Red Sox release Hansel Robles

The Red Sox have released veteran reliever Hansel Robles, the team announced earlier Saturday afternoon.

Robles was designated for assignment on Wednesday so that top pitching prospect Brayan Bello could be added to the big-league roster ahead of his big-league debut. The move also created a space on the 40-man roster for the addition of Michael Feliz, who has since been designated for assignment himself.

Originally acquired from the Twins at last year’s trade deadline in exchange for Alex Scherff, Robles quickly became one of Alex Cora’s most trusted relievers during the latter half of the 2021 season. After making 14 straight scoreless appearances in September and being heavily relied upon during the playoffs, Robles was brought back on a minor-league contract in March.

It was therefore no surprise that the 31-year-old right-hander made Boston’s Opening Day roster out of spring training, thus locking him into a guaranteed salary of $2.25 million for the 2022 campaign.

Robles got his first full season in a Red Sox uniform off to a solid start, allowing just one earned run across nine April appearances. Things began to take a turn for the worst in May, though, and those struggles were compounded by a trip to the injured list (back spasms) that lasted about two weeks.

Upon returning from the IL on June 9, Robles gave up runs in five of his next 10 outings, bringing his ERA on the season up to 5.84 and his FIP up to 5.74. During this rough stretch, Robles’ fastball velocity was down from where it usually was. He lost his spot on the 40-man roster after giving up a run in the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s 8-4 loss to the Rays at Fenway Park.

Given the fact that any team that claimed Robles would be on the hook for the rest of his 2022 salary, it was not surprising to see that the Dominican-born righty cleared waivers. Since he has accrued enough major-league service time, he exercised his right to reject an outright assignment to the minor-leagues in favor of free agency.

Now free to sign with whichever club he chooses, Robles will still be collecting from the Red Sox until the end the season.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox officially call up Brayan Bello ahead of top prospect’s MLB debut, designate Hansel Robles for assignment

The Red Sox have officially called up top pitching prospect Brayan Bello from Triple-A Worcester. In order to make room for Bello on the 26-man roster, veteran reliever Hansel Robles was designated for assignment, the club announced Wednesday.

Bello will make his major-league debut in Wednesday night’s series finale against the Rays at Fenway Park. He will become the second Red Sox pitching prospect to make his first career start this season, joining fellow right-hander Josh Winckowski in doing so.

Regarded by Baseball America as the No. 1 pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system and the No. 44 prospect in all of baseball, Bello has posted a 2.33 ERA and 2.88 FIP to go along with 114 strikeouts to 33 walks over 15 appearances (14 starts) and 85 innings between Double-A Portland and Worcester this season.

The 23-year-old out of the Dominican Republic works with a four- and two-seam fastball, a devastating changeup, and a slider. He will wear the No. 66 and become the first Red Sox player to do so since Brandon Brennan last year.

To put it simply, there is plenty of hype surrounding Bello’s debut. That being said, it seems likely that his first stint in the majors will be a short one, as he could be optioned back down to the WooSox immediately following Wednesday’s contest with the Rays.

As for Robles, his designation was first reported by the Boston Sports Journal’s Sean McAdam on Tuesday night. The 31-year-old righty lost his spot on Boston’s roster after pitching to a 5.84 ERA (5.75 FIP) with 21 strikeouts to 14 walks across 26 appearances (24 2/3 innings) in his first full season with the club.

The Sox now have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Robles, who has the right to refuse an outright assignment to the minor-leagues in favor of free agency if he clears waivers. In that scenario, the Red Sox would then be on the hook for the rest of Robles’ 2022 salary.

By designating Robles for assignment, not only did the Red Sox open a spot on their 26-man roster for Bello, but they also cleared a spot on their 40-man roster — which now sits at 39 players — as well.

That open spot will eventually be needed when Chris Sale is activated from the 60-day injured list, though Boston could do something else with it in the meantime.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox designate Hansel Robles for assignment

The Red Sox have designated veteran reliever Hansel Robles for assignment, according to Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal.

