Rich Hill to start for Red Sox against Rangers on Saturday

Rich Hill has rejoined the Red Sox in Texas and will start against the Rangers on Saturday night, he told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams) at Globe Life Field earlier Friday afternoon.

Hill has been sidelined since May 6 after being placed on the COVID-19 related injured list. It was revealed the following day that the 42-year-old had indeed tested positive for the virus.

Because he is vaccinated, Hill is eligible to be activated from the COVID IL in sooner than 10 days as long as he clears MLB protocols, which includes returning two negative tests.

As of this past Tuesday, Hill was no longer exhibiting virus-like symptoms and had been throwing on his own. The veteran left-hander will be making his sixth start of the season on Saturday and has thus far posted a 2.86 ERA and 3.85 FIP with 17 strikeouts to seven walks over 22 innings of work.

In order to make room for Hill, the Red Sox will have to return right-handed reliever John Schreiber to Triple-A Worcester since he has been serving as Hill’s COVID-related fill-in and does not currently count against the 40-man roster.

That being said, Schreiber has impressed out of the bullpen (1.83 FIP in 7 IP) and the Sox could look to keep him up in the majors on a more permanent basis. In order to do that, though, Boston would need to add Schreiber to its 40-man roster and remove someone else, likely by designating a player for assignment.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Rich Hill, Jason Varitek test positive for COVID-19

Red Sox left-hander Rich Hill and game planning coordinator/catching coach Jason Varitek have both tested positive for COVID-19, manager Alex Cora revealed before Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the White Sox at Fenway Park.

Hill was originally placed on the COVID-19 related injured list alongside Enrique Hernandez on Friday. Both players were exhibiting symptoms at that time but had yet to test positive for the virus.

Since then, Hernandez has been cleared to return to action. Hill, on the other hand, will need to register two negative tests or reach an appropriate CT (cycle threshold) value on-back-to-back days before he is eligible to return.

John Schreiber, who was called up in place of Hill on Friday, remains on Boston’s major-league roster. Garrett Whitlock, meanwhile, will take the veteran left-hander’s spot in the Sox’ starting rotation for Tuesday’s contest against the Braves in Atlanta.

As for Varitek, who tested positive a few days ago, Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) earlier Saturday that the former catcher was “feeling better.”

This should not come as a surprise, but both Hill and Varitek will remain away from the team until they are cleared to return.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Kiké Hernández from COVID-19 related injured list, option Jarren Duran to Triple-A Worcester

Before losing to the White Sox on Saturday night, the Red Sox announced that they had activated center fielder Enrique Hernandez from the COVID-19 related injured list. In a corresponding move, outfielder Jarren Duran was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

The Red Sox initially placed Hernandez on the COVID IL on Friday after the 30-year-old had been feeling under the weather the previous day, which left him out of Boston’s lineup for their series finale against the Angels at Fenway Park.

At that time, Hernandez had yet to test positive for COVID-19 despite exhibiting virus-like symptoms. That must have remained the case through Friday and into Saturday since he was able to make his return to the lineup on Saturday afternoon.

Starting in center field and batting sixth, Hernandez went 0-for-4 with one strikeout in Boston’s 3-1 loss to Chicago. The right-handed hitter is now slashing a meager .182/.252/.293 with eight doubles, one home run, 12 RBIs, 12 runs scored, nine walks, and 23 strikeouts over 25 games (111 plate appearances) this season.

Duran, on the other hand, made his 2022 debut in place of Hernandez on Friday night. The 25-year-old reached base two times via a triple and HBP while also striking out once in five trips to the plate.

Though Duran’s first big-league stint of the season was a short one, it would not be surprising if he made his way back up to the Red Sox later in the year, especially if the team remains uncompetitive. Before being promoted on Friday, the speedy left-handed hitter had batted .397/.478/.638 with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, 11 RBIs, 15 runs scored, seven stolen bases, nine walks, and 13 strikeouts across 15 games (67 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Kiké Hernández and Rich Hill on COVID-19 related injured list, recall Jarren Duran and John Schreiber from Triple-A Worcester

Before opening up a three-game weekend series against the White Sox at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Red Sox placed center fielder Enrique Hernandez and left-hander Rich Hill on the COVID-19 related injured list. In a corresponding move, outfielder Jarren Duran and right-hander John Schreiber have been recalled from Triple-A Worcester.

