In the midst of navigating through a COVID-19 outbreak that has affected at least 11 members of the organization this past week, the Red Sox made yet another flurry of roster moves before they take on the Rays at Tropicana Field on Wednesday night.
First off, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and infielder/outfielder Yairo Munoz were placed on the COVID-19 related injured lists after both recently tested positive for the virus.
Secondly, infielder Jack Lopez and right-hander John Schreiber were both selected from Triple-A Worcester to take Bogaerts and Munoz’s spots on the major-league roster.
Finally, with rosters expanding from 26 to 28 players on Wednesday, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was reinstated from the 60-day injured list, while infielder/outfielder Danny Santana was activated from the 10-day injured list.
The Red Sox made all of these transactions official earlier Wednesday evening.
There is plenty to digest here, so let’s start with the two players who are headed to the COVID-19 related injured list.
Bogaerts had tested positive for the virus on Tuesday and was pulled in the second inning of the Red Sox’ game against the Rays as a result. Munoz, meanwhile, tested positive on Wednesday morning.
The pair of infielders become the seventh and eighth Sox players to be placed on the COVID IL since Friday, as they join the likes of Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Martin Perez, Matt Barnes, Josh Taylor, and Hirokazu Sawamura.
Of those eight, Hernandez, Arroyo, Perez, Barnes, Sawamura, Bogaerts, and Munoz — as well as quality control coach Ramon Vazquez and strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose — have all tested positive.
Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin, on the other hand, are away from the team and in quarantine since they were identified as close contacts.
With Bogaerts and Munoz both forced out of action for the foreseeable future on account of their positive tests, the Red Sox were able to add two players to their major-league roster without making any sort of corresponding moves . Those two players, of course, are Lopez and Schreiber.
Lopez, 28, originally inked a minor-league deal with Boston back in January. He began the 2021 season at Double-A Portland but later earned a promotion to Worcester on May 11.
In 58 games (219 plate appearances) with the WooSox, the Puerto Rican-born right-handed hitter has slashed .260/.321/.378 (87 wRC+) with 12 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 30 RBI, 24 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 15 walks, and 50 strikeouts while seeing time at second base, third base, shortstop, and center field.
On top of that, Lopez earned himself a silver medal while playing for Team USA in this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. The 5-foot-10, 160 pounder will start at second base and bat eighth in his major-league debut on Wednesday.
Schreiber, meanwhile, was claimed off waivers from the Tigers back in February, but last his spot on the Sox’ 40-man roster when he was designated for assignment shortly before Opening Day.
The 27-year-old righty did clear waivers, however, and was subsequently outrighted to Worcester in early April before opening the 2021 campaign in the affiliate’s bullpen.
Across 28 appearances (eight starts) with the WooSox, Schreiber has pitched well, putting up a 3.10 ERA and 3.73 xFIP to go along with 57 strikeouts to 21 walks in 58 innings of work this year.
While Lopez and Schreiber will take the place of Bogaerts and Munoz on Boston’s major-league roster, the club was also able to add two more players with rosters expanding to 28 players on Wednesday.
With that, Brasier was activated from the 60-day injured list while Santana was activated from the 10-day injured list.
Brasier, who recently turned 34, had missed the entirety of the 2021 season up to this point due to a multitude of injuries, including a left calf strain and concussion.
Santana, on the other hand, has dealt with his fair share of injuries this year, as he has missed extended periods of time on two separate occasions due to a left groin and left quad strain.
Following Wednesday’s series of moves, the Red Sox now have a full 28 players (15 pitchers, 13 position players) on their major-league roster and 38 active players on their 40-man roster.
(Picture of Jack Lopez: Yuichi Masuda/Getty Images)