The Boston Red Sox have had trouble keeping catchers healthy this season, but they reportedly are not looking to bolster their backstop stable any time soon.
WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford reported Monday that, given the current trade market, the chances of the Red Sox swinging a deal for a proven catcher are slim.
“While a veteran catcher would seem to fit the bill for the Red Sox,” Bradford writes, “helping ease (23-year-old rookie Blake) Swihart’s burden, one major league source says there are few deals to be had at this moment.
“One logical candidate the Red Sox might target would be Cubs backstop Welington Castillo, who is one of three catchers on Chicago’s 25-man roster. But, according to another source, the Cubs have shown no inclination to deal the 28-year-old righty hitter, most likely due to (former Red Sox catcher David) Ross’ age.”
With Ryan Hanigan (fractured finger) on the 60-day disabled list and Christian Vazquez (Tommy John surgery) lost for the season, the Red Sox currently are relying on Swihart to handle the bulk of their catching duties. Swihart has just two hits in 22 at-bats since making his major league debut May 2 and has been rushed into familiarizing himself with a struggling, new-look pitching staff.
Ross, who at age 38 is 15 years older than Swihart, told Bradford he couldn’t imagine being asked to take on the level of responsibility that’s been thrust upon Swihart so early in his career.
“That’s a tall task for anybody, whether you’re a veteran or a rookie,” Ross said. “… There’s a learning curve. And then there’s the trust factor. When you have a young guy back there, it takes a while to build that trust, and to figure out whether or not this guy knows what he’s doing or not doing. It’s a process. It’s not just going to happen in a couple of starts. It takes a little while to learn what the pitcher likes to do and what he likes to shake to.
“The more you shake me off, the more I’m going to understand the way you like to pitch and the better it will be for me. That way when we do get into tight situations they’re not scared to go with what they feel.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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