Swihart, considered the top catching prospect in Major League Baseball, will be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket and join the Boston Red Sox before Saturday’s game against the New York Yankees, according to multiple reports. Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan fractured a finger on his throwing hand in Friday’s 3-2 loss and is expected to undergo surgery, forcing the veteran to miss significant time.
Swihart, 23, will join the Red Sox with zero major league experience but plenty of upside. He was ranked the Red Sox’s top prospect before Boston signed Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada during spring training.
Swihart previously was blocked by 24-year-old catcher Christian Vazquez, who made his major league debut last July and quickly emerged as a leader behind the dish. Vazquez underwent Tommy John surgery during spring training, but Boston opted to roll with 34-year-old Hanigan as the starter and acquired Sandy Leon from the Washington Nationals to serve as the backup.
The Red Sox’s reasoning for sending Swihart to Pawtucket at the end of spring training centered on his need for more defensive seasoning. However, the switch-hitter has been raking at Triple-A), batting .338 with 11 RBIs, and the Red Sox now are in a desperate situation with Hanigan hitting the shelf for an extended period of time.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said immediately following Friday’s game the team would consider internal and external options before deciding who would replace Hanigan. Apparently, it was a very short conversation, which makes sense given Swihart’s continued progress in the minors.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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