Neither Hernandez nor Hill, who are both vaccinated, have yet to test positive for COVID-19. However, the two veterans have been exhibiting virus-like symptoms and will remain away from the team as they continue testing.

Hernandez first started feeling ill on Thursday and was left out of the Sox’ lineup for their series finale against the Angels. Hill, on the other hand, made his fifth start of the season on Thursday and pitched well. Garrett Whitlock will take Hill’s spot in Boston’s rotation and start against the Braves in Atlanta next Wednesday.

Even though Hernandez or Hill have not yet registered positive test results, the Red Sox are allowed to place them on the COVID-related injured list since both players have exhibited symptoms. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Boston is acting out of an abundance of caution after three players — Christian Vazquez, Kevin Plawecki, and Jonathan Arauz — and manager Alex Cora all missed games last month after testing positive.

With Hernandez and Hill down for the time being, Duran and Schreiber are up. As was first reported by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Duran is up for the first time this season after getting off to a strong start in Worcester. The left-handed hitting 25-year-old was batting .397/.478/.638 with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, 11 RBIs, 15 runs scored, seven stolen bases, nine walks, and 13 strikeouts over his first 15 games (67 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

Upon making his big-league debut for Boston last July, Duran struggled to the tune of a 215/.241/.336 slash line with three doubles, two triples, two home runs, 10 RBIs, 17 runs scored, four walks, and 40 strikeouts across 112 plate appearances as a rookie. The speedster will be looking for redemption this time around as he will bat leadoff and start in center field in his 2022 debut on Friday.

Schreiber, meanwhile, is up with the Sox for the second time this season after being used as a COVID substitute in Toronto. In two relief appearances against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on April 27 and 28, the righty retired seven of the eight batters he faced while allowing just one hit and recording one strikeout. With the WooSox this year, he has posted a 1.46 ERA with 15 strikeouts to three walks over seven appearances spanning 12 1/3 innings of work.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox reinstate Kevin Plawecki from COVID-19 related injured list, option Connor Wong to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have reinstated catcher Kevin Plawecki from the COVID-19 related injured the list, the team announced before Monday’s series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto. In a corresponding move, fellow backstop Connor Wong was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

Plawecki, who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, initially tested positive for the virus last Monday and was placed on the COVID-related IL as a result. Since he is vaccinated, the 31-year-old was eligible to return sooner than 10 days so long as he registered two negative PCR tests, showed no signs of a fever, and received approval from the joint COVID medical committee.

In total, Plawecki missed seven games while sidelined due to COVID-19. Before that, the right-handed hitter appeared in four games for Boston and went 1-for-10 with one RBI, one run scored, one walk, and four strikeouts. He will be batting ninth and catching Nathan Eovaldi to begin things on Monday at Rogers Centre.

Wong, meanwhile, was called up for the first time this season when Plawecki tested positive on April 18. The 25-year-old caught two games in the Sox’ last series against the Jays at Fenway Park and went 1-for-6 with one RBI and one strikeout.

With Plawecki being reinstated, the only Red Sox player who remains on the COVID-19 related injured list is infielder Jonathan Arauz, who tested positive one day after Plawecki did.

Elsewhere, Sox manager Alex Cora has yet to re-join the team after testing positive last Thursday. Acting manager Will Venable told reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) earlier Monday that Cora is feeling better and has not been ruled out for the Blue Jays series, though he has not yet been cleared to return either.

(Picture of Kevin Plawecki: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Red Sox reinstate Christian Vázquez from COVID-19 related injured list, option Ronaldo Hernández to Triple-A Worcester

Before Wednesday’s contest against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park, the Red Sox reinstated Christian Vazquez from the COVID-19 related injured list. In a corresponding roster move, fellow backstop Ronaldo Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

The Red Sox originally placed Vazquez on the COVID IL on Tuesday after he tested positive for the virus. Because the 31-year-old is vaccinated, though, he was able to return as soon as he cleared Major League Baseball’s protocols, which include registering two negative PCR tests and not showing signs of a fever.

