In addition to Yolmer Sanchez, the Red Sox will also be calling up right-hander Connor Seabold from Triple-A Worcester ahead of Monday’s series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto, according to manager Alex Cora.
Seabold, who joined the Red Sox in Cleveland as a member of their taxi squad, will make the second start of his major-league career opposite Blue Jays hurler Kevin Gausman at Rogers Centre on Monday night.
While Sanchez is expected to take the place of outfielder Jarren Duran on Boston’s roster, it’s likely that Seabold will take the place of fellow right-hander Tanner Houck, who will also be placed on the restricted list since he, too, is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and therefore cannot travel to Canada.
The Red Sox originally hoped that Garrett Whitlock (right hip inflammation) would be able to return from the 15-day injured list in time to start on Monday. That is no longer the case as that responsibility will now fall to a rookie in Seabold.
In 11 starts for the WooSox this season, the 26-year-old has posted a 2.09 ERA and 2.99 FIP with 51 strikeouts to 14 walks over 51 2/3 innings of work. He was limited to just one inning in his most-recent outing at Polar Park on Friday so that he would be ready to go in case the Red Sox needed him.
Originally acquired from the Phillies with Nick Pivetta in exchange for relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree in August 2020, Seabold is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 21 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks 10th among pitchers in the organization.
Last September, Seabold made big-league debut against the White Sox under somewhat similar COVID-related circumstances. The California-born righty allowed two runs in three innings at Guaranted Rate Field on Sept. 11 and was optioned back down to Worcester the following day.
Since he pitched in the Arizona Fall League last year, it is already known that Seabold is vaccinated against COVID-19. The 6-foot-3, 200 pounder is already on Boston’s 40-man roster as well. On the mound, he works with a four-pitch mix that consists of a mid-90s fastball, a mid-80s slider, a low-80s changeup, and a mid-70s curveball.
Seabold will become the 10th (9th if you exclude Austin Davis) different pitcher to start a game for the Red Sox this season. He will be followed by Michael Wacha on Tuesday and Nick Pivetta on Wednesday.
(Picture of Connor Seabold: Justin Casterline/Getty Images)