Wherefore art thou, Blake?

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
22,128
The reason Swihart was considered to be a top catching prospect wasn't primarily because of stats, it was because of scouting.
Scouts love his athleticism and potential as a hitter. They figured with his athletic ability and tools, he would eventually become a solid defensive catcher. The injuries have really set him back and he hasn't been able to do that.
I think the 840 OPS at portland as a 22yr old cemented the idea that he'd hit enough to support being an approximately average catcher.
 

tonyarmasjr

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 12, 2010
1,054
The reason Swihart was considered to be a top catching prospect wasn't primarily because of stats, it was because of scouting.
Scouts love his athleticism and potential as a hitter. They figured with his athletic ability and tools, he would eventually become a solid defensive catcher. The injuries have really set him back and he hasn't been able to do that.
It's more than that, though. Marco's post that I initially replied to asserted 3 things: 1) The case of Swihart is not complicated, 2) he's an average minor league hitter, 3) who has become a below average major league hitter. He showed Swihart's overall ml and ML numbers to back that up.
MLB: 422pa, 8.1bb%, 24.6k%, .344babip, .260avg, .107iso, 87wrc+
MiLB: 1716pa, 8.3bb%, 17.9k%, .316babip, .269avg, .130iso, 102wrc+

The problem is, Swihart's career to date can easily be broken into two distinct parts. (I'm leaving out <20 G samples.)

2012 - 20yo at A - 378 PA, 6.9 BB%, 18.0 K%, .300 babip, .135 ISO, .262 avg, .702 OPS, 91wRC+
2013 - 21yo at A+ - 422 PA, 9.7 BB%, 14.9 K%, .350 babip, .130 ISO, .298 avg, .794 OPS, 121 wRC+
2014 - 22yo at AA - 380 PA, 7.6 BB%, 17.1 K%, .337 babip, .187 ISO, .300 avg, .840 OPS, 131 wRC+
2015 - 23yo at MLB - 309 PA, 5.8 BB%, 24.9 K%, .359 babip, .118 ISO, .274 avg, .711 OPS, 93 wRC+
2016 started off looking much like 2015 in his first 19 G, and then he got hurt.
2016 - 24yo at MLB - 74 PA, 14.9 BB%, 23.0 K%, .348 babip, .097 ISO, .258 avg, .720 OPS, 96 wRC+

So, at this point, I see an age-advanced catcher with overall ml numbers that look something like (minor league splits would be nice...):
8 BB%, 17 K%, .330 babip, .150 ISO, .285 avg, .780 OPS, 115 wRC+
And ML numbers:
7.6 BB%, 24.5 K%, .357 babip, .114 ISO, .271 avg, .714 OPS, 93 wRC+
That is an above average hitter at the ml levels and a slightly below average one in Boston - regardless of age or position, which are huge additional factors in his favor. I posted it earlier in this thread, but the 12 catchers in the last 30 years who had better seasons by age 23 all had All-Star appearances in their careers (Ramos, Grandal, and Sanchez are the only ones without multiple appearances).

And then...
2016 - 24yo post-injury at AAA - 122 PA, 13.9 BB%, 13.9 K%, .276 babip, .068 ISO, .243 avg, .655 OPS, 91 wRC+
2017 - 25yo in AAA - 212 PA, 6.1 BB%, 25.5 K%, .239 babip, .103 ISO, .190 avg, .538 OPS, 47 wRC+

Those lines look a lot different from what he was doing pre-injury, particularly the 25% K rate at AAA, the babip, and the ISO. When we know the player has had an injury that hindered him physically (to the point where he couldn't catch), and he has come out and said it affected the way he was swinging, it doesn't seem like a stretch to connect the dots and believe the poor performance was directly related to said injury. If you can't drive through your swing (which he said he couldn't), it makes sense that you'll make less and weaker contact.

Obviously, there are big questions that have to be answered, which complicate things exponentially. But simply dismissing him based on overall numbers is overly simplistic. Not everything is black and white.
 
