We’re 9 games into the 2018 season and Blake Swihart is still waiting for his chance to prove himself in a Red Sox uniform. Alex Cora has played him in just 4 games so far (mostly as a defensive replacement), and he’s gotten only 5 at-bats in that time. With the Sox rolling at 8-1, it’s understandable that Cora has been hesitant to make any wholesale changes to the daily lineup and mess with the chemistry this team has built thus far, but that mentality has left Red Sox Nation waiting to see Spring Training’s breakout player in action.
As mentioned, Swihart had a phenomenal Spring, smashing 3 home runs and 11 RBI’s in 66 at-bats. With guys like Brock Holt and the since traded Deven Marrero in front of him on the depth chart for utility man, he wasn’t even necessarily expected to make the roster, but he did his part and played his way onto the squad, and now he’s biding his time until his opportunity to shine arrives.
Swihart has enjoyed a serviceable MLB career up to this point. In 113 games scattered across 4 seasons, he has a respectable BA and OPS of .269 and .711. His best year came in 2015, where he hit .274 with 5 HR and 31 RBI. He sprays the ball pretty equally across all parts of the field, and as you’ll see in the graphic below, possesses most of his line drive power to left, where the Green Monster could help him rack up doubles.
(Photo credit: Fangraphs)
With Xander Bogaerts out for about 2 weeks, that theoretically leaves one less guy ahead of him, and with the schedule beginning to clog up now that the opening weeks (and hopefully the harsh Northeast weather) are behind us, it’s likely that he’s close to breaking through.