Red Sox promote prospects Alex Binelas, Stephen Scott to Double-A Portland

The Red Sox have promoted infielder Alex Binelas and catcher Stephen Scott from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland, per the club’s minor-league transactions log.

Binelas, 22, was one of three players the Sox acquired from the Brewers in the trade that sent outfielder Hunter Renfroe to Milwaukee last December. The Wisconsin native was originally selected by the Brewers in the third round of last year’s draft out of the University of Louisville and is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 17 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

In 58 games with the Drive this season, the right-handed hitting Binelas batted .245/.355/.495 (127 wRC+) with 10 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 43 RBIs, 41 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 38 walks, and 69 strikeouts over 259 plate appearances.

Defensively, the 6-foot-3, 225 pounder saw playing time at both corner infield spots for the Drive this year. He logged 253 2/3 innings at first base and 196 innings at third.

Scott, on the other hand, was originally taken by the Red Sox in the 10th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of Vanderbilt University. Drafted and signed as an outfielder, the North Carolina native has since become a full-time catcher.

With the Drive this season, the left-handed hitting Scott slashed just .188/.305/.336 to go along with eight doubles, one triple, three homers, 14 RBIs, 17 runs scored, two stolen bases, 23 walks, and 28 strikeouts over 37 games spanning 154 trips to the plate.

On the other side of the ball, the 5-foot-11, 210-pound 25-year-old logged 286 2/3 innings behind the plate in Greenville and threw out 12 of a possible 42 base stealers. He will join a catching group in Portland that includes Kole Cottam and Elih Marrero.

(Picture of Alex Binelas: Kelly O’Connor/

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo on second bout with COVID-19, rehab assignment with WooSox, adjusting to the outfield, and more

WORCESTER — With the Red Sox optioning Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester on Thursday, the expectation is that Christian Arroyo will be activated from the COVID-19 related injured list ahead of Friday night’s series opener against the Guardians in Cleveland.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated, has been on the COVID-related IL since June 15 after testing positive for the virus in Boston. He previously tested positive for it last August and spent more than three weeks on the COVID-related IL as a result.

This time around, the 27-year-old utility man says COVID did not hit him as hard. He had one really bad day, but it was being stuck in his house due to virus-related protocols that was more frustrating than anything.

“It’s six days in my house and another week of not doing anything,” Arroyo said at Polar Park on Wednesday. “Not playing, it sucks.”

Arroyo began a rehab assignment with the WooSox on Tuesday. The right-handed hitter got into two games and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts. All three of those punchouts came while he played five innings at shortstop in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Charlotte Knights.

“Obviously, the results I had tonight aren’t necessarily me as a player or what I can do as a player,” said Arroyo. “But the most important thing is that I feel fine, I feel good. I try not to stress too much on the results stuff. Obviously, tonight was a tough night. But that’s baseball. You’re going to have tough nights. It is what it is.”

After dealing with a plethora of injuries — including a left hand contusion, right knee contusion, and left hamstring strain — last season, Arroyo took note of the fact that it took less time for him to get up to speed coming off his second bout with COVID.

“It was a quick turnaround for me this time,” he said. “Last year, I had some physical injuries. Hand, knee, hamstring stuff, which was a little different. It’s a little different protocol. But with the COVID stuff, it’s a lot easier this time around.”

One thing that may have helped Arroyo on his road to recovery is a tea recipe sent to him by Red Sox manager Alex Cora. As Cora, who tested positive for COVID back in April, explained to reporters (including’s Christopher Smith) last week, it’s a family recipe that consists of honey, ginger, onion, and pineapple, among other ingredients.

“It was good, it tasted good,” Arroyo said, smiling. “My wife (Jessica) made it for me and it was solid. So we’ll be using that one again.”

As Arroyo prepares to rejoin the Red Sox, he will once again be returning to his role as one of the club’s most versatile players. Prior to testing positive for COVID, he had appeared in two games at first base, six games at second base, one game at third base, eight games at shortstop, and 15 games in right field.

Arroyo had never played the outfield professionally before the 2022 season began. He has learned how to become an outfielder on the fly with the help of his teammates and bench coach, who is a former big-league outfielder himself.

“It hasn’t been bad, it’s been fine,” Arroyo said of his acclimation to the outfield. “Definitely is an adjustment. It’s a lot tougher of a position than people like Jackie Bradley Jr. make it look. But I’ve obviously got a good staff in the big-leagues. Will (Venable) has helped me out a lot, Jackie’s helped me out a lot, Kiké (Hernández) has helped me out a lot. Even talking to Dugie (Alex Verdugo), it’s been good.”

