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)