Blake Swihart’s healing process will involve a quick return to the Boston Red Sox’s starting lineup.
Swihart, whose adopted brother, Romell Jordan, died unexpectedly Wednesday at age 23, will serve as Boston’s designated hitter and bat sixth Thursday when the Red Sox face the Washington Nationals in spring training action at JetBlue Park.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora indicated Wednesday afternoon that Swihart might play Thursday, although it obviously was the player’s choice whether to suit up one day after the tragic news.
“He feels that being around his teammates right now is good for him. He feels like whenever he has to go, he’ll go, but not right now,” Cora told reporters Wednesday in Fort Myers, Fla., hours after the Red Sox canceled their morning clubhouse availability, per the Boston Herald. “He’s here with his wife and around the guys, so he feels like, why not. Whatever he wants to do. I told him, ‘Dude, whatever you want to do (Thursday). If you want to play, you play. If you don’t want to play… ’ He kind of like said, ‘My brother would probably love me to show up and play’ so he might DH (Thursday).”
Jordan, a former running back at the University of New Mexico, was a family friend who went to live with the Swihart family while in high school. Swihart’s parents held guardianship over Jordan, who played for New Mexico from 2014 to 2017.
Swihart also has a half-brother, Jace Swihart, who’s a veteran of the U.S. Army, and a sister, Kacie Swihart.
Here’s the Red Sox’s complete lineup for Thursday’s spring training game against Max Scherzer and the Nationals.
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Mookie Betts, RF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Brock Holt, 2B
Blake Swihart, DH
Christian Vazquez, C
Bobby Dalbec, 3B
Josh Ockimey, 1B
Hector Velazquez, RHP