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

3 Florida Complex League Red Sox pitchers combine for 22 strikeouts in 4-3 win over FCL Braves

The rookie-level Florida Complex League Red Sox pitching staff combined for an unprecedented 22 strikeouts in Thursday’s 4-3 win over the FCL Braves at CoolToday Park in North Port.

Nathanael Cruz got the start and struck out four of the six batters he faced over two scoreless, no-hit innings. The 19-year-old right-hander began the 2022 season with Low-A Salem but made just one start for the affiliate before being placed on the 7-day injured list on April 21.

Last Saturday, Cruz was officially sent out on a rehab assignment with the FCL Red Sox and has since allowed one earned run on three hits, no walks, and five strikeouts across two starts and three total innings of work.

Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic for $200,000 as an international free agent in July 2019, Cruz is currently regarded by as the No. 48 prospect in Boston’s farm system. Per his scouting report, the 6-foot-2, 175 pound hurler works with a 93-95 mph fastball, an 85-87 mph changeup, and an 80-82 mph changeup.

Jose Ramirez, not to be confused with the Guardians All-Star, pitched in relief of Cruz. The 21-year-old righty yielded three earned runs on three hits, no walks, and two hit batsman. He also fanned 12 of the 20 batters he faced over five innings to set a new career-high in that category.

In four appearances (three starts) for the FCL Red Sox this season, Ramirez has posted has posted a 5.14 ERA and 1.43 WHIP with 18 strikeouts to eight walks across 14 frames. He is, however, holding opposing hitters to a .642 OPS against.

The Red Sox originally signed Ramirez out of Santo Domingo in May 2018. While not regarded as one of the team’s top pitching prospects, the 6-foot-2, 170 pounder and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 90-95 mph fastball, a mid-70s curveball, and a late, fading changeup.

Lastly, Henry Nunez closed things out and earned the win by punching out six and walking only one over two more scoreless, no-hit innings. The 21-year-old right-hander has yet to allow a run through his first three relief outings (6 2/3 innings) of the 2022 season. He has done so while holding the opposition to a .248 OPS against.

Like Ramirez, Nunez is not regarded as one of the Red Sox’ premier pitching prospects. The native Puerto Rican originally signed with the club as an undrafted free agent coming out of Escuela Central High School in June 2020.

Per his scouting report, Nunez — who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds, sits at 90-93 mph with his fastball and also works with a breaking ball and changeup that sit in the mid-70s and low-80s, respectively.

With Thursday’s victory over the Braves, the FCL Red Sox are now 8-4 on the young season. They will play two against the FCL Twins in Fort Myers on Friday.

(Picture of Nathanael Cruz: Kelly O’Connor/

Latest MLB Pipeline mock draft links Red Sox to University of Florida outfielder Sterlin Thompson

In his latest 2022 mock draft for MLB Pipeline,’s Jim Callis writes that the Red Sox will more than likely “wind up with a college outfielder” with the 24th overall pick in the first round.

While Callis links University of Tennessee teammates Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert to the Sox, he also suggests that the club “could have interest in” University of Florida outfielder Sterlin Thompson.

Thompson, who turns 21 on Sunday, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the 27th-ranked prospect in this year’s draft class. With the Gators this season, the left-handed hitting sophomore batted .354/.443/.563 with 16 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, 51 RBIs, 59 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, 37 walks, and 47 strikeouts over 66 games and 305 plate appearances.

On the other side of the ball, Thompson logged 44 games in right field this year. The 6-foot-4, 200 pounder also appeared in 26 contests as a second baseman for the first time in his collegiate career.

Per his MLB Pipeline scouting report, Thompson “has long shown a good feel to hit from the left side of the plate with a very good approach. He can use the whole field and drive the ball to the gaps, rarely missing a fastball, though he struggles a bit more with softer stuff.”

Defensively, it noted that “most scouts feel an outfield corner is his best long-term home at the next level. Wherever he plays, it’s his left-handed bat that will carry him and potentially get him drafted in the top three rounds.”

The Red Sox have an extensive history when it comes to drafting players out of Gainesville. Last year alone, they took fellow outfielder and Ocala, Fla. native Jud Fabian in the second round and catcher Nathan Hickey in the fifth round. Fabian may not have signed with Boston, but Hickey has since emerged as arguably the top catching prospect in the organization.

The recommended slot value for the 24th overall pick in this year’s draft comes in at roughly $2.975 million. Because Thompson participated in the MLB Draft Combine earlier this month and presumably took part in the pre-draft MRI program, he would have to receive a signing bonus offer of at least 75% of the slot value of his pick.

