Red Sox roster moves: Josh Winckowski activated from COVID-19 related injured list; Darwinzon Hernandez, Connor Seabold optioned to Triple-A Worcester; Phillips Valdez designated for assignment

The Red Sox have activated right-hander Josh Winckowski from the COVID-19 related injured list, the club announced before Tuesday’s game against the Guardians at Fenway Park.

In order to make room for Winckowski on the major-league roster, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Worcester. In order to make room for Winckowski on the 40-man roster, fellow righty Phillips Valdez was designated for assignment.

Additionally, right-hander Connor Seabold was activated from the 15-day injured list and — like Hernandez — was optioned to Worcester following Monday night’s 3-1 win over Cleveland.

Winckowski returns from the COVID-related injured list after testing positive for the virus on July 13. The 24-year-old, who is vaccinated, has posted a 4.38 ERA and 4.26 FIP with 26 strikeouts to 14 walks over seven starts (37 innings pitched) since making his major-league debut for Boston in late May. He will make his eighth start of the season on Tuesday night.

Hernandez made his season debut for the Red Sox on July 14 after missing the previous two months while recovering from surgery to repair a torn right meniscus. The 25-year-old Venezuelan allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits, two walks, and six strikeouts across four relief appearances spanning 3 2/3 innings of work. With the WooSox, he has pitched to a 5.09 ERA over 23 innings.

Valdez, meanwhile, was originally claimed off waivers from the Mariners in February 2020. The Dominican-born reliever impressed during the shortened 2020 season but has mainly been shuttled between Boston and Worcester for the better part of the last two years.

In 13 appearances for the Red Sox this season, Valdez produced a 4.41 ERA — but much more respectable 3.92 FIP — to go along with 13 strikeouts to seven walks over 16 2/3 innings pitched. Boston will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or sneak the 30-year-old hurler through waivers. If Valdez clears waivers, he could be outrighted to Worcester and remain in the organization as a non-40-man player.

As for Seabold, the 26-year-old was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm extensor strain on July 9, one day after he surrendered seven runs to the Yankees in just 2 2/3 innings. Regarded by Baseball America as the No. 8 prospect in Boston’s farm system, Seabold owns a 2.09 ERA with 51 strikeouts to 14 walks over 11 starts (51 2/3 innings) for the WooSox this season.

Following Tuesday’s series of moves, the Red Sox’ 26-man and 40-man rosters are both at full capacity.

(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester ahead of Josh Winckowski’s return from COVID-19 related injured list

Following Monday night’s 3-1 win over the Guardians at Fenway Park, the Red Sox optioned left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

With Josh Winckowski slated to be activated from the COVID-19 related injured list and start against Cleveland on Tuesday, the Sox needed to clear a spot on their 26-man roster for the rookie right-hander.

They have accomplished this by optioning Hernandez, but will still need to create a 40-man roster spot for Winckowski since players on the COVID IL do not count against it and Boston’s 40-man roster is currently at full capacity.

Taking that into consideration, it’s certainly possible that someone like Phillips Valdez — who was optioned to Worcester on July 15 — could be designated for assignment at some point on Tuesday to create that 40-man opening for Winckowski.

Hernandez began the 2022 season at Worcester and made seven starts before suffering a torn right meniscus that ultimately required surgery in late May. The 25-year-old southpaw returned to action for the WooSox earlier this month and did not allow a run across four relief appearances before getting called up to Boston when Winckowski was placed on the COVID IL on July 14.

In his return to the Red Sox bullpen, Hernandez had posted a 3.86 ERA in his first three outings of the year before getting shelled for five runs (four earned) on six hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings in Friday’s 28-5 loss to the Blue Jays.

Winckowski, meanwhile, made his major-league debut on May 28 and has since produced a 4.38 ERA (4.26 FIP) to go along with 26 strikeouts to 14 walks over seven starts spanning 37 innings of work for the Red Sox. The 24-year-old pitched well in his last time out against the Rays at Tropicana Field on July 13, yielding three runs on four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts across six solid frames.

That same night, Winckowski — who is vaccinated — reported COVID-like symptoms to the team and later tested positive for the virus. He was placed on the COVID-related injured list the following day and remained in Florida while in isolation.

Now fully recovered, Winckowski will make his eighth start of the season on Tuesday night. Back on June 25, the Ohio-born righty allowed two runs and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings against the Guardians at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The Guardians, on the other hand, have not yet named a starter for Tuesday’s contest. That being said, first pitch from Fenway Park is still scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Darwinzon Hernandez: Elsa/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Josh Winckowski on COVID-19 related injured list, recall Darwinzon Hernandez from Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have placed right-hander Josh Winckowski on the COVID-19 related injured list. In a corresponding move, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez has been recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Rays.

