#RedSox Recall Top Prospect Michael Chavis, Place Eduardo Nunez on Injured List in Slew of Roster Moves

In a slew of roster moves made on Friday, the Red Sox have recalled top prospect Michael Chavis as well as utility man Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room on the 25-man roster. infielder Eduardo Nunez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a “mid-back strain” and veteran right-hander Erasmo Ramirez was designated for assignment. The club made the transactions official earlier Friday.

After placing Dustin Pedroia on the 10-day injured list and recalling reliever Marcus Walden from Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, the call to promote Lin and designate Ramirez was essentially a given since the Red Sox did not want to carry 14 pitchers on their active roster.

What surprised me, at least, was the call to promote Chavis, the club’s top prospect according to MLB.com.

Of course, his calling up is due to the fact that Eduardo Nunez was also placed on the injured list, which means that, at the time this is being written, Nunez, Pedroia, and Brock Holt are all currently on the shelf. I can’t imagine that is what this team envisioned heading into the 2019 season.

Chavis, 23, was selected by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2014 amateur draft out of Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Ga.

In early 2018, he was handed down an 80-game suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Spending time over at second base this season, Chavis has slashed .250/.354/.600 with four home runs and six RBI over 12 games with the PawSox.

With the current lack of infielders on the Red Sox’  roster, the former Clemson committ should get the opportunity to perhaps provide his team with the spark they so desperately need ahead of his big league debut.

Lin, meanwhile, spent just 10 days with Pawtucket after being optioned down by Boston to make room for Pedroia on April 9th.

In seven minor league contests this season, Lin has posted a .748 OPS to go along with no home runs and three RBI over a span of 28 at-bats. He has also collected a total of five hits in his last two games for the PawSox.

The 25-year-old will likely spend most of his time at second in the absences of Holt, Nunez, and Pedroia.

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The Reason Brock Holt Was Placed on the Injured List with a Scratched Right Cornea: His Son, Griffin

Earlier Saturday, the Red Sox placed utility man Brock Holt on the 10-day injured list due to a scratched cornea in his right eye.

Fast forward a few hours later, and Holt explained to reporters prior to Boston’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks just why he had been shelved.

Holt, 30, has got his 2019 season off to a sluggish 1-for-16 start at the plate, and that’s pretty understandable given the just-revealed circumstances.

“It’s something I thought I could play through and still be able to do my job, but the vision in my right eye is really different,” Holt said. “It was obviously affecting me on the field. I don’t want to be out there if I can’t help us.”

Just as recently as Wednesday, we saw Holt sporting a pair of clear glasses out in Oakland.

“I can see, but there’s still a little blurry spot in my right eye,” the Texas native explained Saturday. “I wasn’t able to pick up spin. I wasn’t able to do anything in the box.”

Defensively, Holt has still been solid despite not being able to see out of his right eye clearly. He did mention that he is going to try to see an eye doctor.

Holt’s son Griff, meanwhile, is still as sensational as ever.

#RedSox Recall Marcus Walden and Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket, Place Brian Johnson and Brock Holt on Injured List

The Red Sox have recalled right-hander Marcus Walden and utility man Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple A-Pawtucket.

In a series of corresponding moves, Boston also placed left-handed pitcher Brian Johnson and utility man Brock Holt on the 10-day injured list. The club made the transactions official earlier Saturday.

As the tweet reads, Johnson has been shelved with left shoulder inflammation. The southpaw, making his second consecutive Opening Day roster this season, has struggled out of the gate, and that was highlighted by the seven runs he gave up to the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday in just over one inning of relief.

Holt, meanwhile, is hitting the injured list due to what the Red Sox are describing as a, “scratched cornea,” in his right eye.

Holt, too, has experienced some struggles at the plate to kick off his seventh year with the Red Sox, as the 30-year-old is just 1/16 with two walks and seven strikeouts over six games in 2019.

On the other side of this news, Walden will look to provide the Red Sox with a fresh arm they appear to desperately need at the moment.

A member of Boston’s Opening Day roster in 2018, the 30-year-old hurler impressed once again this past spring training, posting a 1.42 ERA over seven appearances and 12.2 innings pitched.

Lin, as we know, has already played in 67 total games for the Red Sox dating back to the middle of the 2017 season.

With Holt on the shelf and Dustin Pedroia nearing his return from the injured list himself, expect Lin to provide Boston with solid depth around the infield and even the outfield.

