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)

Eduard Bazardo tosses scoreless inning, picks up first career strikeout in major-league debut for Red Sox: ‘For us to accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish, he will be a factor during the season,’ Alex Cora says

Lost in the shuffle of the Red Sox sweeping their doubleheader against the Twins and extending their winning streak to nine consecutive games on Wednesday was Eduard Bazardo making his major-league debut.

The 25-year-old right-hander was called up by Boston from the alternate training site to serve as the team’s 27th man in Wednesday’s twin bill.

After not making an appearance in Game 1, Bazardo was called upon to work the seventh and final inning — a point in which the Sox already had a 7-1 lead, making for a low-leverage, low-pressure outing — of Game 2.

Bazardo, donning rec specs, high socks, and the No. 83, faced five Twins hitters in total; walking two, striking out one, and getting two more to ground out.

All in all, the Venezuelan hurler needed 24 pitches — 15 of which were strikes — to work a scoreless bottom half of the seventh and lock down the 7-1 victory for his side.

Of those 24 pitches, 11 were sliders, nine were four-seam fastballs, and four were curveballs. He induced four swings-and-misses with his slider while also sitting at 93-95 mph with his heater.

Though Bazardo was ultimately and unsurprisingly sent back down to the alternate training site in Worcester following Wednesday’s action, Red Sox manager Alex Cora seemed optimistic that this will not be the last time he sees the 6-foot, 190 pound hurler pitching for the Sox this season.

“I think throughout the season, this guy, he’ll help us,” Cora said of the young righty Wednesday morning. “Good fastball. The best breaking ball. Everybody talks about it in the organization, right? A strike thrower. A strike-throwing machine. He’s not afraid. He attacks the strike zone with good stuff. He impressed a lot of people last year. He impressed me in spring training. … For us to accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish, he will be a factor during the season.”

Bazardo, who does not turn 26 until September, was added to the Sox’ 40-man roster last November on the strength of an impressive showing at the team’s fall instructional league in Fort Myers.

He is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the 28th-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system.

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

Powered by strong performances from Alex Verdugo and Eduardo Rodriguez, Red Sox extend winning streak to 9 consecutive games with 7-1 victory over Twins to sweep doubleheader

A half-hour intermission between games during Wednesday’s doubleheader at Target Field could not slow Alex Verdugo down, as the outfielder once again played a key role in the Red Sox’ 7-1 victory over the Twins in Game 2 of the twin bill.

After making a game-saving catch for the final out of the day cap, Verdugo picked up where he left off by going 3-for-4 at the plate in the night cap.

Matched up against another tough opponent in Twins right-hander Jose Berrios, it took the Sox offense as a whole some time to get going on Wednesday, but they eventually broke through in the fifth.

There, already trailing by a run, a one-out single off the bat of Bobby Dalbec filled the bases for Franchy Cordero, who proceeded to draw a four-pitch walk to drive in his side’s first run of the night.

The Twins then pulled Berrios for Tyler Duffey, though the stalemate they had put themselves in did not last all that long.

That being the case because with two outs in the frame and the bases still loaded, Verdugo drilled a two-run, go-ahead single to right field to give the Sox their first lead of the night.

A wild pitch from Duffey allowed Cordero to score from third to make it a 4-1 contest, and two more walks once again filled the bases for Rafael Devers.

Devers, who led off the top of the fifth with a double, greeted new Twins left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar by lacing a two-run single to right, which gave the Red Sox a 6-1 edge in the late stages.

Verdugo provided some insurance in the seventh by taking Thielbar deep to right field on a a down-and-in fastball for his second home run of the season.

The 24-year-old’s 406-foot blast put Boston up 7-1, which would go on to be Wednesday’s final score.

Rodriguez pulls it together for 5 strong frames

Another game, another Red Sox starter providing five solid innings of work on Wednesday.

This time around, it was Eduardo Rodriguez’s time to shine, as the left-hander held the Twins to just one run on five hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts in his second start of the young season.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 76 (51 strikes), the 28-year-old ultimately improved to 2-0 following Wednesday’s impressive showing. His next start should come against the Mariners on Tuesday.

Pair of rookies wrap things up

In relief of Rodriguez, rookie right-hander Garrett Whitlock came on for his first appearance in six days and needed all of 10 pitches to retire the three hitters he faced in order in the sixth.

From there, another rookie reliever — Eduard Bazardo — got the call for the seventh inning in what was his big-league debut.

The 25-year-old righty out of Venezuela was called up from Boston’s alternate training site to serve as the club’s 27th man for Wednesday’s doubleheader.

He worked his way around two walks and picked up his first major-league strikeout en route to preserving the 7-1 victory for the Sox.

Next up: Last game of road trip

After sweeping Wednesday’s twin bill and extending their winning streak to nine consecutive games, the Red Sox will go for the four-game sweep over the reeling Twins on Thursday afternoon.

Right-hander Garrett Richards will be getting the ball for Boston in the series finale, and he will be matched up against fellow righty Michael Pineda.

First pitch Thursday (also Jackie Robinson Day) is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN. Red Sox will be going for their 10th straight win.

(Picture of Alex Verdugo: David Berding/Getty Images)

Red Sox call up right-handed pitching prospect Eduard Bazardo to serve as 27th man for Wednesday’s doubleheader against Twins

As expected, the Red Sox have appointed right-handed pitching prospect Eduard Bazardo as the 27th man for Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Twins, the team announced Wednesday morning.

Bazardo, 25, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as Boston’s No. 28 prospect.

Originally signed out of Venezuela for just $8,000 back in 2014, Bazardo was added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster in November after a strong showing at the team’s fall instructional league at Fort Myers.

The young righty “was the most impressive arm at instructs”, per SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall.

This spring, Bazardo allowed one earned run on two hits, two walks, and four strikeouts over four Grapefruit League appearances spanning five innings pitched. That’s good for an ERA of 1.80 and a WHIP of 0.80.

Since making his professional debut in 2015, the 6-foot, 190 pound hurler has posted a 2.55 ERA, a .215 batting average against, and a 342:81 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 100 total appearances — 31 of which were starts — and 310 innings of work across six different minor-league levels.

Per his SoxProspects.com scouting report, Bazardo’s pitch repertoire consists of a 94-97 mph fastball that tops out at 98 mph, an 83-87 mph curveball that features an 11-5 break, and an 88-92 mph split-finger fastball “that is still in development.”

Though it’s no sure thing Bazardo will make his big-league debut on Wednesday, the Sox called the right-hander up from the alternate training site with the idea that he could get right-handed hitters out, as the Twins usually boast a right-handed heavy lineup.

“This team (Minnesota) is very right-handed,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before Tuesday’s game. “Their best hitters right now are right-handed hitters. We’ll make decisions based on that.”

(Picture of Eduard Bazardo: Mark Brown/Getty Images)