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)