The Boston Red Sox have designated former top prospect Blake Swihart for assignment, shaking up their situation at catcher.
The team announced the move before the opener of a two-game series against the New York Yankees. Catcher Sandy León has been promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket to back up Christian Vázquez, and right-hander Erasmo Ramirez also was brought up Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Swihart was a first-round pick by Boston in 2011 and quickly became one of the club’s most promising young players. The switch hitter hasn’t delivered at the plate, batting .255 with nine homers and a .679 OPS in 203 games, and he’s a less reliable defender than León and Vázquez.
The Red Sox would have to place Swihart on waivers before re-assigning him to the minor leagues.
León caught 87 games for the World Series champions last year. He’s a favorite among the team’s pitchers for his defense and game calling, but still was sent to Triple-A to open the season.