Red Sox’ Enmanuel Valdez makes MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Year

MLB Pipeline revealed their Prospect Team of the Year for 2022 on Thursday. The Red Sox had one representative in infielder Enmanuel Valdez.

Valdez was named the first team’s starting second baseman after batting .296/.376/.542 with 35 doubles, two triples, 28 home runs, 107 RBIs, 92 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 64 walks, and 124 strikeouts in 126 games (573 plate appearances) between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

Among qualified minor-league second basemen, Valdez posted the highest slugging percentage, the second-highest OPS (.918), the third-highest isolated power (.246), the third-most homers, and the second-most RBIs, per FanGraphs.

The 23-year-old out of the Dominican Republic began the 2022 campaign with the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A affiliate of the Astros. He then earned a promotion to Triple-A Sugar Land in early June. Less than two months later, he and fellow prospect Wilyer Abreu were traded to the Red Sox for catcher Christian Vazquez.

While Abreu was assigned to Double-A Portland, Valdez joined Triple-A Worcester. The left-handed hitter made his organizational debut on August 3 and slashed .237/.309/.422 with nine doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 30 RBIs, 26 runs scored, three stolen bases, 19 walks, and 48 strikeouts in 44 games (195 plate appearances with the WooSox.

Valdez’s second-half homers came in bunches. He hit two in his first three games at Polar Park from Aug. 3-5 and enjoyed a two-homer game on Aug. 9. His next big fly did not come until the 28th and his final two came on September 3-4. Over the last three weeks of the minor-league season, Valdez hit just .238 with a .565 OPS across 16 games to close out his year.

Defensively, Valdez saw playing time at three different positions in Worcester. The 5-foot-9, 191-pounder logged 330 innings at second base, 24 innings at third base, and 25 innings in left field.

Originally signed by the Astros for $450,000 as an international free-agent in July 2015, Valdez can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft and minor-league free agency this winter. The Red Sox will have until late November to decide if they want to protect Valdez from the Rule 5 by adding him to their 40-man roster.

With that being said, it seems unlikely that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. would part ways with an established veteran such as Vazquez just to risk losing part of the return for him the following winter. For what it is worth, Abreu can also become Rule 5-eligible in the coming months, though he is under club control through 2024.

Valdez, who turns 24 in December, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 18 prospect in Boston’s farm system. If he remains in the organization through the off-season, Valdez could very well make his major-league debut at some point in 2023. He possesses intriguing power and can play multiple positions, so there is potential for him to undertake a utility role in the not-so-distant future.

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez Kavadas: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox’ Enmanuel Valdez takes home International League Player of the Week honors

Red Sox infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez was named the International League Player of the Week for the week of August 29-September 4, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.

In Triple-A Worcester’s last series against the Buffalo Bisons at Polar Park, Valdez appeared in all six games and went 10-for-24 (.417) with four doubles, one triple, two home runs, 10 RBIs, eight runs scored, one stolen base, three walks, and four strikeouts. He finished a single shy of the cycle on Sunday.

Since making his WooSox debut on Aug. 3, Valdez has batted .236/.325/.500 (114 wRC+) to go along with six doubles, one triple, seven homers, 27 runs driven in, 22 runs scored, two stolen bases, 15 walks, and 31 strikeouts over 28 games (127 plate appearances). Among those in the International League who have made at least 120 trips to the plate this season, the left-handed hitter ranks 51st in slugging percentage and 16th in isolated power (.264), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Valdez has seen playing time at three different positions in his time with the WooSox. After starting at second base on Sunday, the 5-foot-9, 191-pounder has logged 213 innings at second, 15 innings at third, and 17 innings in left field.

Valdez, 23, was originally signed by the Astros for $450,000 as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. The Red Sox acquired the San Juan de la Maguana native and fellow prospect Wilyer Abreu from Houston in exchange for catcher Christian Vazquez ahead of last month’s trade deadline.

Now, Valdez is regarded by Baseball America as the 16th-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system. The publication describes him as “a bat-first infielder with a good combination of power and contact.” While there are some defensive concerns, he is “a tough out that grinds out at-bats, can hit for contact and punish mistakes.”

