BOSTON (CBS) — Blake Swihart is adding a few more positions to his resume.
Once a promising catching prospect for the Red Sox, Swihart played some left field for Boston last season in an effort to get him more playing time. That transition didn’t end well, as he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in May after running into the left field wall at Fenway Park.
Swihart underwent surgery for the injury and was back behind the plate for Pawtucket this season, but the toll of being a backstop are too much for the 25-year-old’s ankle at the moment. He went on the Triple-A disabled list on July 7 with another ankle injury, and when he returns, Swihart will start taking grounders at first and third base.
“The stress of catching is not allowing him to catch as a regular everyday catcher,” Boston manager John Farrell said prior to Tuesday’s 15-inning win over the Toronto Blue Jays. “We’re going to begin moving him around the infield. He’s going to take groundballs at first, he’ll take some at third, he’ll still catch some. But the ankle is a limiting factor as far as how many games consecutively he can catch.”
Swihart has played 41 games for the PawSox this season, serving as their backstop in 40 of them and DHing in the other. He’s hit three homers with 20 RBIs in those contest, slashing .213/.265/.327. In 103 major league games spread out over two seasons, Swihart has hit .271 with five homers, 17 doubles and 36 RBIs.