Last edited:

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
32,342
AZ
While it is frustrating to watch Devers juggle the ball on every other play (and I've openly suggested that he could use some seasoning in Pawtucket as well), he's third on the club with seven HRs and fourth in RBIs at 25. He's also fourth in MLB overall fielding metrics on FanGraphs and fourth in UZR. His batting average and OPS are very close with Benintendi's, but Benny only has two HRs.

The Sox have had success thus far with Devers "learning on the job" at the big league level, and with Nunez being the only option to replace him, along with Cora's comments below it's hard to see Devers going anywhere at the moment...

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox/clubhouse_insider/2018/05/alex_cora_red_sox_can_live_with_errors_from_rafael_devers
I mentioned Devers not necessarily because I think he should go down but because he was one of three possible chess pieces that could move. Of course, it's also the MLB and often this stuff finds a way to work itself out and so Carson Smith goes on DL and the problem is "solved" for a couple of weeks.

The RBI and HRs are nice, but he's been very poor at the plate lately. He is a good enough hitter that he's been getting by by handling mistakes and by generally hitting the ball pretty hard when he connects. But his approach is awful. He is the same hitter with two strikes as with zero strikes. He's the same player with a man on third and no outs in the bottom of the first as with bases empty in the bottom of the ninth. And, most fundamentally, he simply will not take a pitch right now. Will not do it. I posted the day before yesterday in a game thread about his stats over the last 100 PAs. Updating, he has 3 walks in the last 105 PAs against 33 strike outs. And the eye test tells you that he has some holes in his swing. In other words, the numbers are consistent with what we're seeing.

It's a bit surprising that he's maintaining an OPS over .700 during that stretch despite the poor approach. His Babip is a bit high over the stretch -- .323. Maybe he can continue to hit the ball hard enough when he makes contact that he can sustain decent numbers. There is no doubt that he's better than any other option we really have at the moment. The question to me is whether he's picking up bad habits. If pitchers start to find the holes with more efficiency and start to do an even better job of getting him out with pitches out of the zone, it could escalate quickly. That he's so young works both ways -- you excuse the swing-happy stuff but you also worry that he doesn't have the maturity to keep the bad habits in check. Hyers has his work cut out for him.
 

4-6-3

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2005
1,836
Sweet Carolina
I mentioned Devers not necessarily because I think he should go down but because he was one of three possible chess pieces that could move. Of course, it's also the MLB and often this stuff finds a way to work itself out and so Carson Smith goes on DL and the problem is "solved" for a couple of weeks.

The RBI and HRs are nice, but he's been very poor at the plate lately. He is a good enough hitter that he's been getting by by handling mistakes and by generally hitting the ball pretty hard when he connects. But his approach is awful. He is the same hitter with two strikes as with zero strikes. He's the same player with a man on third and no outs in the bottom of the first as with bases empty in the bottom of the ninth. And, most fundamentally, he simply will not take a pitch right now. Will not do it. I posted the day before yesterday in a game thread about his stats over the last 100 PAs. Updating, he has 3 walks in the last 105 PAs against 33 strike outs. And the eye test tells you that he has some holes in his swing. In other words, the numbers are consistent with what we're seeing.

It's a bit surprising that he's maintaining an OPS over .700 during that stretch despite the poor approach. His Babip is a bit high over the stretch -- .323. Maybe he can continue to hit the ball hard enough when he makes contact that he can sustain decent numbers. There is no doubt that he's better than any other option we really have at the moment. The question to me is whether he's picking up bad habits. If pitchers start to find the holes with more efficiency and start to do an even better job of getting him out with pitches out of the zone, it could escalate quickly. That he's so young works both ways -- you excuse the swing-happy stuff but you also worry that he doesn't have the maturity to keep the bad habits in check. Hyers has his work cut out for him.
I wish Big Papi would or could work with him. I think he has the talent to be a hitter like Ortiz but doesn't have a game plan when going to the plate. I was amazed when listening to Ortiz' approach when facing certain pitchers - he always had a game plan at the plate. Devers is very young and I'm hoping at some point someone help him (and he's receptive) with a plan at the plate.
 

