The Red Sox have suffered another blow to their catching depth after a couple of years with tremendous injury luck behind the plate. With Christian Vazquez already on the shelf for at least another month or so, Blake Swihart is being placed on the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Red Sox place Blake Swihart on DL. Dan Butler up in his place. Butler is here today but likely won’t start against Yankees this weekend.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) August 3, 2018
This is not ideal, as the team started the year with three major-league catchers on their roster and now only one is standing. The good news is that the injury, which occurred Friday against the Yankees, is not viewed as serious. As of now, they don’t expect him to spend more than the minimum ten days on the shelf. Still, this is a big blow for a couple of reasons. For one thing, Dan Butler is not really someone you want on the major-league roster. We’ll get to him in a second, but he is not someone to count on. As a result, you can expect Sandy León to be playing a lot over the next ten days. Alex Cora already said he anticipates León playing the rest of this Yankees series. If Swihart’s time on the DL really is only ten days, this is manageable. However, if this lingers that could overextend León, who has never really had to handle this kind of workload before.
As for Butler, like I said this is not ideal. He is not a good hitter and has never even really produced much at the Triple-A level. That being said, there are some positives. He is a solid defensive presence, for one, and as a fourth catcher on the depth chart that’s all you can really ask for. Additionally, he has been in the organization for a long time. He joined the Red Sox organization in 2009, and the 31-year-old has spent all but one year since then with the team. He knows the organization, many of the coaches and their philosophies, and the pitchers from their time in spring training. That is likely why he got the call over someone like Oscar Hernandez. Butler probably won’t play more than a game or two over this stretch, but he is on the roster and in Fenway for Friday’s game against the Yankees.