Swihart's Struggles Could Lead to Early Season Call Up

Photo by Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

Ryan MacLeod (RyanMacLeod15)
Contributing Writer

Last season Blake Swihart was not supposed to spend the entire year with the Boston Red Sox, instead he was expected to be the everyday catcher for the AAA club in Pawtucket. A elbow injury to Christian Vazquez
led to Tommy John surgery ending his season while in Spring Training 2015. In his rookie season Swihart platooned with the other catchers on the Red Sox staff, catching in 84 of 162 games and proving that he could play at the major league level. He hit .274 with 17 doubles, but he was more impressive behind the plate.

Swihart started 78 games, catching 688 innings, and had a fielding percentage of .995. He allowed 16 passed balls, and threw out 16 runners trying to steal, while allowing 41 to steal a base for a percentage of 28%. While Swihart was impressive last season, his sophomore year is not off to a good start. Defensively he has been below par, allowing three passed balls in only six games played. The most glaring mistake he has made was last night when he allowed what should have been a put out in foul ground dropped, and while he can't take all the blame for the home run that was given up just one batter later, Swihart surely is a scapegoat.

Vazquez on the other hand has been excellent in an extremely small sample size in AAA to start the year. At the plate he is hitting .462 in 5 games with 2 RBI's. Vazquez was called for by multiple pitchers on the Major League staff to be the catcher that they wanted to throw to at the end of Spring Training, but Vazquez was not quite ready to return to the Red Sox roster. Vazquez is known to be a better defensive catcher than Swihart, and with Swihart struggling behind the plate it could be sooner, rather than later that we see Christian Vazquez behind the plate in Fenway Park.

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