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Blake Swihart is having throwing problems, but Red Sox (and Blake Swihart) say there’s nothing to worry about

02.17.17 at 1:49 pm ET
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Blake Swihart (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports)

Blake Swihart (Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Not a lot of people were around to witness the uncomfortable bullpen session Thursday.

But for those who were there, they saw Blake Swihart show an inability to accurately throw the ball back to Rick Porcello on too many occasions. Pitching coach Carl Willis saw it, as did manager John Farrell and catching instructor/bullpen coach Dana LeVangie.

Friday rolled around and while the problems weren’t as dramatic, the inconsistency in Swihart’s throws continued, leading to a collection of media gathered around the catcher to ask him about the issues before he left JetBlue Park for the day.

“I”m not concerned. I’m going back to catching. In the outfield you have a longer arm swing, a longer arm movement. I’m just trying to shorten it back up. They are misfiring, but I’m not too worried about it,” Swihart said. “It’s just a different arm movement. But I’m working every day to shorten it up, get it short and still have good velocity on my ball. … It’s more me just feeling bad for the pitcher that I’m throwing to.”

And then, as the reporters peeled off, Swihart offered one more proclamation.

“You guys shouldn’t be worried about me,” he said.

LeVangie wasn’t about to suggest there was nothing to see over the last few days, even saying when asked that Swihart’s problems were “out of the blue” when appearing Thursday.

But the catching coach did offer some optimism after working with Swihart Friday and then seeing the slow transformation from an outfielder’s arm motion to that of a catcher.

“There were a couple of bad throws today, but to be honest with you we talked about some things and he got better at doing it,” LeVangie said. “It’s still not finished, but there are signs he can get better from it. We were just looking at spin, how it was coming out of his hand. At times he throws a little rotational, and at times he’s allowing his glove to dictate where his arm path should be going. We want his glove front side to dictate more of back to front motion so his arm path stays on line better.

“We want him to throw more like a catcher rather than middle infielder, a shortstop or an outfielder. I saw far more better throws today than I saw yesterday. He’s going to learn how to throw as a catcher. That’s what we’re working on.”

Swihart reiterated that the 11 months between the last time he lived life as a catcher and jumping back into it this week was the cause for the throwing hiccup.

“The last time I caught was, what? The first six games of the season last year,” he said, referencing his move to outfield. Swihart added, “I feel fine. I’m not worried and you guys shouldn’t be worried either. I’m working on my craft and I promise the ball is going to get there.”

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