Now 25-years-old, Lin slashed .321/.387/.571 with one home run and six RBI in 12 games with the Red Sox this past spring.

Blake Swihart Celebrates Birthday with Home Run, Three Hits as #RedSox Snap Four-Game Skid in Oakland

After going the first two nights of April without a win or even a run scored, the Red Sox broke out in style in Oakland Wednesday night, putting an end to their four-game losing streak with a clutch 6-3 victory over the Athletics.

Making his second start of the season and second consecutive start against an American League West foe in this one was Nathan Eovaldi, who entered Wednesday with three previous career starts at the Oakland Coliseum under his belt.

Tossing five full innings, the right-hander was essentially in damage control all night, limiting the A’s to three runs on four hits, four walks, and one HBP to go along with three strikeouts on the evening.

Similar to his last outing against the Mariners, Eovaldi was a bit erratic yet again, but he was able to keep the ball in the ballpark for the most part, yielding just one two-run home run to Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano in the fourth inning.

After giving up that homer to Laureano though, which made it a 3-0 game in favor of Oakland at the time, the 29-year-old settled in a bit by retiring the final six hitters he faced through the fifth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 96 (51 strikes) Eovaldi topped out at 98.8 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he turned to 35 times. His next start should come next Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

In relief of Eovaldi, the Red Sox bullpen turned in yet another solid performance, as Colten Brewer, Matt Barnes, and Ryan Brasier combined to hold the A’s scoreless over the final four frames of this one.

Brewer, in his third appearance for Boston, fanned a pair over the sixth and parts of the seventh before making way for Matt Barnes with one out to get in the inning.

Barnes, who we last saw close out the Red Sox’ first win of the season last Friday, punched out the only batter he faced in the seventh before stranding a runner at third in the eighth with the help of Brock Holt.

Holt, filling in for Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, dazzled with a cross-body throw as his momentum was taking him towards third to get Laureano out at first. That kept Marcus Semien from scoring from third and thus kept this contest tied at three runs a piece headed into the ninth.

It officially goes down as a 6-3 ground out, but it was really much more than that from Holt, who did not start at shortstop during the spring.

After Boston jumped out to a three-run lead of their own in their half of the ninth, in came Ryan Brasier to shut the door on the A’s in the bottom half of the frame.

Making his third appearance out of the bullpen this season, the 31-year-old hurler worked his way around a leadoff HBP to sit down the final three hitters of the night, notching his first career save in the process.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Athletics right-hander Marco Estrada to start things out.

An old friend from his days with the Toronto Blue Jays, the seasoned Estrada held the Boston bats in check up until the fifth.

With their scoreless-innings streak reaching 22, Blake Swihart broke the club’s offensive slump by launching his first home run of the season with two outs in the fifth.

A 415 foot shot to center field to put his team on the board for the first time this month, that is quite a way to celebrate a 27th birthday.

An inning later, a Mookie Betts leadoff walk would ultimately spell the end for Estrada, who was pulled after surrendering another free pass to JD Martinez to load the bases for Boston with just one out in the sixth.

With A’s reliever Ryan Buchter now in, Mitch Moreland did not waste any time with a pitcher he had only faced off against once before Wednesday, as he squared up on a first pitch fastball and ripped a double down the right field line.

That allowed Betts and Rafael Devers to score from second and third, and just like that, the Red Sox were back in it.

Fast forward all the way to the ninth, with things still tied and another old friend in Fernando Rodney now on the mound for Oakland, Swihart came to the plate having already collected two hits.

With just one out to work with, the Red Sox backstop singled on a ground ball to right, and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed that up by doing the same.

A wild pitch from Rodney allowed the pair of runners to advance to second and third, meaning the go-ahead run was only 90 feet away from scoring.

Mookie Betts, who was at the plate for that wild pitch, made the A’s pay for their mistake by turning a grounder that just so happened to deflect off the third base bag into a game-winning two-run double.

If that ball was hit to Matt Chapman, the inning presumably ends without a Red Sox crossing the plate.

Instead, the 2018 AL MVP came through big time, and Andrew Benintendi showed some signs of life by driving in Betts from second on an RBI triple to make it a 6-3 contest, which would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

Happy belated 27th birthday to Blake Swihart!

JD Martinez has started his second season in Boston with a seven-game hitting streak. He is 10/28 with two home runs and seven RBI to kick off the 2019 campaign.

