Kyle Shwarber: First Baseman

On Friday night in Cleveland, Kyle Schwarber made his first start at first base for the Red Sox. Schwarber looked a little clunky and maybe a little nervous to play the position, but the first game went off without a hitch. Throughout his career with the Cubs and earlier this year with the Nationals he was an outfielder. It will be interesting to see moving forward how much time he will get at first base, and how quickly he can adapt to his new role.

Kyle the On Base Machine

Since being traded to Boston from the Nationals, Schwarber has played mostly a mix of left field and designated hitter. After returning from his stint on the injured list (IL) Schwarber hasn’t missed a beat offensively. He was always known as a power hitter, but people always wonder what you’re going to get out of a guy who is returning from the IL.

Schwarber’s ability to work the count and get on base has mostly been on display so far. However, he’s still clubbed a few timely home runs to remind everyone why the Sox traded for him. In 14 games with the Red Sox, he has a .326 batting average with an on base percentage of .483 and has already drawn 14 walks. His two home runs and only three runs batted in might be disappointing so far for some. However, his lack of RBI’s is offset by his nine runs scored. The power will come, but right now he is still producing by making pitchers work, getting on base, and scoring runs. This is something this team has lacked for the past month.

In the Field

Who plays everyday and what will be huge down the stretch if this team not only wants to make the playoffs but make it far in the playoffs? Ideally, you’d like the Sox to have Verdugo, Hernandez, and Renfroe be the everyday outfielders. They have played great defense all year and all have made significant contributions with the stick this season. Ideally, you’d like to have J.D. Martinez be the everyday DH. Not a good fielder, but the type of guy you need in the lineup everyday if you want to make the playoffs. If Schwarber can make the right adjustment and learn first base and become a serviceable everyday first baseman then that is huge for the push to October.

The Playoff Race

We’ll just have to wait and see how Schwarber, and this team does down the stretch. The Red Sox currently hold the second wild card spot 2 games behind the Yankees and 2 games ahead of the Athletics. The offense needs to turn it around in September for the playoff race, and Schwarber will be a big contributor to that. It’s just a question of can he learn first base well enough in time, so we don’t have to play musical chair with all the position players.

The Red Sox Have A Real Problem At First Base

Since the trade deadline passed on Friday at 4 pm, the Red Sox are 0-3. In those three games, Red Sox first baseman Bobby Dalbec is 2/10 with four strikeouts. Yes, it is a small sample size, but this has been the theme for the Red Sox all season, and they failed to fix it at the trade deadline. 

Red Sox Notes: Bobby Dalbec Had Dream Come True In Win Over Angels -  Flipboard

In 86 games this season, Bobby Dalbec is hitting .216, with an OPS of .657, and a team high 113 strikeouts. Dalbec’s strikeout rate is 37.5% and his whiff rate is 39.6%, which is behind just Franchy Corderro, who has also given first base a try for the Red Sox this season. 

Other players that have given first base a try for the Red Sox this season are Danny Santana (.171 BA), Marwin Gonzalez (.205 BA), Franchy Corderro (.196 BA), and finally Christian Arroyo, who suffered a hamstring injury in the third inning in his first game at first base in the MLB… which leads me to my next point. 

Kyle Schwarber

The lone bat the Red Sox acquired at the trade deadline was Kyle Schwarber. The Red Sox acquired Schwarber in a trade that sent pitcher Aldo Ramirez to Washington. The six-year veteran is having a good year, as he has 25 home runs, and is batting .253, with an OPS of .910. The Red Sox already Schwarber taking ground balls at first, but will it really be that easy? 

In 623 career games played from the versatile Schwarber, he has only played first base for one at bat. Schwarber’s experience at first base isn’t the biggest problem, it’s his current injury. Schwarber has been out with a significant hamstring strain since early July, and is still sidelined because of it. When hearing this I can’t help but think of the Christian Arroyo situation I alluded to earlier. 

Though some Red Sox fans are optimistic that Kyle Schwarber could be the first baseman for the Red Sox, I have trouble buying it. Given his injury history, and the fact that he has no prior experience at first base, I find this move to be worrisome. If Schwarber doesn’t work out at first base, it will likely make an already crowded outfield even more crowded, and it will force the Red Sox to creative at first base.

What Could The Red Sox Do?

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the trade deadline was their chance to fix this hole. If Schwarber doesn’t work out at first, the Sox will have to get creative within their current organization. A couple of names I have seen floating around are Kike (15 career games at first), JD (0 games), Renfroe (2 games), and Verdugo (0 games). Outside of the lack of experience with these guys, you also have to consider if you would actually want to move these guys from their current positions.

Red Sox better hope Schwarber can play first and stay healthy, because if not we will see what we have seen all year.

Red Sox Make Trade For Kyle Schwarber

After a tough loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at home, the Red Sox got a much anticipated surprise. The Boston Red Sox made a late night trade with the Washington Nationals for Kyle Schwarber. The 28 year old outfielder was traded to Boston in the late hours on Thursday night. This trade came as a surprise to Red Sox Nation, as big names like Anthony Rizzo and Max Scherzer were making headlines of their own.

Red Sox make

With the addition of Kyle Schwarber to Boston’s line up, they gain a much needed lefty bat that can help them in the middle of the line up. So far in 2021, Schwarber is hitting .253 with 25 home runs and 53 RBI’s in 72 games with the Nationals. Now, as a member of the Red Sox, Schwarber will be a key component to the Red Sox line up. With only a few more hours to go before 4pm, will the Red Sox add more names to the roster? Only time will tell.