Valdez, who turns 24 in December, can become eligible for this winter’s Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the Red Sox’ 40-man roster by the November deadline. Unlike Eddinson Paulino, who has yet to play above Low-A, Valdez seems like more of a lock to be added given his experience and level of production at Triple-A.

“If he were going to get called up tomorrow, I think his ability to play [multiple] positions would be very valuable for a major-league clubhouse and a major-league bench,” Red Sox director of player development Brian Abraham said of Valdez in a recent conversation with The Athletic’s Chad Jennings. “He can play infield. He can play a corner (outfield) spot. And he can run into baseballs with power. So, I think the skillset lends itself really well to being an impactful major-league player. We’ve seen athleticism, and we’ve seen some areas that can be improved upon. I know our Triple-A staff already feel they’ve made some strides ins some of the smaller motor learning skills that he can improve upon while being in the infield, whether that be first-step quickness or the way he moves from left to right. And same thing in the outfield, some of the first step and quickness, I think he’s shown improvement on.”

“But, I think we’ve got a twitchy guy who has power, who drives the baseball, and the better he’s able to have an understanding of the strike zone and what he needs to do to consistently drive the baseball to all fields will allow him to be more impactful,” added Abraham. “But I think in a lot of ways he’s someone who’s incredibly unique, who can do all of those things (that profile well as a utility man) and still be someone who can play one position and play there for a consistent amount of time. I think that’s incredibly valuable these days. As we know, our Major League team has a bunch of those guys, our Triple-A team has a bunch of those guys. Getting yourself in the lineup to make an impact is really important.”

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox prospect Wilyer Abreu homers for first time since being acquired from Astros

Wilyer Abreu hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox organization on Sunday afternoon. It came in the third inning of Double-A Portland’s 4-1 win over the Hartford Yard Goats at Hadlock Field.

Following Sunday’s 1-for-3 performance in which he also drew a walk, Abreu is now batting .205/.341/.288 with three doubles, the one homer, seven RBIs, 11 runs scored, two stolen bases, 16 walks, and 29 strikeouts in 23 games (91 plate appearances) with the Sea Dogs.

While those numbers do not stand out by any means, Abreu appears to be showing some signs of life at the plate lately. In his last five games, for the instance, the left-handed hitting outfielder has gone 4-for-15 (.267) with an on-base percentage of .400 and wRC+ of 136.

On the other side of the ball, Abreu made his fifth start in center field for Portland on Sunday. All together, the 6-foot, 217-pounder has logged 61 innings in center, 71 innings in left, and 56 innings in right since joining the Sea Dogs earlier this month.

The Red Sox acquired Abreu and fellow prospect Enmanuel Valdez from the Astros in exchange for catcher and free-agent-to-be Christian Vazquez on August 1. While Valdez was assigned to Triple-A Worcester out of the gate, Abreu has spent the entirety of his organizational tenure to this point in Portland.

Abreu, 23, originally signed with the Astros for $300,000 as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela in July 27. At the time of the trade, the Maracaibo native was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 21 prospect in Houston’s farm system. He is now ranked by the publication as the No. 22 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Interestingly enough, Abreu was supposed to sign with the Red Sox as a 17-year-old in 2016. He had already established a relationship with assistant general manager Eddie Romero, but Boston was banned from signing international prospects during the 2016-17 period after breaking signing bonus rules the year before.

“I was supposed to sign here with the Red Sox in 2016,” said Abreu, who added that Romero was one of the first people to call him after the trade was made in a recent conversation with MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith.

“I love it,” Abreu said of joining the Red Sox organization. “It’s a new team. A lot of guys who have a good makeup. And I like this city (Portland) because of the weather. I love the weather.”

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Abreu is “an extremely patient hitter with a discerning eye at the plate, leading to high walk totals and some strikeouts due to passivity. Overall it’s high level swing decisions with above-average game power. He has enough bat-to-ball skills to avoid the three-true-outcome label, but his average will fluctuate due to his flyball heavy approach.

“Defensively he can handle centerfield and tests highly on the Astros internal athleticism measurements. He has an unusual build as he’s a bigger bodied player for centerfield, but he has the ability to hit and provide versatility in the outfield.”

