Red Sox Claim Josh Osich off Waivers From White Sox

The Red Sox have made their first roster move under new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, as the club claimed left-handed reliever Josh Osich off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

Osich, 31, posted an ERA of 4.66 and batting average against of .242 over 57 appearances and 67 2/3 total innings pitched this past season with Chicago, his first in the Windy City after coming up and spending four years with the San Francisco Giants.

Per MLB Trade Rumors, Osich is projected to earn approximately $1 million in his first year of salary arbitration.

The Idaho native has a solid track record against left-handed bats over the course of his career, limiting them to a lifetime .659 OPS over the span of 380 plate appearances.

Beginning in 2020, relievers will be required to face a minimum of three hitters or end the inning they have entered, so it appears that the days of the LOOGY (Left-Handed One Out Guy) in baseball are over.

That new rule did not stop the Sox from picking up a left-handed option out of the bullpen though, especially when they did not have to give anything up to acquire him.

Based off of his Statcast page, Osich relied heavily on his cutter in 2019, turning to the pitch nearly 67% of the time he was on the mound. His pitch arsenal also includes a slider, sinker, changeup, and a mid-90’s fastball.

The offseason is just getting started, and the Red Sox are already on the board in terms of transactions made. It’s hard to imagine that they are anywhere close to being finished.

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Red Sox Cut Ties With Knuckleballer Steven Wright

The Red Sox announced on Friday that right-handed pitcher Steven Wright had been released from their active roster.

Wright, 33, had been viewed as a likely non-tender candidate this winter, as he was projected to earn $1.5 million in salary arbitration for the 2020 season.

The knuckleballer has dealt with his fair share of issues, both on and off the field, the last two years.

Prior to the start of the 2018 campaign, Wright was handed down a 15-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy stemming from an arrest in December of 2017.

And just this past March, Wright was once again suspended, this time for 80 games due to violating the league’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program by testing positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 (GHRP-2).

In 81 career outings (44 starts) for the Red Sox, Wright posted an ERA of 3.86, a FIP of 4.46, and WHIP of 1.33 over 347 2/3 total innings of work.

He made his first and only All-Star team in 2016 but only managed to appear in a total of 31 games in the following three seasons leading to his release on Friday.

 

Red Sox’ Second-Ranked Prospect Bobby Dalbec Homers in Second Consecutive Game for Triple-A Pawtucket

For the second time since he was promoted from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Pawtucket back on August 3rd, Red Sox first base prospect Bobby Dalbec has homered in back-to-back games for the PawSox.

The 24-year-old first accomplished the feat on August 9th and 10th, when he went deep against the Toledo Mud Hens on back-to-back nights for his first and second career Triple-A homers.

Fast forward a little more than two weeks, and Dalbec has done the same once more, crushing his fourth and fifth big flies of the International League season and 24th and 25th of the year overall in his last two games against the Buffalo Bisons.

The most recent of those homers came in impressive fashion on Sunday afternoon, when with no outs and a runner at first in the top half of the second, Dalbec took top Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Nate Pearson deep to right field for a two-run blast to get his side on the board.

Before Sunday, Pearson had yielded just six homers in his first 90 2/3 innings pitched across three minor-league levels this season.

Dalbec also came through with an RBI single in the eighth inning of Sunday’s contest that gave Pawtucket a 3-2 lead over Buffalo, but they eventually dropped the finale of that three-game series by a final score of 4-3 in 11 innings.

In 21 games with the PawSox this month, Dalbec, a former fourth round pick in 2016 out of the University of Arizona, is slashing .295/.337/.538 with those five home runs and 11 RBI through 86 plate appearances. He is ranked as Boston’s number-two prospect behind only Triston Casas, per MLB.com.

With major league rosters set to expand at the beginning of next month, it will be worth watching to see if the Red Sox make a move to add Dalbec to their 40-man roster in order to get a look at him at the big league level before the 2019 season ends.

Red Sox Recall Josh Smith from Triple-A Pawtucket, Option Travis Lakins in Corresponding Move

Before kicking off a two-game interleague series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, the Red Sox announced that right-hander Josh Smith had been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

In a corresponding move, right-hander Travis Lakins was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. The club made the transaction official earlier Tuesday.

Smith will be making sixth stint with Boston this season and first since being optioned down to Pawtucket on August 4th.

In his most recent stretch with the PawSox, the 32-year-old allowed eight earned runs on 15 hits over two starts and nine innings pitched.

With the Sox this year, Smith has been used as both a starter and reliever, posting a 4.84 ERA and .283 batting average against through 11 appearances (two starts) and 22 1/3 total innings of work.

Per MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, the Red Sox’ Smith is up to provide some length out of the bullpen in the event that Tuesday’s starter Brian Johnson does not pitch deep into the game.

On the other side of this move, Travis Lakins was sent back down to Pawtucket eight days after being recalled for his fourth big league stint of 2019.

In those eight days with Boston, the 25-year-old yielded one unearned run in two relief appearances and four total innings pitched against the Baltimore Orioles this past weekend.

On the 2019 season as a whole, Lakins owns an ERA of 4.05 and batting average against of 2.45 through nine appearances and 13 1/3 innings with the Red Sox.