Lose Remerswaal

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I wish Big Papi would or could work with him. I think he has the talent to be a hitter like Ortiz but doesn't have a game plan when going to the plate. I was amazed when listening to Ortiz' approach when facing certain pitchers - he always had a game plan at the plate. Devers is very young and I'm hoping at some point someone help him (and he's receptive) with a plan at the plate.
Not one in a thousand players have the talent to be hitters like David Ortiz. It's not a "game plan" that's keeping him from being at that level.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 30, 2006
10,569
Not one in a thousand players have the talent to be hitters like David Ortiz. It's not a "game plan" that's keeping him from being at that level.
But Devers might be that 1 in a thousand who does. I mean think about it. He’s hitting oppo moonshots in the midst of his worst stretches of poor bat discipline. As a 21 year old. Against MLB pitching.

There are lots of things that are highly likely to get in the way of Devers approaching Papi’s career. But I don’t think the list starts with the talent gap.
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,783
The wrong side of the bridge....
I think the key for Devers going forward is going to be the K and BB columns. With his ability to drive the ball, if he can walk more or strike out less than average, he can be a consistently good hitter. If he can do both (which is what Papi did) he can be elite. If he can do neither, he's going to be just pretty good at best.
 

Marco

lurker
Apr 18, 2018
34
It's more than that, though. Marco's post that I initially replied to asserted 3 things: 1) The case of Swihart is not complicated, 2) he's an average minor league hitter, 3) who has become a below average major league hitter. He showed Swihart's overall ml and ML numbers to back that up.
MLB: 422pa, 8.1bb%, 24.6k%, .344babip, .260avg, .107iso, 87wrc+
MiLB: 1716pa, 8.3bb%, 17.9k%, .316babip, .269avg, .130iso, 102wrc+

The problem is, Swihart's career to date can easily be broken into two distinct parts. (I'm leaving out <20 G samples.)

2012 - 20yo at A - 378 PA, 6.9 BB%, 18.0 K%, .300 babip, .135 ISO, .262 avg, .702 OPS, 91wRC+
2013 - 21yo at A+ - 422 PA, 9.7 BB%, 14.9 K%, .350 babip, .130 ISO, .298 avg, .794 OPS, 121 wRC+
2014 - 22yo at AA - 380 PA, 7.6 BB%, 17.1 K%, .337 babip, .187 ISO, .300 avg, .840 OPS, 131 wRC+
2015 - 23yo at MLB - 309 PA, 5.8 BB%, 24.9 K%, .359 babip, .118 ISO, .274 avg, .711 OPS, 93 wRC+
2016 started off looking much like 2015 in his first 19 G, and then he got hurt.
2016 - 24yo at MLB - 74 PA, 14.9 BB%, 23.0 K%, .348 babip, .097 ISO, .258 avg, .720 OPS, 96 wRC+

So, at this point, I see an age-advanced catcher with overall ml numbers that look something like (minor league splits would be nice...):
8 BB%, 17 K%, .330 babip, .150 ISO, .285 avg, .780 OPS, 115 wRC+
And ML numbers:
7.6 BB%, 24.5 K%, .357 babip, .114 ISO, .271 avg, .714 OPS, 93 wRC+
That is an above average hitter at the ml levels and a slightly below average one in Boston - regardless of age or position, which are huge additional factors in his favor. I posted it earlier in this thread, but the 12 catchers in the last 30 years who had better seasons by age 23 all had All-Star appearances in their careers (Ramos, Grandal, and Sanchez are the only ones without multiple appearances).

