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Blake Swihart Looks Like He Could Play First Base Successfully For The Red Sox



Blake Swihart Looks Like He Could Play First Base Successfully For The Red Sox

On July 5th, Blake Swihart was placed on the disabled list with left ankle inflammation. As Swihart was working to come back from his injury, the Red Sox started to have Swihart take ground balls at 1st base. On August 3rd, the Red Sox sent Swihart on a rehab assignment to the gulf coast league Red Sox. During his rehab assignment, the organization had Swihart play a few games defensively.

On Monday night, we saw Blake Swihart play 1st base for the first time at McCoy Stadium. He played 1st base at the AAA level last week while the Pawtucket Red Sox were on the road. The first time was he played 1st base was on August 15th during game 2 of a doubleheader in Louisville. His next time was two days later on August 17th.

Tonight, Blake Swihart looked like he could be a serviceable fielder at 1st base. Granted, he only has had a few opportunities to play 1st base. But going forward, it looked like there is something there for him to be successful at 1st base.

Analyzing Swihart At First Base

Swihart looked like he could be a serviceable 1st basemen based on what I saw tonight. He was able to make the throws he needed to make. He showed he was able to do that in the 5th inning of tonights’ game. With no outs and a runner at first, Roemon Fields hit a sharp ground ball to Swihart. Swihart stepped on 1st to get the out, then threw to to 2nd, to get the runner Roemon Fields in a rundown.

In the third inning, Swihart did have a bad play at first base. With Dwight Smith Jr. batting, he hit a chopper to Swihart at 1st base. With tonights’ Paw Sox starting pitcher Brian Johnson having to cover first base, Swihart had a to flip the ball to Johnson. During the flip, Swihart bobbled the throw and it fell out of his glove. It was ruled a hit, but Smith was a fast runner. There was no guarantee that Johnson was going to be able to cover first base.

Then with 2 outs in the 9th inning, Gregorio Petit hit a ground ball to 3rd basemen Jantzen Witte. Witte threw the ball to first base just short of Swihart. For a first basemen to be successful, he needs to be able to pick a ball that is in the dirt from a fielder.

What made this play even more notable is that 2 batters later, Christian Lopes hit a go ahead 3 run shot into the berm in left field to give the Bisons a 6-3 lead. All 3 runs were unearned to the pitcher Edgar Olmos.

Swihart Going forward

This is obviously early in Swiharts’ career playing first base, but it gives him a lot of versatility. Since he hurt his ankle last season, he was never able to get healthy this season. He never was able to become a solid player this season. If Swihart is able to have an extended career, he probably wont be able to do it as a catcher. Spending all of that time behind the plate crouching seems to be bothering Swihart.

Having Swihart play in the field at either 1st base or in the outfield gives him a chance to play more often. Making him more versatile gives him the chance to play other positions more. During his time playing for the Red Sox, he showed that his bat is something that could help him out. If they don’t put pressure on that ankle, he could have a longer career. But for him to get there, he has a lot to learn defensively at first base.

Evan is a attending Bryant University and joined the Trifecta Network as an Editor in February of 2016 and is a guest on Down to the WIRE Sports Talk.

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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Pitcher Carson Smith Had Something Extra In His Rehab Appearence



Boston Red Sox Pitcher Carson Smith Had Something Extra In His Rehab Appearence With PawSox

Carson Smith made his 6th rehab appearance at AAA Pawtucket on Wednesday nights as the Paw Sox went on to win 5-3 over the Buffalo Bisons. During his appearance tonight, he looked like he had a little extra on his fastball as it topped out at 92 mph.

This is Smiths’ first appearance with only one day of rest since he underwent tommy john surgery last year. During his rehab stint, the Boston Red Sox were having him make a rehab appearance every third day.

In his last appearance on Monday night, he went 1 inning, while striking out 2 on 14 pitches (8 strikes). His fastball topped out at 91 mph.

Smith Tonight

Carson Smith seemed to have something a little extra on his fastball tonight as it topped out at 92 mph. In 2015 when Smith a dominate reliever for the Seattle Mariners, his fastball averaged 93.5 mph according to fangraphs.

His final pitching line tonight over his one inning was 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, and 1 strikeout on 10 pitches (7 strikes). Six of his pitches were fastball, four were sliders. The one hit he gave up was a lead off double to Rowdy Tellez on an 88 mph fastball. It was the 2nd pitch of the AB. Tellez was then picked off 2nd base by Paw Sox catcher Jake Romanski.

The first out he recorded himself of the inning was a strikeout of Danny Jansen. It came on an 84 mph slider. The final out of the inning came on a ground out to shortstop by Jason Lebleijian.

