Red Sox roster moves: John Schreiber placed on injured list, Brennan Bernardino optioned; Justin Garza, Ryan Sherriff called up from Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox placed right-handed reliever John Schreiber on the 15-day injured list with a right teres major strain and optioned left-handed reliever Brennan Bernardino to Triple-A Worcester prior to Tuesday’s contest against the Mariners at Fenway Park, the club announced.

In a pair of corresponding moves, righty reliever Justin Garza was recalled from Worcester and lefty reliever Ryan Sherriff — who was not previously on the 40-man roster — had his contract selected. The Red Sox had an opening there after designating Ryan Brasier for assignment on Monday.

Schreiber felt tightness in his right lat (the latissimus dorsi muscle, on his side) after delivering a pitch to Julio Rodriguez in the seventh inning of Monday night’s 10-1 loss to the Mariners. The 29-year-old was seen flexing his throwing arm on the mound and was immediately removed from the game after a visit from manager Alex Cora and head athletic trainer Brandon Henry.

The hope is that Schreiber’s injured list stint will last the minimum 15 days, which would put him in line to return to action at the end of the month. Schreiber told reporters (including The Boston Herald’s Mac Cerullo) that he had an MRI done, but it remains to be seen if Tuesday’s diagnosis will alter his recovery timeline at all.

Bernardino, meanwhile, allowed one run on three hits over 1 1/3 innings of relief in Monday’s loss to Seattle. The 31-year-old was seen hugging and shaking hands with teammates after the game, indicating that he had indeed been sent down.

Claimed off waivers from the Mariners on April 16, Bernardino forged a 3.65 ERA and 4.77 FIP with 10 strikeouts to three walks across 11 appearances (12 1/3 innings) in his first stint with Boston. He appeared in one game for the WooSox prior to getting called up for the first time on April 24.

As for the two new additions to the bullpen, Garza — in similar fashion to Bernardino — was claimed off waivers from the Angels on April 28 and was immediately optioned to Worcester. In four relief appearances for the WooSox, the 29-year-old posted a 3.38 ERA and 3.47 FIP with eight strikeouts to just one walk over 5 1/3 innings of work.

A former eighth-round draft selection of the Guardians out of Cal State Fullerton in 2015, Garza broke in with Cleveland in June 2021 and pitched to a 4.71 ERA (5.30 FIP) with 29 strikeouts to 18 walks in 21 outings (28 2/3 innings). The California native became a free agent for the first time last November. The Red Sox had interest in bringing him in, but he instead signed a split contract with his hometown Angels in December.

Listed at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, Garza operates with a five-pitch mix that consists of a mid-90s sinker, a mid-80s changeup, a high-80s cutter, a mid-80s slider, and a mid-90s four-seam fastball. He will wear the No. 63 with the Red Sox.

Sherriff, on the other hand, signed a minor-league contract with Boston back in January. The soon-to-be 33-year-old southpaw has appeared in 15 games for Worcester this season and has put up a 3.00 ERA (2.94 FIP) with 16 strikeouts to eight walks over 15 innings in which he has held opposing hitters to a .211 batting average against.

Like Garza, Sherriff last got into a game at the big-league level in 2021, when he produced a 5.52 ERA (3.65 FIP) with 16 strikeouts to nine walks in 16 relief appearances (14 2/3 innings) for Tampa Bay. For his major-league career, which dates back to 2017, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound hurler owns a lifetime 3.65 ERA in 44 outings (44 1/3 innings) between the Cardinals and Rays.

Sherriff, who will wear the No. 71 with the Red Sox, throws from a three-quarters arm slot and works primarily with a low-80s slider and low-90s sinker. He joins Joely Rodriguez and Richard Bleier as lefties available to Cora out of the Boston bullpen.

Following Tuesday’s series of transactions, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster is back at full capacity. More moves will be coming soon, however, as Kutter Crawford — who has been sidelined by a left hamstring strain since May 4 — is expected to come off the injured list in San Diego on Friday.

(Picture of Ryan Sherriff: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Red Sox likely to place John Schreiber on injured list with right lat tightness

Red Sox reliever John Schreiber is likely going to be placed on the injured list after leaving Monday night’s 10-1 loss to the Mariners at Fenway Park with right lat tightness, according to manager Alex Cora.