And then...
2016 - 24yo post-injury at AAA - 122 PA, 13.9 BB%, 13.9 K%, .276 babip, .068 ISO, .243 avg, .655 OPS, 91 wRC+
2017 - 25yo in AAA - 212 PA, 6.1 BB%, 25.5 K%, .239 babip, .103 ISO, .190 avg, .538 OPS, 47 wRC+

Those lines look a lot different from what he was doing pre-injury, particularly the 25% K rate at AAA, the babip, and the ISO. When we know the player has had an injury that hindered him physically (to the point where he couldn't catch), and he has come out and said it affected the way he was swinging, it doesn't seem like a stretch to connect the dots and believe the poor performance was directly related to said injury. If you can't drive through your swing (which he said he couldn't), it makes sense that you'll make less and weaker contact.

Obviously, there are big questions that have to be answered, which complicate things exponentially. But simply dismissing him based on overall numbers is overly simplistic. Not everything is black and white.
my point is that we've kept reading all these narratives into his performance to tell ourselves his hot streaks are real and his bad streaks aren't......but when we take a step back and look at the big picture for this 26yr old player, without trying to read any narratives into it.....the big picture numbers do actually paint a pretty simple, clear picture....and I don't know that that isn't the best way to look at it at this point.

occam's razor and all that.
 
Sep 13, 2006
699
From the article linked below (emphasis added):

"Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stood by the decision on Tuesday to keep [Swihart] on the roster.

"The plan is very much like it is right now. I mean, he is a protection for us as a third catcher," Dombrowski said. "Really, I know people keep writing about that, too, but the reality is that your 25th player usually doesn't play that much anyway, really. It's more an unfortunate situation I think probably for him because a lot of times it's a veteran type player that fits that role that doesn't play all that much.

"And for him, ideally he'd be out there playing on an everyday basis, but with the rules and the optional status, we just don't have that luxury with him. So he's in a spot where he contributes. He's a protection third catcher for us. He gets in the lineup every so often and it's just up to him to be in a position to try to do the best he can. It's a tough role, we know it."

https://www.mlb.com/news/blake-swihart-provides-catching-depth-for-sox/c-276820500
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
I think the 840 OPS at portland as a 22yr old cemented the idea that he'd hit enough to support being an approximately average catcher.
Again, Swihart was the starting catcher for two months on a team that played at a playoff-competitive pace over that period despite having been dismantled at the trade deadline.

Over that entire two month period I don’t recall a single newspaper article or main board thread discussing Swihart’s defense as subpar in any way.

This “Swihart is a bad defensive catcher” narrative was invented as a post hoc rationalization for handing the job to Vazquez, who promptly had one of the worst offensive seasons of any catcher with a meaningful sample of at bats.

And then came the need to further rationalize the short-sighted, colossally stupid decision to make him an outfielder. A decision that backfired even more than it otherwise would have when he suffered a season ending and apparently now career threatening ankle injury running into a wall.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
2,486
I'd say Vazquez should be the one to trade instead, but he's fast becoming a toxic asset. Shitty situation.
 

mfried

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 23, 2005
1,661
I'd say Vazquez should be the one to trade instead, but he's fast becoming a toxic asset. Shitty situation.
If Machado can be happy at 3rd base, Devers,Vasquez and Johnson could be offered. An expensive proposition, but it could save our season.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
22,128
Dombrowski isn't wrong.

Swihart's agent is wrong. That kind of statement isn't going to help his client
I'd go one better. Dombrowski is unusually (for a GM, I think) candid as to all aspects of the situation. And the last point, that the team knows its difficult, strikes the right tone. I think there are some that would have ended with "its his role to be ready."
 
Last edited:

PaulinMyrBch

Don't touch his dog food
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2003
8,316
MYRTLE BEACH!!!!
It's a difficult situation. Especially after having committed to Vasquez as they did this offseason. Blake has a scorching hot spring training and now he's not just 1 of 25, but literally 25, and realistically should be 28 or so. So I get his frustration. If anyone could have used one more option to get his career on track, he's the poster child for it. I think we all need to be patient. I was hopeful that Vaz and Sandy would alternate the year where one of them posts an unsustainable BABIP (it was Sandy's turn), but that 2 year game of luck is gone. It doesn't appear they trust his defense in any position to be a true utility player and the three guys making appearances in the DH slot are all clearly better. The only thing that will clear this up absent a trade is a injury to an existing catcher. He's not going to play much otherwise.
 

