Inbox: What will Swihart’s role be in 2017?

What will Blake Swihart’s role be in 2017? Will he go back to catching, or will he still have some stints in left field? — James Y., Wells, Maine

The plan is for Swihart to come to camp as a catcher, focus on that and prove that he’s healthy following his left ankle injury. It was only a year ago that the Red Sox expected Swihart would be their catcher of the future. It will be intriguing to see what kind of comeback he can make and how he fares in the competition for the starting catching job.

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Why does everyone think Sandy Leon should be the starting catcher? Yes, he was crazy hot at the plate when he came back last season, but toward the end of the year, he was back to below-average hitting. — Al G., Barkhamsted, Conn.

I’m not sure everyone does think that. I think what Boston manager John Farrell said is that Leon has the inside track on the job heading into Spring Training. That doesn’t mean Christian Vazquez or Swihart can’t come in and win the job. It should be a positional battle to keep an eye on.

Now that Clay Buchholz is gone, who has the second-most time on the team after Dustin Pedroia? — Mike L., Gainesville, Fla.

Great question. There are a number of players who started their career with the Red Sox in 2013, including Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt and Steven Wright. Bradley made his debut on Opening Day in ’13, but he wound up in the Minor Leagues several more times. Holt and Wright also went up and down for a couple of years. Once Bogaerts was called up in August ’13, he was there for good. Holt has the most service time of …

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