By designating Robles for assignment, Boston has created an opening on its 26-man roster for top pitching prospect Brayan Bello, who will be called up from Triple-A Worcester and make his major-league debut against the Rays on Wednesday.

The move also creates an opening on the Sox’ 40-man roster, which now sits at 39 players. They could opt to save that spot for Chris Sale, who is currently on the 60-day injured list but is expected to be activated next week, or they could use it on a non-40-man player in the meantime.

As for Robles, the 31-year-old right-hander originally joined the Red Sox after coming over from the Twins at last year’s trade deadline. He quickly earned the trust of manager Alex Cora during Boston’s postseason run and re-joined the club on a minor-league deal back in March.

By making the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster out of spring training, Robles ensured that he would earn $2.25 million in guaranteed money this year. The Dominican-born hurler got his first full season in Boston off to a solid start by posting a 0.93 ERA in April.

Since the calendar flipped to May, however, Robles began to struggle while seeing his fastball velocity dip. He allowed one run in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s loss to Tampa Bay and now owns a 5.84 ERA over 26 appearances (24 2/3 innings) this season.

The Sox will have the next seven days to either trade, waive, or release Robles. If claimed by another club, that team would then be on the hook for the remainder of his 2022 salary. If he goes unclaimed, Robles would then be able to refuse an outright assignment to the minor-leagues and become a free-agent instead.

At that point, another team could sign Robles for the rest of the season for league minimum while the Red Sox would still be responsible for the rest of his salary. Either way you look at it, it appears that Robles’ time with Boston has come to an end.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Red Sox blow 4-run lead, drop opener to Cubs, 6-5, as Rich Hill exits due to knee sprain

To kick off their first trip to Wrigley Field since 2012, the Red Sox blew a four-run lead and ultimately fell to the Cubs by a final score of 5-6 on Friday afternoon. Boston has now lost three of its last four games to drop to 43-34 on the season.

Four of the Sox’ first five runs came within the first two innings of Friday’s contest. Matched up against Cubs starter Adrian Sampson, Jarren Duran led the game off by crushing the very first pitch he saw 417 feet to dead center field for his first home run of the year.

An inning later, Trevor Story, Franchy Cordero, and Christian Vazquez all reached base with no outs to leave them loaded for Jackie Bradley Jr. Bradley Jr., in turn, laced a bases-clearing, three-run double to the right-center field gap to give his side an early 4-0 lead.

That put Rich Hill, who had already tossed a scoreless first inning, in a pretty encouraging position. Making his 15th start of the season for Boston, Hill got through four innings without giving up a run but ran into some trouble in the fifth.

The veteran left-hander issued a leadoff walk to P.J. Higgins that was immediately followed by a run-scoring triple off the bat of Nelson Velazquez. One batter later, Velazquez scored on an RBI groundout from Christopher Morel.

Hill then issued another free pass to Wilson Contreras, and it was during that plate appearance when he felt his left knee pop. Despite that feeling, Hill stayed in and pitched. But he proceeded to load the bases on a single and hit batsman. That prompted the Red Sox to have Hill leave the game due to what they later diagnosed as a left knee sprain.

Tyler Danish had already been warming up in the Boston bullpen, and so he was called upon to take over for the injured starter. Danish officially closed the book on Hill’s outing by walking in a run that cut Chicago’s deficit to 4-3. He then got Alfonso Rivas to fly out to avoid any further damage.

Hill’s final line (3 earned runs on three hits, four walks, one hit batsman, and three strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings) was not indicative of how well he pitched. It remains to be seen if the 42-year-old will require a trip to the injured list on account of his sprained knee.

While they saw their lead trimmed down to just one run, the Sox did respond in their half of the sixth. With two outs and the bases loaded, Duran ripped a single to center field that plated Story. Vazquez also attempted to score on the play but was instead gunned down at home by Rafael Ortega. And so the Red Sox had to settle for a 5-3 lead, which evidently did not last long.

