Red Sox lose Phillips Valdez on waivers to Mariners

The Red Sox lost reliever Phillips Valdez on waivers to the Mariners over the weekend. Seattle claimed Valdez on Friday and promptly optioned him to its Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma, Wash.

Boston had designated Valdez for assignment three days prior in order to create space for Josh Winckowski, who did not count against the club’s 40-man roster while he was out on the COVID-19 related injured list.

Valdez, 30, was originally claimed by the Red Sox off waivers from the Mariners in February 2020. The right-hander made Boston’s Opening Day roster that summer and impressed during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign by posting a 3.26 ERA with 30 strikeouts to 16 walks over a career-high 24 relief appearances (30 1/3 innings pitched).

After producing a 5.85 ERA in 2021, Valdez had spent much of the 2022 campaign with the Red Sox being shuttled between Boston and Triple-A Worcester. With the big-league club, the Dominican-born hurler pitched to a 4.41 ERA (3.92 FIP) with 13 punchouts to seven walks across 13 outings spanning 16 1/3 innings of work. With the WooSox, he yielded a 3.06 ERA to go along with 19 strikeouts to 14 walks over 17 2/3 innings of relief.

Equipped with a changeup, sinker, and slider, Valdez has but one option year remaining, meaning the Mariners could stash him away at Triple-A for the rest of the season if they so choose.

That being said, Valdez made his Rainiers debut on Sunday, pitching a scoreless eighth inning in an 8-3 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas. He was followed by another former Red Sox reliever in Fernando Abad, who worked a shutout ninth inning to preserve the victory.

(Picture of Phillips Valdez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Josh Winckowski activated from COVID-19 related injured list; Darwinzon Hernandez, Connor Seabold optioned to Triple-A Worcester; Phillips Valdez designated for assignment

The Red Sox have activated right-hander Josh Winckowski from the COVID-19 related injured list, the club announced before Tuesday’s game against the Guardians at Fenway Park.

In order to make room for Winckowski on the major-league roster, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Worcester. In order to make room for Winckowski on the 40-man roster, fellow righty Phillips Valdez was designated for assignment.

Additionally, right-hander Connor Seabold was activated from the 15-day injured list and — like Hernandez — was optioned to Worcester following Monday night’s 3-1 win over Cleveland.

Winckowski returns from the COVID-related injured list after testing positive for the virus on July 13. The 24-year-old, who is vaccinated, has posted a 4.38 ERA and 4.26 FIP with 26 strikeouts to 14 walks over seven starts (37 innings pitched) since making his major-league debut for Boston in late May. He will make his eighth start of the season on Tuesday night.

Hernandez made his season debut for the Red Sox on July 14 after missing the previous two months while recovering from surgery to repair a torn right meniscus. The 25-year-old Venezuelan allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits, two walks, and six strikeouts across four relief appearances spanning 3 2/3 innings of work. With the WooSox, he has pitched to a 5.09 ERA over 23 innings.

Valdez, meanwhile, was originally claimed off waivers from the Mariners in February 2020. The Dominican-born reliever impressed during the shortened 2020 season but has mainly been shuttled between Boston and Worcester for the better part of the last two years.

In 13 appearances for the Red Sox this season, Valdez produced a 4.41 ERA — but much more respectable 3.92 FIP — to go along with 13 strikeouts to seven walks over 16 2/3 innings pitched. Boston will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or sneak the 30-year-old hurler through waivers. If Valdez clears waivers, he could be outrighted to Worcester and remain in the organization as a non-40-man player.

As for Seabold, the 26-year-old was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm extensor strain on July 9, one day after he surrendered seven runs to the Yankees in just 2 2/3 innings. Regarded by Baseball America as the No. 8 prospect in Boston’s farm system, Seabold owns a 2.09 ERA with 51 strikeouts to 14 walks over 11 starts (51 2/3 innings) for the WooSox this season.

Following Tuesday’s series of moves, the Red Sox’ 26-man and 40-man rosters are both at full capacity.

(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester ahead of Josh Winckowski’s return from COVID-19 related injured list

Following Monday night’s 3-1 win over the Guardians at Fenway Park, the Red Sox optioned left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

With Josh Winckowski slated to be activated from the COVID-19 related injured list and start against Cleveland on Tuesday, the Sox needed to clear a spot on their 26-man roster for the rookie right-hander.

