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Discussion in 'Red Sox Forum' started by Lose Remerswaal, Jul 11, 2018.
I missed most of the game last night.
How did Swihart look behind the plate?
Completely unmemorable. Which is a good thing, I suppose. But he did have to handle several pitchers, and all but Beeks, were very good -- to the extent that bears on Swihart.
As one of the post game people said, the fact that you didn’t hear his name called while he was catching was a good thing. He looked good to me. I don’t recall any spinning dervish Bob Stanley type breaking balls, or other difficult potential passed balls in the dirt that he had to block though. He said he thought he’d be catching about two games a week, quick caveat that this was coaches, Cora’s call.
And Blake was 2-4 with two runs scored. If he can hold his own defensively, I hope he has a chance at least a couple times a week to show what he can do offensively. He's such a good athlete overall, it's not hard to project that he could have more offensive upside than either of the two incumbents. We've completely f 'ed up this kid's career. It would be nice for him to rebuild his value either for us or to appeal to another team where he could play regularly.
Let’s not go overboard. He had a freak accident playing the outfield. It happens. Youk played LF too and I don’t remember him being out for a year.
Anyone else notice Blake scoring from first on JBJ's double? I daresay Vasquez would have been nailed at the plate.
It's good for the team that he's here. Perhaps Cora's message of "don't try to impress us" has hit the mark?
Split off from the Vazquez thread. Swihart's first rodeo didn't go so well, but he finally has another chance.
No way Vaz even tries for home.
Thanks Sprowl, sorry for extending the hijack.
I'm not expecting much from Swihart in this stint, but it still seems an easy decision for the team to play him and not waste resources with a replacement.
Like many others, I'm rooting for him to not get tossed off the bull's back right away.
Agree. Febles would have held CV. No shot at home...which is my point. Swihart's wheels may add value.
I think at this point all we can hope for is that Swihart plays well enough that they're comfortable using him as a pinch runner for Vaz or Leon in the playoffs.
Thread title led me to:
Blake ain't goin' nowhere.
(not right now anyway)
Fine, I suppose. But it really should have led you here
Not while he's leading Christian's Life.
But seriously...I'd love to see him present the team with some tough decisions. Both because it would mean good things for the team, and because whoever's fault his lost time is, it's nice to see a guy get a good break.
Agreed. Truth be told, nothing was delivered in the catcher's spot for much of this year. So there is an opportunity -- and maybe he can push Vaz while he's at it to come out of whatever funk he's been in this year on both sides of the ball.
Agree completely. For some reason it brings up for me Satchel Paige's great quote:
"Don't look back, because somebody might be gaining on you."
To be the armchair psychoanalyst, I want to believe Cora's message will resonate with him in that way.
I think he made a nice frame to help a scuffling Beeks get a called third strike on a borderline breaking ball.
edit: against Choo.
Don't you know, anytime a bad thing happens, it's the inevitable and 100% foreseeable result of a bad decision by the organization?
One hundred years from now, we'll still be cursing Dombrowski and Farrell for that move.
Yeah, I'm not really sure what the optimal outlook could/should be beyond this year. I had hoped (and believed) Vazquez would establish himself as the starter for this season and the future. Instead, he's had the worst year of his career both at the plate and behind it. My hope for Swihart was that he'd show enough throughout 2018 that it would make sense to pencil the two of them in in 2019, saving a few dollars while getting a mild improvement from Leon to Swihart. But with Swihart being nearly useless to this point in his limited playing time, even if he shows well (say, adequate defensive ability and a .650-.700 OPS) over the next 6-8 weeks, I don't know that I'd feel real comfortable with that pair in 2019. They've both been so bad for the first half-plus of this season that their realistic downside could be too much risk to swallow. Meanwhile, Leon has been, by far, the best of the three. He's up to an 83 wRC+ and 0.5 fWAR in about 40% of the catching duties. He's not a guy I'd want to see as the starter, but he's a solid backup catcher.
But if Swihart can establish himself as an acceptable backup catcher, he can provide great depth at multiple positions.
I thought Swihart looked very competent as a receiver last night. Like an offensive lineman or a 3rd-base coach, you don't really want to notice him out there.
Offensively, the two hits were nice, but it was startling to see a catcher with that much speed when he raced home from first on the Bradley double. Bottom line, you don't miss your (dirty) water with Blake behind the dish.
It's kind of funny, but if Swihart can make it to September 1st without crapping all over himself, I would be pretty happy penciling him in as a 25th man / 3rd catcher again, with another winter to work on his positional versatility and hitting.
If we are hoping, I’m hoping he plays well enough to reestablish some significant positive trade value.
Wow, that is fine work.
I think it's interesting that Cora went with Swihart at first when Pearce was removed. Not sure that's the case a month ago.
Also another nice display of his speed tonight turning what is a single for a good chunk of the team and unquestionably the other catchers into a double with his legs.
This is what I’m hoping for, because I think having a guy who can be a third C while having flexibility to play other positions is a huge advantage and allows the team to do a lot of in-game strategies that most other teams can’t (especially in interleague play), like the oft-maligned “can’t PH for my catcher in a key moment”.
If he can back up the right side of the infield / catcher and Holt can back up the left / outfield, they can then do just about anything with the other bench spot.
I think his ceiling is higher than 3d catcher. If he can keep his bat hot -- and he has the talent to do it -- he could supplant Vazquez.
