Boston Red Sox Might Try Blake Swihart Out At First Base In The Near Future
The Boston Red Sox are looking for something reliable at first base. Mitch Moreland has done fine by the terms of his contract, but his recent struggles might make for Boston to call for something more.
Sam Travis was an option, but he has just 25 at-bats in the last 28 games and was optioned back to Pawtucket. Travis’s struggles came against right-handed pitching where he hit .71 against in 14 at-bats. Now with third base being a priority upgrade, Boston will look within for the answer at first.
“He’s been the on the DL because of the ankle issue, and as he gets back active, the stress of catching is not allowing him to catch as a regular everyday catcher. We’re going to begin to move him around the infield. He’s going to take groundballs at first, he’ll take some at third, he’ll still catch some. But the ankle is a limiting factor right now as far as how many games consecutively he can catch.”
Ahead of Farrell’s comments on Tuesday, Swihart was seen fielding ground balls at first base at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.
While Swihart moving to one of the hot corners is due to his ankle, in turn, it presents him as an option for Boston this season. With the Boston Red Sox struggling to find offensive production from their current lineup, Swihart could be a call-up after he returns to the PawSox lineup.
One thing that has always endeared Red Sox fans to Swihart is the hitting catcher aspect. A catcher who can hit 15-20 home runs a season and bat closer to .300. Something that a healthy Swihart could potentially do.
Swihart has had 350 at-bats in his major league career, almost a full seasons worth. And in that time he batted .271 with inconsistent playing time. His MLB OPS is .714 and in theory, he has yet to hit his ceiling for Boston.
With Moreland’s average plummeting to .251, Boston could seek a change at first base. Something they already seem to be considering with a Swihart try out at the position in AAA and with Hanley Ramirez now potentially getting playing time in the field.
While Swihart has yet to play the position, Boston has a history of feeling comfortable with Swihart starting at a new position with limited experience. When trying him at in left field, Swihart only played in 11 games in Pawtucket before a Major League call-up.
For the moment, it seems that it is still Moreland’s position to lose. With the veteran claiming his toe is fully healthy and now his focus is on fixing his mechanics.