They have accomplished this by optioning Hernandez, but will still need to create a 40-man roster spot for Winckowski since players on the COVID IL do not count against it and Boston’s 40-man roster is currently at full capacity.

Taking that into consideration, it’s certainly possible that someone like Phillips Valdez — who was optioned to Worcester on July 15 — could be designated for assignment at some point on Tuesday to create that 40-man opening for Winckowski.

Hernandez began the 2022 season at Worcester and made seven starts before suffering a torn right meniscus that ultimately required surgery in late May. The 25-year-old southpaw returned to action for the WooSox earlier this month and did not allow a run across four relief appearances before getting called up to Boston when Winckowski was placed on the COVID IL on July 14.

In his return to the Red Sox bullpen, Hernandez had posted a 3.86 ERA in his first three outings of the year before getting shelled for five runs (four earned) on six hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings in Friday’s 28-5 loss to the Blue Jays.

Winckowski, meanwhile, made his major-league debut on May 28 and has since produced a 4.38 ERA (4.26 FIP) to go along with 26 strikeouts to 14 walks over seven starts spanning 37 innings of work for the Red Sox. The 24-year-old pitched well in his last time out against the Rays at Tropicana Field on July 13, yielding three runs on four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts across six solid frames.

That same night, Winckowski — who is vaccinated — reported COVID-like symptoms to the team and later tested positive for the virus. He was placed on the COVID-related injured list the following day and remained in Florida while in isolation.

Now fully recovered, Winckowski will make his eighth start of the season on Tuesday night. Back on June 25, the Ohio-born righty allowed two runs and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings against the Guardians at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The Guardians, on the other hand, have not yet named a starter for Tuesday’s contest. That being said, first pitch from Fenway Park is still scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Darwinzon Hernandez: Elsa/Getty Images)

Red Sox call up Jeter Downs, Phillips Valdez from Triple-A Worcester, place Christian Arroyo, Connor Seabold on injured list

The Red Sox have placed right-hander Connor Seabold on the 15-day injured list with a right forearm extensor strain. They also placed utility man Christian Arroyo on the 10-day injured list with a left groin strain.

To take their place on the roster, right-handed reliever Phillips Valdez and infielder Jeter Downs have been recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced prior to Saturday’s game against the Yankees.

Seabold was removed in the third inning of his most-recent start on Friday night after experiencing arm tightness on a slider he threw. The 26-year-old told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) after the game that he was not too concerned about it, though he did miss a considerable amount of time with the WooSox last season due to elbow inflammation.

Arroyo, meanwhile, left Friday’s game in the top of the eighth inning due to a tight groin and was replaced in right field by Rob Refsnyder. The 27-year-old previously missed time this season after testing positive for COVID-19 in June.

Per manager Alex Cora, the Red Sox are still awaiting test results on Seabold’s arm. Arroyo’s injury, on the other hand, is not believed to be too serious, but serious enough where he will be sidelined for the next 10 days at minimum.

Seabold and Arroyo become the 11th and 12th players on the injured list for Boston, as they join the likes of Matt Barnes, Tyler Danish, Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill, James Paxton (60-day), Chris Sale (60-day), Josh Taylor (60-day), Michael Wacha, Garrett Whitlock, and Enrique Hernandez.

With Seabold being shelved for the time being, Valdez has been summoned from Worcester for the fourth time already this season. The 30-year-old hurler owns a 5.40 ERA in 11 appearances (13 1/3 innings) at the big-league level in 2022.

As for Downs, this will mark his second stint in the majors this season after he made his highly-anticipated debut at Fenway Park on June 22. Since returning to Worcester the following day, the right-handed hitter has batted a scorching .370/.500/.783 (.231 wRC+) with five home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 14 games (58 plate appearances) for the WooSox.

In addition to homering in each of his last three games, Downs was scratched from Worcester’s lineup on Saturday in anticipation of this move happening. With Rafael Devers dealing with back soreness, it seems likely that Downs could see some playing time against the Yankees this weekend.

