Utility man Blake Swihart has always been praised for his hitting ability and athleticism, but the Boston Red Sox have never given him a fair chance.
If you paid any attention to the Boston Red Sox preseason, you’d know that Blake Swihart is an incredibly talented and athletic young baseball player. Unfortunately, he’s been brutally misused this season.
The catcher-turned-infielder-turned-outfielder-turned-utility man was never given a fair chance behind the dish, and his appearances in the batter’s box have been few and far between. Swihart’s hitting ability and athleticism has been lauded for years, but we’ve never really seen him in action.
Quite frankly, it doesn’t make sense. The Boston Red Sox have two catchers, Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon, who are batting .179 and .170, respectively. Is their defense really good enough to compensate for their abysmal, sub-Mendoza Line offense?
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Hint: it’s not.
While Vazquez and Leon are superior catchers to Swihart, they are inferior hitters with worse speed and less versatility. Also, it’s quite possible that Swihart would become a better catcher if he got significant playing time. That’s how player development works… More reps equals more improvement.
So far this season, Swihart has just 32 plate appearances. There’s no excuse for that. When Swihart has gotten into games, however, it’s been as the designated hitter, which robs the white-hot Mitch Moreland of an AB.
I adore Alex Cora, I really do, but what’s been done with Blake Swihart is a failure by the team’s management. Simply put, it’s a waste of talent, and I don’t blame Swihart and his agent for wanting a trade. Why stay with a team that shows no interest in utilizing your talents?
Swihart deserves to play for a team that values him, and unfortunately the Red Sox are not that team. The switch-hitter could provide the Red Sox with some much needed bottom-of-the-lineup production, and yet he rides the pine.
Hopefully, for Swihart’s sake, he finds a team that will give him a chance. In Boston, however, this entire situation has been very frustrating.