The Boston Red Sox are moving on from Blake Swihart.
The Red Sox on Tuesday designated the 27-year-old catcher for assignment, according to a team press release. Major League Baseball insider Evan Drellich was the first to report the news.
Catcher Sandy Leon and pitcher Erasmo Ramirez were called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. Ramirez will replace reliever Marcus Walden, who was optioned to Triple-A following Monday’s loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
There’s a chance Swihart clears waivers and gets sent to the minors, but those chances are remote. Given his age, obvious talent and previous status as the top catching prospect in baseball, Swihart is almost guaranteed to get claimed if the Red Sox aren’t able to trade him.
Swihart had a strong spring and began the regular season on fire, going 6-for-12 with a homer in his first six games. But he went hitless in his next 14 at-bats while striking out five times.
Fair or not, the main criticism of Swihart centers around his ability to play catcher at a high level and manage a pitching staff. Boston’s pitchers have been largely terrible this season, a major factor in the defending World Series champions disappointing 6-11 start.
The fact that Boston called up Leon isn’t a surprise. The 30-year-old is regarded as one of the best defensive catchers and game-callers in all of baseball.
Leon likely will catch Chris Sale in the first game of the two-game set in the Bronx.
In case you’re wondering, Leon was 3-for-25 this season with the PawSox.
Swihart was drafted by the Red Sox in the first round (26th overall) of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft. He hit .255 with nine homers, 58 RBIs and 10 stolen bases while appearing in 203 games over parts of five seasons in Boston.
Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images