Red Sox recall Brandon Brennan from Triple-A Worcester, option Phillips Valdez

Before wrapping up a three-game series against the Astros at Fenway Park on Thursday, the Red Sox recalled right-hander Brandon Brennan from Triple-A Worcester.

In a corresponding move, fellow righty Phillips Valdez was optioned down to the WooSox, the team announced Thursday evening.

The move to swap relievers comes at a time when the Red Sox bullpen has been heavily used as of late, and with Hirokazu Sawamuara dealing with right hip soreness, Boston opted to bring up a fresh arm in the form of Brennan.

Brennan, who turns 30 next month, was originally claimed off waivers by the Sox from the Mariners in early May, shortly after he was designated for assignment by Seattle.

While he was optioned to Worcester as soon as he was claimed by Boston, Brennan has gotten his 2021 season off to a solid start with the WooSox.

In eight appearances out of Worcester’s bullpen to this point, the 6-foot-4 righty has posted a 2.16 ERA and 3.65 xFIP to go along with 11 strikeouts and five walks over 8 1/3 innings of relief thus far.

Prior to joining the Red Sox organization this spring, Brennan spent parts of two big-league seasons with the Mariners in 2019 and 2020. He put up a 4.45 ERA, a 4.73 FIP, and a 54:29 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 49 total outings spanning 54 2/3 innings of work.

The California native operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a changeup, a sinker, a four-seam fastball, and a slider, per Baseball Savant. He is known for his ability to induce swinging strikes.

A former fourth-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2012, Brennan was selected by the Mariners in the major-league phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, so he will join fellow Rule 5 draftee Garrett Whitlock in the Red Sox bullpen for the time being.

Valdez, meanwhile, was optioned to Triple-A Worcester after being used three times in the last four days.

On the 2021 season as a whole, the 29-year-old owns an ERA of 4.24 and FIP of 3.96 over 20 relief appearances (23 1/3 innings), though he has seen his numbers inflate as of late on account of the fact he has allowed at least one earned run in four of his last six outings.

(Picture of Phillips Valdez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox outright Colten Brewer to Triple-A Worcester

Before making up their series finale against the Marlins at Fenway Park on Monday, the Red Sox outrighted right-hander Colten Brewer to Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Monday afternoon.

Brewer, 28, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last Thursday so that the club could make room on its 40-man roster for Brandon Workman.

In one lone appearance out of the Boston bullpen this season, Brewer yielded four runs — three of which were earned — on four hits, three walks, and one strikeout in one inning of relief against the Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 31.

Originally acquired in a November 2018 trade with the Padres, the righty has posted a 4.98 ERA, a 5.20 FIP, and a 78:51 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 70 total appearances (four starts) in parts of three seasons with the Red Sox.

Because he went unclaimed on waivers and was not traded, Brewer will report back to Worcester, where he put up a 9.00 ERA in four outings (four innings pitched) in two separate stints with the affiliate.

With the WooSox, Brewer rejoins a bullpen mix that includes plenty of other relievers with big-league experience, such as Marcus Walden, Kevin McCarthy, John Schreiber, Brandon Brennan, Matt Hall, Bobby Poyner, and Austin Brice.

Among those relievers, Brennan is the only name listed above currently on Boston’s 40-man roster. Eduard Bazardo, who has made two appearances with the Red Sox this season, is also on the 40-man, but he has been on the injured list since May 24 due to a lat strain.

(Picture of Colten Brewer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox select Brandon Workman from Triple-A Worcester, designate Colten Brewer for assignment

The Red Sox have selected the contract of Brandon Workman from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Astros.

In order to make room for Workman on both the 26-man and 40-man roster, fellow reliever Colten Brewer was optioned to Worcester following Wednesday’s game before being designated for assignment on Thursday.

Workman, 32, triggered the June 1 opt-out clause in his minor-league contract with the Red Sox on Tuesday, which in turn gave the club 48 hours to either promote or release him to pursue other opportunities.

The right-hander initially inked a minor-league pact with Boston last month shortly after getting released by the Cubs in late April. He posted a 1.29 ERA and a 2.75 xFIP to go along with four walks and 10 strikeouts over seven relief appearances spanning 7 2/3 innings pitched with the WooSox.

After mulling over their options these past two days, the Sox ultimately decided to bring back a familiar face in Workman, who spent the first six years of his major-league career and first 11 years of his professional career with Boston.

2019 was undoubtedly Workman’s best year in a Red Sox uniform, as he put up a miniscule 1.88 ERA over 73 outings in the process of emerging as Boston’s closer.

The 2020 campaign, however, was a different story. The former second-round pick out of the University of Texas was dealt from the Sox to the Phillies in late August as part of a four-player trade and never really got things going in Philadelphia (6.92 ERA in 13 innings).

