Red Sox’ Hirokazu Sawamura ‘good to go’ for remainder of ALCS despite experiencing right hamstring discomfort earlier this week

UPDATE: Sawamura is ‘good to go’ after there was some concern regarding his right hamstring, Cora told MLB.com’s Ian Browne.

Original Story: Red Sox reliever Hirokazu Sawamura is currently dealing with a right hamstring injury that could result in him being replaced on Boston’s American League Championship Series roster, manager Alex Cora said prior to Game 6 on Friday.

When speaking with reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) during his pregame media availability, Cora indicated that Sawamura would throw on the field at Minute Maid Park before the club decides if a roster move is necessary.

After not being named to Boston’s Wild Card Game or division series squads, Sawamura was added to the Sox’ 26-man ALCS roster last week as he essentially replaced fellow right-hander Matt Barnes.

The 33-year-old hurler out of Japan has appeared in three of the five games the Red Sox have played against the Astros thus far, posting a 4.50 ERA and 5.67 FIP to go along with two strikeouts, two walks, and one hit batsman over two total innings of work.

During the regular season, Sawamura missed time on the injured list on two separate occasions due to right triceps inflammation in late July and a bout with COVID-19 that began towards the end of August and lasted through mid-September.

Should Sawamura be deemed unable to pitch for the remainder of this series, right-handers such as Barnes and the recently-activated Phillips Valdez could emerge as candidates to replace him.

On the flip side of that, left-hander Austin Davis — who was on the Wild Card and division series rosters but left off the ALCS roster — represents another possible fill-in option.

(Picture of Hirokazu Sawamura: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox injuries: Josh Taylor to have MRI on back; X-rays on Kevin Plawecki’s foot come back negative

In the process of blowing a late one-run lead and dropping a heartbreaker to the Yankees by a final score of 5-3 at Fenway Park on Saturday, the Red Sox were also dealt two blows on the injury front, though one may be considered more significant than the other.

For starters, Josh Taylor was not available out of the bullpen because of a back issue, Sox manager Alex Cora relayed following Saturday night’s defeat at the hands of the Yankees.

“Taylor is down,” Cora said. “He’s actually going to have an MRI tomorrow. His back has been bothering him, so we’ll see where we’re at with that, but he was down.”

With Taylor unavailable, Boston was left without an additional left-handed relief option in its bullpen, leaving Austin Davis and Darwinzon Hernandez as the two primary lefties who could be called upon.

After Tanner Houck issued a pair of two-out walks to New York’s No. 1 and No. 2 hitters in the top of the eighth inning, Cora was put into a spot where his side had a 2-1 lead to protect with a left-handed hitter in Anthony Rizzo due to hit next for the opposition.

That led Cora to turn to Hernandez for the left-on-left matchup with one out to get in the eighth. Hernandez, however, plunked Rizzo on a 3-1, 96 mph fastball to load the bases as the ever-dangerous, right-handed hitting Giancarlo Stanton loomed in the on-deck circle.

While Cora could not make another pitching change since Hernandez had yet to face the minimum of three batters, he did pay the 24-year-old a visit on the pitcher’s mound to have a brief conversation with him — as well as the rest of the Red Sox infield.

Cora’s pep talk did not pay off, though, as Hernandez proceeded to groove a first-pitch fastball down the heart of the plate to Stanton that the Yankees slugger crushed 452 feet over the Green Monster for what would turn out to be the game-winning grand slam.

In choosing Hernandez over Davis to face Rizzo, Cora was left to defend his decision during his postgame media availability, and he did just that.

“I mean, the fact that his stuff plays, right? He’s been throwing the ball well, and you always have to be prepared for the next hitter, right?” Cora said in regards to having Hernandez pitch in that spot. “It’s not that you’re thinking something negative is going to happen with the lefty (Rizzo), but we do believe that he can get the righty out, too, in that spot so we went with him.”

Coming into play on Saturday, Hernandez had actually fared better against right-handed hitters (.615 OPS) than left-handed hitters (.736 OPS against).

Davis, on the other hand, has given up just four hits to the 31 left-handed hitters he faced since joining the Red Sox as a trade deadline acquisition.

On the flip side of that, however, Davis has struggled against right-handed hitters (.886 OPS against) dating back to July 31, so Cora truly did have a difficult decision to make when taking the three-batter minimum rule into consideration.