Even with Vazquez back in the fold and active, Connor Wong is still slated to start behind the plate for Boston and catch right-hander Nick Pivetta on Tuesday night.

By reinstating Vazquez on Wednesday, the Sox now have just two players on the COVID-19 related injured list in catcher Kevin Plawecki and infielder Jonathan Arauz.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox call up top catching prospect Ronaldo Hernández, place left-hander Rich Hill on bereavement list

In addition to the moves they made earlier Tuesday, the Red Sox also recalled catcher Ronaldo Hernandez from Triple-A Worcester and placed left-hander Rich Hill on the bereavement list before taking on the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

The move to call up Hernandez was expected and comes in the wake of fellow catchers Christian Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki being placed on the COVID-19 related injured list within the last two days.

When Boston placed Plawecki on the COVID IL on Monday morning, they recalled Connor Wong from Worcester. Wong will start behind the plate and catch Nathan Eovaldi in Tuesday night’s series opener against the Jays. Hernandez, meanwhile, will serve as the Sox’ second catcher.

The two backstops will likely split time behind the plate in the absence of Vazquez and Plawecki. Since both Vazquez and Plawecki tested positive for the virus, they could be out for the next 10 days. That said, Major League Baseball’s health and safety policy for 2022 dictates that players who test positive can return to action sooner if they clear certain protocols.

As for Hernandez, the Colombian-born catcher was originally acquired by the Red Sox from the Rays in the February 2021 trade that sent pitchers Chris Mazza and Jeffrey Springs to Tampa Bay. He came into the 2022 season regarded by Baseball America as the No. 27 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking first among backstops in the organization.

After spending the majority of the 2021 campaign with Double-A Portland, Hernandez earned a late-season promotion to Worcester and posted an .844 OPS in seven games with the affiliate.

Coming off an off-season in which he played six games in the Dominican Winter League, Hernandez broke camp this spring with the WooSox and has batted .143/.143/.214 with two doubles, four RBIs, and three runs scored across seven games spanning 28 plate appearances.

The 24-year-old right-handed hitter was already on Boston’s 40-man roster and is now in line to become the first member of the 2022 Red Sox to make their major-league debut as he takes Hill’s roster spot for the time being.

Hill — who was placed on the bereavement list — lost his father, Lloyd, at the age of 94 last week. The veteran left-hander made his second start of the season just three days after his father’s passing on Monday and is still slated to make his next scheduled start against the Rays in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

That being said, Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) that he is not yet committing to Hill, who will be away from the team for the next few days while attending his father’s services in Milton.

(Picture of Ronaldo Hernandez: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Christian Vázquez, Jonathan Araúz placed on COVID-19 related injured list; Tyler Danish, Rob Refsnyder called up from Triple-A Worcester

Before opening up a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Tuesday, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, catcher Christian Vazquez and infielder Jonathan Arauz were both placed on the COVID-19 related injured list. Secondly, right-hander Tyler Danish was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, while outfielder Rob Refsnyder was selected to the active roster from Worcester.

Vazquez heads to the COVID-19 related injured list one day after fellow backstop Kevin Plawecki and two other unidentified staff members tested positive for the virus on Monday. With Arauz joining them, the trio could be out of action for the next 10 days.

That being said, it is not yet known if Arauz or Vazquez have tested positive for COVID-19 themselves. Under Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols for the 2022 season, players who test positive can return in less than 10 days if they return two negative PCR tests, show no sign of a fever, and receive approval from a team medical official and MLB’s joint COVID medical committee.

Still, with Plawecki and Vazquez sidelined for the time being, Connor Wong — who was called up in place of Plawecki on Monday — is currently the only active catcher on Boston’s big-league roster. The 25-year-old will bat ninth and catch Nathan Eovaldi in Tuesday’s opener against Toronto.

While Wong remains the lone backstop on the Sox’ 28-man roster for now, top catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez was spotted at Fenway Park on Tuesday and is expected to be called up for the first time before first pitch at 7:10 p.m.. Hernandez, 24, is already on the 40-man roster but a corresponding move will still need to be made in order for the Colombian to join Wong on the major-league squad.