I think the ideal situation here is for Swihart to be good enough behind the plate and not horrific with the bat, enough that Cora is comfortable PHing Moreland or Pearce for the starting catcher in an important game (be it playoffs or a September game with the division on the line). An ability to be a pinch runner and backup at 1st and maybe 2nd is an added peep that should keep him on the team barring a solid trade return.
He's hit well for the last 3 weeks, with 227 wrc+. Only issue is that it's been in 15 PA with a crazy high BABIP.
Any chance he catches Pomeranz tonight? I thought Cora said he'd be getting two games a week
Yeah, I'm holding out hope that it's MUCH higher than the lukewarm expectations in this thread. I understand the reserve but I think there's still an outside chance that he's the next coming of Tek as was originally predicted back when he was the top rated catcher prospect in all MiLB, hitting, solid defensively, and throwing out almost half of potential base stealers. He's still only 26
Somehow I haven’t managed to catch any Swihart games on TV.
The box scores say his offense is reverting to his pre-injury mean.
How does his defense look? If he can be a 740 OPS catcher going forward, how does the balance play out against the 640 OPS alternatives.
He's looked fine receiving the ball, he's blocked a handful of balls and didn't screw up two separate tag plays at home tonight.
His arm seems to be a notch below Sandy and Vaz but it doesn't seem like it is a liability.
If he can hit he certainly has value.
His AB's have been looking better since he's been getting more playing time and looked good behind the plate tonight. As Byrd said, 2 nice tag plays at home.
Good for him. Hopefully he can build up some value either on the Sox or as trade bait.
If I'm the Sox, I'm either looking to trade Vazquez in the offseason, or go with three catchers with Swihart getting some time at other positions.
Hell, having someone who can pinch run for the catcher and stay in and catch would be a beautiful thing.
I was at the park tonight, and Swihart looked good from the stands. The ball was leaping off his bat; the ball he hit to RF in the 7th was scorched, and required a pretty play from Grossman.
On D, he had his hands full with Johnson's curve, and mostly handled it well; he and Johnson seemed nicely locked in. He did make a weak throw on a SB attempt, though from where I sat in section 14 the throw looked fieldable. He looked great on the tag plays -- athletic and efficient.
I'm cautiously excited.
I'd just really like to see him play more now.
His throw was atrocious. I would guess it hit the ground 15’ in front of the bag. He has almost no power at the plate. His hit to RF was a routine fly ball. And those tag plays are common little league plays. I saw a totally different Swihart tonight than you saw. I have little hope he will a first division starter type of player.
Far from atrocious.
Dozier had a good jump, quick release by swihart, throw beat the runner and was perfectly online, but it was a little short and hit the edge of the grass making a very tough hop. If it’s a fraction shorter or longer then X has a good shot to pick that and Doziers out.
What's with these lurkers making game thread posts on the main board? Didn't we used to have a sandlot for these guys?
His post offers just as much content as the post he was replying to and all the other game thread posts in this thread except it isn't warm and glowing... and he's new.
Swihart hasn't been good, he has been incredibly lucky.
edit: Last 12 games .417/.481/.625, .500 BAbip. And that's his hit streak.
No video to show, but I'll just note that MLB classified it as a line drive, which is what it looked like from the grandstand--a line drive that made it to within a few feet of the warning track in one of the deepest parts of the park. So it was not a fly ball, and "routine" is debatable, given that Grossman barely got to it at a full gallop.
tl;dr -- he hit it damn hard.
His post was demonstrably false in a provocative way. The throw to second short-hopped Bogaerts and was by no means 15' short. It was a strong throw and had to be if he would have a chance since Dozier had a great jump. The tag from Holt was fairly routine but the one from JBJ was a bang-bang play that he had to execute perfectly with no room for error. It was by no means "a common little league play". His fly-out to left was recorded as a hard-hit LD that as SH said made the RFer run all-out to get. I haven't seen the hit probability on it but it was not a weak fly-out.
Yes, his BABIB is unsustainably high but say that. Don't say a guy who has had hit 9 of his last 23 balls in play hard has almost no power at the plate. It's just irrational sniping at a guy who's threatening to become useful for the first time all year. I expect that on the game threads but I expect more on the main board. Maybe you want to dumb things down here too but I can't see why that adds anything constructive at all.
Given the nature of Swihart’s ankle injury, it’s nice to see Statcast data shows his pop time is so quick - tied for #2 in MLB. Even given the limited number of attempts, that shows his ankle is strong enough to allow him not to be a liability to allowing stolen bases.
FWIW, that’s .11 seconds faster than Leon and .22 faster than Vazquez this season.
The throw bounced just before where the dirt meets the grass. It was by no means atrocious, and the throw beat the runner. It was a high fastball, so a good pitch to throw on. I thought his footwork looked great on it. Got himself into position to throw very quickly. I was trying to make a gif of it, but failed miserably.
The tag on Jackie's throw was pretty good, too.
His lateral quickness and seeming confidence at blocking balls probably reflects good ankle health, too.
There is absolutely nothing you can point to after his last few games to say he isn't a major league catcher. Is he some wizard back there? No. But he's a pretty quiete and boring catcher, which is exactly what you want.
I think his at bats are intriguing. There is something there.
Seems that Tek has been working with Blake, especially on his D:
I actually had some confidence that Blake could drive in the trying run in the 9th last night, given the way he's been swinging the bat lately. Unfortunately, Rodney never really gave him anything to hit, so he took the walk and passed the baton. But a good AB.