Swihart, 22, is considered the best prospect in Boston’s system and among the best young players on the minor league circuit. In time between double-A and triple-A last year, Swihart posted a .293/.341/.469 slash line, and collected a career high 13 home runs and 64 RBI. Along with touting a big bat, the former first round pick is also regarded as a slick defender, and holds a career 38% caught stealing percentage. While Swihart’s late season call up in 2014 limited him to just 18 games in triple-A, the New Mexico native figures to begin the new campaign as the Pawtucket Red Sox primary backstop, which should allow him to “season” some more.
With Butler out of the way, Swihart has now become the first line of defense if either Christian Vazquez or Ryan Hanigan hit the disabled list. While Boston has obviously has other catchers in the system, Swihart currently owns a spot on the team’s 40-man roster and would not require a corresponding move. Swihart is projected to be a September call up this season, but his big league debut could come before then if the Sox major league catchers are bitten by the injury bug.
- After being designated for assignment in order to make room for Craig Breslow on the Red Sox 40-man roster, Dan Butler was traded to the Washington Nationals in exchange for left-handed pitcher Danny Rosenbaum. The 27-year old has spent his 6 year minor league career primarily as a starting pitcher and holds a career ERA of 3.12 in 116 games started. Rosenbaum, who missed almost the entire 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, does not require a 40-man roster spot, and will likely serve as minor league starting depth. (Dan Butler has found new home, landing with Nationals)
- While Shane Victorino’s injury history raises some question marks, he’s by far the best insurance policy the Red Sox have for Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo. However, keeping Victorino on the roster means that Boston would need to cut ties with another one of their other outfielders. With Brock Holt filling in the team’s utility role and Jackie Bradley Jr. likely to start the season in triple-A, the team would likely have to choose between Daniel Nava and Allen Craig. (Allen Craig vs. Daniel Nava: Who should the Red Sox keep?)
- Long before Kevin Youkilis became a household name in Boston, his career began as an undrafted free agent, playing for another shot at the MLB on the Cape Cod League. As a member of the Bourne Braves, the then-21 year old batted over .300 and showed a keen eye at the plate. Youkilis’s first and only season on The Cape taught his former manager, and current Red Sox scouting director, Mike Rikard a valuable lesson in scouting. Youkilis’s “diamond in the rough” type season taught Rikard that value can be found anywhere if you look hard enough. (New Red Sox scouting director on lookout for the next Kevin Youkilis)
- The Red Sox announced on Tuesday that they have hired former major league pitcher Brian Bannister to a two tiered role. The 5-year veteran will work out of the Red Sox front office as a pro scout, while also assisting Boston’s analytics team. As one of the few former players that has embraced the uprising of advanced metrics, Bannister will work in conjunction with one of the leagues most Sabr-friendly front offices in the MLB. (Brian Bannister joins Red Sox analytics team)
- Tweet of the day: Welcome aboard, Danny