According to ESPN, the Red Sox bullpen has posted a 2.42 ERA over their first 26 innings of work. That is the fifth-best mark in all of baseball.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to depart from the Bay Area with a series-split against the A’s in hand.

It will be a pitching matchup featuring a pair of left-handers for the series finale, as Eduardo Rodriguez and Brett Anderson are slated to start for their respective sides.

Rodriguez (0-1, 10.38 ERA), owns a 1.69 ERA in two career starts and 16 total innings of work at the Oakland Coliseum.

Anderson (1-0, 0.00 ERA), meanwhile, owns a lifetime 3.48 ERA over 11 career starts against the Red Sox.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 3:37 PM EDT on this getaway day.

Nathan Eovaldi’s Solid Spring Debut Not Enough as #RedSox Fall to Twins for Seventh Straight Loss

The Red Sox fell to 6-12 in Grapefruit League play on Wednesday following a 9-5 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Twins, marking their seventh consecutive defeat. Minnesota now has the advantage in the race for the 2019 Chairman’s Cup at three games to two.

A recurring theme for the Red Sox these past few days has been star pitchers making their 2019 spring debuts, and that was the case once again with Nathan Eovaldi on Wednesday at JetBlue Park.

Making his first ever Grapefruit League start for Boston, the right-hander looked sharp, surrendering just one run on one hit and one walk to go along with one strikeout. A whole lot of one’s.

That lone run came off the bat of former top prospect Byron Buxton, who led the third inning off for the Twins with his fourth home run of the spring.

Other than that one mishap, it was relatively smooth sailing for Eovaldi, who faced one over the minimum nine hitters.

From the top of the fourth inning on, Colten Brewer, Brian Johnson, Adam Lau, Josh Smith, and Dun Runzler combined to give up eight runs on nine hits, two walks, two HBPs, and three strikeouts.

Working the fourth inning, the run allowed by Brewer was unearned due to a fielding error committed by Xander Bogaerts. Still, the 26-year-old was charged with a blown save.

Johnson, meanwhile, was handed down his second losing decision of the spring, as the southpaw got shellacked for four Minnesota runs on four hits, including a Brian Navarreto two-run homer, in less than two full frames of work.

In three outings so far this spring, Johnson owns a 14.40 ERA and 2.20 WHIP over five total innings.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup, which again featured many regulars, was matched up against Twins ace Jose Berrios to start things off.

Getting the scoring started for Boston in this one was Blake Swihart, who built on his ninth inning RBI double from Tuesday with a two RBI two-bagger in the second inning on Wednesday.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth, after the Twins had just jumped out to a 6-2 lead of their own, and Brock Holt pulled the Red Sox a little closer by driving in Eduardo Nunez all the way from first on an RBI double off Matt Magill. For Holt, his fifth RBI of the spring.

Finally, in the ninth, with this contest essentially out of reach in Minnesota’s favor already, Red Sox prospect Tate Matheny tried to get another late rally started with a two out, two-run triple off Twins reliever Dusten Knight.

Alas, Minnesota would hold on to take this one, as 9-5 would be your final score on Wednesday.

Some notes from this loss:

JD Martinez was initially slated to start at left field for the Red Sox, but was scratched from Boston’s lineup due to back tightness. That is why Bryce Brentz started in left instead.

The Red Sox are 0-7 in their last seven games. In those seven games, they have been outscored 53-15. I understand that it’s just spring training, but it’s something to keep an eye on nonetheless.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll make the trek up north to visit the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland on Thursday.

Eduardo Rodriguez will be making the start for Boston, while fellow left-hander Matthew Boyd will do the same for Detroit.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 1:05 EDT. MLB Network will have it covered.

Rick Porcello Makes 2019 Spring Debut as #RedSox Serve up Six Home Runs in 8-1 Loss to Rays

The Red Sox fell to 6-10 in Grapefruit League on Sunday afternoon following a 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte, marking their fifth consecutive defeat.

Making his 2019 debut in this one for Boston was Rick Porcello. The right-hander, who is entering the final season of his original four-year contract extension he signed in 2015, surrendered two runs on four hits, two of which were home runs, and no walks to go along with one strikeout in three innings of work.

As that line indicates, the only runs given up by Porcello came on a pair of Tampa Bay solo homers in the second and third innings off the bats of Joey Wendle and Mike Zunino.

In total, the 30-year-old hurler faced 15 hitters in his first action of the spring.

