It was only a matter of time until the 2019 Red Sox picked their first scapegoat and shipped him out of town. When you start a season 6-13 after winning a World Series, something has to change.
On Tuesday it was announced that Blake Swihart was designated for assignment. Did the Sox need to cut Swihart? No. But they needed to do something, and cutting ties with a catcher who clearly isn’t getting the most out of their pitchers probably seemed like a logical move. Since his MLB debut, Boston is 45-61 when Swihart starts behind the plate. When Sandy Leon catches, they’re 152-104. Swihart was always more well-known for his offense, but even that has been lacking.
Still, the move has been met with mixed reviews, and for good reason. The question now becomes whether or not he was ever given a fair chance to succeed in Boston. The answer is no, not really. The most unfortunate part of this whole situation is the way the former top prospect has been handled since being drafted. He’s played just about every position and was never given enough reps to settle in comfortably as a catcher. There’s a good chance he’ll go on to have a great career if he finds a team that can better utilize his strengths.
Whether or not you think parting ways with Swihart was a good idea, it’s going to take a lot more than a simple roster change to right this ship. The Sox limped into Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night and got slaughtered 8-0 as their ace fell to 0-4. On Wednesday they got out to a 3-0 lead and then blew it. Normally April is too early to panic, but management and fans have already reached that point.
Follow Jack Bardsley on Twitter @BostonsBigFour