It took until February for Workman to land a one-year deal with the Cubs. But, as previously mentioned, he was designated for assignment and eventually released by Chicago after just 10 April appearances.

Workman’s second go-around in free agency did not last nearly as long as the first with the Sox signing the veteran hurler to a minor-league deal on May 6.

With his promotion to the big-leagues, Workman now joins a Red Sox bullpen mix that includes the likes of Matt Barnes, Adam Ottavino, Josh Taylor, Darwinzon Hernandez, Phillips Valdez, Hirokazu Sawamura, Matt Andriese, and Garrett Whitlock. He will retain his No. 44.

Brewer, meanwhile, was designated for assignment in order to make room for Workman on Boston’s 40-man roster.

The 28-year-old was originally acquired by the Red Sox in a November 2018 trade with the Padres and has produced a 4.98 ERA and 5.20 FIP in 70 appearances (four starts) over the last three seasons.

After the right-hander was shelled for four runs in his 2021 debut at Minute Maid Park on Monday, the Sox must have felt like Workman was an upgrade over Brewer — at least for the time being.

Boston will now have seven days to either trade, release, or waive Brewer. He could be outrighted to the WooSox if he winds up clearing waivers.

(Picture of Brandon Workman: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox ‘going through the process’ when it comes to making a decision on Brandon Workman, Alex Cora says

When it comes to their decision regarding what to do with Brandon Workman, the Red Sox are still mulling over their options.

Workman, who triggered an opt-out clause in his minor-league contract with the Sox on Tuesday, threw a bullpen session at Polar Park in Worcester Wednesday afternoon.

The veteran reliever can become a free-agent in the next 24 hours if Boston chooses not to promote him to the major-leagues and instead cuts him loose so that he can pursue opportunities elsewhere.

“I spoke to Chaim [Bloom],” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said prior to Wednesday’s game against the Astros. “Work was going to throw a bullpen today, again. But he’s not there — he opted out. We still got, what? 24 hours to make a decision.”

After inking a one-year deal with the Cubs over the winter and getting released by the club in late April, the 32-year-old signed a minor-league pact to reunite with the Sox last month.

In seven appearances for Triple-A Worcester, the right-hander posted a 1.29 ERA and a 2.75 xFIP while striking out 10 and walking four in seven relief appearances spanning 7 2/3 innings pitched in the month of May.

“His last two outings were outstanding,” WooSox pitching coach Paul Abbott recently said of Workman. “I feel like that was the Brandon Workman we’d seen in the past. I feel like he came here on a mission to show he could be that guy and I think he was more trying to impress, that he has the stuff and was just a little disconnected with his delivery [at first]. The last two outings he got back to where he felt good, he got into his legs better and everything for me ticked up, quality, consistency. I don’t know what’s going to happen with him, but I was really happy with the last two outings, he looked pretty good.”

If the Red Sox opt to promote Workman, they will need to clear a spot on their 40-man roster in order to do so. One possible way to make that happen would be to designate a fellow reliever currently for assignment.

Colten Brewer, who yielded four runs in his season debut against the Astros on Monday, could be the casualty in this scenario depending on which reliever (Brewer or Workman) the Red Sox view as a better bullpen option moving forward.

“We’re going through the process,” said Cora. “We’re talking a lot [about] where we’re at roster-wise, what benefits or doesn’t benefit us. So the conversations are ongoing.”

(Picture of Brandon Workman: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox promote minor-league outfielder Johan Mieses, who leads organization with 11 homers, to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have promoted minor-league outfielder Johan Mieses from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Mieses, who turns 26 next month, originally signed a minor-league contract with the Sox back in November 2019, but did not play at all in 2020 on account of the minor-league season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Re-upping with Boston on another minor-league pact this past fall — after not receiving an invite to the team’s alternate training site or fall instructional league — the Dominican native opened the 2021 campaign with Double-A Portland and has done nothing but mash since then.

Over 23 games with the Sea Dogs, Mieses slashed .286/.368/.714 (188 wRC+) to go along with three doubles, a team-leading 11 home runs, 22 RBI, 19 runs scored, nine walks, and 19 strikeouts in 95 trips to the plate.

While primarily batting cleanup in his time in Portland, the 6-foot-2, 185 pound right-handed hitter played 11 games in right field, three games in left field, and nine games at designated hitter.

A former top prospect of the Dodgers organization who was signed out of the Dominican at 17, Mieses was part of the trade that sent infielder Breyvic Valera from the St. Louis Cardinals to Los Angeles in April 2018.

In his tenure with the Cardinals, Mieses appeared in 22 games for Triple-A Memphis across multiple stints with the affiliate during the 2019 season. In those 22 games, he hit .339/.414/.677 with six homers and 17 RBI.

