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Pawtucket Red Sox

Blake Swihart Looks Like He Could Play First Base Successfully For The Red Sox

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Blake Swihart Looks Like He Could Play First Base Successfully For The Red Sox

On July 5th, Blake Swihart was placed on the disabled list with left ankle inflammation. As Swihart was working to come back from his injury, the Red Sox started to have Swihart take ground balls at 1st base. On August 3rd, the Red Sox sent Swihart on a rehab assignment to the gulf coast league Red Sox. During his rehab assignment, the organization had Swihart play a few games defensively.

On Monday night, we saw Blake Swihart play 1st base for the first time at McCoy Stadium. He played 1st base at the AAA level last week while the Pawtucket Red Sox were on the road. The first time was he played 1st base was on August 15th during game 2 of a doubleheader in Louisville. His next time was two days later on August 17th.

Tonight, Blake Swihart looked like he could be a serviceable fielder at 1st base. Granted, he only has had a few opportunities to play 1st base. But going forward, it looked like there is something there for him to be successful at 1st base.

Analyzing Swihart At First Base

Swihart looked like he could be a serviceable 1st basemen based on what I saw tonight. He was able to make the throws he needed to make. He showed he was able to do that in the 5th inning of tonights’ game. With no outs and a runner at first, Roemon Fields hit a sharp ground ball to Swihart. Swihart stepped on 1st to get the out, then threw to to 2nd, to get the runner Roemon Fields in a rundown.

In the third inning, Swihart did have a bad play at first base. With Dwight Smith Jr. batting, he hit a chopper to Swihart at 1st base. With tonights’ Paw Sox starting pitcher Brian Johnson having to cover first base, Swihart had a to flip the ball to Johnson. During the flip, Swihart bobbled the throw and it fell out of his glove. It was ruled a hit, but Smith was a fast runner. There was no guarantee that Johnson was going to be able to cover first base.

Then with 2 outs in the 9th inning, Gregorio Petit hit a ground ball to 3rd basemen Jantzen Witte. Witte threw the ball to first base just short of Swihart. For a first basemen to be successful, he needs to be able to pick a ball that is in the dirt from a fielder.

What made this play even more notable is that 2 batters later, Christian Lopes hit a go ahead 3 run shot into the berm in left field to give the Bisons a 6-3 lead. All 3 runs were unearned to the pitcher Edgar Olmos.

Swihart Going forward

This is obviously early in Swiharts’ career playing first base, but it gives him a lot of versatility. Since he hurt his ankle last season, he was never able to get healthy this season. He never was able to become a solid player this season. If Swihart is able to have an extended career, he probably wont be able to do it as a catcher. Spending all of that time behind the plate crouching seems to be bothering Swihart.

Having Swihart play in the field at either 1st base or in the outfield gives him a chance to play more often. Making him more versatile gives him the chance to play other positions more. During his time playing for the Red Sox, he showed that his bat is something that could help him out. If they don’t put pressure on that ankle, he could have a longer career. But for him to get there, he has a lot to learn defensively at first base.

Evan is a attending Bryant University and joined the Trifecta Network as an Editor in February of 2016 and is a guest on Down to the WIRE Sports Talk.

Pawtucket Red Sox

Pawtucket Red Sox Close Out At Home And Thank Fans

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Pawtucket Red Sox

Pawtucket Red Sox Close Out At Home And Thank Fans

The Pawtucket Red Sox closed out their home schedule at McCoy Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Paw Sox went on to win the game 3-0 over the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. The only runs scored on the afternoon came from a 3 run blast off the bat of Tzu-Wei Lin. Hector Velazquez also had a great game for the Paw Sox. In 7 innings, he only gave up 1 hit as he earned the win.

After the game, the Paw Sox had several promotions going on around the ballpark as they thanked their fans for a great season. The Paw Sox had pony rides on the football field next to the stadium. They let kids run the bases after game. They even had a helicopter drop tennis balls onto the field

The Paw Sox welcomed 409,960 fans into McCoy Stadium this season. That was up from the 2016 season. In the 2016 season, 407,097 fans went through the turnstiles at McCoy Stadium. There were also 11 sellouts at McCoy Stadium this season.

Helicopter Drop

During the helicopter drop, the Pawtucket Red Sox placed three hula hoops in center field. Each hula hoop represented a section of the ballpark. You can find the whole video on the Trifecta Face Book page or you can find a portion of it below.

The prize that the team gave out to fans was free frostys from Wendys. That was on top of the free frostys that they were giving out to all the fans from the “Pop Flys For Frostys” promotion that the team has during the game.

