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Dombrowski: Swihart provides catching depth

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Though Blake Swihart continues to play infrequently, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stood by the decision on Tuesday to keep him on the roster.

"The plan is very much like it is right now. I mean, he is a protection for us as a third catcher," Dombrowski said. "Really, I know people keep writing about that, too, but the reality is that your 25th player usually doesn't play that much anyway, really. It's more an unfortunate situation I think probably for him because a lot of times it's a veteran type player that fits that role that doesn't play all that much.

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BOSTON -- Though Blake Swihart continues to play infrequently, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stood by the decision on Tuesday to keep him on the roster.

"The plan is very much like it is right now. I mean, he is a protection for us as a third catcher," Dombrowski said. "Really, I know people keep writing about that, too, but the reality is that your 25th player usually doesn't play that much anyway, really. It's more an unfortunate situation I think probably for him because a lot of times it's a veteran type player that fits that role that doesn't play all that much.

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"And for him, ideally he'd be out there playing on an everyday basis, but with the rules and the optional status, we just don't have that luxury with him. So he's in a spot where he contributes. He's a protection third catcher for us. He gets in the lineup every so often and it's just up to him to be in a position to try to do the best he can. It's a tough role, we know it."

Dombrowski noted that something will have to give roster-wise when Dustin Pedroia is activated from the disabled list, which could happen by the end of the month.

At that point, there won't be room on the roster for Eduardo Nunez, Brock Holt and Swihart. One of those three players will have to come off the roster. Holt still has options, but he's played well this year and would seem an unlikely candidate to be sent down.

Manager Alex Cora has started Swihart in four of the first 42 games -- all at designated hitter. Catchers Christian Vazquez (.179 average) and Sandy Leon (.170) have both struggled at the plate, but Cora doesn't have plans to give Swihart spot starts behind the plate at this point.

"I mean, do we want them to be better offensively? Of course," said Cora. "We need him to get back to the [strike] zone, and they know it. I don't think their offense has gotten in the way of how they play defense, but sometimes you look, and I guarantee you, they look frustrated.

"I talked to Christian the other day and I just said, 'Hey man, you've just got to relax.' That's the most important thing. We can deal with this, obviously. And they both, what they bring behind the plate is solid, both of them. But would we like them to swing the bat better? Of course."

Thornburg resting for now

Tyler Thornburg's last two rehab outings for Triple-A Pawtucket -- the most recent of which was Monday -- weren't as sharp as the previous ones. With that in mind, the Red Sox will rest the righty until at least Friday.

"He feels fine, but he's pitched a lot lately and his velocity was a little down yesterday," Dombrowski said. "It was not a real good outing by him. He says he feels fine from a health perspective. He tests out fine. But because he's pitched so much, we're going to have him wait a few days before he pitches again. He normally would probably pitch Thursday, but Pawtucket is off Thursday. We'll probably have him pitch again Friday."

Thornburg missed all of last season after undergoing a procedure to repair thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder. His impact on the bullpen could be significant when he returns, particularly with Tuesday's news that Carson Smith is out indefinitely with a right shoulder subluxation.

Sox complete Marrero trade

The Red Sox added Minor League lefty Josh Taylor from the D-backs on Tuesday, completing the March 24 trade for infielder Deven Marrero.

Taylor has been assigned to Double-A Portland. In 14 relief appearances at Class A Advanced Visalia this season, Tyalor went 1-2 with five saves, a 2.81 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 16 innings.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Blake Swihart, Tyler Thornburg