“There’s two outs. We’ve got to get him (Rizzo) out there,” said Cora. “That’s why we went with Darwinzon. Because we do believe he can get the lefty and the righty out. It just didn’t happen. But the rules are the rules. We’ve been playing with them all season. It’s not the first time we had a situation like this. Just like he wasn’t able to pound the strike zone with the lefty.”

Regardless of which reliever was tasked with getting out of the eighth inning, Boston’s late-game collapse stems from Houck’s inability to throw strikes consistently.

The right-hander was dispatched in the seventh inning and walked the first two batters he faced on eight straight balls before escaping the jam on a double play off the bat of Gleyber Torres and a three-pitch strikeout of Gary Sanchez.

Houck proceeded to fan the first two Yankees he faced in the eighth as well and appeared to be on the verge of punching out the side when he had leadoff man Brett Gardner in a 1-2 count. He instead walked Gardner on six pitches before getting in another two-strike count against Aaron Judge that ultimately resulted in a six-pitch walk to bring Rizzo to the plate.

“We didn’t throw enough strikes in that inning,” Cora said. “We had two outs, 1-2 count, we weren’t able to put [Gardner] away. Then 2-2 count against Judge, we didn’t put him away. Obviously the walk to Rizzo [by Hernandez], but I think it goes back to the leadoff hitter. We had two outs and we made some good pitches, but not in the strike zone.”

In other injury-related news, Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki, who went 2-for-2 with a walk and a home run in Saturday’s loss, was struck in the right foot by a 98.5 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman during final plate appearance of the night in the ninth inning.

A hobbled Plawecki was removed from the contest and replaced at first base by the pinch-running Christian Vazquez, but Cora later revealed that X-Rays on the veteran backstop’s foot came back negative.

“It’s feeling better now. X-rays are negative, so that’s good,” Plawecki said. “Obviously sore, but we’ll get some treatment on it tomorrow and it shouldn’t be anything for me to really worry about. So, I dodged a bullet, I guess you could say.”

(Picture of Josh Taylor: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Eduardo Rodriguez forced to exit Friday’s game against Yankees with migraine symptoms

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was forced to exit Friday night’s game against the Yankees due to migraine symptoms, the team has announced.

Rodriguez was removed in the second inning after giving up an RBI double to Brett Gardner. Upon allowing the hit and returning the mound, the left-hander crouched down in discomfort and remained in that position for several minutes.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, along with pitching coach Dave Bush, assistant trainer Masai Takahashi, and several of his teammates paid Rodriguez a visit on the mound, and the 28-year-old came out of the game shortly thereafter. He was replaced by right-hander Phillips Valdez.

Prior to his night prematurely coming to a close, Rodriguez had thrown 25 pitches (16 strikes) as he retired the side in order in the first inning before yielding a leadoff walk to Gary Sanchez and back-to-back hits to Gleyber Torres and Gardner in the second. Gardner drove in Sanchez on his run-scoring double.

Rodriguez, making his 19th start of the season on Friday, came into play this weekend with an ERA of 5.19 and FIP of 3.51 through his first 18 outings (95 1/3 innings pitched) of the year.

The Venezuelan southpaw missed the entirety of the shortened 2020 campaign after contracting myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) as a result of a bout with COVID-19.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, though, Rodriguez has made all 19 of his scheduled starts this season after arm fatigue delayed his 2021 debut by a few days.

(Picture of Alex Cora, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Masai Takahashi: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo forced to exit Sunday’s game against Yankees due to left hamstring strain: ‘It’s most likely an injured list thing,’ Alex Cora says

Christian Arroyo’s professional debut at first base was a short-lived one that, quite simply, did not go as planned.

Making his first-ever major-league start at first base for the Red Sox in Sunday’s contest against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, Arroyo grounded out to first base in his first at-bat of the night in the top half of the third inning before suffering a painful looking left hamstring injury in the bottom half.

With one out and runners at the corners, Sox starter Martin Perez induced a sharply-hit groundball off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton that was fielded by shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

After receiving the relay from Bogaerts, second baseman Kiké Hernández made a quick throw towards first base in an attempt to complete the potential inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Arroyo, who was presumably trying to record the second out of the twin killing at first before the runner at third — Greg Allen — crossed home plate, wound up stretching out with his left leg to the point where he landed on the ground while doing a split.

Stanton ended up beating the throw, but Arroyo was in clear discomfort as he gripped at his left hamstring while seated near the first base bag.

Upon getting back on his feet, a hobbled Arroyo was replaced at first base by Bobby Dalbec and was later diagnosed with a left hamstring strain.

