The Red Sox are calling up top pitching prospect Chris Murphy from Triple-A Worcester, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. To make room for Murphy on the active roster, right-handed reliever Kaleb Ort was optioned back to Worcester following Monday’s 4-1 loss to the Rays at Fenway Park.
Murphy, who is celebrating his 25th birthday on Monday, will be active and available out of the bullpen for Tuesday’s series opener against the Guardians in Cleveland. Depending on how things play out, the left-hander could get the start in Thursday’s series finale at Progressive Field since the Red Sox have not yet named a starter for that contest.
In 10 outings (9 starts) for the WooSox this season, Murphy has posted a 7.71 ERA and 5.56 FIP with 42 strikeouts to 25 walks in 39 2/3 innings of work. His last appearance came out of the bullpen, as he struck out three and did not issue a walk over three scoreless, one-hit frames in an 8-6 loss to the Louisville Bats on June 1.
Among 87 International League pitchers who have accrued at least 30 innings to this point in the year, Murphy ranks 21st in strikeouts per nine innings (9.53), 77th in walks per nine innings (5.67), 37th in strikeout rate (21.6 percent), 70th in walk rate (12.9 percent), 27th in swinging-strike rate (12.1 percent), 78th in batting average against (.309), 84th in WHIP (1.91), 82nd in ERA, 61st in FIP, and 52nd in xFIP (5.33), per FanGraphs.
A native of California, Murphy was originally selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of San Diego. He signed with Boston for $200,000 and was added to the club’s 40-man roster last November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.
Standing at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Murphy throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 91-96 mph four-seam fastball, an 84-89 mph slider, an 83-85 mph changeup, and a 73-76 mph curveball.
Despite the struggles he has endured with Worcester this season, Murphy is still regarded by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks fourth among pitchers in the organization. MLB Pipeline, on the other hand, places the southpaw 14th on its list.
Assuming he gets into a game this week, Murphy will become the third player to make their major-league debut with the Red Sox this season, joining second baseman Enmanuel Valdez and outfielder Masataka Yoshida. He is also in line to become the 22nd different non-position player pitcher to be used by the club so far this year.
Ort, meanwhile, was initially recalled from Worcester over the weekend and appeared in each of Boston’s last two games against Tampa Bay. The 31-year-old righty pitched well, striking out three in two perfect innings on Sunday and tossing a scoreless ninth inning on Monday.
On the 2023 campaign as a whole, Ort has forged a 5.87 ERA and 5.31 FIP with 16 strikeouts to seven walks over 14 appearances (15 1/3 innings) for the Red Sox. With the WooSox, he has put up a 2.45 ERA and 5.29 FIP with nine punchouts to six walks in eight outings spanning 7 1/3 innings of relief.
(Picture of Chris Murphy: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)