In baseball, there is perhaps no sadder sight than that of an otherwise healthy and capable professional player struggling to do something as simple as throwing the ball a short distance. The yips are the worst boogeyman in sports, and although it’s not clear that Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart is dealing with that particular beast, but this sure doesn’t look good:
Masslive reports that this is not a one-time incident, and that Swihart has been struggling with his throws back to the mound throughout the early days of spring training. Despite this, Swihart told Masslive that he is not worried about it:
“I feel fine. I’m not worried. You guys shouldn’t be worried either,” he added. “I’m working on my craft. And I promise the ball’s going to get there.”
Swihart was drafted in the first round in 2011 and came into the Red Sox’s system as a catcher. That’s where he played exclusively during his first few years as pro, but the Red Sox experimented with him in left field last season in an attempt to find him more playing time. Now he’s back after an ankle injury and working primarily as a catcher again, and it seems as if something got lost in the transition from catcher to outfielder and back to catcher.
Whatever’s going on with Swihart, here’s hoping he gets it figured out sooner rather than later. If he doesn’t, the Red Sox might have another Mackey Sasser on their hands.