The Red Sox have reinstated infielder Yu Chang from the paternity leave list, the club announced prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Twins at Fenway Park. In order to make room for Chang on the active roster, infielder/outfielder Enmanuel Valdez was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.
Chang returns from the paternity list after spending less than one full day on it. The 27-year-old could not make it home in time to be with his wife, Ling, for the birth of their second child in Taiwan. And so he remained in Boston to attend to her via FaceTime.
In 12 games with the Red Sox this season, the right-handed hitting Chang has gone just 2-for-26 (.077) at the plate with one home run, four RBIs, two runs scored, one walk, and nine strikeouts. Both of those hits and all four of those RBIs came in last Saturday’s 9-7 win over the Angels.
Chang will be starting at shortstop and batting ninth for Boston in Thursday’s series finale against Minnesota (first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. eastern time). The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has logged 50 innings at the position thus far and has been worth one out above average, per Baseball Savant.
Valdez, meanwhile, made his major-league debut after getting called up for the first time in place of Chang on Wednesday night. Batting ninth and starting at second base, the 24-year-old went 2-for-4 with a pair of hard-hit opposite-field singles and a strikeout. He also committed a fielding error by letting a shallow fly ball fall in the outfield in the fifth inning of a 10-4 loss.
This probably won’t be the last we see of Valdez in Boston this season, but he will nonetheless return to Worcester for the time being. In his first 11 games with the WooSox this year, the left-handed hitting Valdez has batted .179 (7-for-39) with three doubles, one home run, six RBIs, three runs scored, one stolen base, six walks, and 15 strikeouts in 45 plate appearances while seeing all of his playing time come at second base.
Acquired from the Astros alongside outfield prospect Wilyer Abreu in last Augusts’s Christian Vazquez trade, Valdez — a Dominican Republic native — is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 19 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system.
(Picture of Yu Chang: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)