Abreu, who does not turn 24 until next June, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter if the Red Sox do not add him to their 40-man roster by the November deadline. It remains to be seen if that will happen. In the meantime, a late-season promotion so that Abreu can join Valdez in Worcester certainly cannot be ruled out.

(Picture of Wilyer Abreu: Christopher Smith/MassLive)

Red Sox infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez off to encouraging start with new organization

Recently-acquired prospect Enmanuel Valdez has gotten his tenure in the Red Sox organization off to a strong start.

In Triple-A Worcester’s 6-5 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in Moosic, Pa. on Sunday, Valdez went 1 for 4 with a two-run single while batting third and starting at second base.

Since joining the WooSox earlier this month, the left-handed hitter has batted a stout .297/.372/.649 with one double, four home runs, 15 RBIs, nine runs scored, one stolen base, five walks, and nine strikeouts over 10 games (44 plate appearances). Two of those homers came in the same game this past Friday.

Valdez, 23, was one of two prospects (the other being Wilyer Abreu) the Red Sox acquired from the Astros in the trade that sent veteran catcher Christian Vazquez to Houston on August 1.

Now regarded by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect in Boston’s farm system, Valdez originally signed with the Astros as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. The San Juan de la Maguana native began the 2022 season with Houston’s Double-A affiliate before earning a promotion to Triple-A Sugar Land in early June.

Between the Space Cowboys and WooSox, Valdez has slashed .296/.352/.577 to go along with 26 extra-base hits (14 homers), 47 runs driven in, 35 runs scored, two stolen bases, 16 walks, and 38 strikeouts across 48 games (217 plate appearances) at the Triple-A level.

Defensively, Valdez was initially signed as a shortstop seven years ago but has since proven capable of moving all across the field. Already with the WooSox, the 5-foot-9, 191-pounder has logged 70 innings at second base, nine innings at third base, and eight innings in left field. He also has experience at first base, shortstop, and in right field.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Valdez is “a bat-first infielder with a good combination of power and contact but major defensive questions.” He “has a bat-first second base profile with a lot of offensive skills to believe in.”

Valdez, who turns 24 in December, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter. The Red Sox would need to add him to their 40-man roster by the November deadline if they wish to prevent that from happening.

(Picture of Enmanuel Valdez: Rick Cinclair/Telegram & Gazette /USA TODAY NETWORK)

Red Sox trade Christian Vázquez to Astros for prospects Enmanuel Valdez, Wilyer Abreu

The Red Sox have traded catcher Christian Vazquez to the Astros for minor-leaguers Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu, the club announced Monday night.

Vazquez, who was with the Red Sox in Houston ahead of their series against the Astros, was informed of the trade while taking batting practice at Minute Maid Park on Monday afternoon. So he only had to walk across the field to join his new team.

Originally selected by Boston in the ninth round of the 2008 amateur draft, Vazquez had been the longest-tenured player in the organization. The native Puerto Rican was in the final year of his contract after having his $7 million club option picked up back in November.

Given that Vazquez was slated to become a free-agent for the first time in his career this winter, the Red Sox elected to deal the 31-year-old backstop to the Astros for a pair of prospects.

Coming into play on Monday, Vazquez was batting a stout .282/.327/.432 with 20 doubles, eight home runs, 42 RBIs, 33 runs scored, one stolen base, 18 walks, and 51 strikeouts over 84 games (318 plate appearances) this season. Among American League catchers who have made at least 100 trips to the plate, the right-handed hitter ranks third in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage, seventh in slugging percentage, and eighth in wRC+ (111), per FanGraphs.

From behind the plate, Vazquez has thrown out 16 of a possible 53 base stealers while putting up five defensive runs saved over 643 1/3 innings. He has also seen some playing time at first and second base.

As for who the Red Sox are getting back in exchange for Vazquez, Valdez was regarded by Baseball America as the Astros’ No. 12 prospect while Abreu was regarded as their No. 21 prospect.

Valdez, 23, originally signed with Houston as an international free-agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2015. The left-handed hitter has slashed .327/.410/.606 with with 21 homers, 77 RBIs, 66 runs scored, and five stolen bases over 82 games (378 plate appearances) between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Sugar Land. He has played first base, second base, left field, and right field this year.

