Before taking on the Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night, the Red Sox made yet another flurry of roster moves as they continue to battle against a COVID-19 outbreak.
First off, relievers Josh Taylor and Hirokazu Sawamura were placed on the COVID-19 related injured lists, while right-hander Raynel Espinal was returned to Triple-A Worcester.
Secondly, right-hander Brad Peacock and left-hander Stephen Gonsalves were both selected to the major-league roster, while outfielder Hunter Renfroe was activated from the bereavement/family medical emergency list.
The Red Sox announced all of these moves earlier Tuesday evening.
Taylor and Sawamura become the fifth and sixth Sox players to be placed on the COVID-19 related injured list since last Friday, as they join the likes of Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Matt Barnes, and Martin Perez.
Hernandez tested positive for the virus on Friday, while Arroyo — who was initially identified as a close contact of Hernandez’s — tested positive for the virus on Sunday. Both Hernandez and Arroyo, as well as strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose, who tested positive on Sunday, remain quarantined in Cleveland.
Barnes and Perez, meanwhile, both tested positive for COVID-19 in St. Petersburg on Monday, as did quality control coach Ramon Vazquez.
Because of those two being placed on the COVID-related IL, Taylor — as well as first base coach Tom Goodwin — was identified as a close contact and has been placed into a mandatory quarantine at the team hotel. Sawamura, on the other hand, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
Per MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, “Sawamura, Barnes, Pérez, Vázquez, Goodwin and Taylor will be forced to stay in St. Petersburg until they are cleared.”
Espinal, who was selected to Boston’s 40-man roster in the wake of Barnes and Perez going on the COVID IL, was returned to Worcester after making his major-league debut in Monday’s 6-1 loss to Tampa Bay.
The 29-year-old right-hander allowed two earned runs on two hits and a walk over two innings of relief on Monday night. He will remain with the Red Sox as part of their taxi squad.
Turning to the additions the Sox made to their big-league roster now, Renfroe was activated from the bereavement list after leaving the team on Thursday following the death of his father.
Renfroe, also 29, was able to clear the necessary COVID-19 protocols and is starting in right field and batting leadoff in Tuesday’s contest against the Rays.
Peacock, just acquired from the Indians for cash considerations on Monday, will make his first career start for the Red Sox on Tuesday. The 33-year-old righty had posted a 7.68 ERA across 11 appearances (10 starts) and 34 innings pitched at Triple-A Columbus this season, but had been pitching better in the month of August.
Finally, we arrive at Gonsalves, who — like Espinal on Monday — was added to the Sox’ 40-man roster for the first time this year on Tuesday.
Originally claimed off waivers from the Mets last July, Gonsalves was once regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball during his time with the Twins organization.
Through 17 appearances (10 starts) with the WooSox this season, the 27-year-old left-hander has put up a 4.97 ERA and 4.96 xFIP to go along with 92 strikeouts to 50 walks over 67 total innings of work.
Gonsalves will wear the No. 78 with Boston, while Peacock will wear the No. 44.
Following Tuesday’s series of transactions, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster now sits at 37 players.
(Picture of Hunter Renfroe: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)