|Red Sox lineup: Blake Swihart back in left field, Christian Vazquez catching David Price||05.29.16 at 9:58 am ET|
It is a standard Red Sox lineup for Sunday’s series finale with the Blue Jays as the visitors look to snap a three-game losing streak overall and avoid a series sweep.
Blake Swihart will be back in left field after Chris Young got the start on Saturday, which was a tough 10-9 walk-off loss.
Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter David Price as the Red Sox lineup will go up against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Blake Swihart, LF
David Price, LHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|Red Sox minor league notebook: Could Sam Travis be Hanley Ramirez’s replacement at first base in 2017?||05.19.16 at 11:31 am ET|
1. There will be a lot of questions next offseason with the Red Sox’ big league club.
If David Ortiz does indeed retire, Hanley Ramirez likely will move from first base to designated hitter. Then, with Travis Shaw’s outstanding start to the year at third base and plenty of questions with Pablo Sandoval, it would seem Shaw will stay at third base.
This leaves first base open and the Red Sox may not need to look outside the organization, as prospect Sam Travis is proving he deserves a lot of consideration for the job.
Travis was drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University and he’s performed well at every level he’s played.
In 40 games with short-season, Single-A Lowell after being drafted he batted .333 and was promoted to Single-A Greenville to end the 2014 season where he hit .290 with a slugging percentage of .495.
The first baseman started last season with Salem before being promoted to Portland at the All-Star break, after being named to the High-A All-Star Game. Between the two teams, the right-handed hitter batted .307 with nine home runs and 78 RBIs.
Now, 38 games into his Triple-A career, he’s batting .281 with five homers and 23 RBIs. He’s been the PawSox’ most consistent hitter to this point in the season despite being one of the youngest players on the team.
“You just get better playing every day and learning through experience, against better competition and getting your practice in,” Travis said. “Trusting the process, you’ll gradually get better.”
|Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Joe Kelly, Blake Swihart lead way in PawSox win||05.12.16 at 10:14 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (16-17): W, 2-1, at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)
— Behind Joe Kelly, the PawSox were able to pick up the win. Kelly went five innings and allowed one run on five hits, while walking a batter and striking out three. He threw 77 pitches and perhaps the most encouraging sign was him hitting 98 mph on the radar gun in the final inning. This was his second rehab start and it’s unclear what his next step will be.
— In relief of Kelly, Anthony Varvaro and Pat Light each tossed two scoreless innings to close out the win.
— Catcher Blake Swihart provided Pawtucket all the offense it would need with a two-run home run in the fourth inning. He’s now hitting .222 on the year with the PawSox.
— First baseman Sam Travis went 2-for-4 with a double and designated hitter Chris Marerro also went 2-for-4 in the win.
— Rusney Castillo went 1-for-4 and is hitting just .256 on the year.
— Recently promoted from Double-A Portland, outfielder Bryce Brentz went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
|Monday Red Sox Farm Report: Rusney Castillo goes 2-for-5 in PawSox loss||05.02.16 at 11:26 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-13): L, 5-4, at Syracuse (Nationals)
— The PawSox fell to Syracuse in 10 innings Sunday as they were swept over the weekend. Trea Turner and Scott Sizemore both singled with one out, setting up the two-out, walk-off single for Jason Martinson. Turner beat leftfielder Rusney Castillo’s throw to the plate, delivering the Chiefs’ second walk-off win in 48 hours.
— Starter Sean O’Sullivan had a good outing as he went seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out five. His ERA is now 3.00 on the year.
— Castillo had a good day at the plate going 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. His average is now .246 on the year.
— Blake Swihart caught all 10 innings and at the plate went 1-for-5 with a double.
— Center fielder Ryan LaMarre paced the offense as he went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI to raise his season average to .362.
|Friday Red Sox Farm Report: Blake Swihart debuts in left field||04.29.16 at 8:20 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-9): L, 3-1, at Syracuse (Nationals)
— Eduardo Rodriguez made his first rehab start and allowed three runs (two earned) over 3 2/3 innings, while walking three and striking out two to take the loss. He threw 75 pitches and 45 strikes. It wasn’t the ideal first outing of the year for the left-hander, but as expected he will need a few more rehab starts before joining the Red Sox.
— Blake Swihart made his first start in left field and played all nine innings. Swihart caught both balls that came his way, including a tumbling catch on a sinking line drive that ended the sixth inning. At the plate, he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Blake Swihart just made this fally, divey, tumbley catch in left field for the PawSox. https://t.co/Fqor1DuFGt
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) April 29, 2016
— Rusney Castillo went 0-for-3 but had the only PawSox RBI. He is batting .250 and doesn’t seem anywhere close to being called up to the big league club.
— Center fielder Ryan LaMarre paced the offense as he went 2-for-3 with a walk.
|Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: William Cuevas throws 7 shutout innings for PawSox||04.26.16 at 9:37 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-8): W, 5-0, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)
— Starter William Cuevas, back with the PawSox after a brief stint in the Boston bullpen, was dominant in his return to Triple-A. The Venezuelan right-hander threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits. He walked three and struck out four in improving to 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
“I felt really good with all my pitches and kept a good tempo tonight,” Cuevas said after the game (via the PawSox website).
Said manager Kevin Boles: “He was terrific, very efficient. He induced contact early and I thought his tempo and pace with [catcher Blake Swihart] was terrific.
— Marco Hernandez (Boston’s No. 19 prospect on MLB.com) played left field and went 3-for-5 with a double and one strikeout. Swihart also finished with three hits, going 3-for-4 with a double, one RBI and one walk.
— Sam Travis had another multi-hit performance, going 2-for-5 with two doubles. He added one RBI and two strikeouts. His average now sits at .306 to go with two home runs and 14 RBIs. Designated hitter Jason Maxwell went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Jantzen Witte was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a walk.