So, if the Red Sox were to take someone like Thompson at No. 24, they could offer him no less than $2,231,175 in signing bonus money. According to Baseball America, if this requirement is not met, “players would become free agents and teams would not receive a supplemental pick during the following year.”

On that note, the 2022 MLB Draft gets underway in Los Angeles on July 17. So it begins three weeks from Sunday.

(Picture of Sterlin Thompson: Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox option Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester; Christian Arroyo expected to be activated from COVID-19 related injured list on Friday

The Red Sox optioned infielder Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester following Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the Tigers, the team announced Thursday. While no corresponding move has been made yet, utility man Christian Arroyo is expected to join the team in Cleveland for this weekend’s series against the Guardians after spending the last eight days on the COVID-19 related injured list.

Downs spent three days with Boston after getting called up from Worcester for the first time on Monday. While the 23-year-old did not appear in the Sox’ first two games against the Tigers, he did make his highly-anticipated major-league debut in Wednesday’s series finale at Fenway Park.

Batting ninth and starting at third base for the first time in his professional career, Downs went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He put the ball in play once, but it was a 323-foot flyout that died on the warning track in left field.

Defensively, Downs had two groundballs hit his way while playing third base for the first time since his high school. He fielded them both cleanly and picked up two assists by doing so.

“That was the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Downs said of his experience Wednesday night. “I still can’t believe the game is over. It felt so fast. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted to, but oh well. The team got the win, and that’s the most important thing.”

Downs’ first stint in the majors was always expected to be a short one. He will now return to Worcester, where he is batting .180/.297/.397 (86 wRC+) with six doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 21 RBIs, 35 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 25 walks, and 69 strikeouts over 53 games (222 plate appearances) for the WooSox this season.

Arroyo, meanwhile, was initially placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on June 15 after testing positive for the virus. The versatile 27-year-old began a rehab assignment with the WooSox on Tuesday and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in two games.

With the Red Sox this season, Arroyo has batted .187/.227/.319 with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 17 strikeouts over 34 games spanning 98 trips to the plate. He has seen playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and right field.

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Jeter Downs to make major-league debut at third base as Red Sox go for sweep of Tigers

As expected, Jeter Downs will make his major-league debut for the Red Sox in Wednesday night’s series finale against the Tigers at Fenway Park.

Downs, who was called up from Triple-A Worcester on Monday, will bat ninth and start at third base for Boston as it goes for a three-game sweep of Detroit.

It will mark Downs’ first-ever professional appearance at third base. The 23-year-old has only been used as a second baseman or shortstop throughout his minor-league career, which began when he was selected by the Reds in the first round of the 2017 amateur draft out of Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Since then, Downs has for the most part maintained his status as one of the game’s top prospects despite being part of two blockbuster trades. In December 2018, the Colombia native was dealt to the Dodgers as part of a deal that sent the likes of Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and others to Cincinnati. A little more than a year later, he — as well as Alex Verdugo and Connor Wong — was traded to the Red Sox in exchange for Mookie Betts and David Price in February 2020.

As the top prospect acquired in that deal, Downs began his career in the Red Sox organization with high expectations. He struggled to the tune of a .606 OPS in 99 games with the WooSox last season and has not fared much better this season.

At the time he was promoted, the right-handed hitting infielder was batting just .180/.297/.397 (86 wRC+) with six doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 21 RBIs, 35 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 25 walks, and 69 strikeouts over 53 games (222 plate appearances) for Worcester. As previously alluded to, Downs has been used exclusively at shortstop this season, though he does have plenty of experience at second base as well.

Downs, who turns 24 next month, will become the second player to make his big-league debut with the Red Sox this year and joins right-hander Josh Winckowski by doing so. The 5-foot-11, 195 pounder is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 7 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

With Downs starting at third base for Alex Cora and the Red Sox on Wednesday, Rafael Devers will receive the night off while Xander Bogaerts will start at short. On the mound, it will be righty Michael Wacha making his 12th start of the season for Boston opposite Detroit left-hander Tarik Skubal.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox catching prospect Nathan Hickey has homered 3 times in last 3 games for Low-A Salem

Another member of the Salem Red Sox who has been tearing it up at the plate as of late is catcher Nathan Hickey.

In Salem’s 8-7 loss to the Fredericksburg Nationals at Carilion Clinic Field on Tuesday night, Hickey — batting cleanup — went 1-for-4 with two RBIs, two runs scored, two strikeouts, and one walk.