With the likes of Arauz and Vazquez, the Red Sox were able to clear a 40-man roster spot for Refsnyder, who originally inked a minor-league deal with the club in December. After not making Boston’s Opening Day roster out of spring training, the 31-year-old accepted his assignment to Worcester and has thrived there thus far.

In 11 games with the WooSox, the right-handed hitting Refsnyder has batted .400/.551/.600 with four doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, 12 runs scored, one stolen base, nine walks, and eight strikeouts over 49 plate appearances. He has also seen playing time in both center and right field.

Danish, meanwhile, was already on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster after being selected to it on April 4. The 27-year-old right-hander was then optioned to Worcester to begin the 2022 campaign, but has yet to allow a run through his first three appearances (three innings pitched) out of the WooSox’ bullpen.

Following Tuesday’s series of transactions, the Red Sox now have 38 active players on their 40-man roster. Of the 28 players on Boston’s big-league roster, 16 are pitchers and 12 are position players. That composition is likely to change when Hernandez is officially promoted.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox expected to call up top catching prospect Ronaldo Hernández from Triple-A Worcester, per report

The Red Sox are expected to call up catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez from Triple-A Worcester, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com. As noted by Cotillo, Hernandez has been active on Instagram, sharing stories of people congratulating him on getting promoted.

The timing of Hernandez’s call-up is certainly interesting, as the Red Sox just recalled fellow catcher Connor Wong from Worcester after placing Kevin Plawecki on the COVID-19 related injured list due to a positive test ahead of Monday afternoon’s loss to the Twins at Fenway Park.

With that, it seems likely that Hernandez — who is already on Boston’s 40-man roster — could be replacing either Wong or Christian Vazquez on the major-league squad before Tuesday’s series opener against the Blue Jays.

Hernandez, 24, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 27 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking tops among catchers in the organization. The Red Sox originally acquired the native Colombian (and infielder Nick Sogard) from the Rays in exchange for right-handers Chris Mazza and Jeffrey Springs last February.

After spending the majority of the 2021 campaign with Double-A Portland, Hernandez was promoted to Worcester in late September. He played winter ball in the Domincan Republic and broke camp this spring with the WooSox.

In seven games for the WooSox thus far, the right-handed hitter has gone 4-for-28 (.173) at the plate with two doubles, four RBIs, three runs scored, no walks, and eight strikeouts. He has also thrown out one of three base runners who have attempted to steal off him.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 247 pounds, Hernandez is known more for his abilities as a slugger than a defensive stalwart behind the plate, though he does possess plus arm strength. Still, with just one minor-league option year remaining, this could prove to be a worthwhile opportunity for Hernandez, who is in line to become the first member of the 2022 Red Sox to make their big-league debut.

(Picture of Ronaldo Hernandez: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Kevin Plawecki on COVID-19 related injured list after catcher tests positive for virus; Connor Wong recalled from Triple-A Worcester

Before taking on the Twins on Monday morning, the Red Sox placed Kevin Plawecki on the COVID-19 related injured list after the catcher tested positive for the virus.

In a corresponding move, fellow backstop Connor Wong was recalled from Triple-A Worcester and will be active for Monday’s series finale, the team announced.

In addition to Plawecki, two unidentified Red Sox staff members (not coaches) have also tested positive for the virus, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) prior to Monday’s contest against the Twins.

Plawecki, who is fully vaccinated, arrived at Fenway Park Monday morning per usual but was seen leaving in street clothes approximately one hour before first pitch.

The 31-year-old could be out for the next 10 days, though he could return sooner if he has two negative PCR tests, no fever, and receives approval from the joint COVID medical committee since he is vaccinated.

In the midst of his third season with the Sox, Plawecki has gone 1-for-10 with one RBI, one run scored, one walk, and four strikeouts through his first four games of the 2022 campaign.

Wong, meanwhile, made his major-league debut for Boston last year and went 4-for-13 (.308) with one RBI, three runs scored, one walk, and seven strikeouts over six games. So far this season, the 25-year-old has appeared in four games with the WooSox.

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