When the Boston Red Sox recalled C Blake Swihart (Salem ’13) from AAA Pawtucket on the morning of May 2 and flew him to Boston for an afternoon game at Fenway against the Yankees, he was thrust into the starting lineup right away. Red Sox brass had hoped to keep their top overall prospect at AAA for a full season of conditioning. Those plans changed when fellow C Ryan Hanigan got hurt. Swihart did get a base hit and a walk in his major league debut, but otherwise struggled with his bat, hitting .125 through his first 9 ML games.
Now, he is on fire!
Swihart has apparently found his rhythm at the major league level. Going into Sunday’s game in Texas, Swihart has hit safely in 7 straight games and 9 of his last 10. He has brought his batting average up nearly 100 points, now batting .224. Furthermore, he showed tremendous poise and leadership on the field Thursday in a Red Sox 5-1 win. Fellow rookie, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, called up for a spot start against the Rangers-his ML debut-ended up throwing 5 no-hit innings, and 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball with only 3 hits allowed. Swihart was credited with guiding Rodriguez through the game.
The Red Sox have appeared to find their catcher of the future.