That being the case because after quickly recording the first two outs of the bottom of the sixth, Hansel Robles walked Simmons and then served up a game-tying, two-run home run to Christopher Morel. Robles remained in the game and loaded the bases before getting the hook in favor of Jake Diekman.

Diekman proceeded to spike a wild pitch in the dirt that got past Vazquez and allowed Contreras to score from third to give the Cubs their first lead of the day at 6-5.

From that point forward, Hirokazu Sawamura pitched admirably out of the Boston ‘pen, but so did Scott Effross, Chris Martin, and David Robertson for Chicago.

Red Sox hitters reached base just one time over the final three innings of Friday’s loss. After Martin stranded Alex Verdugo by striking out the side in the eighth, Robertson slammed the door in the ninth and earned his 10th save of the season by doing so.

All told, the Sox lineup went a collective 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base as a team. The Sox bullpen, meanwhile, allowed six walks in just 3 1/3 innings of work.

Next up: Winckowski vs. Mills

As the Red Sox look to avoid their second straight series loss, they will turn to rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski to get the start on Saturday night. The Cubs will counter with fellow righty Alec Mills.

First pitch from Wrigley Field is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. eastern time on FOX.

(Picture of Rich Hill:  Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Hansel Robles from injured list, option Phillips Valdez to Triple-A Worcester

Before wrapping up their four-game series against the Angels in Anaheim on Thursday night, the Red Sox activated right-handed reliever Hansel Robles from the 15-day injured list.

In order to make room for Robles on the active roster, fellow reliever Phillips Valdez was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the team announced.

Robles, who was initially placed on the injured list because of back spasms on May 28, returns to the Sox on the first day he was eligible to since his stint on the IL was backdated to May 25.

The 31-year-old hurler was sent out on a rehab assignment with the WooSox and was scheduled to make an appearance against the Buffalo Bisons on Tuesday. But that game got rained out and he instead threw a bullpen session at Sahlen Field before flying to Anaheim on Wednesday.

Prior to being placed on the IL, Robles had posted a 2.65 ERA and 5.20 FIP with 11 strikeouts to six walks over 16 appearances (17 innings) out of the Red Sox bullpen this season.

Valdez, meanwhile, was recalled from Worcester when Robles went on the injured list on May 28. The 30-year-old made back-to-back appearances against the Orioles that day and the next, but had not been used since.

With the Red Sox this season, Valdez has pitched to a 5.84 ERA and 3.71 FIP with 13 strikeouts to five walks over 10 relief outings spanning 12 1/3 innings of work. With the WooSox, he has allowed just one earned run across six appearances and 7 2/3 innings pitched.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox send Hansel Robles out on rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have sent veteran reliever Hansel Robles out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester, per his transactions log on MLB.com.

Robles was initially placed on the 15-day injured list because of back spasms on May 28. Since his stint on the IL was backdated to May 25, though, the right-hander is eligible to be activated as soon as this Thursday.

The plan was to have Robles make an appearance for the WooSox in their game against the Buffalo Bisons at Sahlen Field on Tuesday, but that contest has since been postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader on Wednesday.

Robles is now expected to pitch for Worcester at some point during Wednesday’s twin bill. He would then travel to Anaheim with the hopes of being activated in time for Thursday’s series finale against the Angels.

Prior to being placed on the injured list, the 31-year-old had made 16 relief outings for Boston this season, posting a 2.65 ERA and 5.20 FIP with 11 strikeouts to six walks over 17 innings of work.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Hansel Robles on injured list, option Hirokazu Sawamura; Ryan Brasier, Phillips Valdez recalled from Triple-A Worcester

In addition to appointing Josh Winckowski as the 27th man for Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles at Fenway Park, the Red Sox made four additional roster moves prior to Game 1.

