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Red Sox' catching situation getting an adjustment

Rob Bradford
September 08, 2018 - 3:18 pm

The Red Sox are changing course a bit when it comes to their catching situation.

Alex Cora said prior to Saturday's game that Blake Swihart would be getting the start Sunday with Rick Porcello on the mound. It will be the first time anyone other than Sandy Leon has caught Porcello this season.

Leon's dramatic downturn with the bat appears to be the main impetus for the move. The switch-hitter's batting average is down to .190 with a .549 OPS, having gone just 3-for-46 since Aug. 9.

"I don’t know if we’re going to unplug it, that he’s not going to catch, but one thing we’ve been talking about it is we need these guys to feel comfortable with everybody because you never know what can happen," said the Red Sox manager regarding Leon's playing time. "We’re not talking about roster decisions because that’s still a ways to go, but injuries happen. Just like Christian (Vazquez) went down. But he’s working at it. We’ve been talking about it. I’ve been saying all along, the last two or three weeks he’s expanding down in the zone. When he was going good he was hitting the ball to left-center, staying there, taking his walks. He hasn’t done that in a while. We have to make sure everybody is comfortable with it. If we feel we should play somebody else because we need offense, we’ll do that."

Cora -- who started Vazquez Saturday due to his success with starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez -- said he still doesn't feel the need to designate a No. 1 catcher at the current time.

"The three of them are really, really good," he said. "They bring different skill sets. They’ve been good for us. Early in the season it was very hard for me to play three of them but then bLake played and did really good. We can see what he can do defensively. Although we have no doubts that he can call the game and all that stuff. It’s like yeah, everything we thought is there and offensively he can do a lot of things. Right now I’m good where we’re at. We’ll see where we go in the next few weeks."

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