BigJimEd

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
3,320
https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/red-sox/agent-asks-red-sox-trade-blake-swihart?amp&__twitter_impression=true

so it looks like Dave's clarification came as a bit of a shock to Swihart and his agent. Understandable, I would want to get out of roster spot hell if i were him as well
Yes. They talked about him being a super utility role before the season but that hasn't materialized. I can understand the agent asking for a trade. It really isn't working well for anyone.
Problem is that Swihart likely has little to no trade value. He probably has more value for the Sox as the 3rd catcher than they likely get back in a trade.

I'd like to see him get more playing time preferably at catcher but I don't think that is happening. And I understand why the Sox are reluctant.
 

MikeM

Member
SoSH Member
May 27, 2010
2,932
Florida
From the article linked below (emphasis added):

"Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stood by the decision on Tuesday to keep [Swihart] on the roster.

"The plan is very much like it is right now. I mean, he is a protection for us as a third catcher," Dombrowski said. "Really, I know people keep writing about that, too, but the reality is that your 25th player usually doesn't play that much anyway, really. It's more an unfortunate situation I think probably for him because a lot of times it's a veteran type player that fits that role that doesn't play all that much.

"And for him, ideally he'd be out there playing on an everyday basis, but with the rules and the optional status, we just don't have that luxury with him. So he's in a spot where he contributes. He's a protection third catcher for us. He gets in the lineup every so often and it's just up to him to be in a position to try to do the best he can. It's a tough role, we know it."

https://www.mlb.com/news/blake-swihart-provides-catching-depth-for-sox/c-276820500
So basically what I was guessing yesterday.

Swihart and his agents are making a lot of noise for a busted prospect who is nowhere near established at the MLB level...and still cashing a MLB level paycheck. Kind of unusual to see that, yeah?
 

sean1562

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 17, 2011
3,381
I mean the guy is still young enough to go somewhere and possibly fulfill his potential. He has done everything the front office has asked him to do during his time here and is now relegated to a spot that he will never really be able to do anything in.

I would probably rather be the backup catcher for a terrible team than third on the C depth chart for the Sox. It is clear to him that Vaz and Leon are not losing their jobs even though they have been terrible. "Trade me" in this sense is probably equal to "DFA me so some team can pick me up and give me ABs"
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,783
The wrong side of the bridge....
https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/red-sox/agent-asks-red-sox-trade-blake-swihart?amp&__twitter_impression=true

so it looks like Dave's clarification came as a bit of a shock to Swihart and his agent. Understandable, I would want to get out of roster spot hell if i were him as well
Yup. His agent calling him an "offensive impact player" seems more than a bit silly at the moment. But he was once regarded as having that potential, and it's no use telling him he needs to go out and prove it, since that will be nearly impossible in his current role. He's still young enough to reboot elsewhere and have a nice little career a la Brandon Moss, but that window won't last forever. So I can understand the sense of urgency that's driving his agent to speak up even though the optics seem a little off.
 

MikeM

Member
SoSH Member
May 27, 2010
2,932
Florida
Yup. His agent calling him an "offensive impact player" seems more than a bit silly at the moment.
I'd go as far as to label it delusional.

I mean I get it being stated here, since fanboying and prospect humping is usually the flavor of the day. But his agent in that position isn't really giving off the best look there, for him or his client imo. Better to keep quiet, wait out the surrounding busted prospect reality a thousand other talented guys end up being faced with (while still making life changing money), and hope your client seizes on the upcoming opportunity that was already looking like a pretty safe reality given with Pedroia due back soon.
 

trs

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Aug 19, 2010
166
Madrid
I'd go as far as to label it delusional.
Which is more or less what Dombrowski said preemptively by calling Swihart the "25th" player. As a few others have mentioned, I'm a bit surprised at DD's forthrightness on the subject. Essentially he called Swihart the least important player on the team. I get that these guys are all adults and make good money and should be able to handle a harsh word or two, but to hear from your boss that he essentially puts every other employee above you has got to leave a mark. It gives Swihart perhaps some leverage in the situation and further diminishes his trade value.