From the middle of the fourth inning on, Hector Velazquez, Brandon Workman, Colten Brewer, and Brian Ellington combined to allow six runs to cross the plate on 11 hits, four of which were homers, two walks, and six strikeouts over the final five frames of this one.

Like Porcello, Velazquez and Workman each gave up a pair of long balls, as Guillermo Heredia and Avisail Garcia went yard in the fourth and fifth innings, while Heredia and Nate Lowe did the same for the Rays in their half of the sixth.

If anything, both Brewer and Ellington held Tampa Bay scoreless in their individual innings of relief, but the Red Sox bullpen has been a rough spot thus far through 16 Grapefruit League games.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup could not muster more than two runs for the FIFTH straight day. And guess what? They haven’t won any of their last five games!

The lone Boston managed to tally in this one came in the seventh inning, when with one out and Diego Castillo on the hill for Tampa Bay, Steve Pearce grounded into a run-scoring out at first while Aneury Tavarez came around to score from third to make it a 8-1 game at the time. That would go on to be the final score in this Sunday afternoon contest.

Some notes from this loss:

Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Steve Pearce, and Eduardo Nunez went a combined 2/12 at the plate with one walk and one RBI.

Brock Holt was slated to start at second, but was scratched at the last-minute due to back spasms. He is considered day-to-day.

I get that it’s just spring training, I really do, but can I at least say the last week has been frustrating to watch? Because it has.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s an off day on Monday before hosting the Detroit Tigers for at JetBlue Park the first time this spring

Monday will not be a typical day off though, as Chris Sale is set to pitch in a minor league game beginning at approximately 11:40 AM on one of the Fenway South backfields.

On Tuesday, we’ll see a starting pitching matchup featuring two left-handers who were once part of the same trade.

For Detroit, it will be Daniel Norris getting the starting nod, while 2018 postseason hero David Price will make his 2019 debut and do the same.

Go back to July of 2015, and these two southpaws were part of the same deal that sent Price from Detroit to the Toronto Blue Jays and Norris from Toronto to Detroit.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT at JetBlue. Unfortunately, it does not look like this game will be televised. Monday should be fun, though.

 

Dustin Pedroia Singles in First At-Bat of 2019 as #RedSox Fall to Twins

The Red Sox fell to 6-7 in Grapefruit League play on Thursday following a blowout 12-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park. The race for the 2019 Chairman’s Cup is now tied at two games a piece.

Brian Johnson, who was scratched from his start last Saturday, was back at it for Boston this afternoon.

The left-hander may have still been dealing with some lingering symptoms though, as he surrendered three earned runs, all of which came in the second, on five hits without a walk or strikeout in 1.1 innings of work.

Before getting pulled though, we saw our first glimpse of Dustin Pedroia back at second base, as he fielded a ground ball off the bat of Jake Cave for the 4-3 put out to retire the side in the first.

Anyway, not taking any extreme measures, Red Sox manager Alex Cora quickly made the call for Trevor Kelley out of the bullpen with one out and a runner on third in the top of the second.

The right-handed Kelley retired the only hitter he faced in Willians Astudillo, who lined out to Rafael Devers to start an inning-ending double play with a force out at third.

From there, Brandon Workman, Erasmo Ramirez, Marcus Walden, Matthew Gorst, Jake Thompson, and Daniel Schlereth combined to give up nine runs (seven earned) on 13 hits, four walks, one HBP, and seven punch outs.

Thompson, a 2017 fourth round draft selection out of Oregon State, got hit the hardest out of any Red Sox reliever on Thursday, as all three runs off the right-hander came on back-to-back Twins home runs in the eighth.

Schlereth, meanwhile, faced the minimum three hitters while working around a leadoff walk in a scoreless ninth inning.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was held in check yet again, putting up one lone run on just five hits.

One bright spot from this one would be the day Dustin Pedroia had in his 2019 debut.

In his first in-game action since last May, the four-time All-Star, batting out of the leadoff spot and manning second base, went 1/1 with a first inning infield single.

He also advanced to second on a wild pitch from Twins starter Kohl Stewart and scored Boston’s lone run on a Rafael Devers RBI double.

Some notes from this 12-1 loss:

ESPN had both Mookie Betts and Brock Holt mic’d up for this one and the Red Sox Twitter account was kind enough to post some of the highlights.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll head to Sarasota to take on the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium on Friday.

Top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez will make the start for Boston, while right-hander Andrew Cashner will do the same for Baltimore.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 EST Friday. MLB Network will be the way to go, as this game will not be on NESN.