Red Sox outright Eduard Bazardo to Triple-A Worcester after right-hander clears waivers

Three days after designating him for assignment, the Red Sox announced on Sunday that right-hander Eduard Bazardo had cleared waivers and had been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester.

Bazardo, 26, was one of two pitchers (the other being Ralph Garza Jr.) Boston designated for assignment last Thursday in order to clear 40-man roster spots for the additions of Hansel Robles and Travis Shaw.

While Garza Jr. was quickly claimed by the division rival Rays, Bazardo remains in the Red Sox organization after spending a few days in limbo.

The Venezuelan-born righty was originally signed by Boston for just $8,000 as an international free agent in 2014. It took some time for Bazardo to rise to relevance, but he did so at fall instructs in 2020, where he displayed increased fastball velocity to ultimately earn a spot on the Sox’ 40-man roster that November.

The Red Sox added Bazardo to their 40-man roster in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. He made two appearances (including his debut) with the big-league club in 2021, though he was also sidelined for about three months due to a right lat strain.

During spring training this year, Bazardo was used in just one Grapefruit League game before losing his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster ahead of Opening Day. According to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the 6-foot, 187 pound hurler was completely healthy.

“That decision goes above me,” Cora said on Thursday. “He was healthy and he pitched on the backfields. He only pitched in one game but everything went fine. Our roster is becoming harder and harder, especially the last two years. That’s a good problem to have, right? Because you have good pitchers, good players. It was a tough decision toward the end. There were a few guys that we talk about it.”

Cora had also been hopeful that Bazardo would clear waivers and stick with the organization as a non-40-man player, which turned out to be the case.

Now that he has been outrighted to Worcester, Bazardo joins an intriguing WooSox bullpen that includes others with major-league experience such as Taylor Cole, Tyler Danish, Michael Feliz, Geoff Hartlieb, Derek Holland, Kaleb Ort, and John Schreiber.

Considering that he has two minor-league option years remaining and does not turn 27 until September, it would not be all that surprising if Bazardo found his way back into the Red Sox’ bullpen mix at some point down the line.

(Picture of Eduard Bazardo: David Berding/Getty Images)

Red Sox designate Eduard Bazardo for assignment: ‘It was a tough decision toward the end,’ Alex Cora says

The Red Sox made a surprising decision on Thursday when they elected to designate right-hander Eduard Bazardo for assignment. Boston needed to clear two 40-man roster spots in order to add Hansel Robles and Travis Shaw to the major-league roster. They did so by designating Bazardo and fellow righty Ralph Garza Jr.

While Garza Jr. has already been claimed off waivers by the Rays, Bazardo remains in limbo for the time being.

Originally signed out of Venezuela for just $8,000 in 2014, Bazardo rose to relevance in 2020 when he showed improved velocity on his fastball during fall instructs. The Sox added Bazardo to their 40-man roster that November in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

Last season, Bazardo made his major-league debut in April but missed significant time on the 60-day injured list because of a right lat strain suffered with Triple-A Worcester in May.

The 26-year-old spent more time with Worcester than he did in Boston in 2021, but there was no reason to believe he could not compete for a spot in the Red Sox’ Opening Day bullpen this spring.

Instead, Bazardo appeared in just one Grapefruit League game before being optioned to Worcester on April 2. He did not appear in either of the WooSox’ first two games and wound up losing his spot on the 40-man roster five days after getting sent down.

When speaking with reporters at Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon, Red Sox manager Alex Cora was asked why Bazardo was designated for assignment. His response?

“That decision goes above me,” Cora said. “He was healthy and he pitched on the backfields. He only pitched in one game but everything went fine. Our roster is becoming harder and harder, especially the last two years. That’s a good problem to have, right? Because you have good pitchers, good players. It was a tough decision toward the end. There were a few guys that we talk about it.”

Now that he has been designated, the Sox have the next seven days to either trade, release, or place Bazardo on outright waivers. Given the fact he does not turn 27 until September and still has two minor-league option years remaining, it seems likely the 6-foot, 187 pound hurler could land elsewhere via a waiver claim.

With that being said, though, Cora is understandably hopeful that Bazardo will clear waivers and remain with the Red Sox organization as a non-40-man roster player.

“In a selfish way, hopefully he’s with us whenever the process ends,” said Cora. “If not, I know he’s a good one. He grew up a lot two years ago and he’s still developing. Let’s see how the process goes.”