I like the new Red Sox honesty policy I suppose and it's a stark contrast to what we see down Rt. 95, but perhaps Davey non-substantive in his response? Or there's a bigger picture I don't see. Or this is a molehill and in a few weeks we'll all just be talking about how Pedroia needs to stop demanding to play so much as he's clearly not the same as before.
 

Adrian's Dome

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 6, 2010
4,424
Dombrowski calling Swihart "the 25th man" is not Dombrowski saying "you're less valuable than everyone else on the roster." Those are two VERY different statements.

He essentially said, in summary: "I know it's a tough role, and I'm aware of it, but given his contract status and lack of options there's unfortunately not much we can do about it at the moment." Sure sounds to me like that's DD acknowledging that Swihart is in a shitty place and he feels bad about it, but his hands are tied.
 

MikeM

Member
SoSH Member
May 27, 2010
2,932
Florida
Blake has a scorching hot spring training
Minor thing, but this narrative point really needs to die already. Swihart did come out the gate in ST with a hot 9 atbats in February though, before closing the month off with an 0-3.

For the March he posted a .204/.232/.389 line in the next 54 atbats.
 

grimshaw

Member
SoSH Member
May 16, 2007
3,763
Portland
Dombrowski calling Swihart "the 25th man" is not Dombrowski saying "you're less valuable than everyone else on the roster." Those are two VERY different statements.
I love candor, but I think there is no other way to take that phrase than him being the least important person on the roster. Even if that wasn't DD's intent, at the very least it is insulting.

Can you imagine Belichick calling someone the 53rd guy?
 

bluefenderstrat

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2002
2,241
Tralfamadore
You think they'd turn down 5 years of Devers for 4 months of Machado? The other pieces aren't really relevant.
I don't think Devers for Machado straight up would get it done, no. And the other pieces were relevant to the snark in my reply--they would probably have negative value to Baltimore at this point. Anyway, not the focus of this thread. I hope Swihart has a real career someday but it doesn't seem likely.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
17,749
I don't think Devers for Machado straight up would get it done, no. And the other pieces were relevant to the snark in my reply--they would probably have negative value to Baltimore at this point. Anyway, not the focus of this thread. I hope Swihart has a real career someday but it doesn't seem likely.
I doubt they would get a much better offer. You are overselling Machado or underselling Devers.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
22,128
I love candor, but I think there is no other way to take that phrase than him being the least important person on the roster. Even if that wasn't DD's intent, at the very least it is insulting.

Can you imagine Belichick calling someone the 53rd guy?
I suppose one could take it that way. But only if they chose to. The obvious import is that he's the guy getting the least time, not as some sort of qualitative judgment. Even Swihart would acknowledge that, today, he is the 25th man.
 

Adrian's Dome

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 6, 2010
4,424
I love candor, but I think there is no other way to take that phrase than him being the least important person on the roster. Even if that wasn't DD's intent, at the very least it is insulting.

Can you imagine Belichick calling someone the 53rd guy?
There's no other way to take that phrase if you choose to only focus on the "25th man" part of it and not the "lack of options or flexibility" part, but that's entirely on your choice to ignore context.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
15,424
Maine
I don't think Devers for Machado straight up would get it done, no. And the other pieces were relevant to the snark in my reply--they would probably have negative value to Baltimore at this point. Anyway, not the focus of this thread. I hope Swihart has a real career someday but it doesn't seem likely.
I think the Orioles leap at that one-for-one deal without thinking twice. Which is why the Red Sox shouldn't and absolutely wouldn't do it. Unless they think they can re-sign Machado (which they can't), or they're planning a fire sale tankapalooza for 2019-2020, it would be the definition of insanity to trade five prime years of a quality young player for a 3-4 month rental, especially when the upgrade wouldn't be all that significant (Machado is not going to maintain the pace he's on).
 

