqeuz was in turn rushed back to the MLB and has performed well batting .243 over 21 games while throwing out 36% of baserunners and posting a .995 fielding percentage. Swihart’s returned was overshadowed by a rough loss, however you can’t ignore the novelty of it.
After all, we’ve seen some outfielders transition to the infield, but rarely do they go the other way around. If you ask Swihart though, he’s all for it (especially if it gives him a job).
“It’s good. I’ve gotten a lot of work out there; everything is going really well,” Swihart said. “I played outfield a lot when I was younger. Just try to get those instincts going again. Getting jumps on balls.”
Manager John Farrell had high praise for the young catcher/outfielder:
“What we can expect is what he did in Pawtucket,” Farrell said. “He adapted by all accounts pretty rapidly, and I think that speaks to his athleticism, his work ethic and openness to add left field to his defensive alignment.”
As to what I make of it, I honestly do not know. The Sox have one too many catchers on the roster, Vazquez shouldn’t go anywhere so then it becomes a matter of who do you want more behind the plate: Ryan Hanigan or Swihart? Given that Swihart is playing left in AAA, and in the big league club, I think it’s clear what the Sox think of him defensively.
I just hope this doesn’t f*ck with him too much.
Given that Holt may be out for a while and Chris Young sucks we may see a lot of Swihart out in LF so get used to it Red Sox Nation!