It was an innocent play, one of the top MLB switch hitting catching prospects turned left fielder Blake Swihart took off after a ball to his right.
The ball twisted into foul territory, but Swihart, running full speed, trapped the ball on the wall in a tremendous attempt at a catch. After slamming into the wall in foul ground Swihart stumbled and didn’t get up immediately, eventually needing help to walk off the field in what ended up being a rough injury for the young outfielder.
Now, this injury doesn’t sink the Red Sox as they have plenty of decent outfield depth with Chris Young and Rusney Castillo but it does affect what they can do two months from now at the non-waiver trade deadline. A date in which the Red Sox are predicted to be very active.
“There’s a severe ankle sprain,” Manager John Farrell said. “He’s going to be immobilized for two weeks, and we’ll reevaluate at that point to see what the next steps are.”
Swihart was placed on the 15 day DL, but that will barely cover the two weeks of immobilization let alone what else is needed to get him healthy and ready to play again as he will likely need a lengthy rehab stint to ensure his leg is in playing shape. Blake is one of the, if not the most, important potential trade piece for the Sox as the deadline nears. He has immense offensive potential that if fully realized he could hit for serious power and a high batting average from both sides of the plate. He has been decent, if not good in Left Field only increasing his value as he can play two positions.
With a lot of other prospects in the Sox system under performing or injured, Henry Owens and his 5.11 MLB ERA, Sam Travis’s ACL tear, and Brian Johnson’s 4.64 AAA ERA, the Sox find themselves lacking chips to trade for a starter or reliever. With Swihart healthy, he can be a centerpiece of a deal that could land another impact bat like Ryan Braun or a dominant starting pitcher like Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner, without him though the Sox may be silent this summer.