Abreu, also 23, signed with Houston as an international free-agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2017. The left-handed hitter has spent the entirety of the 2022 campaign with Corpus Christi, batting .249/.399/.459 with 15 home runs, 54 RBIs, 81 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases across 89 games spanning 411 trips to the plate. He has seen playing time at all three outfield positions.

In the wake of trading Vazquez to Houston, the Red Sox have recalled catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez from Triple-A Worcester. Hernandez will serve as Boston’s No. 2 catcher behind Kevin Plawecki before the newly-acquired Reese McGuire joins the team.

(Picture of Christian Vazquez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta tosses complete game 2-hitter as Red Sox take series from Astros with 5-1 win

The ball was once again flying out of Fenway Park on Wednesday night as the Red Sox bounced back with a series-clinching win over the Astros. Boston defeated Houston by a final score of 5-1 to improve to 15-22 on the season.

After Nick Pivetta surrendered a leadoff home run to Jose Altuve, the Sox lineup quickly responded by scoring two runs in their half of the first inning. Matched up against Jose Garcia, Rafael Devers ripped a one-out triple down the right field line and scored from third on a J.D. Martinez sacrifice fly that nearly left the yard.

Xander Bogaerts followed by actually leaving the yard, as he crushed a Garcia cutter 358 feet over the Green Monster for his fourth home run of the season. Fast forward to the third, Enrique Hernandez led off by reaching base on a fielding error and scoring all the way from first on a wallball double off the bat of Devers.

An inning later, Trevor Story drew a leadoff walk and moved up to second when Franchy Cordero reached base on an Altuve fielding error. Both runners were driven in on back-to-back run-scoring singles from Christian Vazquez and Hernandez, which gave the Red Sox a commanding 5-1 lead.

Pivetta, meanwhile, had settled in nicely after giving up that leadoff homer to Altuve. In what was his eighth start of the season for Boston, the right-hander retired 18 consecutive batters at one point before yielding a leadoff double to Michael Brantley in the top of the seventh. He stranded Brantley on second and then sat down the side in order in the eighth.

Coming back out for the ninth, Pivetta put the finishing touches on a complete game two-hitter as well as a 5-1 win with yet another scoreless frame. He becomes the first Red Sox starter to record an out in both the eighth and ninth inning of a game this season.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 112 (78 strikes), Pivetta wound up allowing just one earned run on two hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts over eight solid innings of work. It is the second complete game of the 29-year-old’s career.

The Red Sox have now won their last two series. While Martinez saw his hitting streak come to an end, Devers extended his to 12 consecutive games. Pivetta, on the other hand, picked up his first home win of the year while lowering his ERA on the season to 4.22.

Next up: Welcoming in the Mariners

The Red Sox will next welcome the Mariners into town for the start of a four-game weekend series on Thursday night. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will be getting the start for Boston while rookie right-hander George Kirby will be doing the same for Seattle.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Who is Devon Roedahl? Red Sox pitching prospect was named Low-A East Postseason All-Star in 2021, is projected to begin 2022 season at High-A Greenville

The Red Sox selected two prospects out of the University of Houston during the 2019 amateur draft. The first player, first baseman Joe Davis, was drafted in the 19th round while the second player, right-hander Devon Roedahl, was drafted in the 27th round. Both Davis and Roedahl were signed by former area scout Tim Collinsworth.

While Davis has already established himself as somewhat of a folk hero within Boston’s farm system, what Roedahl did last year seems to have slipped under the radar a bit.

As a junior coming out of Houston, Roedahl ultimately signed with Boston for just $25,000 in June 2019. The Beaumont, Texas native made his pro debut in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and made 16 appearances there to close out the 2019 campaign.

The following spring, Roedahl — like many 2019 draftees — had his first full year in pro ball wiped out from under him when the 2020 minor-league season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He did not receive the benefit of an invite to the Sox’ alternate training site; nor did he participate in fall instructs.

On the heels of a lost 2020, Roedahl finally had the chance to embark upon his first full season as a professional last spring. The righty broke minor-league camp with Low-A Salem and spent the entirety of the year there while operating on a fairly consistent schedule.

