Before taking on the Tampa Bay Rays in the second of a three-game series on Tuesday, the Red Sox announced that first baseman Mitch Moreland had been returned from his rehab assignment and activated off the 10-day injured list.
In a corresponding move, Marco Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Moreland on the 25-man roster. The club made the transaction official earlier Tuesday.
This move comes more than a month after Moreland was initially placed on the injured list due to a right quad strain back on June 8th. The 33-year-old also missed nearly two weeks of action right before that due to a lower back strain suffered on May 25th.
Through 47 games this season, Moreland is slashing .225/.316/.543 with 13 home runs and 34 RBI over 174 plate appearances. The veteran infielder led the Sox in homers up until June 7th.
On the other side of this move, Marco Hernandez was optioned down to the PawSox more than six weeks after making his long-awaited return to the majors.
This is in no way a demotion for the 26-year-old, as he posted a .339/.359/.500 slash line with a pair of home runs and seven runs driven in while providing steady defense around the infield in 27 games played with Boston.
With the possibility of rookie infielder Michael Chavis hitting the IL himself because of back spasms, it’s likely that Hernandez would be the next man up if that were the case.
For now though, Sam Travis, with two dingers in his last two starts, remains up with the big league club.
Here’s how the Red Sox will be lining up behind Chris Sale against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. Moreland is back in there, batting seventh and starting at first, while Chavis sits yet again.
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on NESN.