Christian Arroyo’s Performance With Red Sox This Year Left Chaim Bloom ‘Hungry for More’ in 2021

Going into the 2020 season, Christian Arroyo likely wasn’t on the Red Sox’ radar.

The 25-year-old infielder opened the year with the Indians and managed to appear in just one game as a defensive replacement before getting designated for assignment on August 6.

A week later, Arroyo was claimed off waivers by Boston. All the while, the club’s brass was watching another former top prospect struggle at the major-league level in the form of Jose Peraza.

Peraza, who inked a one-year deal with the Sox last December after getting non-tendered by the Reds coming off a disappointing 2019 campaign, was viewed as a potential solution to Boston’s lingering second base problem.

The 26-year-old Venezuelan got off to a hot start with his new club by racking up seven hits in his first five games of the year, but eventually cooled off to the point where he was eventually optioned to the alternate training site for the remainder of the season on September 9.

Peraza’s demotion came a day after the Red Sox selected Arroyo’s contract from Pawtucket, thus promoting him to the major-league roster for the first time on September 8.

With more at-bats to be had now that his fellow second baseman had been sent down, Arroyo showed glimpses of his potential and reminded everyone why the Giants took him with the 25th overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft.

In 14 games with the Red Sox, the Tampa native slashed .240/.296/.440 with three home runs and eight RBI over 54 plate appearances, which came with him primarily playing second and batting out of the nine-hole.

Those numbers certainly are not off the charts, and Arroyo would probably be one of the first people to tell you that. But again, the ex-Rays infielder had his moments, and those moments left Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom very impressed with someone he was already familiar with.

“I knew he was a fundamentally sound player,” Bloom said of Arroyo’s potential when speaking with The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams earlier this week. “I knew he had versatility and ability. At the plate, I saw him drive pitches that I’ve never seen him drive before. That was impressive to see. He had a very confident approach at the plate.”

With all the uncertainties surrounding what the Red Sox will do at second base this offseason, Arroyo could emerge as a favorite to land the starting gig next spring. That possibility comes given the notion that Peraza will presumably get non-tendered, Dustin Pedroia will lose his 40-man roster spot, and top prospect Jeter Downs will begin the year in Triple-A.

All that being said, Bloom anticipates Arroyo will get more of a chance to show what he’s capable of once position players report to Fenway South this coming February.

“We were able to give him an opportunity down the stretch but if you look at it in the grand scheme it was not a long [opportunity],” Bloom added. “But it’s still a small sample. Certainly, what he did made you hungry for more.”

Arroyo, who turns 26 in May, is under team control with the Red Sox through the end of the 2024 season.

Red Sox Outfielder Andrew Benintendi ‘Available’ in Trade Talks, per Report

With exactly one week to go until the trade deadline, the Red Sox have reportedly made injured outfielder Andrew Benintendi available in trade talks, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Per Rosenthal, the subject of Benintendi being on the trading block came up when discussing what the Indians’ plans are in regards to right-handers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac.

Earlier this month, both Clevinger and Plesac broke the Indians’ COVID-19 protocols when the pair of hurlers broke curfew and didn’t stay in the team hotel after a game against the White Sox in Chicago.

The two were subsequently optioned to Cleveland’s alternate training site on August 14, and one or the other could be dealt before August 31 seeing how their teammates may not accept them back due to a lack of accountability on their part.

That being said, Rosenthal notes that the Indians “trading one of them for a power-hitting outfielder would be a logical step for a team that ranks last in the majors in OPS from its outfielders.”

This is where Benintendi comes into the picture. Not necessarily because he is a power-hitting outfielder, but rather, like Clevinger, the 26-year-old outfielder has amassed three-plus years of service time and is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

Despite that common link, Benintendi is currently on the 10-day injured list due to a strained rib cage that will likely sideline him well into September. Even before that, the former first-round pick had struggled at the plate to begin the year, going 4-for-his-first-39 (.103) with one RBI and four runs scored through 14 games played.

Clevinger, on the other hand, posted a 3.24 ERA and .802 OPS against over his first three starts and 16 2/3 innings pitched this season before getting demoted.

As Rosenthal notes, Clevinger was originally slated to make $4.1 million this season, and that figure will only go up in the 29-year-old’s final two years of arbitration eligibility. For a frugal team such as the Indians, they may want to get out from under Clevinger’s contract before it becomes too much of a burden.

