Red Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday that Swihart is a strong candidate to join the big club in September to serve as the team's third catcher, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports. Swihart has split time between the outfield, first base and catcher this season, but Farrell indicated the 25-year-old would pick up about two or three starts per week behind the plate at Triple-A Pawtucket through the end of August in preparation for a likely stint in Boston over the final month of the regular season. Though Swihart may no longer profile as the Red Sox's backstop of the future after injuries and a dramatic offensive downturn over the last two seasons, he's still relatively youthful and could alter his outlook with a strong finish to 2017.
Swihart (ankle) was activated from the 7-day disabled list at Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday. Swihart will rejoin the Pawtucket lineup at DH on Sunday after being sidelined since July 5 with left ankle inflammation, but as he becomes further removed from the injury, it's expected that he'll see time at catcher, first base and the corner outfield. Swihart was only hitting .213 over 150 at-bats with Pawtucket prior to landing on the DL, so he'll need to raise his performance over the next couple of weeks to put himself in consideration for a September callup.
Swihart (ankle) made his debut at first base Monday while on rehabilitation assignment at Boston's affiliate in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports. The 25-year-old previously had served as designated hitter in his first three rehab games. Swihart was at first base again Tuesday and has gone 2-for-8 with three runs scored over the two starts. Rather than put him and the ankle through the rigors of catching every day, the Red Sox are trying to get him regular work at other positions. This may or may not be a long-term plan, but the important thing is to have him getting at-bats and continuing his development as a hitter.
Swihart (ankle) began a rehab assignment with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox on Thursday. Although it's good to see he's getting back into game action, he's only appeared as a designated hitter in his two games thus far. He's expected to work out at first and third base in order to give him a way to remain in the lineup when he isn't catching, but those plans will have to wait until he gets a couple more games at DH under his belt. No word has come out as to how long he'll remain on his rehab stint.
Swihart (ankle) will be out of minor-league options in 2018, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports. That means the Red Sox won't be able to send Swihart down to the minors next year without exposing him to waivers. An ankle injury will prevent him from catching much more than twice a week and probably not on consecutive days. Everyone involved feels confident Swihart will be a full-tie catcher next season, but it's difficult to project him as an everyday catcher at the MLB level in 2018. With all that factored in, over the second half of the season, the Red Sox are giving Swihart opportunities at both corner infield spots to keep in the lineup regularly. With prior experience at catcher and outfielder, Swihart could evolve into a super utility-player.
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