(Picture of Eduard Bazardo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Eduard Bazardo, Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester, inform Derek Holland he will not make Opening Day roster

Following Sunday’s 7-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Pirates at JetBlue Park, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves. First off, right-hander Eduard Bazardo and left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez were both optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

Secondly, right-hander Kaleb Ort, left-hander Derek Holland, outfielder Christin Stewart, and infielder Yolmer Sanchez were all reassigned to minor-league camp.

By cutting these six players from their major-league spring training roster, the Sox now have 34 players at big-league camp in Fort Myers. They will need to make six more cuts before Opening Day against the Yankees in the Bronx on Thursday.

It is undoubtedly surprising to see Hernandez not make Boston’s Opening Day roster, especially when considering the fact that fellow left-hander Josh Taylor is sidelined because of a back injury.

Hernandez, 25, is coming off a 2021 season in which he posted a 3.38 ERA and 4.80 FIP to go along with 54 strikeouts to 31 walks over 48 relief appearances spanning 40 innings of work. The Venezuelan-born southpaw had appeared in just two games this spring, with his most-recent outing coming on March 25.

Bazardo, on the other hand, debuted for the Red Sox last year and made just two appearances at the big-league level. With the Triple-A Worcester, the 26-year-old produced an 8.74 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 12:5 across 11 appearances and 11 1/3 innings pitched.

Though they will start the season with the WooSox, both Bazardo and Hernandez should figure into Boston’s bullpen plans at some point this year.

As for the six non-roster invitees who were reassigned to minor-league camp, Holland is the most notable since he has the most major-league experience as well as the ability to opt out of his deal.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora informed Holland, who inked a minors pact with Boston on March 18, on Saturday that he would not be making the Opening Day roster.

Holland, a veteran of 13 seasons, can now test the free agency waters again if he so chooses, though Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) that the 35-year-old lefty has not made a decision yet.

“We talked with Derek,” Cora said. “We were honest with him. He’s not going to make the team. So we’ll see where he’s at during the weekend. Obviously a lefty. Lefties with a heartbeat, they always have a chance. But no, no. Great impression. Good stuff yesterday. It’s just a matter of where we’re at roster-wise. Being selfish, hopefully he’s there Tuesday in Jacksonville, pitching for Worcester.”

The WooSox, as noted by Smith, open their season against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Tuesday, April 5.

With this round of roster moves completed, the Sox currently have 28 40-man roster players and six non-roster invitees (Franchy Cordero, Tyler Danish, Rob Refsnyder, Hansel Robles, John Schreiber, and Travis Shaw) at camp.

As previously mentioned, Boston still needs to make six more subtractions between now and this coming Thursday. Additional cuts are expected in the coming days.

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

Red Sox activate Garrett Whitlock from 10-day injured list ahead of regular season finale against Nationals

Before closing out the regular season against the Nationals at Nationals Park on Sunday, the Red Sox activated right-hander Garrett Whitlock from the 10-day injured list.

In a corresponding move, fellow righty Eduard Bazardo was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Sunday afternoon.

Whitlock returns from the injured list after initially being sidelined with a right pectoral strain that he sustained exactly two weeks ago Sunday in the seventh inning of an 8-6 win over the Orioles at Fenway Park.

While he was eligible to be activated as early as Thursday, the 25-year-old threw a bullpen session in D.C. on Friday, and that seemed to be the final hurdle he needed to get over before being cleared to return to action.

In 45 appearances out of the Boston bullpen this year, Whitlock has posted a dazzling 1.99 ERA and 2.89 FIP to go along with 79 strikeouts to just 17 walks over 72 1/3 innings pitched.

The Red Sox originally acquired Whitlock from the Yankees in the major-league phase of last winter’s Rule 5 Draft, and he has since proven to be one of — if not the best reliever on the team in his rookie season.

As Boston looks to ensure that they will be hosting the American League Wild Card game with a win over Washington on Sunday, Whitlock will be among those available out of the bullpen behind starter Chris Sale.