His lone hit was a clutch game-tying, two-run home run in the ninth inning. Although Salem ultimately fell to Fredericksburg in extras, Hickey extended his hitting streak to six consecutive games and is continuing on with a productive month of June.

Since the calendar flipped from May, Hickey is batting a stout .295/.418/.614 with five doubles, three home runs, 18 RBIs, 10 runs scored, 10 walks, and 11 strikeouts over his last 12 games and 55 trips to the plate.

On the 2022 campaign — which is also his first full professional season — as a whole, the left-handed hitter has slashed .278/.437/.526 to go along with 12 doubles, seven homers, 39 runs driven in, 30 runs scored, 38 walks, and 37 punchouts across 39 games (174 plate appearances) with Salem.

Among qualified Carolina League Hitters, Hickey ranks 16th in batting average, third in on-base percentage, fifth in slugging percentage, fourth in OPS (.963), fifth in isolated power (.248), and second in walk rate (21.8%), per’s leaderboards.

Defensively, Hickey has unsurprisingly seen all his playing time this season come behind the plate when not serving as Salem’s designated hitter. The 6-foot, 210 pound backstop has now logged 209 2/3 innings behind the plate in 2022 and has allowed six passed balls while throwing out three of a possible 34 base stealers.

Hickey, 22, was selected by the Red Sox in the fifth round of last year’s amateur draft out of the University of Florida. Unlike his college teammate Jud Fabian, the former Gator signed with the club for $1 million last August.

A native of Jacksonville, Fla. himself, Hickey is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 23 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks tops among catchers in the organization.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, which was written by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Hickey is “far from a sure bet to stay behind the plate, where he lacks agility and technical polish when both receiving and blocking. While he has solid arm strength, he ended his 2021 college season at third base.”

Speier also noted that Hickey, who does not turn 23 until November, “may move more deliberately than other college players with his offensive profile given the need to develop behind the plate, but he’ll be given every chance to develop into a bat-first everyday catcher. If he can’t stay at the position, he could fit in a corner.”

Taking that into consideration, it remains to be seen if Hickey will work his way to High-A Greenville at some point this summer or will instead stick with Salem for the rest of the season. Only time will tell.

(Picture of Nathan Hickey: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

Trevor Story shines on both sides of the ball as Red Sox secure 6th straight series win with 5-4 victory over Tigers

The Red Sox won their sixth consecutive series on Tuesday night with another victory over the Tigers. Boston bested Detroit by a final score of 5-3 at Fenway Park to improve to 38-31 on the season.

Rich Hill, making his 13th start of the season for the Sox, allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over five innings of work.

The first of those three runs came right away in the top of the first, as Hill gave up a one-out triple to Javy Baez that was followed by an RBI single off the bat of Miguel Cabrera.

Despite falling behind early, the Red Sox lineup quickly responded in their half of the first while opposed by another rookie right-hander in Tigers starter Beau Brieske. Jarren Duran led off with a single, went from first to third on a Rafael Devers base hit, and scored from third on a J.D. Martinez sacrifice fly that knotted things up at one run apiece.

In the third, Baez struck again by cranking a solo shot off Hill to give his side a 2-1 lead. Just an inning later, though, Boston again responded when Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo reached base on a pair of one-out singles. Trevor Story followed by unloading on a 1-1, 85 mph slider from Brieske and sending it 387 feet over the Green Monster for a go-ahead three-run home run.

Story’s 11th big fly of the season left his bat at a sizzling 105.5 mph. It also gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 4-2. Hill, meanwhile, yielded one more run on two hits and one walk in the fifth. He ended his outing by fanning Tigers rookie Riley Greene.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 90 (57 strikes), Hill induced six of his 12 swings-and-misses with his curveball, a pitch he threw 31 times. The 42-year-old southpaw’s ERA on the season now sits at 4.50.

In relief of Hill, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The right-hander faced the minimum in the sixth by getting Jonathan Schoop to ground into an inning-ending, 1-4-3 double play. In the seventh, he retired the first two batters on eight pitches before Story robbed Baez of a base hit by making a fantastic leaping grab for the final out of the frame.

Following a Tigers pitching change that saw Andrew Chafin take over for Jason Foley in the bottom of the seventh, Christian Vazquez greeted the new reliever by clubbing a leadoff home run on the very first pitch he saw.

Vazquez took a 90 mph sinker down the heart of the plate from Chafin and deposited it 364 feet over the Green Monster. Vazquez’s fourth home run of the season provided the Sox with some much-needed insurance and gave them a 5-3 lead.

From there, Tyler Danish worked his way around some traffic in a scoreless eighth inning before making way for Matt Strahm in the ninth. Strahm immediately served up a solo homer to Schoop that cut Boston’s lead down to one run at 5-4.