The 26-year-old is likely headed for the injured list for a third time this season, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said following Sunday night’s 9-1 loss to the Yankees.

“It’s most likely an IL thing,” said Cora. “He just felt it when he stretched. It’s a hard one, right? He was ready, of course, to play first, but he stretches and that happens. It’s a tough one for us, but we’ll be bounce back.”

Danny Santana, who has been out of action since July 6 on the injured list with a left quad strain since July 9, is expected to join the Red Sox in Buffalo on Monday ahead of their series against the Blue Jays after completing a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester.

The switch-hitting Santana, who went 0-for-4 with two walks and a run scored in his most recent stint with the WooSox, has appeared in 12 games at first base for Boston so far this season, so the veteran utility man could be an option to fill in there while Arroyo is sidelined.

For Arroyo, this latest setback is just the latest reminder in how snake-bitten the infielder has been in his first full season with the Red Sox.

Finally able to establish himself as a legitimate everyday player, Arroyo is on the verge of hitting the IL for a third time in 2021 after previously missing time with a left hand and right knee contusion.

Since most-recently being activated off the injured list on July 5, the former first-round pick posted a .310/.355/.621 slash line with two home runs, four runs scored, and six RBI over his last eight games coming into play on Sunday.

That stretch of success was happening concurrently with the Red Sox calling up top outfield prospect Jarren Duran from Worcester, which resulted in Hernández shifting from center field to second base — the position Arroyo had played so well at.

In search to get Arroyo consistent playing time after promoting Duran, the Sox opted to try the right-handed hitter out at first base, with Cora even saying that “he deserves to play” with the way he has been swinging the bat as of late.

So, how frustrating is it when a player such as Arroyo, who has proven to be a key contributor when healthy, suffers an injury when he is seemingly on the verge of going on a tear?

“It’s frustrating, right?” said Cora. “Because, it seems like he’s in a groove, he’s swinging the bat well, and then this happens. We don’t like our guys to get hurt. This is one of the things, too, that — and [head athletic trainer Brad Pearson] always talks about it — it’s not only in his case. When you don’t play that much and all the sudden you start playing a lot, and you start getting on base at a high rate, and you’re running the bases more than usual, stuff like this happens.

“And we try to avoid it,” Cora added. “We put them in running programs when they’re not playing everyday just to avoid stuff like this. But, it’s too bad that it happens. And we’ll keep working, we’ll keep trying to improve, because that’s something that actually makes a lot of sense. You go from not playing to all the sudden playing 10 days in a row or eight out of 10, and your body’s not used to it.

“I’m not saying this is the case for Christian, but, overall, that’s one of the things that we’ve been studying and talking about. And we’ll try to get it right, I guess, that’s what I’m trying to say. So, we’ll keep working like I said and keep getting better.”

If Arroyo were to be placed on the 10-day injured list on Monday, the soonest he could be activated would be next Thursday, July 29.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Danny Santana removed from Tuesday’s game against Angels due to left quad injury: ‘We’re going to be very careful,’ Alex Cora says

Red Sox utility man Danny Santana was forced to exit Tuesday night’s game against the Angels in the seventh inning due to a left quad injury, manager Alex Cora said.

Santana, who started at first base for Boston in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to Los Angeles, sustained the injury while running out a ground ball he hit to second base off Angels starter Shohei Ohtani.

In the process of trying to beat the throw to first, however, Santana came up limp, resulting in Bobby Dalbec taking over for him at first base.

When asked about how the veteran utility man was holding up during his postgame media availability, Cora hinted that a stint on the injured list could be possible.

“It’s his left quad, you saw him limping towards the end,” Cora said over Zoom. “Hopefully, he slowed down enough that it wasn’t that bad. Obviously, he’s getting treatment. It will come back tomorrow and see how he feels.”

Santana, who came into play Tuesday hitting .286 (8-for-28)/.310/.429 over his last seven games, is known for his speed, as evidenced by his 74 career stolen bases at the major-league level.

The 30-year-old switch-hitter also has a history when it comes to issues pertaining to his left quad, as he missed a significant portion of the 2017 season with the Braves due to a left quadriceps strain that ultimately required a stay on the 60-day IL.

“With him, obviously, speed is part of his game, and moving in the outfield and all that,” said Cora. “So we’re going to be very careful. He has past history with that. We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow and we’ll decide what we do.”