Schreiber came on in the seventh inning and struck out the first batter he faced in Ty France. The right-hander then delivered a 2-1, 93.3 mph sinker to Julio Rodriguez and could immediately be seen flexing his throwing arm on the mound.

That prompted Cora and head athletic trainer Brandon Henry to emerge from the Red Sox dugout. After a lengthy conference on the mound, Schreiber left the field with Henry and was replaced by lefty Richard Bleier.

When speaking with reporters following Monday’s blowout loss, Schreiber indicated to reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) that he had been dealing with discomfort in the area of his lat (the latissimus dorsi muscle) on his right side over the last few days and reaggravated it on his final pitch to Rodriguez.

“It has been tight a little bit this past week,” explained Schreiber. “I was throwing some bullpens, it was coming out good. It felt like something I could get through… Tonight, it was coming out really good, I thought. That last pitch, maybe a little bit too much extension there, and it tightened up.”

Including Monday’s outing, Schreiber now owns a 2.12 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with 21 strikeouts to eight walks in 18 relief appearances (17 innings) for Boston this season. Though the Red Sox are optimistic that the 29-year-old’s stint on the injured list will only last the minimum 15 days, the structure of the bullpen will change in his absence.

As noted by Cotillo, this will be Schreiber’s first injured list stint as a major-leaguer. The righty is slated to undergo further testing on Tuesday and that will likely provide a more concrete timeline for his recovery.

“I’m frustrated, obviously, that I’m not going to be able to compete for, I don’t know how long,” Schreiber said. “We’re going to evaluate tomorrow. Hopefully, some really good results. We’ll see what happens.”

Schreiber is not the only reliever the Red Sox will be replacing on Tuesday. Left-hander Brennan Bernardino was also optioned to Triple-A Worcester after allowing one run over 1 1/3 innings of relief on Monday night.

It is not yet known who will be taking the place of Schreiber and Bernardino on the big-league roster. Potential candidates include Justin Garza and Kaleb Ort, who are both on the 40-man roster, as well as Jake Faria, Oddanier Mosqueda, Andrew Politi, and Ryan Sheriff, who are not on the 40-man roster.

With that being said, the Red Sox have an opening on their 40-man roster after designating Ryan Brasier for assignment on Monday. It is also worth mentioning that Kutter Crawford — who has been sidelined by a left hamstring strain since May 4 — is expected to come off the injured list on Friday.

(Picture of John Schreiber and Brandon Henry: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)

Tanner Houck sputters after strong start as Red Sox drop fourth straight in 10-1 loss to Mariners

Coming off an ugly weekend, the Red Sox were unable to reverse their fortunes in a series-opening loss to the Mariners on Monday night. Boston fell to Seattle by a final score of 10-1 for its fourth straight loss and the sixth in its last seven games as the club dropped to 22-20 on the season.

Tanner Houck, making his eighth start of the year for the Sox, was impressive out of the gate. The right-hander retired the first 12 batters he faced and took a perfect game bid into the fourth inning before giving up a two-out double to Julio Rodriguez. Though he stranded Rodriguez at second to get through four scoreless frames, Houck ran into some serious trouble in the fifth.

After surrendering a leadoff single to Eugenio Suarez, Houck served up a 438-foot two-run shot to Cal Raleigh to put Boston in a 2-0 hole. An inning later, Ty France led off with a line-drive double down the right field and moved up to third on an Alex Verdugo throwing error. Rodriguez then drew a five-pitch walk to put runners on the corners with no outs.

While he had thrown just 75 pitches (50 strikes) to that point in the contest, Houck was given the hook from Red Sox manager Alex Cora in favor of lefty Brennan Bernardino. Bernardino, in turn, allowed both inherited runners to score on a a Jarred Kelenic RBI groundout and Raleigh’s second two-run homer of the night.

That sequence of events gave the Mariners a 5-0 lead and closed the book on Houck, who was charged with four of those five runs. The 28-year-old gave up five hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts over five-plus innings of work. He was hit with the losing decision as his ERA on the season rose to 5.48.

Trailing by five runs going into the bottom of the sixth, the Red Sox lineup finally got to Mariners starter George Kirby. Jarren Duran led off with a line-drive double and Rafael Devers drove him in with a two-base hit of his own to cut the deficit to four. They had a chance to pull even closer in the seventh, but Alex Verdugo lined out with the bases loaded for the final out of the inning.

