Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan suffered a fractured finger on his right hand in Friday night’s game against the Yankees, when he was hit on his non-glove hand when he was behind the dish. The injury required surgery, and as a result, manager John Farrell doesn’t expect to get Hanigan back before the All-Star break, per MLB.com’s Ian Browne.
The Red Sox called up catching prospect Blake Swihart for Saturday afternoon’s game with the Yankees. The rookie went 1-for-3 with an infield single and a walk. The Red Sox, however, will still keep their eyes peeled for catching help elsewhere, though Jarrod Saltalamacchia — recently designated for assignment by the Marlins — doesn’t appear to figure into their plans.
It was reported earlier this week that the Red Sox and manager John Farrell were having preliminary talks regarding a contract extension. It didn’t take them long to get something done:
Farrell was previously set to enter the final guaranteed year of his contract, which also included a club option for 2016. It was very unlikely that the Red Sox would have let him go into this season with “lame duck” status, so this extension takes care of that situation.
The Red Sox finished in last place in the American League East last season with a 71-91 record, but they won the World Series in Farrell’s first season as manager in 2013 and hopes are high for this year after the additions of Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, and Justin Masterson over the winter.
Bad news for Red Sox prospect Mookie Betts: manager John Farrell considers Shane Victorino the current favorite for the job in right field. Farrell said, “If Shane Victorino is fully capable and fully healthy, he’s our right fielder,” per Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
Victorino, 34, logged just 30 games last season due to recurring hamstring problems and a bulging disk in his back. He had been coming off of a very productive 2013 season with the Red Sox, swatting 15 home runs and swiping 21 bases.
The Red Sox have Hanley Ramirez in left field and Rusney Castillo in center. With Farrell’s vote of confidence for Victorino, that likely leaves Betts headed to Triple-A to start the season barring injury or a great spring showing on the youngster’s part. However, neither Victorino nor Ramirez are strong bets to stay healthy over the course of 162 games, so there’s a decent chance Betts finds playing time at some point anyway.