Benintendi, meanwhile, is on a much more cost-controlled deal after inking a two-year, $10 million extension back in February that buys out his first two years of arbitration eligibility.

If you want to boil this all down, it basically comes down to the notion that the Indians are a team in need of outfield help, while the Red Sox, who currently boast the second-worst starters’ ERA in baseball (6.04), are in need of starting pitching help.

As noted by Rosenthal, this sort of scenario “demonstrate[s] the challenge of finding the right fit” in trade talks going forward.

If Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is aggressive and active enough, though, Benintendi, and a plethora of other Sox players, could be moved between now and the end of the month. It likely all depends on the return that Boston would be getting back.

Red Sox Infielder Christian Arroyo Clears Waivers, Gets Outrighted To Pawtucket

Three days after getting designated for assignment, Red Sox infielder Christian Arroyo has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Pawtucket.

With this move made, Arroyo remains in the Sox’ 60-man player pool and will likely report to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket within the coming days.

The 25-year-old was originally claimed off waivers by Boston from the Indians on August 13 and was subsequently placed on the 10-day COVID-19 related injured list three days later. The reason behind that was not because of a positive test, but rather due to the actual intake process.

Despite being activated from the IL on August 19, though, Arroyo was designated for assignment on August 20 in order for the Sox to make room on their 40-man roster for left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez, who had been on the COVID-19 related injured list himself.

Upon designating Arroyo, a former first-round pick of the Giants in 2013, it appeared that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co.’s intentions were to sneak the Florida native through waivers, which they were of course able to accomplish on Sunday.

Prior to joining the Red Sox, Arroyo had appeared in 71 games with the Giants, Raysn and Indians since making his big-league debut with San Francisco in April 2017.

In those 71 games, the former top prospect slashed .215/.280/.342 with six home runs and 27 RBI over 251 plate appearances.

While in Pawtucket, Arroyo will presumably see time all around the infield seeing how he has major-league experience at second base, third base, and shortstop.

As for when we could see Arroyo in Boston, he would have to be added back to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster in order for that to happen.

Red Sox Claim Former Top Prospect Christian Arroyo off Waivers From Indians

The Red Sox have claimed infielder Christian Arroyo off waivers from the Cleveland Indians, the club announced Thursday afternoon.

Arroyo, 25, has been added to the club’s 60-man player pool and must be added to the active roster seeing how he is out of minor-league options.

A former first-round pick of the Giants back in 2013, Arroyo was most recently with the Indians up until last week, when he was designated for assignment on August 6.

Through his first 71 games in the majors dating back to 2017, Arroyo hasn’t exactly lived up to his former top-prospect status. He posted a .548 OPS over 135 plate appearances in his rookie year with San Francisco before getting dealt to the Rays that December. As a matter of fact, the Florida native was part of the trade that saw three-time All-Star Evan Longoria head out west.

Given the fact he spent 1 1/2 years within the Rays’ organization, Arroyo likely formed some type of relationship with then-Rays executive vice president, now-Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, hence the move being made by Boston to claim him on Thursday.

In those 1 1/2 seasons with the Rays, Arroyo slashed a collective .243/.322/.388 with three home runs and 13 RBI over 36 games total games prior to getting traded to Cleveland last July.

Arroyo missed a significant amount of time in 2019 due to right forearm tendinitis and was only able to appear in one game as a defensive replacement with Cleveland this season.

Speaking of his defense, Arroyo is capable of playing all around the infield, so he comes with plenty of versatility, which is always a plus.

With the addition of Arroyo, the Red Sox’ 60-man player pool is now at full capacity.

Red Sox Agree to Major-League Deal With Catcher Kevin Plawecki

In their first move of the new decade and new year, the Red Sox have reportedly agreed to a one-year, major-league deal with free-agent catcher Kevin Plawecki, per Robert Murray and The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Plawecki, who turns 29 in February, slashed .222/.287/.342 with three home runs and 17 RBI over 59 games with the Cleveland Indians this past season.

The former Met was non-tendered by Cleveland on December 2nd, the same day the club acquired catcher Sandy Leon from Boston in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Adenys Bautista.

Because the Red Sox’ 40-man roster was already at full capacity prior to this signing, expect an additional roster move to be made once this deal becomes official.

