Before opening up a pivotal three-game series against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Monday, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.
First off, right-handed reliever Hirokazu Sawamura was activated from the COVID-19 related injured list, while left-handed reliever Austin Davis was activated from the paternity leave list.
Secondly, right-hander Brad Peacock and left-hander Stephen Gonsalves were both returned to Triple-A Worcester to make room for Sawamura and Davis on the major-league roster.
The Red Sox made these transactions official earlier Monday night. They also reinstated righty Eduard Bazardo from the 60-day injured list and optioned him to Worcester.
Sawamura rejoins the Sox after initially testing positive for COVID-19 while the club was in Tampa Bay in the final days of August. At that time, he was the fifth player on the team to return positive results since their outbreak began in Cleveland on Aug. 27.
Upon his quarantine period coming to an end, the 33-year-old — who is vaccinated against coronavirus — traveled with the Red Sox to Chicago for their weekend series against the White Sox and even threw a bullpen session at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday.
On Monday, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo tweeted that Boston would be making Sawamura available to reporters ahead of the series opener against Seattle, indicating that he would indeed be activated.
In his first season with the Red Sox, Sawamura has posted a 3.09 ERA and 5.35 FIP to go along with 54 strikeouts to 29 walks over 50 relief appearances spanning 46 2/3 innings of work. The Japanese hurler last pitched in a game on August 28, as he did not require a rehab assignment.
Davis, on the other hand, returns to the Red Sox bullpen after being placed on paternity leave over the weekend.
Acquired from the Pirates in exchange for Michael Chavis ahead of the July 30 trade deadline, the 28-year-old southpaw has put up a 4.61 ERA, but much more respectable 3.38 FIP, with 14 strikeouts to six walks in 14 outings (13 2/3 innings pitched) since making his Boston debut on July 31.
In activating Davis, the Sox gain yet another left-handed bullpen option alongside the likes of Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, and Martin Perez, who is expected to be reinstated from the COVID IL himself on Tuesday.
With Sawamura and Davis back in the fold, the Red Sox returned another pair of hurlers to Worcester in the form of Peacock and Gonsalves.
Peacock had just been sent back to the WooSox on Saturday when Connor Seabold was called up to make his major-league debut, but remained on Boston’s taxi squad before having his contract selected once again on Sunday after Phillips Valdez was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on account of a positive test.
That being said, it’s safe to assume that the 33-year-old righty will remain with the Red Sox in Seattle as part of the taxi squad in the event that they need to add another pitcher for the final leg of this road trip.
Gonsalves, meanwhile, had his contract selected from Worcester on August 31 — when both Taylor and Sawamura were added to the COVID-related IL.
The 27-year-old lefty made his Red Sox debut that very same day and appeared in three games for the club, allowing a total of two earned runs on two hits, two walks, one hit batsman, and four strikeouts over 4 1/3 total innings in that stretch.
(Picture of Hirokazu Sawamura: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)