Kyle Schwarber Will Be Bringing The Big Bat To Boston

If there is one thing that Kyle Schwarber is good at, it is hitting mammoth home runs. In just seven seasons, he has hit 145 career home runs, and 25 so far this season. While playing in the 2016 National League Championship Series against the St Louis Cardinals, Schwarber hit a home run so far that it landed on top of the Wrigley Field scoreboard in right field. Following the game, the ball was encased on top of the scoreboard for quite sometime. Since then, the Ohio native has hit many memorable home runs as a member of the Chicago Cubs, and as a brief member of the Nationals. Just last month, Schwarber hit 12 home runs in 10 games, which tied a MLB modern day record. This led him to win National League Player of the Month for June 2021.

Prior to signing with the Nationals this past offseason, Schwarber played for the Chicago Cubs for six seasons. During his time in Chicago, he hit .230 with 121 home runs and 279 RBI’s. Called up as a catcher in 2015, Schwarber moved to left field in 2016. In 562 career MLB games, Kyle Schwarber has played a number of positions. His most played is left field, at 533. He has played four games in right, one game as a 1st baseman, and 26 as a catcher. He has also been a designated hitter 31 times in his career. With his versatility in the field, he will be a big part of the Red Sox team this season, and hopefully next season as well.

Getting To Know Kyle Schwarber

Drafted in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft, Kyle Schwarber was compared to Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and Matt Stairs in regards to his offense. His hard work paid off a shortly after being drafted. Schwarber made his Major League debut with the Cubs on June 16th 2015 against the Cleveland Indians. He came in as a defensive replacement for catcher Miguel Montero. The 2016 World Series champion recorded his first hit the next day, where he went 4 for 5 in the game. His first major league home run came on the 18th, also against the Indians. His second season didn’t go as planned. Two games in, he was involved in an outfield collision with Dexter Fowler, after which he missed the majority of the season. He was able to play in the 2016 World Series, and help the Cubs win their first Championship in 108 years.

After playing in Chicago for seven seasons, the Cubs non-tendered Schwarber. This allowed him to be a free agent for the first time in his career. On January 9th, 2021, the Ohio native signed a one year deal with the Washington Nationals. This deal came with a mutual option for the 2022 season. Schwarber was having a career season in DC prior to the trade with Boston. Not only was he named Player of the Month in June, but he was elected to his first All-Star Game. During his time with the Nationals, he became a fan favorite. Schwarber will be looking to make a name for himself here in Boston, as he looks to win another World Series Championship.

What’s Next For Boston

The trade deadline officially ends today at 4pm EST. There are still many players that can be moved. It will be interesting to see what Bloom does next for the team. Right now, Max Scherzer is heading west to either the Dodgers or the Padres. Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo were traded to the Yankees over the course of the past few days. Other players, like Brad Hand and Danny Hudson have also found new homes. The second half of 2021 will be a race to the finish, as teams look to bolster their rosters.

Boston is heading out on the road after a wild homestand. They will be in Tampa Bay taking on the second place Rays starting tonight at 7:10pm. Martin Perez, Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta will be looking to keep the Rays in check during the three game series. After Tampa Bay, Boston heads to Detroit to take on the Tigers for three games. Finally, they will be closing the road trip in Toronto – Yes, Toronto – to take on the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre for the first time since September 19th, 2019.

Sam Travis: Red Sox First Baseman Of The Future?

sam travisIn the second round of the 2014 MLB draft, the Boston Red Sox made a great move going after an established college bat, and one of the best first baseman in the draft. They picked Sam Travis, a first baseman from Indiana University Bloomington. He and Cubs draft pick, Kyle Schwarber, made up a powerful one-two punch for the Hoosiers.

Travis, 20, dominated throughout his entire college tenure, smacking 31 career home runs for the Hoosiers with his lowest OBP in any given season being an impressive .397. In the summer, Travis also experienced plenty of success.  A Cape Cod League All-Star in 2012 and a member of Team USA’s collegiate team in 2013, it is fair to say Sam Travis was a highly successful college athlete. He signed with the Boston Red Sox on June 17th and headed to Lowell for his pro debut. He then began his journey toward becoming the Boston Red Sox everyday first baseman.
air max 95 black
So far this year for the Lowell Spinners, Travis looks comfortable at the plate. At first he struggled a bit, but now he is tearing the cover off the ball, raising his average to .284, smacking a pair of home runs in 17 games. He is 15 for his last 41, putting him at a .366 average in his last 10 games, making it clear that he has a bright future in the game. In the field, Travis is playing first base for the Spinners without seeing time elsewhere. His secondary position is third base, but at this point it seems unlikely that he will be playing it any time soon.

In a draft where Boston took many high ceiling players over high floor players, Sam Travis offers a high floor to the Red Sox. He is a well polished young player who possess some serious power which is much more developed than most players from the draft. His bat is something special and people will not have to wait and see his power develop because it is already there.
air max nike
Of course power is not the only thing a player needs to be successful at the Major League level, but Travis has those as well. Granted with his impressive plate discipline, superb contact hitting, and his high quality defense at first base, all Boston needs to do is sit back and let Travis play. He is mature enough that he should be able to handle any challenge Boston throws at him, but the club should not give any prospect too many challenges. It would be surprising to see him end the year in Lowell and not start his 2014 campaign in at least high-A Salem.

Beyond then, the sky is the limit for Sam Travis. As the best first base prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization, and with Mike Napoli set to be a free agent after the 2015 season, if he develops nicely, Travis is likely to get a shot at being the Boston Red Sox everyday first baseman by 2017. He still has a long ways to go, but if he keeps up what he has been doing for the past few years, the future is bright for him.