Seattle then began to break this one open in the top of the eighth. With Richard Bleier in the game for Boston, Suarez crushed a two-run home run and A.J. Pollock and France each drove in runs to give the Mariners a commanding 9-1 advantage.

In the ninth, Pablo Reyes took over on the mound after spending the previous eight innings manning shortstop. Making the second relief appearance of his big-league career, Reyes featured a pitch mix that consisted of 13 eephus curveballs that sat between 34-47 mph and eight fastballs that hovered between 61-75 mph. He allowed one run on two hits and two walks.

Reyes followed that performance by singling with one out in the latter half of the ninth, but his hit was quickly nullified as Enmanuel Valdez grounded into a game-ending double play.

Schreiber exits with lat injury

Reliever John Schreiber entered with one out in the seventh and struck out the first batter he faced in France. The righty then threw a 2-1, 93.3 mph sinker to Rodriguez and began flexing his throwing arm after the fact. That prompted Cora and head athletic trainer Brandon Henry to quickly emerge from the Red Sox dugout.

After a lengthy conference on the mound, Schreiber was taken out of the game and replaced by Bleier. The team later said that Schreiber left with “right lat tightness.” Cora then told reporters that the 29-year-old will likely land on the injured list because of it.

Raleigh makes history with power display

With his two home runs on Monday, Raleigh made some history. The switch-hitter homered from the left side of the plate in in the fifth inning and from the right side in the sixth. In doing so, he became the first catcher ever to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in a game in Fenway Park’s 112-year history, according to the Mariners’ Alex Mayer.

Next up: Pivetta vs. Castillo

The Red Sox will look to put an end to this four-game losing streak as they send Nick Pivetta to the mound on Tuesday night. The Mariners will counter with fellow righty Luis Castillo.

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

(Picture of Tanner Houck: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Joely Rodríguez from injured list, officially designate Ryan Brasier for assignment

Before opening a three-game series against the Mariners at Fenway Park on Monday night, the Red Sox made a pair of roster moves relating to their bullpen.

Boston reinstated left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez from the 15-day injured list and officially designated veteran reliever Ryan Brasier for assignment, the club announced.

Rodriguez signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Red Sox in November after posting a 4.47 ERA (3.23 FIP) in 55 relief appearances (50 1/3 innings) for the Mets last season. The 31-year-old southpaw was slated to be one of two left-handers in Boston’s Opening Day bullpen alongside Richard Bleier, but he suffered a Grade 2 right oblique strain towards the end of spring training and began the 2023 campaign on the injured list as a result.

In five rehab outings between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester, Rodriguez allowed one earned run on four hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. The Dominican-born hurler last pitched on Saturday, so he should be available for Monday’s series opener against Seattle.

By activating Rodriguez, the Red Sox now have three lefties available out of the bullpen. While Rodriguez and Bleier have been with the club since spring training, Brennan Bernardino was added to the mix after being claimed off waivers from the Mariners last month.

Brasier, meanwhile, first informed reporters on Sunday night that he had been designated for assignment. The 35-year-old had just surrendered three runs on four hits (including a two-run home run to Nolan Arenado) over a career-high 2 1/3 innings in the Sox’ 9-1 loss to the Cardinals.

Coming off of that outing, Brasier saw his ERA on the season rise to 7.29 ERA in 20 appearances (21 innings) for Boston. Though a 4.39 FIP suggests that Brasier was the victim of some bad luck, the Red Sox clearly felt it was time to move on and go in a new direction.

“Obviously, no hard feelings,” Brasier said late Sunday night. “Like I said, I know it’s a business. And things happen. But hopefully get picked up in a day or two and try to go win somewhere else.”

Brasier had been the third-longest tenured member of the Red Sox behind only Chris Sale and Rafael Devers. Boston now has the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Brasier, who is still owed roughly $1.5 million of his $2 million salary for the 2023 season.

Following this series of transactions, the Red Sox now have 39 players on their 40-man roster. More moves will be coming soon, as Kutter Crawford (left hamstring strain) is expected to be activated from the injured list as soon as he is eligible to on Friday.

(Picture of Joely Rodriguez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox to promote top pitching prospect Shane Drohan to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox are promoting top pitching prospect Shane Drohan from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, according to Chris Henrique of Beyond the Monster.

