Red Sox place Nick Pivetta on COVID-19 related injured list, select Kutter Crawford from Triple-A Worcester

Before wrapping up their three-game series against the Indians on Sunday afternoon, the Red Sox placed right-hander Nick Pivetta on the COVID-19 related injured list.

In a corresponding move, fellow righty Kutter Crawford has been selected from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Sunday morning.

Pivetta had been slated to start Sunday’s series finale against Cleveland, but that responsibility will now fall to Crawford.

At the moment, it’s unclear if Pivetta has tested positive for COVID-19 or if he is just exhibiting symptoms or was recently identified as a close contact, but it is worth mentioning that he did spend one day on the COVID-related injured list back in May due to side effects from the vaccine.

Regardless, the 28-year-old becomes the 10th player the Red Sox have had to place on the COVID-19 related injured list since last Friday, joining the likes of Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Martin Perez, Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura, Josh Taylor, Xander Bogaerts, Yairo Munoz, and Jarren Duran.

Hernandez and Arroyo tested positive for the virus while the team was in Cleveland, Perez, Barnes, Sawamura, Bogaerts, and Munoz tested positive in St. Petersburg, and Duran tested positive in Boston on Friday.

On top of that, quality control coach Ramon Vazquez and strength and conditioning coach Kiyoshi Momose have also returned positive results, while Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin are quarantining since they were identified as close contacts.

With Pivetta being forced to miss his scheduled start on Sunday afternoon, the Sox will now turn to Crawford in his place.

Crawford, 25, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 22 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking 11th among pitchers in the organization.

Boston originally selected the right-hander in the 16th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of Florida Gulf Coast University, the same school ace left-hander Chris Sale attended.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2019 and another elbow procedure last summer, Crawford began the 2021 season with Double-A Portland. He posted a 3.30 ERA and 2.81 xFIP to go along with 64 strikeouts to five walks across 10 starts (46 1/3 innings pitched) for the Sea Dogs before earning a promotion to Triple-A Worcester in late July.

Since that time, Crawford has pitched to the tune of a 5.52 ERA, but a much more encouraging 3.79 xFIP, in his six appearances (five starts) that span 29 1/3 innings of work with the WooSox.

He had been in line to make his sixth start for Worcester on Thursday, but was scratched from said start and added to the Red Sox’ taxi squad on account of the COVID-19 issues the club is currently navigating through.

Per his scouting report, the 6-foot-1, 210 pound hurler operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 91-94 mph fastball, an 85-87 mph cutter, a 77-78 mph curveball, and an 83-85 mph changeup.

Sunday will mark Crawford’s major-league debut, and it certainly comes at an interesting time in which the Red Sox are looking to finish off a sweep of the Indians.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and TBS.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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