Throughout his professional career, the slugging outfielder has shown a propensity for hitting home runs. That much is made evident by his 120 career homers at the minor-league level.

“It’s real power. The homers are legit,” Red Sox farm director Brian Abraham told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “His ability to drive the baseball and overall production at the plate has been consistent all season for Portland in the middle of their lineup. We felt now was a good opportunity to challenge him at the next level.”

As he prepares to embark upon this next phase of his career with the WooSox, one has to wonder if Mieses — who will be donning the No. 40 — will be able to take advantage of the way the ball has been flying out of Polar Park so far this season.

(Picture of Johan Mieses: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Brandon Workman opts out of minor-league deal with Red Sox; Boston has 48 hours to either promote or release reliever

Veteran reliever Brandon Workman has triggered an opt-out clause in his minor-league contract with the Red Sox, manager Alex Cora told reporters prior to Tuesday’s game against the Astros.

Workman, 32, initially inked a minor-league pact to rejoin the Sox on May 6 after being released by the Cubs in late April.

The right-hander posted a 1.29 ERA and a 2.75 xFIP while striking out 10 and walking four in seven relief appearances spanning 7 2/3 innings of work for Triple-A Worcester. He was not with the WooSox on Tuesday.

The Red Sox now have until Thursday — approximately 48 hours — to make a decision in which they will either promote Workman to the majors or release him and subsequently allow him to to become a free agent once more.

While the clock is ticking, it’s safe to assume that the club is still mulling over their options.

“It’s his right. It’s part of the contract,” Cora said of Workman’s situation. “I’m not sure if he did opt out or he’s going to. That’s part of the contract. We were very pleased with the way he’s throwing the ball. He has been throwing his cutter a little bit better. Velocity is OK. Breaking ball has been great. But as of now, that’s all I have. He’s going to opt out and I think we have two days or something to make a decision.”

Workman, who Boston selected in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Texas, spent the first 11 years of his professional career and first 5 1/2 years of his big-league career with the Red Sox organization.

In 2019, Workman proved to be one of the most effective relievers in the American League, putting up a miniscule 1.88 ERA while converting 16 of a possible 22 save opportunities over 73 appearances (71 2/3 innings pitched) out of the Boston bullpen.

His 2020 campaign was a bit of a different story, as he was dealt to the Phillies as part of a four-player trade in late August and went on to struggle to the tune of a 6.92 ERA in 14 outings with the Phillies.

Hitting the open market at an inopportune time, Workman had to settle for a one-year deal with the Cubs in February. But his time in Chicago did not last long considering the fact he was designated for assignment and subsequently released after just 10 appearances with the club.

Workman’s second go-around in free agency did not last nearly as long as the first, as he reunited with the Sox last month and could still very well be part of Boston’s plans for 2021.

That said, the Red Sox would need to clear a spot on their 40-man roster — which is currently at full capacity — if they do decide to promote Workman between now and Thursday.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, fellow reliever Colten Brewer, who got shelled for four runs in his 2021 debut on Monday, could be designated for assignment in order to create that open slot for Workman.

“There’s a lot of stuff on the table,” said Cora. “We’ve got a 26-man roster right now and he’s not part of it.”

(Picture of Brandon Workman: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox recall Colten Brewer from Triple-A Worcester

Before opening a three-game weekend series against the Marlins at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Red Sox recalled right-hander Colten Brewer from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced earlier Friday evening.

The move to recall Brewer comes a day after outfielder Franchy Cordero was optioned to the WooSox, which means Boston now has 14 pitchers and 12 position players on their major-league roster. They briefly had 13 pitchers and 13 position players upon activating veteran utility man Danny Santana last weekend.

Brewer, 28, has spent the last two seasons with the Red Sox after being acquired in a trade with the Padres in November 2018.

In 69 appearances out of the Boston bullpen since then, the righty reliever has posted a 4.59 ERA and 5.14 FIP over 80 1/3 total innings pitched. He most recently struggled to the tune of a 5.61 ERA over 11 outings (four starts) and 25 2/3 innings of work in 2020.

After failing to make the Sox’ Opening Day roster out of spring training this year, Brewer began the 2021 season in Worcester, where he has allowed a total of four earned runs over four innings in two separate stints with the WooSox.

As one of two healthy relievers in Worcester who are currently on Boston’s 40-man roster, Brewer got the call up to the Sox as opposed to fellow righty Brandon Brennan, who was claimed off waivers from the Mariners earlier this month.

Brewer last got in a game for the WooSox on May 25, so one would have to assume he will be available to pitch if needed at any point during Friday’s contest against the Marlins.

