Red Sox

Red Sox DFA Blake Swihart, call up Sandy Leon and Erasmo Ramirez

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USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox DFA Blake Swihart, call up Sandy Leon and Erasmo Ramirez

Blake Swihart's career with the Boston Red Sox could be over.

The Sox designated him for assignment Tuesday, the team announced. He will need to pass through waivers before going to Triple-A Pawtucket. Given his age and offensive ability as a catcher/outfielder, it wouldn't be shocking if a team claimed him. Swihart has struggled of late for the Red Sox. He hasn't collected a single hit in the last seven games (0-for-14 overall). He's batting .231 (6-for-23) with one home run, four RBI and a .310 on-base percentage this season.

The Red Sox had only one catcher, Christian Vazquez, on the MLB roster with Swihart being DFA'd. Reinforcements are on the way, though, with Sandy Leon oficially making his way back to the Red Sox from Triple-A Pawtucket. Leon is well-liked by Red Sox pitchers and does a great job behind the plate, but his offensive production is not good. He's batting .120 for Pawtucket in 2019.

Right-handed pitcher Erasmo Ramirez also is being called up from Triple-A to replace Marcus Walden.

The Sox open a two-game series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Boston is tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for last place in the American League East.

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Red Sox' Alex Verdugo bristles at notion of 'replacing' Mookie Betts

Red Sox' Alex Verdugo bristles at notion of 'replacing' Mookie Betts

Alex Verdugo has some big shoes to fill after trading places with Mookie Betts. Just don't tell that to Alex Verdugo.

The Red Sox right fielder was the only major-league-level player the Los Angeles Dodgers sent to Boston in their offseason trade for Betts and David Price.

Considering he and Betts play the same position, it's natural to wonder how Verdugo feels about taking over for one of the best right fielders in Red Sox history. 

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But after hitting two home runs and robbing a Blue Jays long ball in Boston's 5-3 win over Toronto on Friday, the 24-year-old didn't want to hear his name alongside Betts'.

"I’m not replacing him," Verdugo told reporters, via WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. "Yeah, he played here but this is a game. This is a business. He decided to go elsewhere. I’m not replacing him. That’s what you guys say; that’s what everybody else says.

"I’m going out there and playing right field. I’m playing my game. I don’t think about Mookie."

Verdugo views Betts as a "great player" who's "going to do a lot" for the Dodgers. But the fourth-year outfielder already seems tired of the comparisons to his predecessor. 

"It’s not a comparable thing. I don’t like comparing it," Verdugo said. "I don’t like when people bring it up, but obviously the nature of the trade, it’s going to happen. People are going to say it.

"I’m going to play my game, I’m going to go out there and compete and bring the energy that I bring. That’s how I’ve always been and I don’t care about shoes to fill, anything like that. I’m playing my game."

Verdugo indeed plays with an energy that's rare to find in Major League Baseball, and his stats to date are matching that energy: He's hitting .294 with three home runs, four RBIs and a .297 OPS through 11 games with the Red Sox.

Of course, Betts is enjoying a stronger start for the Dodgers: .307 with three homers, seven RBIs and a .983 OPS. But don't mention those numbers to Verdugo, who's out to define his own legacy rather than to try to soften the blow of Boston trading its franchise cornerstone.

Red Sox' Alex Verdugo robs home run, celebrates with awesome reaction

Red Sox' Alex Verdugo robs home run, celebrates with awesome reaction

Alex Verdugo made best play of his young Boston Red Sox career Friday night, and he was well aware of it.

With the Red Sox leading the Blue Jays by two runs in the ninth inning, Verdugo leaped in front of the right field bullpen at Fenway Park to rob Toronto's Travis Shaw of a home run.

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The play was impressive in its own right, but the 24-year-old outfielder punctuated it with a great reaction.

Verdugo's scream of celebration was audible on the game broadcast (even above the fake crowd noise), a sign of just how fired up he was about the catch.

"I would say I’ve never screamed like that before,” Verdugo said after Boston's 5-3 win, via the Associated Press. “I used to be a pitcher back in the day. I was pretty hyped up."

Verdugo had two other reasons to be hyped up: He also blasted a pair of solo home runs, giving him three on the young season and earning a spot alongside legendary left-handed slugger Mo Vaughn.

The Red Sox aren't expected to make much noise this season, but it appears the former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder will do his best to raise the decibel level.