— Reliever Kyle Martin threw two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and striking out four to finish off the shutout.
|Sunday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi hitting streaks reach 13||04.24.16 at 9:22 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (10-7): L, 7-4, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
— Catcher Blake Swihart went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, but was charged with a key throwing error in the fifth as he fielded a bunt and threw well wide of third base attempting to nab the lead runner; the ball went all the way into the outfield corner and two runs scored to give Lehigh Valley a 3-2 lead. The error Saturday was Swihart’s first of the season.
“He’s done well … blocking and receiving,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said to the Pawtucket Times in regards to Swihart’s defense. “A little suspect when throwing to bases, but we’ve seen the arm strength before and know what he does. He’s been a little bit more assertive here as far as pitch selection and game calling.”
Swihart had singled and scored in the fourth on a homer by left fielder Justin Maxwell as the PawSox took a 2-1 lead. However, in seven games since his demotion Swihart is hitting just .179 (5-for-28) with a double and three walks.
“He’s struggling a little bit, but we believe he’ll be fine,” said Boles.
Boles also told the Times that Swihart began getting work this week playing left field under the tutelage of minor-league outfield instructor Billy McMillon.
“I don’t think it’s going to be too far off where he’s getting some activity out there,” said Boles.
|Monday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada has 8-game hit streak, 10 steals in 10 games||04.17.16 at 11:16 pm ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (6-5): W, 7-4, at Buffalo (Blue Jays)
— Catcher Blake Swihart, making his first start with Pawtucket since his demotion from Boston, led off the ninth inning with an opposite-field double down the left-field line to start a four-run, comeback rally. Swihart later scored on outfielder Justin Maxwell’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4, and a two-out single from infielder Sean Coyle put the PawSox on top 6-4.
Swihart, 24, finished 1-for-5 with two strikeouts (both looking) as he spent the whole game behind the plate and hit third in the batting order. Last season in 20 games with Pawtucket, Swihart hit .311 (23-for-74) with three doubles and 11 RBIs. Swihart played 84 games in the majors last season and went 5-for-18 (.278) without an extra-base hit in six big-league games this year.
— Shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston’s No. 9 prospect at MLB.com) went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot with a double, two walks, two RBIs and a run scored. The 25-year-old Marrero singled and scored in the first, doubled in a run in the second and added an insurance run in the ninth with a single to right. Marrero has three multi-hit games in his last four played, bringing his average up to 9-for-42 (.214) after a 1-for-19 start to the season.
— Right fielder Rusney Castillo and DH Sam Travis (Boston’s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com) had multi-hit games, each going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Castillo also reached a third time via walk and stole his second base. Castillo is 4-for-13 with a double in his first three games since his demotion from Boston, while Travis is 11-for-43 (.256) with two homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored in 11 games on the season.
|Why Red Sox are adding outfield to Blake Swihart’s skill set||04.15.16 at 5:21 pm ET|
The Red Sox have two very good young catchers in Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez. But, thinking towards the future, it’s impossible to have both players play every day behind the plate.
This is why on the day Swihart was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Vazquez’s recall, the Red Sox revealed their long-term plan with their two prized catchers.
“As we look towards the future, and even as time goes on, we would like Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart to both be part of our club,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “They are both not going to be every day catchers with our team. [Swihart] is more athletic. He’s a converted catcher. We think he could make a conversion to another position — even on a part-time basis so we can keep his bat in the lineup.”
Swihart will take fly balls in left field with Pawtucket as the Red Sox would like him to add outfield to his skill set. In addition to taking fly balls in the outfield, he will still play catcher as it was noted they are an injury away of having him come back to Boston as a catcher. It was also revealed between the outfield, catcher and DH, Swihart will play every day in Triple-A.
Vazquez is 25 years old, while Swihart is 24 so both are young and have plenty of room to grow.
This long-term plan didn’t come out of no where as these discussions began towards the end of spring training, with Swihart starting shagging fly balls in the outfield. Some thought Swihart would be better suited for first base, but manager John Farrell said the organization viewed the outfield being the most “viable.”
“His athleticism will take over,” Farrell said of Swihart playing the outfield. “He and I had a couple of conversations in spring training about this. He would shag in left field during BP. Confident that through repetition, much like we have talked about with him behind the plate, which is a much more difficult task then playing a major league caliber left field. That will take time. We’ve come to know Blake as not only an upfront guy, but is a smart athletic player who is going to be committed to the work.”
“Bottom line, we see both (Vazquez and Swihart) coexisting on this roster, really in the same lineup on a given day,” Farrell added. “We know [Swihart is] still going to be catching games.”
With the long-term plan in mind and the Red Sox showing commitment to both players, now is the perfect time to execute it with Vazquez 100 percent healthy, but any time a player changes positions it certainly bears watching.
The Red Sox made a few moves prior to Friday’s game.
In addition to outfielder Rusney Castillo being optioned to Triple-A Pawticket after Wednesday’s game, catcher Blake Swihart has also been sent down. To take their places on the roster, catcher Christian Vazquez and infielder Marco Hernandez have been recalled.
Vazquez spent the first week of the minor league season with the PawSox working his way back from Tommy John surgery last season. The Red Sox would have had three catchers on their roster if they didn’t send Swihart down. Him being in Pawtucket will give him everyday playing time that he wouldn’t get with the Red Sox, which is the best thing for him at this point as he continues to develop as a catcher.
Swihart was 5-for-18 at the plate in six games this season. Vazquez will start behind the plate Friday night catching Rick Porcello.
Hernandez gives the Red Sox an utility infielder they didn’t have to start the season. He was the player to be named in the Felix Doubront trade with the Cubs in 2014.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
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