(Picture of Colten Brewer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox demote struggling outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox optioned outfielder Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Worcester following Wednesday’s 9-5 win over the Braves, the team announced earlier Thursday afternoon.

Cordero, one of five players the Red Sox acquired as part of the trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals back in February, has gotten his Red Sox career off to a slow start.

Through 34 games played with Boston this season, the 26-year-old is slashing a measly .179/.228/.274 with just one home run, nine RBI, six walks, and 37 strikeouts over 102 plate appearances thus far.

With the emergence of the versatile, switch-hitting Danny Santana, Cordero began to see his playing time decrease prior to his demotion. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the left-handed hitter has only started four of his club’s last 11 games.

With that in mind, it would appear that the Red Sox would like Cordero to get more regular at-bats with the WooSox, who are currently taking on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa.

For his minor-league career, the Dominican native owns a lifetime .305/.357/.567 slash line to go along with 21 homers and 73 RBI in 115 games at the Triple-A level, so perhaps some time in Worcester will do him good.

In Cordero’s place, the Red Sox will need to make a corresponding roster move and call someone up from the minors to get back to a 26-man major-league roster.

It’s unlikely that top outfield prospect Jarren Duran — who is currently playing for Team USA in an Olympic qualifying event in Florida — will take Cordero’s place on the active roster, per Cotillo.

Instead, Cotillo suggests that the Sox will likely call up a reliever ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Marlins at Fenway Park.

More specifically, one of Brandon Brennan or Colten Brewer — both of whom are on Boston’s 40-man roster — appear to be the most likely to get promoted since that would allow the Red Sox to go back to carrying 14 pitchers and 12 position players. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate infielder Christian Arroyo from 10-day injured list

Before opening up a two-game interleague series against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park Tuesday night, the Red Sox returned infielder Christian Arroyo from his rehab assignment and activated him from the 10-day injured list, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.

Arroyo, who is not in Boston’s starting lineup for Tuesday’s contest against Atlanta, has been held out of action for nearly three weeks after sustaining a left hand contusion against the Tigers back on May 5.

In the sixth inning of that game, the soon-to-be 26-year-old was drilled in the left hand for the second time in less than two weeks by a 92 mph sinker from Tigers starter Casey Mize and was forced to exit an inning later as a result of the discomfort he was experiencing.

X-rays on Arroyo’s hand came back negative, and he was even used as a pinch-runner the following day. But difficulty in swinging a bat ultimately led to him being placed on the IL on May 9 (retroactive to May 7).

While it may have taken a little longer than originally anticipated, Arroyo did spend this past weekend on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester, where he went 1-for-10 with a double, one run scored, two RBI, one walk and four strikeouts in three games for the WooSox against the Buffalo Bisons at Polar Park.

Prior to being shelved earlier this month, the right-handed hitter was slashing .275/.333/.377 with seven doubles, five RBI, nine runs scored, one stolen base, three walks, and 18 strikeouts through his first 23 big-league games of the season while primarily playing second base.

The Red Sox were able to activate Arroyo from the injured list on Tuesday without making a corresponding roster move since they optioned infielder/outfielder Michael Chavis to Worcester following Sunday’s 6-2 loss to the Phillies.

Chavis went 9-for-33 (.273) at the plate with one home run, four doubles, two RBI, six runs scored, zero walks, and 13 strikeouts over 10 games (seven starts) in his second stint of the season with Boston. The 25-year-old was initially recalled from the WooSox on May 7, when utility man Enrique Hernandez was placed on the IL due to a right hamstring strain.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox outright Austin Brice to Triple-A Worcester after reliever clears waivers

Four days after being designated for assignment, Red Sox reliever Austin Brice has cleared waivers and has subsequently been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced Tuesday afternoon.

Brice, who turns 29 next month, was designated by Boston last Friday when utility man Danny Santana was called up from the WooSox ahead of this past weekend’s series against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Originally acquired in a January 2020 trade from the Marlins, the veteran right-hander struggled to find his footing in his second season with the Sox, posting an unsightly 6.94 ERA, 6.40 FIP, and 9:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 12 appearances (11 2/3 innings pitched) this year.

Because he went unclaimed on waivers, Brice will report to Worcester, where — as noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo — he will join a WooSox bullpen that includes the likes of Brandon Brennan, Colten Brewer, Matt Hall, Kevin McCarthy, John Schreiber, Marcus Walden, and Brandon Workman, all of whom have big-league experience with the Red Sox or elsewhere.

Cotillo also adds that if the Red Sox found themselves in need of bullpen help at the minor-league level, they would likely turn to Brewer since he is one of two names above who are currently on Boston’s 40-man roster.

(Picture of Austin Brice: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)