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Red Sox Report: In one year, Blake Swihart has gone from yips to hits

February 22, 2018 - 4:14 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was almost exactly a year ago we should have known something was amiss when it came to Blake Swihart.

While catching an innocuous bullpen session from Rick Porcello, the Red Sox catcher suddenly couldn't manage to throw the baseball back to his pitcher.

The issues came and went, but looking back at the incident 370 days later, Swihart can surmise that the throws might have been a sign.

"I went from this arm slot throwing from the outfield to trying and make it short and quick again. It was just one day," Swihart said. "Going in you're trying to prove yourself, trying to do everything the right way. I knew I wasn't feeling 100 percent, but I was trying to do everything the right way. It happens.

"I have a lot more confidence. Just the confidence level I have, feeling healthy. Before I knew I wasn't feeling that great but I wanted to make an impact on the team. Maybe in the back of my head, I knew something was wrong. But now it puts a smile on my face to be healthy again."

Swihart -- who will be integrated into first base and the outfield in the coming days -- proclaimed himself fully recovered from the ankle ailment he continued to struggle with throughout last season. Thursday afternoon, playing in the Red Sox' 15-2 win over Northeastern, the catcher certainly appeared to be telling the truth.

Swihart scored three runs, walking twice while notching a two-run triple. It was the kind of start the 25-year-old was banking on, particularly considering he is out of options.

"I’m getting opportunities," he said. "It’s my job to go out there and prove myself and prove I’m ready to go and prove I can help this team win. So, that’s what I want to do."

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