Red Sox make first round of spring training roster cuts; Matthew Lugo among four players reassigned to minor-league camp

Before defeating the Marlins, 4-1, at JetBlue Park in the afternoon, the Red Sox made their first round of spring training roster cuts on Sunday morning.

Per a team announcement, right-handers Dan Altavilla and Victor Santos, catcher Elih Marrero, and infielder Matthew Lugo were all reassigned to minor-league camp in Fort Myers, Fla.

Of these four, Altavilla is the only one with prior major-league experience. The 30-year-old righty originally signed a two-year minor-league deal with the Red Sox last March, but he did not pitch at all in 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery while a member of the Padres in June 2021.

Since debuting with the Mariners in 2016, Altavilla owns a lifetime 4.03 ERA (4.39 FIP) with 129 strikeouts to 60 walks in 119 career relief appearances (116 innings between Seattle and San Diego. He will likely begin the season with Triple-A Worcester, but he could ultimately help the Red Sox out of the bullpen at some point in 2023.

Lugo, meanwhile, is the most notable prospect listed here . The 21-year-old briefly held the title of the youngest player at Red Sox camp and has fared well in Grapefruit League play by hitting .400 (4-for-10) with two doubles, one triple, five RBIs, one run scored, zero walks, and four strikeouts over seven games this spring.

A former 2019 second-round draft selection out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, Lugo spent the vast majority of the 2022 minor-league season with High-A Greenville. The right-handed hitter batted .288/.344/.500 with 18 home runs and 78 RBIs in 114 games (512 plate appearances) for the Drive before appearing in three games with Double-A Portland in late September. He was also named co-Rookie of the Year in the Puerto Rican Winter League after posting an .810 OPS in 39 games with the Criollos de Caguas.

Lugo, who turns 22 in May, is expected to return to Portland for the start of the 2023 season. The Manati native is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 18 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system and has past experience at every infield position besides first base.

With Sunday’s subtractions, the size of Boston’s spring training roster has shrunk from 64 to 60 players. Twenty of the 60 players who remain are not on the 40-man roster and are therefore at camp as non-roster invitees.


Pitchers (8): Taylor Broadway, Matt Dermody, Jake Faria, Durbin Feltman, Norwith Gudino, Oddanier Mosqueda, Ryan Sherriff, Chase Shugart

Catchers (4): Jorge Alfaro, Caleb Hamilton, Ronaldo Hernández, Stephen Scott

Infielders (1): Christian Koss

Outfielders (3): Greg Allen, Narciso Crook, Raimel Tapia

Infielder/Outfielders (4): Ryan Fitzgerald, Niko Goodrum, Daniel Palka, Nick Sogard

(Picture of Matthew Lugo: Elsa/Getty Images)


Red Sox add catcher Elih Marrero to spring training roster

The Red Sox have added catcher Elih Marrero to their spring training roster as a non-roster invitee, the club announced earlier Tuesday afternoon.

Marrero will be attending his first big-league camp. The 25-year-old was originally selected by Boston in the eighth round of the 2018 amateur draft out of St. Thomas University (Miami Gardens, Fla). He signed with the club for $157,700.

The son of former major-leaguer Eli Marrero, Elih spent the entirety of the 2022 minor-league season with Double-A Portland. The switch-hitter batted just .207/.319/.272 (72 wRC+) with 10 doubles, two home runs, 16 RBIs, 32 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, 39 walks, and 74 strikeouts in 79 games (289 plate appearances) for the Sea Dogs. His 18 swiped bags ranked tops among all catchers in the Eastern League.

From behind the plate, Marrero threw out 22 of 51 possible base stealers last year. Defense is Marrero’s calling card, as the 5-foot-9, 185-pound backstop is well-regarded for his blocking and receiving skills as well as a quick release, per his scouting report.

In Fort Myers, Marrero will join a catching mix that already includes Reese McGuire, Connor Wong, Jorge Alfaro, Ronaldo Hernandez, Caleb Hamilton, and Stephen Scott. Alfaro will temporarily be leaving the team to play for his native Colombia in the World Baseball Classic next month, so Marrero could help fill in there.

Marrero, who turns 26 in June, is projected to return to Portland for the start of the 2023 season, though he will almost certainly be gunning to make the jump to Triple-A Worcester before year’s end.

With the addition of Marrero, the Red Sox now have 63 players at major-league spring training. They will need to trim that number down to 26 by Opening Day.

(Picture of Elih Marrero: Kelly O’Connor/

Red Sox Catching Prospect Elih Marrero Suspended 50 Games

Red Sox catching prospect Elih Marrero has been handed down a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball for violating the Minor League Drug Treatment and Prevention Program. Per a press release, the 22-year-old tested positive for the banned stimulant Amphetamine.

Selected by Boston in the eighth round of the 2018 amateur draft out of St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Fla, Marrero slashed .205/.267/.311/ with one home run and 18 RBI over 35 games between Low-A Lowell and High-A Salem this past season.

Per, Marrero is ranked as the No. 6 catching prospect in the Sox’ farm system.

With Salem placing Marrero on the restricted list Friday, the switch hitting backstop is set to miss the first 50 games of their season, meaning he would not be eligibe to return until late May.

Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds out of Coral Gables High School back in 2015, Marrero is the son of longtime major-league catcher Eli Marrero, who spent parts of 10 big-league seasons between the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies and New York Mets.