Across 37 relief appearances out of Salem’s bullpen, Roedahl posted a 2.52 ERA and 3.42 xFIP to go along with 62 strikeouts to just 12 walks over 60 2/3 total innings of work. He also recorded 11 saves.

Although he was admittedly facing younger competition, Roedahl still ranked fifth in walk rate (4.9%) among Low-A East pitchers who accrued at least 60 innings on the mound last year. He also ranked fifth in walks per nine innings (1.78), 18th in strikeout rate (25.5%), ninth in batting average against (.208), sixth in WHIP (0.99), third in ERA, and fourth in xFIP, per FanGraphs.

Because of these numbers, Roedahl was named to the 2021 Low-A East Postseason All-Star team as well as the 2021 SoxProspects.com All-Star team. The 6-2, 225 pounder works with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 91-93 mph fastball, an 83-85 mph splitter, and an 82-85 mph slider, per his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

Roedahl, who turned 25 in November, is not going to pop up on any Red Sox top prospects lists anytime soon. Still, he is one of several minor-leaguers who can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in their respective careers next winter.

With that being said, Roedahl — who is likely already in Fort Myers for spring training — is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 season in High-A Greenville’s bullpen. Perhaps he can make his way to Double-A Portland by the end of the year.

(Picture of Devon Roedahl via his Instagram)

Red Sox among teams on hand to watch Justin Verlander’s showcase in Florida

The Red Sox were one of several teams on hand to watch Justin Verlander pitch at a showcase on Monday, reports Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal (Twitter link).

Per McAdam, the Sox were one of 15-20 big-league clubs in attendance to observe Verlander’s workout at Cressey Sports Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Verlander threw 25 pitches while hovering around the mid-90s and topping out at 97 mph with his vaunted four-seam fastball. McAdam adds that he apparently “looked impressive.”

Verlander, who turns 39 in February, became a free-agent last week after spending the last 4 1/2 seasons with the Astros. The veteran right-hander has not appeared in a game since July 24, 2020, however, as he suffered a forearm strain that ultimately required Tommy John surgery last September.

In his most-recent full season of work, 2019, Verlander posted a 2.58 ERA and 3.27 FIP to go along with a career-best 300 strikeouts and 42 walks over 34 starts spanning 223 innings of work en route to winning his second American League Cy Young Award.

Despite the fact that he has not pitched on a major-league mound in well over a year, Verlander still received a qualifying offer from Houston. This means that if the 38-year-old were to reject it and a remain a free agent, any other team that signs him would then owe the Astros compensation in the form of a draft pick.

In the Red Sox’ case, that would require them to forfeit their second-highest available selection in next year’s draft while also having their international signing bonus pool for next year’s international signing period reduced by $500,000

When speaking with reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) on Sunday, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom indicated that the team was now in a better spot to pursue qualified free agents, such as Verlander, than they were a year ago.

“I think we’re in better position than we were a year ago,” Bloom said. “Even a year ago, I remember we talked about it and I said it’s certainly not something that’s off the table for us. Now at the time I said that knowing that most likely with those guys (last year’s qualified free agents), it wouldn’t line up. I don’t know how this offseason is going to play out. But I think just where we’re positioned now with the depth that we have internally, although we’re nowhere close to where we want to be, we are in a better position than where we were.

“So I think it’s likelier there could be a fit there,” he added. “But we’re just going to do as we would with any move, just access all the implications. And if it is something that makes sense for us, we’ve got to be ready to bounce.”

A client of ISE Baseball, Verlander does have some Red Sox connections, as manager Alex Cora served as Houston’s bench coach during their controversial World Series run in 2017.

Verlander, like Eduardo Rodriguez, has until November 17 to decide if he will either accept the Astros’ $18.4 million qualifying offer and remain in Houston for the 2022 campaign, or reject it and test the open market instead.

(Picture of Justin Verlander: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former Red Sox utility man Marwin Gonzalez added to Astros’ World Series roster

In a surprising turn of events, former Red Sox utility man Marwin Gonzalez was added to the Astros’ World Series roster on Tuesday, shortly before their clash against the Braves begins at Minute Maid Park.