Santana being removed from Tuesday’s game because of injury comes one day after fellow utility man Marwin Gonzalez was forced to leave Monday’s contest at Angel Stadium on account of right hamstring tightness.

Cora had been hopeful that Gonzalez would be ready to return to action for Wednesday’s series finale against the Angels, but the possibility that he is not would put the Sox in a tough position with a short bench.

Calling up someone — like Michael Chavis or Franchy Cordero, for instance –from Triple-A Worcester would be a feasible option in this scenario were it not for the fact that the WooSox are currently taking on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa., which is approximately 2,690 miles Northeast of Anaheim.

“That’s what we were talking about,” Cora said. “There’s not too many bodies around here, and I don’t think they’re going to make it on time if we have to bring in somebody from outside.”

Backup catcher Kevin Plawecki, who has been on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain since June 22, has been traveling and working out with the team during this West Coast road trip.

With that in mind, the 30-year-old backstop could be activated off the IL before Wednesday’s game in the event that Boston would need a fresh body available off the bench in place of Santana and/or Gonzalez.

“Kevin is probably available,” said Cora. “If that’s the case, maybe. He ran the bases today, he’s been hitting. Tomorrow, he was going to have a heavy load of workouts behind the plate, throwing the bases and all that. If that goes well and we have to make a move, most likely it’s going to be Kevin. To have a body with Connor (Wong), who we can move around and Christian (Arroyo), too. So we feel comfortable if that’s the case.”

The Red Sox close out their three-game series against the Angels on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Danny Santana: Theoron W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Red Sox injuries: Bobby Dalbec (hamstring tightness) out of Wednesday’s lineup, Christian Arroyo (knee contusion) set for rehab assignment with WooSox, Tanner Houck sharp in latest start

Red Sox manager Alex Cora provided injury updates pertaining to Bobby Dalbec, Christian Arroyo, and Tanner Houck prior to Wednesday’s game against the Royals at Fenway Park.

Dalbec, who experienced right hamstring tightness that forced him to exit in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s win over Kansas City, is out of Boston’s starting lineup for Wednesday’s contest.

“Bobby’s OK,” Cora said earlier Wednesday afternoon. “He’s still tight. He’s going to get treatment. I don’t know if we’re going to try to make him run today. But better than yesterday, but not 100%.”

While it certainly looks like Dalbec, who actually turned 26 on Tuesday, will avoid a trip to the injured list and should be considered day-to-day, Michael Chavis will start in his place at first base and bat ninth on Wednesday.

Arroyo slated to begin rehab assignment with WooSox

Christian Arroyo, meanwhile, has been on the 10-day injured list since June 24 (backdated to June 21) due to a right knee contusion that was originally diagnosed as a right shin bone bruise after he collided with Enrique Hernandez in Kansas City two weekends ago.

Because his stint on the IL was backdated to June 21, Arroyo is eligible to be activated on Thursday, July 1. That said, the Red Sox would like the 26-year-old infielder to get some at-bats in with Triple-A Worcester before that happens.

“Most likely he’ll go to Worcester and he’ll DH tomorrow,” Cora said of Arroyo. “He faced Chris [Sale] today. I think he had two at-bats against him. But there’s not too much going on the field today as far as batting practice and all that. But that was the plan last night. Probably after the game we’ll let you guys know, but that seems to be what he’s going to do.

Arroyo himself expects to head out to Polar Park on Thursday to DH for the WooSox before rejoining the big-league club for their upcoming West Coast road trip.

Houck feeling good after third start back for WooSox

Red Sox pitching prospect Tanner Houck woke up Wednesday morning with no ill effects from his latest start with the WooSox at Polar Park on Tuesday night, Cora said.

In his third start back off the injured list after missing more than a month with flexor muscle soreness, Houck allowed two earned runs on three hits, zero walks, and two hit batsmen to go along with four strikeouts over four innings of work.

It was the right-hander’s longest outing (67 pitches, 40 of which were strikes) since he returned to the mound on June 17.

“Everything went well,” Cora said when asked about Houck, who turned 25 on Tuesday. “I actually texted with [WooSox pitching coach Paul Abbott] this morning, he felt like [Houck] was really good. Command was good, the intent was good, very aggressive. Everything went well. Obviously, let’s see how he shows up today and if there’s any red flags. We don’t expect red flags, so it was a good one for him.”

As he continues to build up his arm strength, Houck could make his return to the Sox’ starting rotation out of the All-Star break if the club opts to add a sixth starter to the mix out of the gate in late July.