Nathan Eovaldi is the only pitcher who will not be available for the Sox on Sunday, as the veteran right-hander is in line to either start said Wild Card Game or a potential tie-breaking Game 163 if that’s what it comes down to.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Eduard Bazardo from 60-day injured list, option him to Triple-A Worcester

In addition to reinstating Hirokazu Sawamura from the COVID-19 related injured list and Austin Davis from the paternity leave list on Monday, the Red Sox also activated right-hander Eduard Bazardo from the 60-day injured list and optioned him to Triple-A Worcester.

Bazardo, who turned 26 earlier this month, was originally placed on the 60-day injured list back in July, well after sustaining a right lat strain in an outing for Worcester on May 18.

While Bazardo was initially placed on the minor-league injured list at that time, he was later recalled from Worcester and “transferred” to the 60-day IL so the Red Sox could create an open spot on their 40-man roster.

As a result of him straining his right lat muscle, Bazardo was shut down for approximately three weeks before beginning a throwing program in mid-June and later being sent out on a rehab assignment with the Florida Complex League Red Sox on August 13.

After spending a little more than two weeks in Fort Myers, the 26-year-old righty had his rehab assignment transferred over to Worcester, where he has posted a 7.20 ERA and 8.56 FIP across four relief appearances (five innings pitched) leading up to Monday’s news.

Prior to getting shut down earlier this spring, Bazardo had appeared in two games for the Red Sox in two separate stints with the club after being added to the 40-man roster last November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

In his major-league debut, the Venezuelan-born righty served as the 27th man for a doubleheader against the Twins at Target Field on April 14. He worked a scoreless seventh inning of that contest while walking two and striking out one to preserve a 7-1 win for the Sox.

Fast forward to May 12, Bazardo made his Fenway Park debut against the Athletics while filling in for Nick Pivetta, who was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list that day due to side effects from the vaccine.

Working in relief of Eduardo Rodriguez, Bazardo retired six of the seven batters he faced over two scoreless frames of work, though he was sent back down to the WooSox the following day.

Listed at 6-foot and 190 pounds, Bazardo primarily relies on two pitches: a slider that has averaged 82.4 mph at the big-league level this season and a four-seam fastball that has averaged 93.8 mph at the big-league level this season, per Baseball Savant.

The Red Sox were able to activate Bazardo from the 60-day injured list — and add him back to the 40-man roster in doing so — without having to make a corresponding move on account of the nine players they currently have out on the COVID-related IL.

As noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield, Bazardo’s 30-day rehab assignment period ended on Sunday, so he needed to be reinstated on Monday regardless of the circumstances.

(Picture of Eduard Bazardo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Eduard Bazardo on 60-day injured list, opening up spot on 40-man roster

In addition to reinstating Christian Arroyo from the 10-day injured list and optioning Michael Chavis to Triple-A Worcester on Monday, the Red Sox also reinstated right-hander Eduard Bazardo from the minor-league IL, recalled him from Worcester, and placed him on the 60-day IL with a right lat strain.

By essentially transferring Bazardo from the minor-league injured list to the 60-day injured list, the Red Sox have opened up a spot on their 40-man roster, which now sits at 39 “active” players.

Bazardo initially sustained that right lat strain back on May 18 in an outing for the WooSox and was later placed on the minor-league IL on May 24 because of it.

While the injury did require him to be shut down for approximately three weeks, the 25-year-old was able to begin a throwing program in mid-June.

Prior to being shut down, Bazardo had made two appearances across two separate stints with the Red Sox while appearing in four games with the WooSox this season.

The 6-foot, 190 pound hurler made his major-league debut for Boston on April 14 and worked a scoreless inning of relief against the Twins in Minneapolis before again being called upon on May 14, when he tossed two shutout frames against the Athletics at Fenway Park.

In those four outings with Worcester, Bazardo posted a 13.50 ERA by allowing four runs on five hits, one walk, and three strikeouts over 2 2/3 total innings of work.

When he was healthy, the Venezuelan-born righty was unquestionably viewed as one of, if not the top relief option at the Triple-A level after he was added to Boston’s 40-man roster last November.

At the moment, there does not appear to be a timetable for when Bazardo could make his return to the mound, but he will at least be able to accrue major-league service time while on the 60-day IL in the interim.

As for how the Red Sox will fill that spot on the 40-man roster temporarily left vacant by Bazardo, that should be something worth monitoring in the coming days.

