Before taking on the Tigers in the second game of a three-game series at Comerica Park on Wednesday night, the Red Sox reinstated closer Matt Barnes from the COVID-19 related injured list.
In a corresponding move, infielder Jonathan Arauz was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced Wednesday afternoon.
Barnes’ stay on the COVID related injured list winds up being a short one, as the right-handed reliever only missed Tuesday’s contest after his PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test came back negative Tuesday night.
Upon arriving in Detroit earlier this week, Barnes — as well as one other unidentified player — were feeling under the weather and exhibiting symptoms that run consistent with the virus, resulting in the closer having to quarantine at the team hotel.
Barnes, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, must have woke up Wednesday morning in much better spirits, as he will be available to pitch in the middle game of this three-game set against Detroit.
“He’s here, he feels good and he’s available,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Barnes. “If we get the lead, we’ll give him the ball.”
In 43 appearances out of the Boston bullpen so far this season, the first-time All-Star has posted a 2.30 ERA and 2.14 FIP to go along with 66 strikeouts to just 11 walks over 43 innings of work in which he has converted 23 of a possible 27 save opportunities.
Arauz, meanwhile, sees his second big-league stint of the season come to a close as he was sent down to Worcester in order to make room for Barnes on the 26-man roster.
In his most recent stay with the Red Sox, the 23-year-old appeared in three games, going 2-for-6 (.333) at the plate with one walk and two strikeouts over seven trips to the plate while playing second base and serving as a pinch-runner.
As he makes his return to the WooSox, Arauz carries with him a batting line of .224/.315/.355 to go along with four doubles, one triple, six home runs, 27 RBI, 24 runs scored, two stolen bases, 26 walks, and 38 strikeouts over 55 games (213 plate appearances) at the Triple-A level so far this season.
(Picture of Matt Barnes: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)