Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports that the agent of utilityman Blake Swihart, Brodie Scoffield of The Legacy Agency, has requested the Red Sox trade his client so he can get playing time elsewhere. Scoffield said, “We’ve had conversations with the team, and they’re aware of how we feel. Blake’s in a really difficult position. We’ve got a switch-hitter, offensive impact player, and his bat deserves a chance to be in the lineup.” He added, “I don’t think we’re building any time of trade value, nor helping him progress as a ballplayer, nor is the team really being served by him in this role.”
Swihart, 26, was once a consensus top-100 prospect in baseball as a catcher. While he has spent a majority of his major league career behind the plate, he has spent only one inning there this season with the other 23 coming in left field (19) and first base (four). The Red Sox have gotten a combined .444 OPS from catchers Sandy Leon (.464) and Christian Vazquez (.435). Swihart has started in only four of his team’s 43 games this season.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski views Swihart as “protection for us as a third catcher.” He said, “…the reality is, your 25th player usually doesn’t play that much anyway, really.”
As Drellich points out, Swihart hasn’t been asked to pinch-hit since APril 27 and hasn’t pinch-run since April 5. It makes sense that Scoffield would pursue a trade for his client, as his situation in Boston is not making much sense.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.