(Picture of Eduard Bazardo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Eduard Bazardo dealing with right lat strain; Boston is ‘still working to determine the severity of the injury,’ per report

After being removed from his outing with Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday night, Red Sox pitching prospect Eduard Bazardo has been diagnosed with a right lat (latissimus dorsi) strain, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Bazardo was deployed for the ninth inning of the WooSox’ eventual 9-4 win over the Buffalo Bisons at Polar Park. But he had to come out after throwing just five pitches (two strikes) to Dilson Herrera.

On his fifth and final pitch — a fastball to the backstop — the right-hander could be seen grabbing his elbow before calling for Worcester’s training staff to come out from the dugout.

The reason Bazardo was pulled from Tuesday’s contest was initially labeled as “an apparent arm injury,” but– as previously mentioned — has since been ruled a right lat strain.

Per Speier, “the Red Sox [are] still working to determine the severity of the injury.”

Bazardo, 25, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 27 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking 12th among pitchers in the organization.

Added to the Sox’ 40-man roster last November after a strong showing in fall instructs, the Venezuelan hurler has made two major-league relief appearances in two separate stints with the club so far this season.

In those two outings (the first of which came on April 14, the second of which came on May 12), Bazardo tossed three scoreless innings while yielding just one hit and two walks to go along with three strikeouts.

Primarily working with a two-pitch mix that consists of a slider and four-seam fastball combination, the 6-foot, 190 pound righty also owns an ERA of 13.50 in four appearances (2 2/3 innings pitched) with the WooSox in 2021.

As noted by Speier, Bazardo is one of three Worcester relievers currently on Boston’s 40-man roster alongside right-handers Brandon Brennan and Colten Brewer.

Because of their ability to shuttle him between Triple-A and the majors with ease — as they have already done twice this year — the Red Sox clearly view Bazardo as a valuable bullpen depth option at the minor-league level.

(Picture of Eduard Bazardo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Nick Pivetta from COVID-19 related injured list, option Eduard Bazardo to Triple-A Worcester

Before wrapping up their three-game series against the Athletics on Thursday night, the Red Sox reinstated right-hander Nick Pivetta from the COVID-19 related injured list.

In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever Eduard Bazardo was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Thursday.

Pivetta was originally placed on the COVID-related IL on Wednesday due to side effects from the second COVID-19 vaccination, so his stay on the injured list turned out to be a short one.

“As you guys know, this is kind of like how people react to the shot,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Pivetta before Thursday’s game. “And he’s feeling better. He’s feeling better. So the hope, obviously, is for him to start tomorrow.”

Through seven starts this season, Pivetta has proven to be one of Boston’s most consistent starters, posting a 3.19 ERA and 3.78 FIP to go along with 35 strikeouts over his first 36 2/3 innings pitched.

As Cora said, the 28-year-old is slated to make his eighth start of the year against the Angels at Fenway Park on Friday night, and that now appears to be official.

Bazardo, meanwhile, heads back down to Triple-A Worcester less than 24 hours after being called up for his second major-league stint of the season.

After making his big-league debut in Minnesota last month, the 25-year-old hurler made his Fenway Park debut in Wednesday’s game against the A’s.

Working the seventh and eighth innings of an eventual 4-1 loss for Boston, Bazardo tossed two scoreless frames of relief while striking out a pair in the process of retiring six of the seven hitters he faced.

Bazardo, who does not turn 26 until September, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 27 prospect in the Sox’ farm system.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox muster just 5 hits as offensive struggles continue in 4-1 loss to Athletics

The Red Sox have been mired in offensive struggles as of late, and those struggles continued in a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Athletics at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

Facing off against rookie right-hander James Kaprielian, who was making his first career start, the Sox had a chance to pile on some runs right away in their half of the first.

With Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Verdugo reaching base on a double and walk, J.D. Martinez proceeded to rip a line drive to right-center field that appeared well hit enough to drive in Gonzalez from second.

Boston instead decided to play things conservatively, as Gonzalez was held up at third, which would prove to be costly considering the fact the only run they brought across in the inning came on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Christian Vazquez.

In the fifth, the Red Sox again had Kapreielian on the ropes, this time with Gonzalez and Verdugo at first and third with no outs.

Martinez proceeded to ground into a fielder’s choice in which Gonzalez was caught in a rundown between third and home before both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers struck out to end the inning.

Fast forward to the eighth, the Sox found themselves in another position where they were threatening to score runs in a game they were trailing by three at 4-1.