Drohan, 24, has gotten his 2023 season off to a blistering start. In six starts for Portland to begin the year, the left-hander posted a miniscule 1.32 ERA and 2.26 FIP with 36 strikeouts to nine walks over 34 innings of work.

After earning Eastern League Pitcher of the Month honors in April, Drohan tossed six scoreless innings in his first start of May and then allowed a season-high three earned runs over five innings in his last time out against the Somerset Patriots this past Wednesday.

Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, Drohan ranks 15th in strikeouts per nine innings (9.53), third in walks per nine innings (2.38), ninth in strikeout rate (28.1 percent), fourth in walk rate (7 percent), second in batting average against (.161), second in WHIP (0.82), sixth in swinging-strike rate (14.7 percent), first in ERA, third in FIP, and seventh in xFIP (3.03) per FanGraphs.

Drohan is in his third full season with the Red Sox organization after originally being selected in the fifth and final round of the COVID-shortened 2020 amateur draft out of Florida State. The Fort Lauderdale native signed with the club for $600,000 and has since risen through the prospect ranks.

After closing out the 2022 campaign in Portland, Drohan made an effort to put on weight during the offseason. The lefty came into the spring listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds and impressed at camp by displaying a newly-implemented cutter as well as a fastball with increased velocity.

As noted by’s director of scouting Ian Cundall, Drohan now sits between 92-94 mph and tops out at 96 mph with his heater after averaging 90.8 mph with the offering last year. In addition to the cutter, the southpaw also operates with an 83-76 mph changeup and a 75-78 mph curveball.

Given the kind of season he has put together thus far, Drohan is currently regarded by as the No. 6 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks first among pitchers in the organization. He is now slated to join a WooSox starting rotation that includes fellow left-handed pitching prospects Brandon Walter and Chris Murphy.

It should be interesting to see how Drohan adjusts to facing more advanced competition moving forward. Although he does not turn 25 until next January, Drohan can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft or the first time in his career later this year. Even before Monday’s promotion, he had already made a strong case to be added to the Sox’ 40-man roster in November.

(Picture of Shane Drohan: Kelly O’Connor/

Red Sox designate Ryan Brasier for assignment

The Red Sox have designated Ryan Brasier for assignment, the veteran reliever told reporters (including’s Christopher Smith) following Sunday night’s 9-1 loss to the Cardinals at Fenway Park.

Brasier allowed three earned runs on four hits, no walks, and two strikeouts over a career-high 2 1/3 innings on Sunday. The right-hander gave up a run-scoring ground-rule double to Nolan Gorman and followed that up by serving up a 396-foot two-run home run to Nolan Arenado with one out in the top of the eighth.

Following Sunday’s performance, Brasier’s ERA on the season rose from 6.75 to 7.29 and his WHIP rose from 1.55 to 1.57 in 20 relief appearances (21 innings) for Boston this season. Needing to clear a roster spot for lefty reliever Joely Rodriguez, who is expected to be activated from the injured list on Monday, the Red Sox elected to move on from Brasier.

“Honestly, a new start might not be bad,” said Brasier, who was informed of the decision shortly after Sunday’s game ended. “Obviously getting to play at Fenway every day is a dream come true. Two parks you want to play at growing up are Yankee Stadium and Fenway. And I got to do both a lot. So grateful. It sucks obviously but new start.”

Brasier, 35, first joined the Red Sox organization as a minor-league free agent shortly before the start of the 2018 season. After spending the previous year pitching for the Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, the righty impressed in spring training and was called up by Boston for the first time that July.

Having gone nearly five years between big-league appearances, Brasier proved to be a major contributor out of the bullpen for the Red Sox during their historic World Series run. He compiled a 1.60 ERA in the regular season and allowed just one earned run over nine postseason outings (8 2/3 innings) in his first taste of October baseball.

Over the next two seasons (2019-2020), Brasier pitched to a 4.57 ERA in 87 total appearances (80 2/3 innings). He was limited to just 13 games in 2021 after missing the start of spring training due to a broken hand, beginning the season on the injured list due to a calf strain, and then being struck in the head by a line drive during a simulated game in Fort Myers.