Gonzalez was left off both Houston’s American League Division Series and Championship Series rosters, but was added to the club’s World Series squad on account of rookie outfielder Jake Meyers being sidelined with a left shoulder injury.

The versatile 32-year-old initially signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Red Sox right at the beginning of spring training in late February and opened the 2021 season on their Opening Day roster.

While he got consistent playing time all over the field, Gonzalez struggled to the tune of a .205/.286/.297 slash line to go along with 14 doubles, two home runs, 18 RBI, 23 runs scored, three stolen bases, 17 walks and 61 strikeouts over his first 70 games (246 plate appearances) with Boston before being placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right hamstring strain on July 16.

That hamstring strain held Gonzalez out of action for nearly a month, as the switch-hitter did not return to the Red Sox until early August and was later designated for assignment on Aug. 13 as a result of his prolonged offensive struggles.

After clearing waivers and becoming a free agent, Gonzalez inked a minor-league pact with his former team in the Astros on Aug. 27 and had his contract selected by the big-league club nine days later.

Revered in Houston for helping the Astros win their first World Series title over the Dodgers in 2017, Gonzalez went 5-for-34 (.176) at the plate with three homers, eight RBI, five runs scored, one walk, and eight strikeouts across 14 games before the regular season ended on October 3.

While Gonzalez has not played in a game in over three weeks, he can still provide value to the Astros in the upcoming Fall Classic as someone who hits from both sides of the plate, play a plethora of defensive positions, and is well-versed in postseason baseball.

“The decision was Meyers is not healthy to play,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said on Tuesday. “Marwin is a switch-hitter. He gives me a lot of flexibility in positions, and he has World Series experience, so you know he’s not going to be like in awe of the game or the situation.”

Gonzalez is not in Houston’s lineup for Game 1 of this best-of-seven World Series against the Braves, but he could be used more during the portion of this series that will take place in a National League Ballpark — where pitchers hit — in Atlanta.

(Picture of Marwin Gonzalez: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Red Sox sticking with same lineup they used in Game 3 for Game 4 of ALCS vs. Astros

Why fix what isn’t broken?

After mashing their way to a 12-3 win over the Astros in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Monday, the Red Sox are running back the same exact starting lineup for Tuesday night’s Game 4 at Fenway Park.

With veteran right-hander Zack Greinke on the mound for Houston, Boston will have the opportunity to take a three-games-to-one lead in this best-of-seven series.

Kyle Schwarber, after belting a grand slam on Monday, will once again be leading off and starting at first base for the Sox on Tuesday. He will be followed by center fielder Enrique Hernandez, third baseman Rafael Devers, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and left fielder Alex Verdugo.

Verdugo batting fifth means designated hitter J.D. Martinez has dropped down to the six-hole once more, while right fielder Hunter Renfroe, catcher Christian Vazquez, and second baseman Christian Arroyo round out the lineup.

Vazquez will be catching righty Nick Pivetta, who Red Sox manager Alex Cora named as his Game 4 starter following Monday’s blowout victory.

Pivetta will be making his first career postseason start come Tuesday night after only being used as a reliever on two separate occasions during the American League Division Series against the Rays.

In those two outings, the 28-year-old hurler turned in a pair of solid performances in Games 1 and 3, posting a 3.12 ERA and 4.67 FIP to go along with 11 strikeouts to three walks over 8 2/3 total innings of work.

Over the course of the regular season, Pivetta faced off against the Astros only once, and that came in Houston back on June 2. He allowed two runs on three hits, two walks, one hit batsman and nine strikeouts in six innings during that outing at Minute Maid Park.

Greinke, on the other hand, last started a game for the Astros on September 19, as he was used out of their bullpen just once and tossed a scoreless fourth inning in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the White Sox on October 10.

Like Pivetta, Greinke made one start against his upcoming opponent during the regular season. On June 10 at Fenway Park, the soon-to-be 38-year-old surrendered four runs to the Red Sox on seven hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over three uninspiring innings.

With all that being said, first pitch from Fenway on Tuesday night is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. eastern time on FS1.

(Picture of Enrique Hernandez and Kyle Schwarber: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)