Smith Going Forward

For Carson Smith to realistically be an option out of the Red Sox bullpen come September, he is going to need to be able to pitch on consecutive nights. Having Smith pitch tonight on only 1 day of rest shows that the team is trying to get him ready to pitch at the major league level.

With the struggles of Matt Barnes, who is now on the disabled list, having Smith as an option out of the Boston Red Sox bullpen is huge. The Red Sox need another option out of the bullpen on any given night going into September and October. Having Smith pitch on one day of rest compared to two, is a start for him on his way to being a part of the Boston Red Sox bullpen.

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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Have Acquired Speedster Rajai Davis



Boston Red Sox Have Acquired Speedster Rajai Davis From Oakland

The Boston Red Sox have acquired Oakland Athletics outfielder Rajai Davis.

Evan Drellich of CSNNE was the first with the news with Drellich crediting the A’s extra inning affair with Baltimore Orioles being the reason for the hold-up.

Minor League Outfielder In Exchange For Davis

In exchange for Davis, the Boston Red Sox will send minor league outfielder Rafael Rincones back to Oakland according to the official release by the team.

Rincones is a 19-year-old prospect that has been playing for the Red Sox affiliate in the Dominican Summer League. He has a .264 career batting average with 2 home runs and 39 RBIs. Rincones was undrafted and signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent in August of 2015.

Rumblings Started Early In The Afternoon With A Pawtucket Red Sox Infielder Being DFA’d

In the afternoon on Wednesday, the first rumblings of a waiver trade were made after a report by Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe. In order to acquire Davis, Boston first had to clear a roster spot.

To add Rajai Davis to the 40 man roster, the Red Sox designated Steve Selsky for assignment. Selsky played in 8 games for the Red Sox this season, where he had 1 hit in 9 at-bats. Since being sent to AAA Pawtucket on April 28th, Selsky has struggled. In 79 games, Selsky hit .215 with 11 home runs, and 39 RBI’s.

Seslky left McCoy Stadium shortly after it was announced he was the DFA. He did not leave the park with any of his belongings and is expected to rejoin the PawSox tomorrow.

What Davis Brings To The Table For The Boston Red Sox

In terms of Davis, he provides outfield depth with the injury to Jackie Bradley Jr., and he provides some much-needed speed to the Boston Red Sox.

Davis is 36-years-old and the Norwich, Connecticut native should sound very familiar to Boston Red Sox fans. Davis has 10 years of American League experience including three seasons with AL East rival Toronto. What he brings to Boston is speed.

Davis has stolen 30+ bases in a season a total of 7 times in his career and he is on pace to do it once more this year. For the Oakland Athletics this season he has stolen 26 bases. As a whole, he is .233 on the season in 300 at-bats. Production at the plate isn’t why the Red Sox acquired him though.

Davis instantly becomes the best base stealer on the team. His 26 stolen bads are 8 higher than the highest on the Red Sox. Mookie Betts has 18, Andrew Benintendi 15, and Xander Bogaerts 11. Every other player on the team is sub-10. Come October, the need for speed on the bases and the ability to insert a legit pinch runner is immense.

Think Quienten Berry (2013) and Dave Roberts (2004). That is what Davis is expected to bring to the table.

In terms of placement, he can play center field till the return of Jackie Bradley Jr. Davis in 2017 has played 79 games in center for Oakland with a .987 fielding percentage in 572 innings logged.

What To Expect Going Forward

One would assume that Boston will use Davis in the field with Bradley being placed on the 10-day-dl with a sprained left thumb. Davis can also play left or right field until Bradley returns, Davis will likely serve as the fourth outfielder.

Once Bradley returns, Davis will likely be used almost exclusively as a pinch runner late in games. A role that will be crucial to October baseball success.

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Boston Red Sox

Pawtucket Red Sox To Host Kyrie Irving Night



Pawtucket Red Sox To Host Kyrie Irving Night At McCoy Stadium

The biggest headline in sports today is the trade of Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics. For the Pawtucket Red Sox, they saw this move as an opportunity.

On Thursday night at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket Rhode Island, the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox will be hosting a Kyrie Irving night.

Here are some the highlights of the night at McCoy.

  • Any fan wearing the color green or Celtics apparel will receive free general admission to the 7:05 game.
  • There will be a grand price revolving around Irving’s new number 11
  • PawSox store to have Celtics themed apparel.
  • Pregame dunk tank with Cleveland Cavaliers fan in tank wearing LeBron James jersey
  • Double the admission price for any fans by the name of LeBron, Draymond, Steph, Lonzo, or Kevin Love/Durant.

For the full info from the team check out the tweet by Mike Monaco below.

Kudos to the PawSox for capitalizing on a golden opportunity.

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