Mookie Betts hopes DFA'd Blake Swihart gets chance to ‘play every day'

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Amid a nightmarish start to the 2019 season, Mookie Betts is trying to keep some perspective.

The Boston Red Sox surprisingly designated catcher Blake Swihart for assignment Tuesday, calling up Sandy Leon to replace him in a reversal of their decision to choose Swihart over Leon to begin the season.

When asked about his teammate and close friend's sudden demotion after Boston's 8-0 loss to the Yankees in New York, Betts reasoned it might be for the best.

"It's tough. The first day I stepped here with the Red Sox back in 2011, he was there," Betts said of Swihart. "We've been tight ever since. It's definitely tough.

"I'm kind of happy for him. New beginning. Hopefully he can go somewhere and play every day."

MLB teams have six more days to trade for Swihart or claim him off waivers, and it's likely that happens. He's endured a rough start to the 2019 season but still is an athletic, 27-year-old catcher with upside that could be realized elsewhere.

What's clear, however, is that his upside won't be realized in Boston. The Red Sox failed to maximize Swihart's talents, bouncing him around between catcher, outfield and first base as he struggled to find consistency.

But Swihart has developed a close bond with several Sox players, including Betts, who was drafted in the same year as Swihart and has described him as a "brother." So, even as things go awry in Boston, Swihart's teammates still want to see him succeed.

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