BOSTON -- In preparation for the Rule 5 Draft next month, the Red Sox protected four prospects by adding them to the 40-man roster on Thursday.
The quartet consists of catcher Blake Swihart, lefty Eduardo Rodriguez and infielders Travis Shaw and Sean Coyle. The moves put Boston's roster at 40.
Swihart is viewed by some as the catcher of the future for the Red Sox. He played most of the 2014 season with Portland, but he spent the end of the year with Triple-A Pawtucket. Swihart's average for the season was .293, with 26 doubles, four triples, 13 homers and 64 RBIs. Swihart threw out 45.6 percent of attempted basestealers.
Rodriguez is the pitcher the Red Sox acquired for lefty reliever Andrew Miller on July 31.
The 21-year-old Rodriguez split 2014 between Double-A affiliates Bowie (Orioles) and Portland (Red Sox), going 6-8 with a 3.60 ERA over 22 starts. He was at his best with Portland, allowing just four runs in six regular-season starts, posting a 0.96 ERA.
Shaw has some of the best power in Boston's system. He compiled 29 doubles, two triples, 21 homers, 78 RBIs and 78 runs scored for Portland and Pawtucket. Against righties, Shaw was a force, producing a .926 OPS. Over the last three seasons, the left-handed-hitting Shaw has belted 56 homers, the most of any Boston Minor Leaguer.
The 22-year-old Coyle spent all of 2014 with Portland, and he was named an Eastern League midseason All-Star. He hit .295 with 23 doubles, one triple, 16 homers and 61 RBIs.