Winckowski, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, has tested positive for the virus. The 24-year-old could be out for the next 10 days, though he could return sooner if he registers two negative PCR tests, goes more than 24 hours without a fever, and receives approval from Major League Baseball’s joint medical committee.

Since making his major-league debut in May, Winckowski has made seven starts for the Red Sox, posting a 4.38 ERA and 4.25 FIP to go along with 26 strikeouts to 14 walks over 37 innings of work. Considering that the rookie hurler started against the Rays on Wednesday, he was unlikely to pitch again before the All-Star break.

While on the COVID-19 related injured list, Winckowski will not count against Boston’s 40-man roster, which currently sits at 39 players.

Hernandez, meanwhile, returns to the Red Sox for the first time this season. The 25-year-old southpaw did not make the Opening Day roster out of spring training and was instead sent down to Worcester to work on a starter’s schedule.

Seven starts into his season with the WooSox, Hernandez suffered a torn right meniscus that ultimately required him to undergo knee surgery in late May. The native Venezuelan was sidelined for a little more than two months before being activated from Worcester’s injured list on July 4.

In four relief appearances for the WooSox since then, Hernandez has yet to allow a run while scattering two hits, two walks, and six strikeouts across 3 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.

With the Red Sox last year, Hernandez posted a 3.38 ERA and 4.80 FIP with 54 strikeouts to 31 walks over 48 outings spanning 40 innings of relief.

(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Kevin Plawecki on COVID-19 related injured list, recall Connor Wong From Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have placed catcher Kevin Plawecki on the COVID-19 related injured list. In a corresponding move, fellow backstop Connor Wong was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced prior to Monday’s game against the Rays.

It is unclear if Plawecki, who is vaccinated, has tested positive for COVID-19. MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports that the 31-year-old is exhibiting COVID-like symptoms and is currently awaiting test results. He was previously sidelined from April 18-25 after testing positive for the virus.

By placing Plawecki on the COVID-related injured list, the Red Sox have cleared a spot on their 40-man roster, which now sits at 39 players. As noted by Cotillo, that is significant since it means they will not have to create an opening when they activate left-hander Chris Sale from the 60-day injured list ahead of his 2022 debut on Tuesday.

Boston will, however, need to make room on its 40-man roster for Plawecki once he is cleared to return to action. Plawecki came into play Monday slashing .156/.267/.221 with one home run and five RBIs in 30 games (91 plate appearances) this season.

Wong, meanwhile, will serve as the Sox’ backup catcher while Plawecki is out. He is active for Monday’s series opener at Tropicana Field.

This will mark Wong’s second stint of the season with the big-league club. The 26-year-old appeared in two games back in April and went 1-for-6 with an RBI. In 57 games with the WooSox this season, the right-handed hitting Wong has batted .267/.340/.404 (101 wRC+) to go along with 13 doubles, six home runs, 20 RBIs, 29 runs scored, and seven stolen bases across 250 trips to the plate.

By recalling Wong, the Red Sox now have all three players they acquired from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade on their major-league roster. Wong joins the likes of Alex Verdugo and Jeter Downs in Tampa Bay.

(Picture of Kevin Plawecki: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox reinstate Christian Arroyo from COVID-19 related injured list

Before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Guardians in Cleveland on Friday night, the Red Sox reinstated utility man Christian Arroyo from the COVID-19 related injured list. A corresponding move was not needed since infielder Jeter Downs was optioned to Triple-A Worcester on Thursday.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, had been sidelined for the last nine days after testing positive for the virus on June 15. The versatile 27-year-old began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts over the course of two games.

With the Red Sox this season, the right-handed hitting Arroyo has batted just .187/.227/.319 with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 17 strikeouts over 34 games (98 plate appearances) while getting playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and in right field.

In his return to Boston’s lineup on Friday, Arroyo will bat ninth and start at shortstop as Xander Bogaerts has the night off. First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo on second bout with COVID-19, rehab assignment with WooSox, adjusting to the outfield, and more

WORCESTER — With the Red Sox optioning Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester on Thursday, the expectation is that Christian Arroyo will be activated from the COVID-19 related injured list ahead of Friday night’s series opener against the Guardians in Cleveland.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated, has been on the COVID-related IL since June 15 after testing positive for the virus in Boston. He previously tested positive for it last August and spent more than three weeks on the COVID-related IL as a result.

