Red Sox catcher/outfielder Blake Swihart appears to be dealing with a fairly significant ankle injury, as Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald tweets. For now, he’s in a hard cast, and skipper John Farrell declined to address whether or not the injury could sideline him for the entire season. The club is expected to assess the options in two weeks’ time. Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal asks whether the loss of Swihart, who just joined Brock Holt on the DL, means it’s time for the team to go find a left fielder via trade. Boston doesn’t seem inclined to lean on Rusney Castillo, and prefers Chris Young in a fourth-outfielder role. MacPherson ticks through a few trade possibilities.
Here’s more out of Boston and the rest of the AL East:
- Adding to the pitching questions facing the Red Sox, righty Joe Kelly left his Triple-A start yesterday with a groin injury, as Bill Koch of the Providence Journal reports. There’s no indication yet on his prognosis, and Kelly has struggled to establish himself at the majors, but the club can scarcely part with any depth at this point. It’s worth noting, too, that some have suggested the team consider shifting the power righty to the bullpen, so any loss could tell in that department as well.
- The Red Sox face a tall task in adding a starter, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe opines. For one thing, the market could be thin; for another, some injuries to and performance dips from upper-level prospects have reduced the club’s pool of trade chips. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal looks at some rotation options for Boston, and his list of possibilities largely validates Cafardo’s outlook.
- There have been plenty of good vibes and positive signs from Hanley Ramirez this year, but Alex Speier of the Boston Globe wonders whether we’re seeing a larger decline from the Red Sox first baseman. As Speier explains, Ramirez is exhibiting troubling signs of a loss of power and erosion of ability to make frequent and good contact.
- The Orioles are nearing a decision on whether and when to activate rehabbing starter Yovani Gallardo, as Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com writes. He’s lined up to take the mound in Toronto this weekend, but the club could let him make another rehab start after a somewhat tepid outing yesterday.
- Meanwhile, Orioles righty Wandy Rodriguez is nearing a decision on whether he’ll opt out of his minor league pact with the organization, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports (Twitter links). He has the right to decline a minor league assignment, and reportedly prefers to find a major league opportunity. The veteran threw yesterday at extended Spring Training and is expected to make the call in the near term.
- Rays infielder Logan Forsythe is headed out on a Triple-A rehab assignment, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. That keeps him in line to return early next week, which could provide a significant boost to a club that remains five games under .500 and stuck in last place in the AL East. Forsythe is one of several important players who are currently sidelined for Tampa Bay. Pitchers Alex Cobb and Brad Boxberger as well as outfielders Kevin Kiermaier and Brandon Guyer are all on more extended timelines to return, with only Guyer expected back within the next few weeks.