As was reported earlier in the day, the Red Sox also announced that righty reliever Kaleb Ort had his contract selected from Worcester while fellow reliever Michael Feliz had been designated for assignment.

Ort, who will wear the No. 61, has taken Feliz’s spot on Boston’s 40-man roster, which is now at full capacity.

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Rich Hill on 15-day injured list due to left knee sprain, recall Phillips Valdez from Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have placed left-hander Rich Hill on the 15-day injured list due to a left knee sprain, the club announced prior to taking on the Cubs on Saturday. In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever Phillips Valdez has been recalled from Triple-A Worcester.

Hill made his 15th start of the season for the Sox at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. The veteran southpaw was cruising through four scoreless innings before things took a turn for the worst in the bottom half of the fifth. After allowing two runs and two of the first four batters he faced in the frame to reach base, Hill issued a four-pitch walk to Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras.

On the very first pitch he threw to Contreras, Hill said he felt his left knee pop. He remained in the game, but quickly exited after filling the bases on that walk of Contreras, a single, and a hit batsman. The 42-year-old was later diagnosed with a left knee sprain that will now keep him sidelined for the next 15 days at the very least.

In his 15 starts for Boston this year, Hill has posted a 4.20 ERA with 58 strikeouts to 23 walks over 70 2/3 innings of work. The Milton, Mass. native becomes the latest Red Sox starter to hit the injured list, joining the likes of Garrett Whitlock (who will likely return as a reliever) and Nathan Eovaldi.

It remains to be seen who will take Hill’s spot in the Sox’ starting rotation while the lefty is out of action. When speaking with reporters (including WEEI’s Rob Bradford) on Saturday, manager Alex Cora indicated that a top prospect such as Brayan Bello — who started for Triple-A Worcester on Friday — could be in play.

“There’s a lot of guys in the mix for a lot of stuff here, now,” Cora said. “All of a sudden, there’s a lot of stuff health-wise that is going on. We’ve been talking about those guys the whole season. Let’s see what happens in the upcoming days.”

Valdez, meanwhile, joins the Red Sox for the fourth time this season and will provide the club with a fresh bullpen arm for Saturday’s bout with the Cubs. With Connor Seabold slated to start Sunday’s series finale, the Sox will have to make another move in order to add the rookie hurler to the active roster.

(Picture of Rich Hill: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox recall Josh Winckowski from Triple-A Worcester, option Phillips Valdez in series of roster moves

In addition to calling up outfielder Jarren Duran and placing utility man Christian Arroyo on the COVID-19 related injured list, the Red Sox also recalled right-hander Josh Winckowski from Triple-A Worcester.

To make room for Winckowski on the major-league roster, fellow righty Phillips Valdez was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced prior to Wednesday’s game against the Athletics.

Winckowski will make the second start of his big-league career at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. The 23-year-old allowed four earned runs on six hits, three walks, and four strikeouts over three innings of work against the Orioles in the second game of a day-night doubleheader on May 28.

Of the 62 pitches Winckowski threw in that outing, 36 went for strikes. He induced a total of seven swings-and-misses and topped out at 96.5 mph with his sinker, a pitch he threw 29 times en route to getting hit with the losing decision.

Since returning to Worcester the following day, Winckowski has made two starts for the WooSox. The righty struggled some against the Syracuse Mets on June 3 but was brilliant in his last time out against the Buffalo Bisons last Wednesday.

In the second installment of a seven-inning twin bill at Sahlen Field, Winckowski yielded just three hits on one walk and six strikeouts over seven dominant frames. He lowered his ERA to 3.38 through his first nine starts (42 2/3 innings) of the year with the WooSox.

Winckowski, who turns 24 later this month, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking sixth among pitchers in the organization. The Red Sox originally acquired the 6-foot-4, 202 pound hurler in the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals last February.

Valdez, meanwhile, has been up with the Sox on three separate occasions this season, with his latest stint lasting all of five days. On the 2022 campaign as a whole, the 30-year-old reliever owns a 5.40 ERA and 3.89 FIP with 13 strikeouts to six walks over 11 appearances spanning 13 1/3 innings of work.