This time around, the 27-year-old utility man says COVID did not hit him as hard. He had one really bad day, but it was being stuck in his house due to virus-related protocols that was more frustrating than anything.

“It’s six days in my house and another week of not doing anything,” Arroyo said at Polar Park on Wednesday. “Not playing, it sucks.”

Arroyo began a rehab assignment with the WooSox on Tuesday. The right-handed hitter got into two games and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts. All three of those punchouts came while he played five innings at shortstop in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Charlotte Knights.

“Obviously, the results I had tonight aren’t necessarily me as a player or what I can do as a player,” said Arroyo. “But the most important thing is that I feel fine, I feel good. I try not to stress too much on the results stuff. Obviously, tonight was a tough night. But that’s baseball. You’re going to have tough nights. It is what it is.”

After dealing with a plethora of injuries — including a left hand contusion, right knee contusion, and left hamstring strain — last season, Arroyo took note of the fact that it took less time for him to get up to speed coming off his second bout with COVID.

“It was a quick turnaround for me this time,” he said. “Last year, I had some physical injuries. Hand, knee, hamstring stuff, which was a little different. It’s a little different protocol. But with the COVID stuff, it’s a lot easier this time around.”

One thing that may have helped Arroyo on his road to recovery is a tea recipe sent to him by Red Sox manager Alex Cora. As Cora, who tested positive for COVID back in April, explained to reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) last week, it’s a family recipe that consists of honey, ginger, onion, and pineapple, among other ingredients.

“It was good, it tasted good,” Arroyo said, smiling. “My wife (Jessica) made it for me and it was solid. So we’ll be using that one again.”

As Arroyo prepares to rejoin the Red Sox, he will once again be returning to his role as one of the club’s most versatile players. Prior to testing positive for COVID, he had appeared in two games at first base, six games at second base, one game at third base, eight games at shortstop, and 15 games in right field.

Arroyo had never played the outfield professionally before the 2022 season began. He has learned how to become an outfielder on the fly with the help of his teammates and bench coach, who is a former big-league outfielder himself.

“It hasn’t been bad, it’s been fine,” Arroyo said of his acclimation to the outfield. “Definitely is an adjustment. It’s a lot tougher of a position than people like Jackie Bradley Jr. make it look. But I’ve obviously got a good staff in the big-leagues. Will (Venable) has helped me out a lot, Jackie’s helped me out a lot, Kiké (Hernández) has helped me out a lot. Even talking to Dugie (Alex Verdugo), it’s been good.”

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo tests positive for COVID-19

Red Sox utility man Christian Arroyo has tested positive for COVID-19 and has therefore been placed on the COVID-19 related injured list, manager Alex Cora announced prior to Wednesday’s game against the Athletics.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated against the virus, was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup shortly before first pitch due to illness. He was replaced by Franchy Cordero and was subsequently entered into COVID protocols.

Since Arroyo has indeed tested positive for COVID-19 and is not just exhibiting symptoms, it is unlikely that he will be able to return to the Red Sox within the next few days.

Instead, the 27-year-old could be sidelined for the next 10 days, though there is a chance he comes back before then if he registers two consecutive COVID-19 tests (taken at least 24 hours apart) and does not exhibit any virus-like symptoms.

In 34 games with Boston this season, the right-handed hitting Arroyo has slashed .187/.227/.319 with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 17 strikeouts over 98 plate appearances. He has seen playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and right field.

With Arroyo on the COVID injured list, the Red Sox have recalled outfielder Jarren Duran from Triple-A Worcester. The speedy Duran will bat leadoff and start in center field on Wednesday. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox call up Jarren Duran from Triple-A Worcester, place Christian Arroyo on COVID-19 related injured list

The Red Sox are going to call up outfielder Jarren Duran from Triple-A Worcester before Wednesday’s game against the Athletics at Fenway Park, according to The Boston Globe’s Speier. The move has since been made official, the team announced.

Duran will take the roster spot of utility man Christian Arroyo, who was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup because of illness and is expected to be placed on the COVID-19 related injured list. Arroyo, who is vaccinated, tested positive for the virus, Red Sox manager Alex Cora revealed during his weekly hit on WEEI.

This will mark Duran’s third stint with the Red Sox this season. The speedy 25-year-old previously filled in for Enrique Hernandez, who spent one day on the COVID-19 related injured list back in May, and Jackie Bradley Jr., who missed Boston’s series in Oakland earlier this month while on paternity leave.