Brasier was effective down the stretch in 2021 but that success did not carry over into 2022. He instead struggled to a 5.78 ERA in 68 appearances (62 1/3 innings). Though he made his fourth Opening Day roster this spring, it became increasingly clear that Brasier’s roster spot was in jeopardy as his struggles only continued.

“Walked a few guys early on, some bad luck,” Brasier said of his performance up until this point in the season. “A ton of (expletive) singles. This is what it is. I get it. It’s a business. And luck aside, I’ve gotta still have results to be at this level. And it just didn’t work out.”

Brasier does have a point as it pertains to bad luck. That much is made evident by his 4.39 FIP as opposed to his 7.29 ERA this year. Still, the majority of his other peripherals look far less encouraging and that likely played a role in Sunday’s decision.

Now that he has been designated for assignment, the Red Sox will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Brasier, who is in the final year of arbitration eligibility (carries a $2 million salary) and was slated to reach free agency for the first time at the end of the season.

“Obviously, no hard feelings,” Brasier said. “Like I said, I know it’s a business. And things happen. But hopefully get picked up in a day or two and try to go win somewhere else.

“A couple tweaks, maybe somebody sees something that they think they can build on,” he added. “That’s all you can really ask for.”

Brasier, who turns 36 in August, forged a 4.55 ERA and 3.79 FIP with 211 strikeouts to 65 walks in 222 career appearances (one start) spanning 209 2/3 innings of work in a Red Sox uniform. He currently ranks 37th on the club’s all-time list for appearances.

With Brasier out of the picture, left-hander Chris Sale and third baseman Rafael Devers are the only players who remain from Boston’s 2018 World Series championship roster.

“Like I said, you grow up wanting to play at places like Fenway,” said Brasier. “And having a chance to do it for five years has been kind of surreal, honestly.”

(Picture of Ryan Brasier: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Kenley Jansen records 400th career save as Red Sox cap off road trip with 5-2 win over Braves

The Red Sox salvaged a series split and a winning road trip with a hard-fought win over the Braves on Wednesday night. Boston defeated Atlanta by a final score of 5-2 at Truist Park to put an end to a two-game losing streak and improve to 22-16 on the season.

Having just placed Max Fried on the injured list with a left forearm strain, the Braves went with a bullpen game in Wednesday’s series finale. Atlanta relievers held Boston’s offense in check through three innings, but the Sox broke through against Collin McHugh in the fourth.

After Alex Verdugo walked and Justin Turner singled to simultaneously break up the Braves’ combined no-hit bid and lead off the inning, Enrique Hernandez and Jarren Duran went back-to-back on a pair of one-out RBI singles to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.

Brayan Bello, meanwhile, was in the midst of his fifth start of the season for Boston. The young right-hander was lights out out of the gate. He retired the first six batters he faced, escaped a jam (two on, no outs) in the third, and continued to keep Atlanta off the scoreboard through five.

In the sixth inning, though, Bello ran into trouble as the Braves lineup turned over for a third time. Ronald Acuna Jr. led things off by crushing a 470-foot solo shot to deep left field to cut the deficit in half. Austin Riley then ripped a one-out single and came into score the tying run on Eddie Rosario’s RBI single. Rosario, however, was thrown out at second base by Connor Wong for the final out of the inning.

All told, Bello allowed two earned runs on six hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts over six strong innings of work. The 23-year-old induced 18 swings-and-misses on exactly 100 pitches (67 strikes). He topped out at 97.4 mph with his sinker and picked up his second win of the season while lowering his ERA to 5.01.

Although they had just seen their two-run lead disappear, the Red Sox wasted little time in getting back on the board. Duran and Triston Casas each drew a walk off A.J. Minter to lead off the seventh. After Wong and the pinch-hitting Rafael Devers each struck out, manager Alex Cora went back to his bench by having Raimel Tapia pinch-hit for Rob Refsnyder. Tapia then came through by lacing a two-out double down the right field line to bring in Duran from second and put Boston up, 3-2.

With Bello’s night done, Josh Winckowski received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from Cora and worked a 1-2-3 seventh. Chris Martin followed by maneuvering his way around a one-out single to toss a scoreless eighth and pave the way for Kenley Jansen in the ninth.

Before Jansen took the mound, Casas provided the veteran closer with some breathing room in the top of the ninth. After Duran laced a leadoff double, Casas launched a 442-foot two-run blast off Raisel Iglesias for his fifth home run of the year.

