Holt could go back to utility role upon return

May 29th, 2016

TORONTO -- While Brock Holt continues to take small steps in his recovery from a concussion, Red Sox manager John Farrell is keeping it open-ended on what role the 2015 All-Star will be in when he returns.

Holt has spent this season as the starting left fielder, after beating Rusney Castillo out for that job late in Spring Training.

But there's some school of thought that the Red Sox are a better team when Holt is serving in his invaluable role of being able to play seven different positions.

"It's probably going to be dependent on how the offensive capabilities are of those who are active right now. That's yet to be determined," Farrell said.

Blake Swihart has been starting in left field against right-handers in Holt's absence, while Chris Young has continued to get the nod against lefties.

Aside from a two-triple game against the Rockies on Wednesday, Swihart hasn't generated much offense this season.

"Who knows? If [Blake] swings the bat, we could find Brock in more of a utility role and move him around," Farrell said. "When Brock has been getting fairly regular at-bats, he's been a very productive offensive player. That's going to determine it."

One thing that's clear is that Swihart -- a full-time catcher until this season -- has taken well to the defensive aspect of playing left field.

"Defensively, he's doing a fine job," said Farrell. "Handled pretty much every ball that's come his way -- different kind of routes he's had to take, even back in Fenway, the balls off the wall have been handled cleanly. Defensively, he's doing what we could have hoped he'd be doing."