Red Sox Reinstate Steven Wright, Option Josh Smith to Triple-A Pawtucket, and Transfer Nathan Eovaldi to 60-Day Injured List

Before taking on the Chicago White Sox in the second of a three-game series on Tuesday, the Red Sox reinstated right-hander Steven Wright from the restricted list. In order to make room for Wright on Boston’s 40-man roster, right-hander Nathan Eovaldi was transferred to the 60-day injured list. And in order to make room for Wright on the 25-man roster, right-hander Josh Smith was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. The club made the transactions official earlier Tuesday.

Suspended the first 80 games of the 2019 season back in March after testing positive for human growth hormone, Wright would be ineligible for the postseason.

The knuckleballer was sent out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on June 9th, where he allowed two earned runs on six hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts over five appearances (one start) and 9 2/3 total innings pitched. That’s good for an ERA of 1.86 and batting average against of .176.

Although he would not be able to pitch in October, the addition of Wright should still provide a boost to a Red Sox bullpen that appears to need one at the moment.

In 16 outings as a reliever last season before being shelved with inflammation in his left knee, Wright posted a 1.52 ERA and .618 OPS against over 25 2/3 frames of work.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora has already come out and said Wright will be strictly used as a reliever, which makes sense given the knee issues he had last year.

On October 6th, the 34-year-old was placed on the injured list because of that left knee, and that kept him out of Boston’s World Series run. A month later, Wright underwent successful left knee surgery in New York, where he received an arthroscopy and debridement on the joint.

Now, coming off his second suspension in as many seasons, Wright will look to give his team a different kind of look out of the bullpen.

Smith, meanwhile, appeared in two contests against the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend in his fourth stint with Boston, allowing one run over four innings of relief.

On the 2019 season as a whole, the 31-year-old hurler owns a 5.40 ERA and .289 batting average against through 10 outings, two of which have been starts. He also picked up his first big league save on June 13th in a 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers.

As for Eovaldi, the move to the 60-day injured list has no effect on when he will be back, since the 29-year-old has already missed more than 60 days after being shelved back in April and undergoing successful surgery on his right elbow that same week.

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Red Sox Sign Former Royals and Diamondbacks Utility Man Chris Owings to Minor-League Deal

Per The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham, the Red Sox signed veteran utility man Chris Owings to a minor-league contract Monday.

Owings, 27, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Kansas City Royals last December and slashed .133/.193/.222 with two home runs and nine RBI over 40 games played before being designated for assignment and eventually released on June 4th.

Initially selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft, Owings spent six big league seasons in the desert, posting a .250/.291/.378 slash line to go along with 31 homers and 196 runs driven in.

A native of South Carolina, Owings is capable of playing all around the field with experience at second base, shortstop, third base, and all three outfield positions.

Despite the poor numbers he has amassed with Kansas City this year, Owings can still provide the Red Sox with solid minor league depth at Triple-A Pawtucket once he gets there from Fort Myers.

#RedSox Purchase Contract of Former Phillies Infielder Cody Asche from Sugar Land Skeeters, Assign Him to Triple-A Pawtucket

The Red Sox have signed former Phillies and White Sox utility man Cody Asche to a minor-league contract, according to the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, the independent club Asche was a member of before his contract was purchased Friday.

Asche, 28, has been assigned and will report to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Last playing in the majors with Chicago in 2017, the infielder/outfielder owns a career .234/.293/.376 slash line to go along with 32 home runs and 129 RBI over 390 games dating back to the 2013 season.

Following a 2017 campaign in which he appeared in just 19 games for the White Sox, Asche bounced around a bit between the Royals, Yankees, and Mets’ Triple-A clubs last season before inking a minor-league pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past February.

Released by Los Angeles the very next month, the former fourth round draft pick began his 2019 season with Sugar Land, where he went 5-for-20 with one homer and three runs driven in over six games.

Now, Asche will look to provide the Red Sox with some infield depth they appear to desperately need at the moment with Brock Holt, Dustin Pedroia, and Tzu-Wei Lin all on the injured list at the moment.

#RedSox Catcher Sandy Leon Accepts Assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket

After clearing waivers and being outrighted from the Red Sox’ 40-man roster on Tuesday, catcher Sandy Leon accepted his assignment to Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday. The club made the official announcement earlier.

Leon, 30, will now report to the PawSox and look to provide Boston with depth at the Triple-A level, which is something I would have to assume the team is happy about.

Since he remained in the organization through Opening Day, the backstop’s $2.475 million salary for 2019 is now guaranteed and will count towards Boston’s luxury tax.

Well respected by the Red Sox pitching staff, the possibility remains that Leon could be dealt if he impresses in the minors and another club feels the need to acquire a backup-caliber catcher.