Jansen then came on with a three-run lead to protect and did just that by getting Sean Murphy to fly out, allowing a one-out double to Rosario, getting Ozzie Albies to fly out, and striking out Travis d’Arnaud to end the game and notch the 400th save of his career.

Jansen becomes the seventh pitcher in major-league history to record 400 saves, joining Mariano Rivera (652), Trevor Hoffman (601), Lee Smith (478), Francisco Rodriguez (437), John Franco (424) and Billy Wagner (422) as members of the exclusive club.

Next up: Wainwright vs. Paxton

Coming off a 3-2 road trip, the Red Sox will enjoy an off day back in Boston on Thursday. They will then open a three-game weekend series against the Cardinals at Fenway Park on Friday night.

Left-hander James Paxton is slated to make his season debut for Boston in Friday’s series opener. St. Louis will counter with right-hander Adam Wainwright.

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

(Picture of Kenley Jansen: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox designate Zack Littell for assignment

The Red Sox have designated right-hander Zack Littell for assignment, the club announced prior to Wednesday’s series finale against the Braves.

Littell, 27, was acquired from the Rangers in exchange for cash considerations on Friday and was added to the major-league roster the following afternoon. He appeared in two games for the Red Sox, allowing three earned runs on three hits and three walks to go along with two strikeouts over three innings of work.

After yielding two runs in the eighth inning of 6-1 loss to the Phillies on Sunday, Littell gave up one run on one hit, two walks, and two strikeouts in the final two innings of a 9-3 loss to the Braves on Tuesday night.

Littell is out of minor-league options, so the Red Sox had no choice but to designate the righty for assignment and expose him to waivers. They will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or pass Littell through waivers if he goes unclaimed. In that scenario, though, Littell would have the ability to reject an assignment to the minor-leagues in favor of free agency since he has previously been outrighted.

As noted by’s Chris Cotillo, though, Littell may elect to stick with the Red Sox as a non-40-man roster player since they were the only organization willing to give him a guaranteed major-league roster spot. Prior to Friday’s trade, Littell had opened the 2023 season with Texas’ Triple-A affiliate, posting a 2.25 ERA with 16 strikeouts to two walks in eight relief appearances (12 innings) for the Round Rock Express.

By designating Littell for assignment, Boston reduced the size of its 40-man roster from 40 to 39 players. The Red Sox removed Littell from their 26-man roster in order to activate left-hander James Paxton from the 15-day injured list.

Paxton, who began the season on the injured list due to a left hamstring strain, will make his Red Sox debut in Friday’s series opener against the Cardinals at Fenway Park.

(Picture of Zack Littell: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Top Red Sox pitching prospect Bryan Mata heads to Triple-A Worcester’s injured list with shoulder inflammation

Red Sox pitching prospect Bryan Mata has been placed on Triple-A Worcester’s 7-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, according to’s Chris Cotillo.

Mata exited his start against the Rochester Red Wings early on Tuesday. The right-hander appeared to be in visible discomfort after delivering a 1-0, 86.2 mph fastball to Franklin Barreto with one out and one runner on in the bottom of the third inning at Innovative Field.

After WooSox catcher Jorge Alfaro motioned to the visitor’s dugout, a conference on the mound ensued. Mata then left the field with a trainer and was replaced by Jake Faria, who allowed both runners he inherited to score in what would go down as a 7-3 loss to the Red Wings.

Up until that point in the contest, Mata had yielded six runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings of work. The 24-year-old finished with 49 pitches (29 strikes). He topped out at 99.1 mph with his slider, an offering that accounted for four of the five swings-and-misses he induced.

Following Tuesday’s injury-shortened outing, Mata now owns an 0-3 record and 5.61 FIP with 27 walks to 26 strikeouts in seven starts (25 2/3 innings) for the WooSox so far this season. Despite those unimpressive numbers, the native Venezuelan is still regarded by publications such as Baseball America as the top pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Originally signed as an international free agent coming out of Maracay for just $25,000 in January 2016, Mata was added to the Sox’ 40-man roster in November 2020 to receive protection from Rule 5 Draft eligibility. He tore the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) in his right elbow the following March and underwent Tommy John surgery shortly thereafter.

After missing all of the 2021 season, Mata returned to action last June as part of a rehab assignment with Low-A Salem. He made one start for Salem, three starts for High-A Greenville, and nine starts (10 total appearances) for Double-A Portland before earning a promotion to Worcester in late August.

