Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.
Ryan Hanigan sustained a fractured knuckle on Friday that will require surgery and a lengthy absence from the Red Sox lineup. That opens the door for 23-year-old Blake Swihart to take the reins behind the plate in Boston. The switch-hitting backstop has been off to a blistering start at Triple-A Pawtucket, slashing .338/.392/.382 with a homer, 11 RBI and a 12/6 K/BB ratio in 68 at-bats. While the Red Sox are said to be looking outside the organization for a veteran catcher, it would only be in a complimentary role. The time is now for Swihart to show what he's got and he immediately becomes relevant in all mixed leagues.