Strahm managed to get the first two outs of the ninth inning. Michigan native John Schreiber was then called upon to face Baez. Schreiber gave up a single to Baez that put the potential tying run on base, but he kept him there by getting Miguel Cabrera to ground out to end the game.

For Schreiber, who was pitching for the third straight day and the fourth time in five days, Tuesday’s performance allowed him to notch his second save of the season.

Next up: Wacha vs. Skubal in finale

The Red Sox will close out their homestand by going for a three-game sweep of the Tigers on Wednesday night. Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha will get the start for Boston while left-hander Tarik Skubal will do the same for Detroit. Top prospect Jeter Downs is also expected to make his major-league debut.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Trevor Story: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo, Josh Taylor begin rehab assignments with Triple-A Worcester

Red Sox reliever Josh Taylor and utility man Christian Arroyo began their rehab assignments with Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday night.

Taylor, serving as an opener for the WooSox in their contest against the Charlotte Knights, tossed a scoreless first inning and needed just seven pitches (five strikes) to do so.

The left-hander retired the only three batters he faced by getting Mark Payton to line out to center, a rehabbing Eloy Jimenez to ground out to short, and Carlos Perez to ground out to third. He was relieved by top pitching prospect Brayan Bello.

Taylor has spent the entirety of the season on the injured list because of a lower back strain that first started bothering him last September. He was initially sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment back in April, but suffered a setback and was shut down for weeks as a result.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off an exceptional 2021 campaign in which he posted a 3.40 ERA and 2.83 FIP with 60 strikeouts to 23 walks over 61 relief appearances spanning 47 2/3 innings of work.

Since the Red Sox transferred Taylor from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list on May 12, he does not currently count against Boston’s 40-man roster.

The same can be said for Arroyo, who was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on June 15 after testing positive for the virus. The 27-year-old served as Worcester’s designated hitter and went 0-fo-3 with a ground out, pop out, and fly out out of the leadoff spot before being pinch-hit for by Ronaldo Hernandez in the seventh inning.

Arroyo last suited up for the Red Sox on June 12 and is currently batting .187/.227/.319 with three home runs and 10 RBIs on the season. He will play the field for Worcester on Wednesday and could be activated for Friday’s series opener against the Guardians in Cleveland.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox relief prospect Cody Scroggins has strung together 9 straight scoreless appearances for High-A Greenville

It has been exactly one month since Red Sox relief prospect Cody Scroggins first embarked upon a lengthy scoreless appearances streak with High-A Greenville.

In his last nine outings dating back to May 21, Scroggins has allowed five hits and six walks to go along with 14 strikeouts over nine cumulative scoreless frames.

The impressive run has lowered Scroggins’ ERA on the season down to 4.03. The 25-year-old right-hander has also gone 5-for-5 in save opportunities while posting a 3.10 FIP and 3.66 xFIP with 33 punchouts to 15 walks across 21 appearances (22 1/3 innings) for the Drive in 2022.

Among South Atlantic League pitchers who have accrued at least 20 innings on the mound so far this season, Scroggins ranks 15th in strikeouts per nine innings (13.30), 28th in strikeout rate (31.4%), 20th in FIP, and 26th in xFIP, per FanGraphs.

The Red Sox originally selected Scroggins in the ninth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Arkansas. The Oklahoma-born righty signed with the club for $100,000 and began his pro career with the Lowell Spinners.

After his first full professional season was wiped out as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Scroggins pitched to a 3.33 ERA in 48 2/3 innings between Low-A Salem and Greenville in 2021. All told, he currently owns a 4.91 ERA in 39 appearances at the High-A level since being promoted to Greenville last July.

Per his scouting report, the 6-foot, 195 pound hurler throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 93-95 mph fastball that has some sink to it, an 84-86 mph slider, and an 85-87 mph changeup.

While not regarded by publications such as as one of the top pitching prospects in the organization, Scroggins did receive somewhat of a shoutout from FanGraphs’ Kevin Goldstein and Tess Taruskin back in March. They described the former Razorback as “a slider monster who sits 92-95 and has very poor control,” which would explain the high number of walks.

Scroggins, who turns 26 in August, would appear to be a prime candidate to earn a mid-season promotion to Double-A Portland if a spot becomes available in the Sea Dogs’ bullpen at some point this summer.

Until then, Scroggins will look to keep his scoreless appearances streak rolling as the Drive open a six-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Fluor Field on Tuesday night.

(Picture of Cody Scroggins: Kelly O’Connor/