Since then, Mata has forged a 4.59 ERA with 52 strikeouts to 46 walks in 12 starts (49 innings) with the WooSox. Alongside the likes of lefties Brandon Walter and Chris Murphy, who are also on the 40-man roster, Mata represents legitimate big-league pitching depth for the Red Sox at the club’s top affiliate.

With that being said, though, Mata has just one minor-league option remaining, meaning this is the final year the Red Sox can freely shuttle the righty between Boston and Worcester without having to first expose him to waivers.

Even before this latest setback, there were signs that Mata could transition to a bullpen role in the near future since he has power stuff but has had difficulty in harnessing it effectively. Depending on how long he is out for (the hope is the issue isn’t too serious), that scenario could become a reality if the Red Sox want to get a look at Mata at the major-league level before season’s end.

(Picture of Bryan Mata: Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta gets shelled for season-high 7 runs as Red Sox drop opener to Braves, 9-3

The Red Sox suffered their second straight defeat in a series-opening loss to the Braves on Tuesday night. Boston fell to Atlanta by a final score of 9-3 at Truist Park to drop to 21-16 on the season.

Nick Pivetta struggled in his seventh start of the year for the Sox. The right-hander went just four innings, allowing a season-high seven earned runs on eight hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with two strikeouts.

The Braves got to Pivetta right away in the bottom of the first. Following a leadoff single from Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson opened the scoring by crushing a 426-foot two-run home run to deep right field. Pivetta then walked Austin Riley and plunked Sean Murphy before fanning Eddie Rosario.

A wild pitch allowed Riley and Murphy to advance an additional 90 feet. Ozzie Albies then drove in Riley with a run-scoring single through the right side of the infield before Marcell Ozuna gave Atlanta a 4-0 lead with an RBI groundout that brought in Murphy.

An inning later, Murphy singled in Acuna Jr. with two outs to extend the lead to five runs. The Red Sox got one of those runs back in the top of the third. After being held in check by Braves starter Charlie Morton to that point, Alex Verdugo ripped a leadoff double and took third base on a balk. Justin Turner then drove him in on a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to four runs at 5-1.

Pivetta made quick work of the Braves in the bottom half of the frame, but ran into more trouble in the fourth. Orlando Arcia, Acuna Jr., and Olson all reached to fill the bases with no outs. Murphy then broke it open by plating both Arcia and Acuna Jr. on a two-run single to left field that put Atlanta back up, 7-1.

Though Pivetta did retire the final two batters he faced in the fourth, the damage had already been done. The 30-year-old hurler finished with 90 pitches (52 strikes) and induced 11 swings-and-misses. He was charged with the losing decision and his ERA on the season now sits at an unsightly 6.23.

In relief of Pivetta, Brennan Bernardino received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The lefty beaned Michael Harris II to put runners at first and second with no outs and then yielded an RBI ground-rule double to Arcia to give the Braves an 8-1 advantage.

Turner struck again in the sixth, this time taking Morton 389 feet deep to the opposite field for a leadoff home run (his third of the season). That was all the Red Sox could do off Morton, though, as the veteran righty allowed just two runs over six innings on exactly 100 pitches before being lifted for reliever Kirby Yates.

Following a pair of scoreless frames from Ryan Brasier and Zack Littell, Turner laced a one-out double off A.J. Minter in the top of the eighth for the 300th two-base hit of his career. He then moved up to third and scored his side’s third run of the night on a line-drive RBI single off the bat of Enrique Hernandez.

After Littell surrendered an RBI double to Murphy in the bottom of the eighth, the Red Sox went down quietly in the ninth to end it. Masataka Yoshida grounded out for the final out of the game. He went 0-for-5 on the night, meaning his 16-game hitting streak has ended.

As a team, the Red Sox tallied eight hits and went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position while leaving eight runners on base. Verdugo went 3-for-5 with a run scored and Turner went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the way offensively.

Next up: Bello gets the start in finale

The Red Sox will look to salvage a split in the finale of this quick two-game set against the Braves on Wednesday night. Right-hander Brayan Bello is slated to start for Boston while Atlanta will go with a bullpen game after placing projected starter Max Fried on the injured list.

First pitch from Truist Park is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)