Leon will join the likes of 29-year-old ex-Rangers backstop Juan Centeno, who signed a minor-league pact with Boston last November, down in Pawtucket.

Together, the pair have racked up exactly 1460 big league plate appearances since 2012, so they should provide some solid depth behind Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart and be solid injury fill-ins if necessary.

Longtime #RedSox Minor Leaguer Dan Butler Retires as World Series Champion, Joins Arizona Diamondbacks Coaching Staff as Bullpen Catcher.

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced on Tuesday night that they had finalized their major league coaching staff for the upcoming 2019 season.

Among the additions was now retired and former Red Sox catcher Dan Butler, and that was all but confirmed with a tweet from the Pawtucket Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon.

Butler, 32, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Red Sox in 2009 and spent nine out of 10 professional seasons with the club.

A product of the University of Arizona, Butler was never deemed a big name prospect by Boston. Instead, he was viewed more as organizational depth who really never got an opportunity to see regular playing time in the majors.

In the two times he was called up by the Red Sox, the backstop appeared in a total of seven games in 2014, and then appeared in two games this past season while both Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart were on the disabled list.

Over that short span, Butler slashed .200/.222/.320 with no home runs and three RBI, one of which came in a game against the Baltimore Orioles in August.

Outside of the Red Sox, Butler also spent one season in the Washington Nationals system following a trade between the two clubs in early 2015.

There, with Triple A Syracuse, the Arizona native posted a .631 OPS over 83 games played and was later re-signed to a minor league contract by the Red Sox prior to the start of spring training in 2016.

In total, Butler appeared in 768 minor league games in a span of 10 years, and finished with a slash line of .253/.345/.397 as well as 61 homers and 343 RBI.

It certainly wasn’t Hall of Fame worthy, but Butler goes out as a World Series champion and a well-respected member of the Red Sox organization.

He should receive approximately $416,837.72 in postseason shares from the Red Sox winning the World Series and his presence will be missed.

With Arizona though, Butler is closer to home and joins a few names Red Sox fans should be familiar with, such as Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen, manager Torey Lovullo, and new assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske.

#RedSox Top Prospect Michael Chavis Homers in First Game with Triple A Pawtucket.

So, it somehow slipped by me on Friday that 1B/3B Michael Chavis had been promoted from Double A Portland up to Triple A Pawtucket.

That’s on me.

Chavis, 23 and ranked as Boston’s top prospect by MLB Pipeline, has been with the organization since he was selected in the first round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft back in 2014.

Originally starting the 2018 season with the Sea Dogs, the Georgia native received an 80 game suspension on April 6th for testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a PED.

Since he was reinstated from the restricted list on July 2nd, Chavis has been performing quite well, as he slashed .303/.388/.508 with six home runs and 17 RBI in 33 games with the club.

A right-handed hitter, Chavis batted sixth in his PawSox debut against the Buffalo Bisons on Friday night, and he had himself a night to remember.

Finishing 3/4 at the plate, the top prospect nearly homered in his first at bat before he went deep later on in the top of the fourth.

With one out and a runner on first, Chavis swung at the first pitch he saw from Bisons starter Shawn Morimando and sent it to the opposite field for his first Triple A homer.

Since he’s not currently on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster, a corresponding move would have to be made if Chavis were to be a part of September call-ups at the beginning of next month.

For now though, it should be fun to watch how the corner infielder adjusts to the new level of competition in the International League.

#RedSox Promote Number Six Prospect Mike Shawaryn to Triple A Pawtucket Among Other Roster Moves.

Two days after promoting perhaps their most interesting draft pick in Durbin Feltman on Wednesday, the Red Sox kept themselves busy with some more shuffling of their minor league rosters this afternoon.

Among the four transactions made within the organization on Friday, the most relevant one in regards to the big league club would have to be the promotion of Mike Shawaryn to the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Shawaryn, 23, was selected by Boston with the 148th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Maryland.

Listed at 6’2″ and 200 lbs., the New Jersey native has posted a 3.28 ERA in 19 starts and 112.2 innings pitched with the Double A Portland Sea Dogs this season.

A right-hander who is set to make his Triple A debut later tonight, Shawaryn’s arsenal consists of a fastball, a slider and changeup.

According to SoxProspects.com, Shawaryn, “Profiles best in a bullpen role. Could be valuable as a swingman, long relief-type capable of coming in the fifth or sixth inning and throwing two to three innings should he end up in the bullpen. Ceiling of a back-end starter if he can develop his changeup or another third offering.”

To go along with this roster move, the Red Sox have promoted 1B Josh Ockimey to Triple A Pawtucket and 3B Bobby Dalbec to Doube A Portland.

The team also announced moments ago that Blake Swihart has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain. C Dan Butler, who has been with the PawSox this season, will take his place on the 25-man roster.