Since it is a major-league contract that Plawecki signed, it would appear that the 2012 first-round pick out of Purdue University is locked in to become Christian Vazquez’s backup this coming season.

The addition of Plawecki also stays consistent with chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. continuing to make low risk, high reward kind of signings, like with Martin Perez and Jose Peraza.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the deal is for one year and is worth $900,000. Plawecki is also eligible for arbitration.

Gordon Hayward Has Career Night as Celtics Hold on to Top Cavaliers for Fifth Straight Win

In the venue that severely altered his career just a little more than two years ago, Gordon Hayward put together his best performance as a Boston Celtic in a 119-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night.

The 29-year-old had it all going in this one, leading the C’s in scoring with 39 points to tie a career-high on 17/20 (85%) shooting to go along with eight assists, seven total rebounds, and a team-leading +/- of 12 in 33 minutes of play.

The final five of those 39 points wound up to be huge for the Celtics, as Hayward drilled his only corner three of the night coming off some quality ball movement from Daniel Theis, Marcus Smart, and Brad Wanamaker to give his side a 110-99 edge with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

That more than likely should have sealed things for Boston, but a quick 14-6 run on the part of the Cavs made it a three-point contest with 93 seconds to go.

Fast forward about a minute in game time later, coming off a jump ball, and Hayward came through in the clutch yet again, this time beating out Cavs forward Kevin Love to corral a missed three pointer from Kemba Walker, his first and only offensive board, and putting it back in the bucket for an easy two.

Hayward’s 17th make, the most he has ever hit on in a single game in his career, put the Celts up by five, and 119-113 would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

“He was aggressive going to the basket,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens following his team’s fifth straight victory, “He just kept making the right play over and over.”

Through six games this season, the Indiana native is averaging 20.3 points per on 56.5% shooting (50% from three).

Now in his third full year with Boston, it appears that Hayward is finally comfortable and is settling into things nicely. Consistency is key, and Hayward has been exactly that to start out the early stages of the 2019-2020 campaign.

At 5-1 now, the Celtics’ next game will come against the Charlotte Hornets in the Queen City on Thursday night. A homecoming of sorts for Kemba Walker.

Rafael Devers Is Your American League Player of the Week

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers has been named American League Player of the Week for August 12th through the 18th.

The 22-year-old put together quite the week at the plate against the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles, slashing .593/.633/1.185 with 10 extra-base hits, three of which being home runs, and 11 RBI over his last six games.

That stretch included a run of eight straight hits that began with a six-hit, four-double performance in Cleveland on Tuesday, marking the first time since at least 1908 that a major leaguer had achieved that feat, and extended into Wednesday.

Against the Orioles on Sunday, Devers became the first big leaguer this season to surpass the century mark in RBI with a two-run homer, his 27th, in the seventh inning of a 13-7 victory.

On the 2019 campaign as a whole, Devers leads American League third baseman in games played (123), runs scored (103), runs driven in (101), slugging percentage (.575), and is tied with Houston’s Alex Bregman atop the fWAR leaderboards (5.5).

2019 has certainly been a breakout year for Devers to say the least. In what is only his second full season in the majors, the breakout star appears to be a lock to finish in the top three for American League Most Valuable Player voting in the fall.

Red Sox’ Ninth-Ranked Prospect Jarren Duran Selected for 2019 MLB All-Star Futures Game

Rosters for the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game were announced on Friday, and the Red Sox will be sending just one representative to Cleveland next month in outfield prospect Jarren Duran.

Ranked as Boston’s ninth-best prospect on MLB.com, Duran will join 24 other prospects representing the American League in the Futures Game in Cleveland on July 7th.

For the last 20 years, the showcase was formatted so that the rosters were divided between U.S.-born and international-born players, but that all changes in 2019, as former Cleveland Indians great Jim Thome will be managing the American League side and long-time right-hander Dennis Martinez will be doing the same for the NL.

This honor is a first for Duran, who was promoted to Double-A Portland on June 3rd after a torrid start to the season with High-A Salem, where he led the Carolina League in hitting with a .387 batting average.

Initially, that promotion led to some struggles for the speedy 22-year-old, as he went just 6-for-38 (.158) with two doubles, one triple, and two RBI in his first 10 games with the Sea Dogs, but has since picked things up a bit over his last 11 contests, batting .250 (11-for-44) with one double and three runs driven in over that span.