Most notably, Hansel Robles was placed on the 15-day injured list due to back spasms while Hirokazu Sawamura was optioned to Triple-A Worcester. In a corresponding move, fellow relievers Ryan Brasier and Phillips Valdez were recalled from Worcester.

Robles last pitched in Sunday’s win over the Mariners before experiencing back issues while the Red Sox were in Chicago. Through 16 relief appearances this season, the 31-year-old right-hander has posted a 2.65 ERA and 5.20 FIP with 11 strikeouts to six walks over 17 innings pitched out of the bullpen.

Since his stint on the injured list is retroactive to May 25, the soonest Robles could return to action would be Thursday June 9, when the Sox take on the Angels in Anaheim.

Sawamura, meanwhile, has pitched to the tune of a 3.60 ERA and 3.47 FIP with 13 strikeouts to six walks across 18 appearances (15 innings) so far this season. The Japanese-born righty has been most effective when inheriting runners on the basepaths, but — at the same time — has fallen down Alex Cora’s depth chart.

Because he has pitched three times in the last four days, Boston elected to send Sawamura down to Worcester while adding fresh reinforcements in Brasier and Valdez.

Both Brasier and Valdez opened the 2021 season in the Sox’ bullpen but were optioned to the WooSox at separate points this month. Brasier, who was sent down on May 20, made two scoreless outings for Worcester. Valdez, who was sent down on May 2, produced a 1.17 ERA in six appearances (7 2/3 innings) for the affiliate.

The Red Sox did not need to use their bullpen as Nathan Eovaldi tossed a complete game in the day cap of Saturday’s twin bill. That could change in Game 2 with Winckowski making his first career start at the big-league level.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Hansel Robles blows save as Red Sox lose late lead and fall to White Sox, 3-1, in 10 innings to drop to 10-18 on season

The Red Sox lost their sixth consecutive series on Saturday following a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the White Sox in 10 innings at Fenway Park. By dropping their third straight game, Boston has fallen to 10-18 on the season as they remain in the basement of the American League East.

Nick Pivetta impressed for the Sox in his sixth start of the year. The right-hander kept the White Sox off the scoreboard while scattering five hits, no walks, and one hit batsman to go along with a season-high eight strikeouts over six innings of work.

After giving up a leadoff single to Tim Anderson to begin his day in the first, Pivetta stranded the dangerous shortstop on three separate occasions. He got through the first inning unscathed, retired the side in order in the second, left two runners on — including Anderson — in the third and fifth innings, then sat down three of the final four batters he faced in the sixth.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 91 (62 strikes), Pivetta turned to his four-seam fastball 58% of the time he was on the mound Saturday and induced seven swings-and-misses with the pitch while topping out at 94.3 mph with it. The 29-year-old hurler also lowered his ERA on the season to 6.08.

Shortly before his night ended, the Red Sox put Pivetta in a position to pick up the win by finally getting to White Sox starter Dylan Cease in their half of the fifth. Franchy Cordero reached base via a one-out single, advanced to second base on a Trevor Story walk, and scored from second on an RBI double off the bat of Rafael Devers.

Story moved up to third on the play, but could not score from there as Xander Bogaerts grounded out and J.D. Martinez struck out to kill any shot of an extended rally.

In relief of Pivetta, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen for the seventh inning and worked his way around a two-out single and stolen base from Leury Garcia. John Schreiber recorded the first two outs of the eighth before allowing two straight White Sox to reach base on a single and fielding error committed by Story. Matt Strahm came on and got the final out of the inning.

Protecting a one-run lead heading into the ninth, Hansel Robles was called upon for the save. Instead of closing things out, though, Robles issued a leadoff walk to Jake Burger that was immediately followed by a line-drive double from Adam Engel. Garcia knocked in the tying run on a sacrifice fly as Robles was charged with his second blown save of the season.

Now trying to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez created some one-out magic with a single and double that put the potential winning run at third base. Bobby Dalbec failed to come through as he fanned on four pitches. Story then swung at the first pitch he saw from Reynaldo Lopez and popped out to shallow right field to leave Bradley Jr. where he was standing.

