The Boston Red Sox Need To Figure Out Where They Are Going To Play Blake Swihart As The Player Played Catcher And Left Field Last Season
The Boston Red Sox are in a bit of a pickle with Blake Swihart. Swihart came into the league and the organization as a catcher, but this past season he was moved to left field for a short period of time with a log-jam at the catcher position and the need for a bat.
In his short time in the Red Sox outfield Swihart looked awkward defensively as expected, but he seemed to get better towards the end of his 13 game stint in the field. Unfortunately for him and Boston he was only able to play in 19 total games in the 2016 MLB season as the young player went down with a season ending injury.
Now entering this season he seems to be itching to getting back behind the plate as he expressed this desire to the media over the last couple of weeks. The catching position has opened up a tad with the departure of veteran Ryan Hanigan, but he still will have to compete with Cristian Vasquez and breakout star Sandy Leon.
It is unclear on what the team is looking to do at this time with their catching trio, but a look at the outfield depth chart shows Swihart behind the likes of Chris Young and Andrew Benintendi in left field. Given his short 13 game stretch in left the Red Sox have to be thinking of putting him behind the plate.
If I put myself in Dave Dombrowski’s shoes I would feel the market on Leon, Vasquez, and Swihart. Depth isn’t a bad thing and the return on any of the three isn’t clear, but if they can somehow bring in a solid prospect for one of them I would feel comfortable executing a move like that.
With Swihart in particular his situation is uneasy as he could realistically find time behind the plate and in the outfield, but they need to pick one and stick with it to help his development. Given his ability to hit and Vasquez’s inability to hit you could see the Sox opt to go with the guy who can swing the bat.