Granted, Duran’s on-base percentage has fallen from .304 to .286 in that stretch, but that comes as his slugging percentage has slightly risen from .263 to .268 as well.

The call up to Portland has surely been a period of adjustment for the Sox’ 2018 seventh round draft pick out of Long Beach State, but to be named to the Futures Game in your first full season of professional baseball is pretty impressive nonetheless.

Red Sox’ Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez Will Not Start for American League in 2019 MLB All-Star Game

After both made it as starters in their first season as teammates in 2018, Mookie Betts and JD Martinez will not be starting in the 2019 All-Star Game.

Major League Baseball announced who will be starting for the American and National League in the 90th installment of the Midsummer Classic set to take place in Cleveland on July 9th, and neither Red Sox star made the cut.

Betts, 26, finished fifth in the fan vote among American League outfielders, sitting behind Mike Trout, George Springer, Michael Brantley, the starters, and Aaron Judge, the first runner-up.

Betts received 9.1% of the fan vote and should still get in as a reserve, as the reigning AL MVP has posted a .261/.379/.459 slash line to go along with 13 home runs and 37 RBI through exactly 80 games this season.

Martinez, meanwhile, finished second among the three Designated Hitter finalists, with the Texas Rangers’ Hunter Pence taking the first spot and the Minnesota Twins’ Nelson Cruz landing in third. Martinez received 31.2% of the fan vote.

Now in his second season with Boston, the 31-year-old slugger has put together a solid first half of to the 2019 campaign, slashing .287/.364/.528 with a team-leading 17 homers and 45 runs driven in over 72 games. He, like Betts, also has a decent chance to make it as a reserve.

Speaking of All-Star reserves, they, along with pitchers, will be announced on June 30th at 5:30 PM EDT on ESPN.

Per Red Sox Stats on Twitter, “The first 17 All-Star reserves are picked by the player ballot (backup at each spot, 5 starters, 3 relievers). The final 6 reserves are picked by the commissioner’s office. There is no final vote.”

Here is who will be starting in the 2019 All-Star Game for both the American and National League.

 

Ryan Weber Gets Roughed up for Seven Runs, Bullpen Doesn’t Fare Any Better as Frustration Builds for #RedSox in 14-9 Loss to Indians

The Red Sox were three outs away from winning their series against the Indians late Tuesday night. Now, less than 24 hours later, they head to the Bronx for a pivotal four-game set against the division-leading New York Yankees losers of their last two following a 14-9 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday.

Making his second start and fifth overall appearance for Boston in this one was Ryan Weber, who dazzled in rotation debut with six one-run innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last Thursday.

This time around though, the right-hander did not run into the same good fortunes, as he yielded a season-worst seven earned runs on eight hits, two walks, and one HBP to go along with just two strikeouts over four innings of work.

The Indians entered the week with one of the worst run-producing offenses in the American League, but you wouldn’t know that based on how aggressive they were to start this one off.

Beginning right away in the first, the Cleveland lineup jumped on Weber, with Oscar Mercado ripping a one-out single for his team’s first and hit and Carlos Santana tripling on a liner to right center to drive in his team’s first run.

A wild pitch that got past Christian Vazquez with Jason Kipnis at the plate allowed Santana to come in and score from third, and the Indians had themselves a two-run lead before even taking the field.

Things would not get any easier for Weber after escaping the first, not with Kevin Plawecki lining an RBI single to plate Jake Bauers in the second and Bauers and Greg Allen driving in a total of three runs on an RBI single and RBI triple in consecutive order in the third to put the Indians ahead 6-3.

In what would turn out to be his final frame of work in the fourth, Weber nearly retired the side in order, but not before serving up a two-out, solo shot to Santana, which gave Cleveland a four-run edge.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 82 (50 strikes), the 28-year-old turned to his curveball more than 52% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing the only four swings and misses he got all night with the pitch. He also topped out 89.9 MPH with his changeup, a pitch he threw 10 times.

Falling to 1-1 while seeing his ERA on the season inflate to 4.50, it’s unclear whether or not Weber will remain in Boston’s rotation, but assuming he does, his next start would come sometime next week against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City.

In relief of Weber, as the title mentions, the Red Sox bullpen did not fare much better than Wednesday’s starter did.