With this one headed into extras, Matt Barnes was responsible for the top of the 10th with the automatic runner (A.J. Pollock) already at second base. Barnes was promptly greeted by Jose Abreu, who drove in Pollock by drilling a 107.7 mph RBI double to center field. Luis Robert followed with a hard-hit single of his own that plated Abreu and made it a 3-1 game in favor of the White Sox. Barnes through the rest of the 10th, but the damage had already been done.

Down to their final three outs and matched up against White Sox closer Liam Hendriks yet again, Devers, Bogaerts, and Martinez all grounded out to seal a 3-1 defeat for the Red Sox.

Frustrations boiling over

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was ejected for the first time this season in the third inning of Saturday’s loss. He was thrown out by home plate umpire Carlos Torres for arguing a called strike three against Story.

The Red Sox went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and left 10 runners on base as a team. On the other side of things, the Boston bullpen staff blew their ninth save in 14 opportunities so far this season.

All told, the Red Sox are now 0-6 in extra-inning games this season.

Next up: Keuchel vs. Wacha

The Red Sox will look to avoid the three-game sweep against the White Sox on Sunday morning. Boston will roll with right-hander Michael Wacha in the finale while Chicago will turn to left-hander Dallas Keuchel.

First pitch from Fenway Park on Sunday is scheduled for 11:35 a.m. eastern time on NBC and Peacock.

(Picture of Alex Cora: Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Christian Arroyo homers, Rich Hill takes perfect game into fifth inning as Red Sox hold on for 3-1 win over Orioles

The Red Sox kicked off the final leg of their road trip with a 3-1 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Friday night. With the win, Boston improved to 9-12 on the season.

Matched up against Kyle Bradish, who was making the first start of his big-league career for the O’s, to begin things on Friday, the Sox got on the board first in their half of the second inning.

Enrique Hernandez led off the top of the second with a single to shallow center field. After Franchy Cordero flew out, Christian Arroyo followed by clubbing a 408-foot two-run homer into Baltimore’s bullpen.

Arroyo’s first home run of the season gave Boston an early 2-0 lead. It was also the first home run hit by a Red Sox batter since Rafael Devers went deep off Corey Kluber in St. Petersburg last Friday.

Jackie Bradley Jr. kept the rally going by reaching base on an infield single. He then scored all the way from first when Christian Vazquez ripped a single to right field that got past Trey Mancini and rolled all the way to the wall. Vazquez was easily thrown out at third, but the damage had already been done.

Rich Hill, making his fourth start of the year for the Sox, took full advantage of the three-run cushion he was given. The veteran left-hander allowed just one hit and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over four-plus innings of work.

After retiring each of the first 12 batters he faced, Hill took a perfect game bid into the fifth inning but yielded a leadoff single to Austin Hays, which is how his night would come to an end. Finishing with a final pitch count of 50 (35 strikes), the 42-year-old southpaw threw 24 curveballs, 20 four-seamers, four sliders, and two changeups while lowering his ERA on the season to 3.71.

In relief of Hill, Tanner Houck got the first call from manager Alex Cora out of the bullpen. Houck, fresh off being activated from the injured list, stranded the lone base runner he inherited in the fifth despite allowing one hit and one walk in the inning. The right-hander sat down the side in order in the sixth but ran into additional trouble in the seventh when he loaded the bases with two outs.

Houck did not falter, though, as he punched out the pinch-hitting Rougned on three straight strikes to escape the jam and hand things over to Jake Diekman in the eighth. Diekman, in turn, needed 17 pitches to toss a scoreless frame.

Hansel Robles was dispatched for the ninth and immediately served up a solo home run to Ryan Mountcastle that was followed by a line-drive single off the bat of Hays.

With the tying run at the plate, Robles issued a balk that allowed Hays to advance to second. He then got Ramon Urias to fly out and Tyler Nevin to line out to right for the first two outs.

