FORT MYERS, Fla. — It must be on Blake Swihart’s mind constantly that his inevitable trip from the comfortable confines of the major league clubhouse back to the minor leagues is nearing in less than two weeks.

But Swihart, the only one of the three Red Sox catchers who still has minor league options, insists it’s nothing he thinks about.

“I don’t need to worry about that,” he said. “I wouldn’t be playing well if I was worrying about that, you know?”

Is he telling the truth? He must be, because Swihart is playing quite well. He’s hitting .357 this spring, swinging fluidly from both sides of the plate. Always known for his bat, he has a solid .271 average in 103 games in the majors.

And on the ultra-important defensive side? Swihart, long considered a work in progress, is finally looking like a major league receiver.

“He had to get settled back into being a catcher,” said Red Sox bullpen coach Dana LeVangie. “He hadn’t done it for a while.”

The first step for Swihart was to abandon his cat-like stance behind the plate. He can move around like an infielder – he used to be one – and the way he would set up, with his left leg in front of his body in a more narrow position, prepared him to scramble for loose balls and make quick throws to second base.

But it didn’t look great from the mound. Instead, Swihart is now squatting in a square position, opening his body up and presenting a more visible target.

“It’s more of a confidence-type thing when a pitcher looks in,” LeVangie said. “He still (puts one leg slightly in front), but not so that it looks sometimes like, if you’re a pitcher, ‘Where is my target?'”

Swihart said it’s a much more comfortable stance.

Some might say, it’s just a stance, right?

Folks in the Red Sox organization have long had mixed feelings about which position Swihart was best suited for. Clearly, Manager John Farrell wasn’t sold last year when he named Swihart the Opening Day catcher and then shipped him back to the minors for Christian Vazquez just six games into the season.

A new stance could do wonders for Swihart as he attempts to earn back trust from the pitching staff – and manager – and prove he’s capable of providing more than a spark with the bat.

“He’s done an outstanding job,” Farrell said. “Thought he handled (knuckleballer) Steven Wright clean and that’s not always been the case in that pairing. He’s made some adjustments with his footwork behind the plate. He looks more comfortable behind the plate. (Saturday), in the first inning, that ball that led to a run, that ball typically is blocked. But he’s played pretty free of mind.”

On the passed ball that Farrell said Swihart should have scooped, LeVangie disagreed.

“For me, that’s a wild pitch,” LeVangie said. “A spiked fastball in the dirt, it hit the dirt first so it’s a wild pitch. There are not too many guys in the major leagues expected to block fastballs. Rick (Porcello) would probably say, ‘I have to do better with my fastball command.'”

Porcello said he has just as much trust in Swihart as he does in Vazquez or Sandy Leon, the two catchers likely to begin the season on the big league roster.

“It’s just communication, and (Swihart) picks up on stuff really quickly and he ends up doing it on his own,” last year’s Cy Young winner said. “I can’t say enough good things about how far he’s come just from two years ago to now.”

And if either Vazquez or Leon gets hurt or underperforms, Swihart will get another chance.

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