Josh Taylor, a 26-year-old left hander who was promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier Wednesday, allowed one run on two hits and one punchout in the fifth in what was his major league debut.

Colten Brewer, also recalled from Pawtucker on Wednesday, surrendered a pair of Cleveland runs on a two-RBI double off the bat of Jose Ramirez in the sixth.

Hector Velazquez came on in the seventh with his team trailing by an in-range four runs, and by the time he retired the side in the eighth, that deficit had doubled thanks to an RBI single from Lindor and three-RBI double from Santana, both of which were hit in the seventh.

So, actually, Velazquez  was one of the only two Red Sox pitchers all night to hold the Indians scoreless over an inning, with that inning being the eighth.

That other pitcher? Heath Hembree. Arguably the best reliever used by Sox manager Alex Cora, or at least the one with the most big league experience, maneuvered his way around two singles in an otherwise clean ninth inning to close out what was a miserable night for Boston on the mound.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against right-hander Shane Bieber for Cleveland, who entered Wednesday with just one career start at Fenway Park under his belt.

Falling behind by two runs before even reaching the midway point of the first inning, Mookie Betts got the scoring started for Boston right away in their half of the first, tattooing a one-out, 407 foot solo home run off of Bieber over the Monster to cut his team’s early deficit in half. Betts’ ninth of the season.

In the second, after falling behind by two runs once again, a pair of RBI doubles from Brock Holt and Andrew Benintendi, with Holt’s coming with no outs and Benintendi’s coming with two, pulled the Red Sox back even with the Tribe at three runs a piece.

That tie would not last long though, as Cleveland pushed across three additional runs in their half of the third as well as one more in the fourth to make it a 7-3 game.

Staying in that fourth inning, the Sox bats answered back with three runs of their own, all coming with two outs on a solo jack off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr., his fourth, and a two-run johnson off the bat of Benintendi, his sixth that also scored Christian Vazquez and trimmed Cleveland’s lead down to one run.

A 7-6 contest heading into the middle innings, the Indians eventually pulled away from the Red Sox by plating a total of seven runs through the middle of the seventh, and they would not have to look back.

In the eighth, facing off against Indians reliever AJ Cole, Xander Bogaerts attempted to breathe some life into a potential comeback attempt by blasting his 10th big fly of the year, a two-run shot to score himself as well as JD Martinez.

Two batters and one Jackie Bradley Jr. double later, Vazquez continued to make things somewhat interesting by driving in the man from second on his 20th run driven in of the season to cut Cleveland’s advantage to five runs.

And finally in the ninth, after Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, and Bogaerts loaded the bases with one out in the inning, the Red Sox bats could muster no more against Indians closer Brad Hand, with Eduardo Nunez pinch-hitting for Holt and popping out to third, and Michael Chavis grounding into a game-inning forceout at third base to wrap this one up at 14-9.

Some notes from this loss:

From Red Sox Stats:

Rafael Devers extended his hitting streak to nine games with a ninth inning single Wednesday.

Since the start of their last road trip, Jackie Bradley Jr. has raised his batting average from .144 to .185 in his last 10 games played. Wednesday marked his first three-hit game of the season, too.

Xander Bogaerts in May: .317/.405/.564. six home runs, 21 RBI in 24 games played.

The Red Sox are 2-4 in their last six games and currently sit 7.5 games back of first place in the American League East behind the New York Yankees, the team they will be playing next.

Last time the two rivals met up, the Yankees took both games at Yankee Stadium in their only matchup of 2019 thus far.

It’s only May 30th as this is being typed, but these next four-games could tip the scales in the race for the division crown. To say this weekend is important would be an understatement. Hostile territory. A whole lot on the line. This is when Red Sox-Yankees baseball thrives.

Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston in the opener, while fellow southpaw JA Happ will do the same for New York.

Sale (1-6, 4.19 ERA), also pitched in that first series in New York, where he surrendered four runs over five innings in a losing effort back on April 16th.

Since then, the Florida native has posted a 2.44 ERA and .158 batting average against over his last seven starts, although the Red Sox are only 3-4 in those games.

Happ, meanwhile is currently in the middle of his first full season with the Yankees, where he is 4-3 with a 5.09 ERA through 11 starts thus far.

Like Sale, Happ also worked in that two-game series back in April, an outing in which he allowed three runs over 6.1 innings in a contest New York eventually came away with.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox looking to make up some ground in the division.