In three games with the big-league club, Duran has gone 4-for-13 (.308) at the plate with one triple, two runs scored, and five strikeouts while seeing time in both center and right field. With the WooSox this season, the left-handed hitter is batting .305/.379/.531 (140 wRC+) with 12 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 28 RBIs, 34 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 20 walks, and 48 strikeouts over 43 games spanning 198 plate appearances. He hit his sixth homer of the year at Polar Park on Tuesday.

By swapping Arroyo for Duran, the Red Sox now have five outfielders available to them in Duran, Bradley Jr., Franchy Cordero, Rob Refsnyder, and Alex Verdugo. Hernandez, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right hip flexor strain on June 8, remains sidelined for the time being.

In addition to Duran, Boston is also promoting right-hander Josh Winckowski from Worcester to make his second career major-league start against Oakland on Wednesday night. The club will presumably make room for Winckowski by optioning another pitcher to Triple-A.

(Picture of Jarren Duran: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Matt Strahm from COVID-19 related injured list, place Matt Barnes on 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation

Before wrapping up their two-game interleague series against the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park on Wednesday, the Red Sox activated left-hander Matt Strahm from the COVID-19 related injured list.

In order to make room for Strahm on the active roster, right-hander Matt Barnes was placed on the 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation, the team announced.

Strahm’s stay on the COVID-related IL lasted all of 48 hours after he was placed on it before Monday night’s 10-0 loss to the Orioles. The 30-year-old southpaw has been one of Alex Cora’s most trusted relievers this season, posting a 3.68 ERA and 1.77 FIP with 16 strikeouts to just three walks over 18 appearances spanning 14 2/3 innings of work.

Barnes, meanwhile, is in the midst of his worst season as a big-leaguer. The 31-year-old has posted a dismal 7.94 ERA and 5.32 FIP with 14 strikeouts to 12 walks across 20 outings and 17 innings pitched in 2022.

That Barnes has struggled as much as he has this year can be attributed to the difficulties he also endured during the second half of last season. Since signing a two-year, $18.75 million extension with the Sox in July, the former first-round draft pick has pitched to a 7.01 ERA and 5.49 FIP over his last 34 2/3 innings.

Since Barnes’ stint on the injured list is retroactive to May 31, the hard-throwing righty would be eligible to return to action as soon as June 15, when the Red Sox host the Oakland Athletics in Boston.

On the flip side of that, though, the Sox could elect to send Barnes out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester to have him work on things there with WooSox pitching coach Paul Abbott. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, any rehab assignment can last up to 30 days, ” so the Red Sox can keep Barnes off their roster for a significant amount of time if they so choose.”

Following Wednesday’s transaction, the Red Sox now have Strahm, Ryan Brasier, Tyler Danish, Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, Tanner Houck, Hirokazu Sawamura, John Schreiber, and Phillips Valdez in their active bullpen.

Hansel Robles, who was placed on the 15-day injured list because of back spasms on Saturday, could be activated during Boston’s upcoming west coast road trip, Cora told reporters (including Cotillo) on Tuesday.

(Picture of Matt Strahm: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Matt Strahm on COVID-19 related injured list, recall Hirokazu Sawamura from Triple-A Worcester

Before wrapping up their five-game series against the Orioles at Fenway Park on Monday night, the Red Sox placed left-handed reliever Matt Strahm on the COVID-19 related injured list.

In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever Hirokazu Sawamura was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced.

At this time, it is not yet clear if Strahm has tested positive for COVID-19 or is simply experiencing virus-like symptoms. Through 18 relief appearances this season, the 30-year-old southpaw has posted a 3.68 ERA and 1.77 FIP with 16 strikeouts to three walks over 14 2/3 innings of work.

Sawamura, meanwhile, returns from Worcester after being optioned there on Saturday. Unsurprisingly, the Japanese-born righty did not get into a game with the WooSox. This season with the big-league club, he has produced a 3.60 ERA and 3.47 FIP to go along with 13 strikeouts to six walks across 18 appearances spanning 15 innings pitched.

Following Monday’s roster move, the Red Sox will now be without Strahm and Hansel Robles (on the 10-day injured list due to back spasms) for the time being. Alex Cora’s bullpen currently consists of the likes of Sawamura, Matt Barnes, Jake Diekman, Austin Davis, John Schreiber, Tyler Danish, Ryan Brasier and Phillips Valdez. Tanner Houck could be included there, too, but he is not available to pitch on Monday, per Cora.

(Picture of Matt Strahm: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)