Cora went back into the bullpen and gave Robles the hook in favor of Matt Strahm, who walked Anthony Santander on five pitches to put the tying run on base with runners at first and second. The lefty, however, did not give in as he fanned the pinch-hitting Chris Owings to slam the door on Baltimore and earn the first save of his major-league career.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. Watkins

The Red Sox will go for the series win over the Orioles by sending right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound on Saturday night. Fellow righty Spenser Watkins will get the ball for Baltimore.

First pitch from Camden Yards is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Red Sox break up no-hitter in 10th inning, then get walked off on by Kevin Kiermaier in wild 3-2 loss to Rays

The Red Sox delivered a late birthday present to Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier on Saturday night. Kiermaier, who turned 32 on Friday, crushed a two-run walk-off home run off Hansel Robles in the 10th inning to lift Tampa Bay to a stunning 3-2 win over Boston at Tropicana Field.

With the loss, the Sox fall to 7-8 on the season. They have not won consecutive ballgames since April 16-17.

Garrett Whitlock, making his first start and fifth overall appearance of the year, absolutely dominated the Rays’ lineup. In what was his first career big-league start, the right-hander yielded just one hit and no walks to go along with seven strikeouts over four scoreless, near-perfect innings of work.

After taking a perfect game into the fourth inning, Whitlock gave up a leadoff double to Brandon Lowe. He then stranded Lowe at second base by retiring the final three batters he faced in order. The 25-year-old finished with a final pitch count of 48 (33 strikes) and turned to his sinker 58% of the time he was on the mound.

In relief of Whitlock, Austin Davis received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen from acting manager Will Venable. The left-hander maneuvered his way around a two-out walk in an otherwise clean frame before making way for Kutter Crawford, who twirled three scoreless innings of his own while striking out five.

Tyler Danish walked the first batter he faced in the ninth to put the potential winning run on base, but left him there to send this 0-0 game into extra innings.

To that point in the contest, the Red Sox lineup had been no-hit by six different Rays pitchers in J.P. Feyereisen, Javy Guerra, Jeffrey Springs, Jason Adam, Ryan Thompson, and Andrew Kittredge. They reached base six times over that stretch via five walks and a fielding error, but were unable to do anything with those base runners.

In the top of the 10th, Matt Wisler took over for Kittredge and Jackie Bradley Jr. became the automatic runner at second base. On the third pitch he saw from Wisler, an 0-2 slider, Bobby Dalbec came through in the clutch by lacing an RBI triple down the right field line.

Dalbec’s 322-foot foot triple left his bat at 97.1 mph. It also provided the Sox with their first hit of the night and drove in Bradley Jr. to give them a late 1-0 lead. Dalbec then scored on a Christian Vazquez sacrifice fly to double that advantage to 2-0.

That sequence led to Venable going with Robles in the bottom half of the 10th. With Randy Arozarena at second base and the potential tying run at the plate, Robles fanned Ji-Man Choi and Josh Lowe for the first two outs of the inning.

A balk from Robles allowed Arozarena to advance to third. With the Rays down to their final out, Taylor Walls reached base on a throwing error committed by Trevor Story and Arozarena scored to cut Tampa Bay’s deficit to one.

Robles then fell behind in the count against Kiermaier and served up the game-winning, two-run homer on a 96 mph four-seamer down the heart of the plate. Kiermaier deposited it 372 feet into the right field seats to send the Rays home with a come-from-behind victory.

Next up: Hill vs. McClanahan in rubber match

Despite losing in heartbreaking fashion, the Red Sox still have a chance to win this three-game series against the Rays on Sunday afternoon. Boston will turn to left-hander Rich Hill as he makes his return from the bereavement list in the series finale. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, will roll with fellow southpaw Shane McClanahan.

First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Hansel Robles and Kevin Kiermaier: Mike Carlson/Getty Images)