Also, for what it’s worth, Cora did not provide an update on backup catcher Kevin Plawecki, who has been on the injured list with a left hamstring strain since June 22 but suffered an apparent minor setback on Monday.

(Picture of Bobby Dalbec: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox injuries: Christian Arroyo should avoid injured list, Tanner Houck allows 2 runs over 3 2/3 innings in latest start for WooSox

Infielder Christian Arroyo remains out of the Red Sox lineup for the middle game of their three-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Wednesday night.

Arroyo suffered a bone bruise in his right shin in Sunday’s loss to the Royals after colliding with center fielder Enrique Hernandez in the fifth inning of that contest.

While the 26-year-old has been held out Boston’s lineup in the two games since sustaining the injury, he has been able to get treatment on his bruised shin and even participated in some running drills earlier Wednesday afternoon. The team appears optimistic that he can avoid a stint on the injured list.

“He’s doing better. Still sore,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said in regards to Arroyo’s status. “We’ll try to stay away from him today. We still believe it’s not an IL situation. Hopefully, he’s ready to play tomorrow — if not, by Friday. So, we’ll be patient with him.”

Boston concludes its three-game set against the Rays on Thursday before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Yankees back at Fenway Park on Friday.

With Arroyo being held out of action once more, Hernandez will get the start for the Sox at second base, while Danny Santana will bat leadoff and start in center field.

Tanner Houck’s tosses 3 2/3 innings in latest start for WooSox

Red Sox pitching prospect Tanner Houck made his second start for Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday since returning from the injured list after being shut down for more than a month with flexor muscle soreness.

After dazzling with three scoreless, no-hit innings in his return to the mound at Polar Park last week, Houck had a tougher time of things when going up the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings (Nationals affiliate) at Frontier Field on Wednesday.

The right-hander served up a leadoff home run to the first man he faced in Luis Garcia, though he was able to settle down for a stretch by retiring nine of the next 10 hitters who came to the plate against him going into the fourth inning.

With one out in the bottom of the fourth, however, Houck yielded a hard-hit double to former White Sox outfielder Daniel Palka and saw his day come to a close after recording the second out of the frame.

The runner he left on wound up scoring later in the inning, and the WooSox would go on to fall to the Red Wings by a final score of 5-3 to snap a modest five-game winning streak.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 58 (38 strikes), Houck wound up surrendering two earned runs on three hits (one home run) and zero walks to go along with six strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings of work.

Assuming he wakes up feeling fine on Thursday, the soon-to-be 25-year-old hurler’s next start for the WooSox should come against the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees affiliate) back at Polar Park on Monday.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox injuries: Christian Arroyo (bone bruise), Kevin Plawecki (hamstring tightness) removed from Sunday’s series finale against Royals

The Red Sox received two potentially serious blows to their roster makeup in the process of falling to the Royals by a final score of 7-3 at Kauffmann Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

In the bottom of the fifth inning on a steamy day in Kansas City, Christian Arroyo needed to be removed from the game after colliding with center fielder Kiké Hernández while the two were going after a fly ball off the bat of Hunter Dozier that wound up going for a double.

In the process of trying to make an over-the-shoulder catch with his back towards the infield, the second baseman inadvertently bumped knees with Hernandez as he slid into the outfield grass.

As a result of the contact he made with Hernandez, Arroyo — who was in visible pain and seemingly could not put a ton of weight on his right knee — needed to be taken out and was replaced by Marwin Gonzalez at second base for the remainder of the contest.

Later diagnosed with a right shin bone bruise, X-rays on the 26-year-old’s knee did come back negative.

“Christian is sore,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith). “It’s right below the patellar. So he’ll be sore for a little bit. He had X-rays. Everything’s good. They moved his knee around. It seems like he’ll be OK. Obviously let’s see how it goes on the plane and when we get to Tampa.”

As noted by The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey, the Sox were planning on batting Arroyo leadoff for all three of their upcoming games against the Rays this week with left-handers on the mound for Tampa Bay, so this bone bruise certainly puts those plans in jeopardy.

Hernandez, meanwhile, was able to remain in the game after the fifth-inning collision, and he later described what happened on the play from his point of view.

“The collision happened after the ball dropped. I was coming in for the ball. He was still going back for the ball,” he said. “I wasn’t able to get out of the way because I was trying to keep up with the ball. We just happened to hit each other.”

Plawecki exits in fourth inning

Two innings before the collision that forced Arroyo out of this contest early, Hernandez was also somewhat involved in another Red Sox injury.