SoxinSeattle

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 6, 2003
2,016
Here
Cora on EEI just put a fork in Swihart catching any time soon. Barring injury he is staying on the bench/traded.
 

mauidano

Mai Tais for everyone!
SoSH Member
Aug 21, 2006
31,454
Maui
Blake’s days in Boston are numbered. I see his agent has asked for a trade. Don’t blame him at all. It’s like he is in purgatory with the Sox.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
15,882
Miami (oh, Miami!)
It's a difficult situation. Especially after having committed to Vasquez as they did this offseason. Blake has a scorching hot spring training and now he's not just 1 of 25, but literally 25, and realistically should be 28 or so. So I get his frustration. If anyone could have used one more option to get his career on track, he's the poster child for it. I think we all need to be patient. I was hopeful that Vaz and Sandy would alternate the year where one of them posts an unsustainable BABIP (it was Sandy's turn), but that 2 year game of luck is gone. It doesn't appear they trust his defense in any position to be a true utility player and the three guys making appearances in the DH slot are all clearly better. The only thing that will clear this up absent a trade is a injury to an existing catcher. He's not going to play much otherwise.
Yep. He just turned 26. The Sox are basically putting a prime development year of his in the tank to carry an ineffective PH they don't really use, and a phantom backup C. If they continue his current usage pattern, he'll end up with 120AB for the season, with none played as a C. Has Cora even PH for one of the catchers yet? (And if so, what's Blake's insurance value as 3rd C - 4 games on the season?)

IMO, it's a shitty way for the Sox treat a player in his situation, especially after the Sox jerked him around positionally, and he didn't complain.

If Swihart's not a fit for the roster, they need to acknowledge that and cut bait. Play him, trade him, release him, or try to sneak him through waivers. But don't hamper him by making him sit on the bench.
 

AimingForYoko

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
25,403
CT
I don't blame him at all and he's have been justified asking for one before now. Just release the poor dude or get a bag of balls for him before this situation gets any crummier or before they try shove him in center and he breaks a leg.
 
Oct 8, 2015
157
Is releasing Bradley and letting Swihart play unreasonable at this point? I feel like they're going to regret letting Blake go.
 
Oct 8, 2015
157
You mean the guy we would have been laughed at had we traded for Jose Abreu three months ago? Yes.
His value has surely plummeted. But I do think you could swing Bradley to a NL team for some type of bullpen arm. Maybe add a holt or something to sort the roster better. I don't understand why they aren't giving Swihart a real shot.
 

effectivelywild

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
335
His value has surely plummeted. But I do think you could swing Bradley to a NL team for some type of bullpen arm. Maybe add a holt or something to sort the roster better. I don't understand why they aren't giving Swihart a real shot.
I really don't think that selling low on a good if not great defensive OF who has a history of being at least competent at the major league level in order to make room for a guy with a historically below average bat who would be at best "competent" in the field is the sort of move smart front offices make.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
2,486
His value has surely plummeted. But I do think you could swing Bradley to a NL team for some type of bullpen arm. Maybe add a holt or something to sort the roster better. I don't understand why they aren't giving Swihart a real shot.
Bradley is notoriously streaky and has had down spells before. His swing can likely be fixed, and there’s a much better chance of that happening than Swihart hitting well enough to justify making him the full-time left fielder, which seems to be what you’re suggesting.

If you wanna send Vazquez to an NL team for a decent bullpen arm, it may be worth talking about.
 

redsox2020

Member
SoSH Member
May 30, 2002
268
KS
As bad as I feel for Blake, he hasn't earned any playing time. Guys hitting .138 don't get to make demands. Best thing he can do is start raking in his part time role and force the issue.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
Just how badly do Leon and Vazquez have to hit to lose their jobs? Vazquez probably has to be really, really bad, given that they needlessly committed a multiyear contract to him last winter and will want to justify the mistake for as long as they can pretend it isn't one.

Any chance both the catchers' wives are pregnant and due the same day? That would force the Red Sox to play Swihart when they took their paternity leave.