Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan was removed during the seventh inning of Friday night’s loss to the Yankees due to a fractured finger on his right hand. He was hit in the hand by a pitch while behind the plate for reliever Tommy Layne. Sandy Leon replaced him in the game.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Hanigan will need surgery to repair the damage. As Hanigan was the starting backstop in Boston, the club is in need of a catcher. To fill the void, they will promote catching prospect Blake Swihart from Triple-A Pawtucket, CSN New England’s Sean McAdam reports. McAdams adds that the Red Sox will continue to look for additional catching help, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia — recently desginated for assignment by the Marlins — is not a consideration.
In 67 plate appearances this season, Hanigan hit .222/.354/.315 with one home run and five RBI.
At Triple-A, the 23-year-old Swihart was hitting .338/.392/.382 with three extra-base hits (all doubles) and 11 RBI in 74 plate appearances.
The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.
Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.
They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.
The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.