There, Bogaerts drew a one-out walk off A’s reliever Lou Trivino and advanced all the way to third on a sharply-hit double off the bat of Devers.

With the tying run at the plate, Vazquez grounded out sharply to second base and upon receiving the throw from old friend Jed Lowrie, Athletics first baseman gunned down Bogaerts as he was trying to score from third for an inning-ending double play.

All in all, the Sox went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base as a team.

Rodriguez fans 9 over 6 innings, suffers first loss of season

While the Red Sox lineup was struggling to push anything across the A’s on Wednesday, Eduardo Rodriguez made his eighth start of the season for Boston in this one.

The left-hander yielded four runs — all of which were earned — on seven hits and one walk to go along with a season-high nine strikeouts over six innings of work.

After allowing back-to-back two-out hits in the top of the second to give up his first run of the night, Rodriguez settled down for a bit before running into more trouble in the fifth.

A leadoff single from Mitch Moreland followed by a double from Elvis Andrus put the Sox starter in a tough spot, and one that allowed Lowrie to pick up an RBI and advance a runner to third on an run-scoring groundout.

With one more out to get, Rodriguez made a costly mistake in that he balked and by doing so allowed Andrus to score from third and make it a 3-1 game. He then served up a leadoff solo shot to Olson in the sixth before retiring the final three hitters he faced.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 99 (63 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball 43% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday, inducing four swings-and-misses and topping out at 94 mph with the pitch.

Later hit with his first loss of the season, Rodriguez’s next start should come against the Blue Jays in Dunedin next Tuesday.

Hunter Renfroe picks up jaw-dropping outfield assist

Rodriguez very well could have surrendered more than four runs on Wednesday were it not for the efforts for his right fielder Hunter Renfroe.

On a scalding line drive to dead center off the bat of Matt Chapman in the top of the second, Renfroe — while backing up Alex Verdugo — fielded the ball off the wall and made a blistering, 92 mph throw from right-center field to nab Chapman at third after he attempted to turn a one-out double into a triple.

Renfroe’s one-hop throw reached third baseman Rafael Devers in a matter of seconds, and it was good for the second out of the inning.

Red Sox bullpen combines to toss three scoreless frames

In relief of Rodriguez, the recently called-up Eduard Bazardo came on for what was his Fenway Park debut.

Just recalled from Triple-A Worcester in place of Nick Pivetta, who was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list earlier Wednesday, Bazardo sat down six of the seven Athletics he faced.

The righty reliever needed 28 pitches to get through the seventh and eighth innings while picking up a pair of strikeouts.

From there, Austin Brice put together a nice bounce back performance by working a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

Next up: Manaea vs. Richards

After dropping their third straight to fall to 22-16 on the season, the Red Sox will look to salvage this three-game series against the A’s during Thursday night’s finale.

Right-hander Garrett Richards will toe the rubber for Boston, and he will be opposed by left-hander Sean Manaea for Oakland.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Marwin Gonzalez: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Nick Pivetta on COVID-19 related injured list (side effects from vaccination), recall Eduard Bazardo from Triple-A Worcester

Before taking on the Athletics on Wednesday night, the Red Sox placed right-hander Nick Pivetta on the COVID-19 related injured list.

In a corresponding move, fellow right-hander Eduard Bazardo was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, the team announced Wednesday.

The reason Pivetta was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list was because of side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine.

The 28-year-old can be activated at any time since the COVID IL does not require a minimum stint. He is slated to get the start for the Sox against the Angels on Friday, but it is not clear at the moment if he will be ready to return the mound for his start.

Through seven outings this season, Pivetta has been solid, posting a 3.19 ERA, a 3.78 FIP, and 35:22 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 36 2/3 innings pitched.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, right-hander Matt Andriese could be a candidate to get a spot start for Boston if Pivetta has not yet been activated by Friday night.

In Pivetta’s place, the Red Sox have called up Bazardo from Worcester.

Bazardo, 25, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 27 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

The Venezuelan hurler made his major-league debut for the Sox last month, working a scoreless seventh inning of relief while serving as the 27th man in a doubleheader against the Twins back on April 14.

In Bazardo, who has allowed four runs in his first 1 2/3 innings pitched with the WooSox this season, the Red Sox gain some bullpen flexibility while Pivetta is out.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)