The Red Sox have designated catcher Sandy Leon for assignment in order to clear space on the active roster for Blake Swihart, manager John Farrell told reporters, including WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford (Twitter link). According to Farrell, the Sox are looking for more offense out of the catcher position. Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald tweets that while Swihart will play more than a standard backup, Ryan Hanigan will still be Boston’s primary backstop.
Boston acquired the 26-year-old Leon from the Nationals in exchange for cash considerations during Spring Training. As an out of options player — which was part of the reason he was acquired in the first place — there was no way for the Sox to send him down in exchange for Swihart without removing him from the 40-man roster.
Leon has split time behind the plate this season with both Hanigan and Swihart, but he’s struggled with the bat. In 102 plate appearances, Leon’s batted just .180/.247/.191 with a double serving as his lone extra-base hit this year. Leon, however, has gunned down an outstanding 56 percent of opposing base stealers (9 of 16), though he’s been a bit below average in terms of framing, per Baseball Prospectus and StatCorner.com.