Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan fractures knuckle, out 'substantial' amount of time; Blake Swihart to join team

Ryan Hannable
May 01, 2015 - 7:59 pm

The Red Sox' catching situation took a turn for the worst Friday night. After losing starter Christian Vazquez during spring training to Tommy John surgery, new starter Ryan Hanigan went down Friday night with a fractured knuckle with surgery likely being needed. Manager John Farrell said he will be out a "substantial" amount of time. A source tells WEEI.com's John Tomase, Blake Swihart will be the guy called up to replace Hanigan, which leaves Sandy Leon and Swihart as the Red Sox' catchers. "It's a big loss," Red Sox starter Justin Masterson said of losing Hanigan. "He's a big part of helping everything come together. Really smart. Works hard. He's been having some really good at bats too. That's kind of under the radar there. He's been doing a lot of things well. It's going to be a tough loss. There are going to be people that need to step up to kind of make up for him being gone." It was an awkward injury as it happened in the seventh inning when reliever Tommy Layne hit Mark Teixeira with a pitch, and the ball ricocheted off him and hit Hanigan's right, and throwing hand. He was in immediate pain and after a brief discussion with the trainer, he came out of the game. Swihart is just 23 years old and has only played in 37 games at Triple-A. He could have made the Opening Day roster when Vazquez went down, but the organization felt he needed more seasoning in Triple-A and traded for Sandy Leon. Now, the team doesn't much choice as Swihart is the only other healthy catcher on the 40-man roster. Going into play Friday, Swihart was hitting .338 with 11 RBI with Pawtucket this season. "Ryan leading the pitching staff, things were starting to gain some traction," manager John Farrell said. "He's put up a lot of competitive at-bats, including a couple more tonight. We'll miss his presence behind the plate, but we as a group have to be resilient at times like this and look to fortify the position." Hanigan was hitting .222 with a home run and five runs batted in so far this season.