While with the WooSox this season, Valdez has allowed one earned run on three hits, seven walks, and nine strikeouts in six outings (7 2/3 innings). That is good for an ERA of 1.17.

(Picture of Josh Winckowski: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox select Rob Refsnyder from Triple-A Worcester, place Garrett Whitlock on 15-day injured list in slew of roster moves

Before opening a three-game series against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Friday night, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, outfielder Rob Refsnyder had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester. To make room for Refsnyder on both the 26-man and 40-man roster, infielder Jonathan Arauz was designated for assignment.

Secondly, right-hander Garrett Whitlock was placed on the 15-day injured list with right hip inflammation, retroactive to June 9. Fellow righty Phillips Valdez was recalled from Worcester to take Whitlock’s spot on the active roster, the club announced.

Refsnyder joins the Red Sox for the second time this season after previously appearing in three games as a COVID-related substitute in late April. The right-handed hitting 31-year-old went 2-fot-5 at the plate with two doubles, one RBI, and one walk.

With the WooSox this year, Refsnyder has batted .306/.429/.524 with 14 doubles, six home runs, 28 RBIs, 31 runs scored, four stolen bases, 28 walks, and 42 strikeouts over 42 games spanning 182 plate appearances. He will hit leadoff and start in right field against the Mariners on Friday.

Arauz, meanwhile, has lost his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster after appearing in just six games with the big-league club this season. The versatile switch-hitter failed to record a hit in his 10 trips to the plate, though he did drive in and score one run.

Originally acquired from the Astros in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, Arauz could appeal to other teams given the fact that he is still just 23 years old and has two minor-league options remaining. The Red Sox will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or sneak the Panamanian national through waivers.

Turning to the other side of these transactions, Whitlock heads to the injured list after experiencing hip issues in his last start against the Angels on Tuesday. The soon-to-be 26-year-old hurler was slated to get the ball in Sunday’s series finale with the Mariners, but the Red Sox will now have to look elsewhere for a starter.

Since his stint on the 15-day injured list was backdated to June 9, Whitlock would first be eligible to be activated on Friday, June 24. That would line him up to make his return against the Guardians in Cleveland.

With Whitlock sidelined for the time being, the Sox recalled Valdez, who was just sent down to make room on the roster for Hansel Robles on Thursday. Valdez owns a 5.84 ERA and 3.71 FIP in 10 appearances (12 1/3 innings) with Boston this season.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via 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 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)

Red Sox option Jaylin Davis and Phillips Valdez to Triple-A Worcester

Following Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Orioles, the Red Sox optioned outfielder Jaylin Davis and right-hander Phillips Valdez to Triple-A Worcester, the team announced.

The decision to option both Davis and Valdez comes one day before all Major League Baseball teams are required to trim their active rosters from 28 to 26 players.

As a result of the lockout and the compressed spring training that followed, MLB allowed its clubs to carry 28 players on their rosters from the start of the season up until May 2. Teams must remove two players from their active roster in order to get down to 26 by Monday. They are now permitted to carry up to 14 pitchers through May 30.

By sending Davis and Valdez to Worcester, Boston now has 14 pitchers and 12 position players on its major-league roster. According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the Sox are expected to keep it that way for the time being.

Davis, 27, was claimed off waivers from the Giants on Thursday and joined the team in Baltimore the following day. He was used as a pinch-runner in his Red Sox debut and went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles in his first start for the club on Sunday.

Since he has one minor-league option remaining, Davis can provide the Red Sox with experienced outfield depth from Worcester throughout the season. Before being claimed, the right-handed hitter appeared in 10 games for the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento and batted .295/.340/.500 with two home runs and seven RBIs over 47 plate appearances. He turns 28 in July.

Valdez, on the other hand, entered Sunday with a 3.24 ERA through his first seven relief appearances (8 1/3 innings pitched) of the season. On Sunday, however, the 30-year-old righty got rocked for four earned runs on four hits, two walks, and one hit batsman in two innings of work against the Orioles. That performance raised his ERA on the season up to 6.10.

As was the case last season, Valdez will join the WooSox’ bullpen for now but should contribute at the big-league level for Boston once more later in the year.

(Picture of Jaylin Davis: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)