Day As A Whole

Pawtucket Red Sox players thanked their fans after the game by throwing soft toss balls into the crowd. After that, the team had the helicopter come in to drop the tennis balls on to the field.

Once the helicopter left McCoy Stadium, the Paw Sox let kids run the bases. Then in the football field next to the stadium, the Paw Sox had horses for children to ride.

The next Pawtucket Red Sox game to be played at McCoy Stadium is on Friday April 6th, 2018 against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

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Pawtucket Red Sox

Red Sox Prospect Hector Velazquez Dazzles In Start With Paw Sox

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Pawtucket Red Sox

Red Sox Prospect Hector Velazquez Dazzles In Start With Paw Sox

Hector Velazquez started on the mound today as the Pawtucket Red Sox closed out their home schedule at McCoy Stadium. He dazzled the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs through 7 innings while giving up only 1 hit. HE was credited with the win as the Paw Sox went on to beat the Iron Pigs 3-0 in front of 8,207 fans.

Before today, Velazquez looked like he was starting to get tired. Over a 3 start period, he gave up 10 runs (9 earned). For a guy who has had an ERA for a majority of the season around 1.50, that is very troubling.

But the last time he pitched before today was 9 days ago, and it looked like it benefited him greatly. Velazquez and Brian Johnson are two players that could give the Red Sox pitching staff a huge boost this September.

Hector Velazquez last 4 starts at AAA Pawtucket:

  • July 29th at Indianapolis: 5 innings, giving up 8 hits, 5 runs (2 home runs), 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts on 74 pitches (47 strikes).
  • August 7th vs. Charlotte: 5 innings, giving up 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts on 88 pitches (58 strikes).
  • August 12th against Columbus: 4 innings, giving up 7 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 3 walks, and struck out 3 on 92 pitches (51 strikes).
  • August 18th at Columbus: 6 innings, giving up 5 hits, 3 runs (1 home run) 1 walk, and struck out 5 on 97 pitches (61 strikes).

Velazquez Today

Velazquez was optioned to the Boston Red Sox on August 22nd before being re-optioned back to AAA Pawtucket on the 24th. This gave Velazquez an extra 4 days off. It looked like Velazquez benefited from extra time off.

Today Velazquez showed that he can pitch exactly like how he was earlier this season. A few weeks ago after his start against the Columbus Clippers, I said that it looked like Velazquez was tired and needed down time. Today he was able to have his start on extra rest, and pitched like he was refreshed.

Velazquez easily had his best start of the season for Paw Sox. In 7 innings, today, he gave up 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts on 95 pitches (62 strikes). The one hit he gave up was a 2 out single to Cameron Perkins in the 1st inning. After that he retired 19 of the next 20 batters to close out his day.

Velazquez Going Forward

Hector Velazquez and Brian Johnson are two pitchers that are probably going to be called up to Boston this September. Both pitchers are capable of starting games for the Boston Red Sox too. They both could come up big for the Red Sox if they do need them while the Red Sox try to get some extra rest for their current starters.

Earlier this month, it looked like that Velazquez was starting to get tired. At one point over 3 starts, he gave up 9 earned runs over 14 innings. That was from a guy who had a 1.58 ERA at the beginning of that stretch.

This extra time off looked like it benefited Velazquez greatly. Going forward, I see that Velazquez could be a valuable member of the Red Sox pitching staff come this September.

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Boston Red Sox

Carson Smith Dazzles In Rehab Appearance

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Red Sox

Carson Smith Dazzles In Rehab Appearance With The Pawtucket Red Sox

Boston Red Sox reliever Carson Smith made his 8th rehab appearance on Saturday night at McCoy Stadium. It was his seventh appearance for the Pawtucket Red Sox with the right hander continuing his journey back after undergoing Tommy John Surgery.

Smith was initially slated to pitch on Friday night with the goal getting him to an every-other-day schedule. But after a discussion on Friday, it was determined, pushing him back a day was the right move.

Smiths Rehab Appearances

  1. August 5th for the Portland Sea Dogs: .1 IP, 0 H, 3 BB, 2 ER
  2. August 8th for the Pawtucket Red Sox: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 SO
  3. August 12th for the Pawtucket Red Sox: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 SO
  4. August 15th for the Pawtucket Red Sox: .1 IP, 3 H, 2ER
  5. August 18th for the Pawtucket Red Sox: 1.0 IP, 1 BB
  6. August 21st for the Pawtucket Red Sox: 1.0 IP, 2 SO
  7. August 23rd for the Pawtucket Red Sox: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 SO
  8. August 26th for the Pawtucket Red Sox: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 SO

Saturday’s appearance for Smith was an effective one as he continues to take steps in the right direction.

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