Red Sox invite Michael Feliz, Zack Kelly, Rob Refsnyder, and Christin Stewart to spring training

The Red Sox have added four non-roster invitees to their 2022 spring training roster, the club announced earlier Tuesday afternoon. In other words, the signings of right-handers Michael Feliz and Zack Kelly and outfielders Rob Refsnyder and Christin Stewart to minor-league deals have all been made official.

Feliz originally joined the Red Sox on a minor-league pact back in August, at a time when the club was navigating its way through a COVID-19 pandemic and was in need of additional depth.

The 28-year-old had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester on September 6 and appeared in four games for Boston, allowing a total of two runs on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of relief.

11 days after getting called up, Feliz lost his spot on the Sox’ 40-man roster when he he was designated for assignment. The Dominican-born righty was claimed by the Athletics on Sept. 20, but was designated and subsequently released by Oakland before season’s end.

Since making his major-league debut in 2015, Feliz has posted a 5.33 ERA and 4.14 FIP to go along with 324 strikeouts to 107 walks across 227 appearances (one start) spanning 246 2/3 innings of work between the Astros, Pirates, Reds, Red Sox, and Athletics. He operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, slider, and changeup, per Baseball Savant.

Kelly, on the other hand, also spent at least part of the 2021 season with the Red Sox organization, though he did not and has yet to pitch at the major-league level.

Originally signed to a minors pact by Boston last December, Kelly impressed many this year by putting up a 2.18 ERA, 2.64 FIP, and 69:18 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 36 outings (45 1/3 innings) between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester.

The 26-year-old reliever went undrafted out of Division II Newberry College in 2017 and previously spent time in the Athletics and Angels organizations. After such a successful 2021 campaign, Kelly re-signed with the Sox last month and could very well be on the cusp of making his big-league debut in 2022.

Turning to the position players now, both Refsnyder and Stewart figure to provide the Red Sox with upper-minors outfield depth.

Refsnyder, who turns 31 in March, was initially selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2012 amateur draft and broke in with New York in 2015. Since then, the right-handed hitter has spent time with eight different organizations (Yankees, Blue Jays, Guardians, Rays, Diamondbacks, Reds, Rangers, Twins) while appearing in a total of 232 major-league games over that stretch.

This past season with Minnesota, Refsnyder slashed .245/.235/.338 with seven doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs, 21 runs scored, one stolen base, 17 walks, and 40 strikeouts over 51 games (157 plate appearances) while seeing time at all three outfield positions. He also posted a 1.046 OPS in 18 games for the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate.

Stewart, who turned 28 earlier this month, was selected by the Tigers in the first round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Tennessee. He made his major-league debut for Detroit in 2018 and spent parts of three seasons (2018-2020) with the club.

Over the course of those three seasons, Stewart batted .225/.300/.376 with 29 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs, 59 RBIs, 45 runs scored, 49 walks, and 146 strikeouts over 157 games spanning 587 trips to the plate. He did so while strictly playing left field.

Right before the start of the 2021 season, the Tigers designated Stewart for assignment and later outrighted him off their 40-man roster after he cleared waivers. The left-handed hitter spent the entirety of the year with Triple-A Toledo and wound up slashing .254/.339/.538 (127 wRC+) to go along with 13 doubles, five triples, 21 homers, 58 RBIs, 51 runs scored, two stolen bases, 33 walks, and 100 strikeouts in 89 games and 343 plate appearances.

With the additions of Kelly, Feliz, Refsnyder, and Stewart, the Red Sox now have 43 players on their spring training roster. This includes the 39 players currently on Boston’s 40-man roster.

(Picture of Michael Feliz: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

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

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