With one out and a runner at second base in the bottom half of the third, Hernandez fielded a line-drive single off the bat of Salvador Perez and attempted to gun down the runner — Whit Merrifield — at home.

Hernandez’s throw was errant, however, and it forced backup catcher Kevin Plawecki to leave his post and chase after the ball before it hit the backstop. He came up limping in the process of doing so.

Able to remain in the game for the remainder of the inning, Plawecki was ultimately pinch-hit for by Christian Vazquez in the top half of the fourth and was later ruled out with left hamstring tightness.

Based off what Cora told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham) during his postgame media availability, it seems as though the Sox are optimistic that Arroyo will avoid a stint on the injured list; though the same cannot be said for Plawecki.

“With Kevin, we’ll wait a little bit,” Cora said of the 30-year-old backstop. “He wanted to grind it out. We’ll know more [Monday]. I talked to [athletic trainer] Brandon [Henry] and he feels like with that one, we should wait to see where we’re at during the week.”

The Red Sox have Monday off as they prepare to open a three-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg.

If Plawecki’s status is still uncertain after that, then it’s likely Boston would need to place him on the injured list and, in turn, call up another catcher.

Besides Vazquez and Plawecki, prospects Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez are the only other catchers on the Sox’ 40-man roster and neither have any big-league experience.

Veterans with major-league experience such as Chris Herrmann and Jett Bandy, however, are currently playing for the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate in Worcester, so that would likely be the move.

That being said, neither Bandy nor Herrmann are currently on Boston’s 40-man roster, so a corresponding transaction would need to be made in order for one of the two to be added to the big-league roster.

(Picture of Alex Cora and Christian Arroyo: Jamie Squire/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 injuries: Kiké Hernández set to rehab with WooSox this weekend; Christian Arroyo ‘not on track’ to begin rehab assignment yet

As planned, Red Sox utilityman Kiké Hernández will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester this weekend, Sox manager Alex Cora said before Friday’s game against the Angels at Fenway Park.

Per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the plan is for Hernandez to serve as the WooSox’ designated hitter on Saturday and play center field on Sunday in the final two games of the team’s series against the Syracuse Mets at Polar Park.

Hernandez, who was placed on the injured list last Friday due to a right hamstring strain, would then be eligible to come off the IL on Tuesday, when the Sox open a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla.

Christian Arroyo, meanwhile, had been on track to began his rehab assignment in Worcester right around the same time as Hernandez, but that no longer appears to be the case.

The second baseman has been sidelined with a left hand contusion since last week and was placed on the 10-day injured list on Sunday, meaning the earliest he could be activated was this coming Wednesday.

According to Cora, though, Arroyo is off track with where Hernandez is at in his rehab, so it would seem as though he will not be playing in Worcester this weekend.

“The goal is to have Enrique after his two rehab games,” Cora said Friday afternoon. “He’s playing tomorrow and Sunday. Hopefully he can be back with us on Tuesday. Arroyo, it’s not that he’s behind, but he’s actually doing soft toss today, [batting practice] tomorrow. So, he’s not on track with Kiké.”

Arroyo has been drilled by a pitch in the left hand on two separate occasions this season. The first of which came against the Mariners on April 25; the second of which came against the Tigers on May 6.

While he was able to play defense and run the bases after getting plunked a second time, the 25-year-old’s inability to swing a bat pain-free ultimately led to him being placed on the IL.

It is also worth mentioning that back in 2017, when he was a member of the Giants organization, Arroyo missed the final two months of the minor-league season that year after sustaining a fractured left hand on a hit-by-pitch.

With that in mind, it goes without saying that the Red Sox are presumably taking things slowly with Arroyo’s rehab to ensure that he can come back with full strength and dexterity in his left hand.

“He did soft toss only [Thursday]. It’s part of the progression,” Cora said. “He was OK yesterday. So they felt like today should be soft toss only. Tomorrow, if everything goes well, he’ll hit live BP. And then, we’ll go from there. But right now, he’s not on pace to play tomorrow or Sunday with Triple-A.”

While Hernandez and Arroyo have been shelved with their respective injuries, infielders Michael Chavis and Jonathan Arauz have been up with the Red Sox in their place.

The expectation seems to be that those two would be sent back down to Worcester once Hernandez and Arroyo are ready to be activated.

Assuming Hernandez is back before Arroyo, though, one would have to think Arauz would be optioned before Chavis. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Kiké Hernández: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)