fb-pixel Skip to main content

Red Sox’ Blake Swihart has ankle surgery

Blake Swihart was helped from the field by manager John Farrell (left) after his injury June 4.AP

Red Sox outfielder/catcher Blake Swihart underwent surgery on his left ankle on Monday in Charlotte, N.C. Dr. Robert Anderson told the team that Swihart should make a full recovery in time for spring training.

For the 24-year-old Swihart, it goes down as a lost season. Counting his time in the minors, he played in only 48 games and had 196 plate appearances.

Swihart caught only 21 games, six in the majors. All came in April after he was named the Opening Day starter then demoted after 10 days.

Swihart said last week that he considers himself a catcher and believes that should be his position in 2017. But the team’s press release referred to him as an “outfielder/catcher.”


Manager John Farrell said Swihart’s role would be dependent on the composition of the roster next season.

“Catching will be part of his package,” Farrell said. “There’s still development needed. How this unfolds remains to be seen. Our view of him and his abilities hasn’t changed.

“When a timeline gets interrupted because of injuries, you can’t hold that against a player.”

Outfield would not seem like a viable option given the presence of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. But the team’s catching depth is far less defined.

Sandy Leon, a previously unheralded backup, has become the starter and contributed offensively at a rate not imagined possible. He is hitting .380 with a 1.054 OPS over 42 games and 145 plate appearances.

Christian Vazquez caught 51 games this season, none since July 2.

He hit .226 in the majors after missing the 2015 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Vazquez also did not have the defensive impact the team hoped he would.

Vazquez has hit .267 at Triple A Pawtucket and shown a better approach at the plate in recent weeks. But through Monday, he has caught only 79 games this season. Vazquez is sure to be recalled when rosters expand on Sept. 1.


Ryan Hanigan, who turned 36 on Tuesday, is in the final season of his contract and is unlikely to return. He has hit .158 this season and is now on the disabled list.

The 28-year-old Holaday, claimed off waivers Aug. 5, is with his third team in two years.