Red Sox

McAdam: Red Sox DFA Blake Swihart, recall Sandy Leon in early-season catching switch

(Getty Images)

In a somewhat shocking move, the Red Sox designated catcher Blake Swihart for assignment Tuesday and recalled Sandy Leon from Triple-A Pawtucket.

The move comes as the team has sputtered to a 6-11 start, largely because of poor starting pitching. The Red Sox staff ERA through the first three weeks of the season sits at 5.93, 13th in the American League, while the team's starters have combined for a 7.18 ERA, dead last in the AL.

Through 17 games, the Red Sox have just three quality starts and two wins from their starting pitchers.

Only weeks earlier, the Sox elected to go with a catching tandem of Christian Vazquez and Swihart, while placing Leon on waivers. When Leon went unclaimed -- largely due to his $2.475 million salary after an abysmal offensive year in 2018 -- he was assigned to Pawtucket.

Leon, who put together a slash line of .177/.232/.279 last year, was hitting just .120 at Pawtucket for the first 10 days of the minor league season. But in the past, he's been something of a security blanket for both Chris Sale and Rick Porcello, each of whom has struggled this season.