Yolmer Sánchez expected to take Jarren Duran’s spot on Red Sox’ roster for upcoming series in Toronto

The Red Sox are going to call up infielder Yolmer Sanchez from Triple-A Worcester ahead of Monday’s series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

Sanchez will take the roster spot of outfielder Jarren Duran, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and will therefore be placed on the restricted list since he cannot travel to Canada.

While Sanchez is not on Boston’s 40-man roster, the club can still add him to the big-league roster in place of Duran for the next three days and then return him to Worcester without exposing him to waivers following Wednesday’s series finale at Rogers Centre.

A veteran of seven major-league seasons (2014-2020) with the White Sox, Sanchez originally signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox back in February. In 68 games with the WooSox this season, the versatile switch-hitter has batted .253/.381/.424 (120 wRC+) with 11 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 29 RBIs, 32 runs scored, four stolen bases, 44 walks, and 60 strikeouts over 265 trips to the plate. He has also seen playing time at every infield position besides first base.

At the big-league level, Sanchez owns a career .245/.300/.360 slash line to go along with 32 home runs and 215 RBIs across 657 games with Chicago. The Venezuela native took home the American League Gold Glove Award for second baseman in 2019.

According to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Sanchez will likely make his first start of the year on Wednesday, which is also his 30th birthday. The plan is for him to start at second base in place of Trevor Story, who would have the chance to get off his feet for two days since Boston is off on Thursday.

(Picture of Yolmer Sanchez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox outright James Norwood to Triple-A Worcester after right-hander clears waivers

Five days after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox, right-hander James Norwood has cleared waivers and has therefore been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester, per MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith.

The Sox originally acquired Norwood from the Phillies in exchange for cash considerations last Saturday. The hard-throwing 28-year-old spent one day on Boston’s major-league roster before being designated for assignment on Monday so that the club could create an opening for infielder Jeter Downs.

While he did not appear in a game with the Red Sox, Norwood does own an 8.31 ERA — but much more respectable 3.65 FIP — with 22 strikeouts to nine walks over 20 relief appearances (17 1/3 innings) for the Phillies this season.

Per Baseball Savant, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound hurler works with a four-seam fastball that has averaged 98.6 mph this year, a split-finger fastball, and a slider.

Norwood, who is out of minor-league options, will join a WooSox bullpen that includes several relievers with prior big-league experience like Kaleb Ort, Eduard Bazardo, Silvino Bracho, Taylor Cole, Geoff Hartlieb, Michael Feliz, and Phillips Valdez.

(Picture of James Norwood: Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox option Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester; Christian Arroyo expected to be activated from COVID-19 related injured list on Friday

The Red Sox optioned infielder Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester following Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the Tigers, the team announced Thursday. While no corresponding move has been made yet, utility man Christian Arroyo is expected to join the team in Cleveland for this weekend’s series against the Guardians after spending the last eight days on the COVID-19 related injured list.

Downs spent three days with Boston after getting called up from Worcester for the first time on Monday. While the 23-year-old did not appear in the Sox’ first two games against the Tigers, he did make his highly-anticipated major-league debut in Wednesday’s series finale at Fenway Park.

Batting ninth and starting at third base for the first time in his professional career, Downs went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He put the ball in play once, but it was a 323-foot flyout that died on the warning track in left field.

Defensively, Downs had two groundballs hit his way while playing third base for the first time since his high school. He fielded them both cleanly and picked up two assists by doing so.

“That was the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Downs said of his experience Wednesday night. “I still can’t believe the game is over. It felt so fast. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted to, but oh well. The team got the win, and that’s the most important thing.”

Downs’ first stint in the majors was always expected to be a short one. He will now return to Worcester, where he is batting .180/.297/.397 (86 wRC+) with six doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 21 RBIs, 35 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 25 walks, and 69 strikeouts over 53 games (222 plate appearances) for the WooSox this season.

Arroyo, meanwhile, was initially placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on June 15 after testing positive for the virus. The versatile 27-year-old began a rehab assignment with the WooSox on Tuesday and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in two games.

With the Red Sox this season, Arroyo has batted .187/.227/.319 with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 17 strikeouts over 34 games spanning 98 trips to the plate. He has seen playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and right field.

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Red Sox call up top prospect Jeter Downs from Triple-A Worcester, designate James Norwood for assignment

The Red Sox have called up infield prospect Jeter Downs from Triple-A Worcester. In order to make room for Downs on the major-league roster, recently-acquired right-hander James Norwood was designated for assignment, the team announced prior to Monday’s series opener against the Tigers.

Downs, who turns 24 next month, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 7 prospect in Boston’s farm system. The Red Sox originally acquired the Colombian-born infielder — along with Alex Verdugo and Connor Wong — from the Dodgers in the blockbuster trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to Los Angeles in February 2020.

After spending the entirety of the 2021 campaign with Triple-A Worcester and closing it out in the Arizona Fall League, Downs returned to the WooSox for the start of the 2022 season. Coming into play on Monday, the right-handed hitting 23-year-old was batting .180/.297/.397 (86 wRC+) with six doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 21 RBIs, 35 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 25 walks, and 69 strikeouts over 53 games spanning 222 plate appearances.

Defensively, Downs has seen all his playing time this season come at shortstop. But the 5-foot-11, 195 pounder also has extensive experience at second base and should provide the Red Sox with solid infield depth up the middle while he is up with the club.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Downs’ first stint in the majors is expected to be short-lived with both Christian Arroyo (COVID-19) and Enrique Hernandez (right hip flexor strain) slated to return to action before Boston’s three-game series against Detroit comes to an end.

As of Sunday night, the Sox had 14 pitchers and 12 position players on their big-league roster. By Monday, all MLB teams were required to cut the number of pitchers on their roster down to 13. Boston accomplished this by effectively swapping Norwood in favor of Downs.

Norwood, who was acquired from the Phillies in exchange for cash considerations on Saturday, was activated for Sunday’s series finale against the Cardinals but did not pitch in the game. The Red Sox now have the next seven days to either trade, release, or possibly sneak the 28-year-old through waivers and keep him in the organization.

Following Monday’s transaction, the Sox still have 39 players on their 40-man roster. That will increase to 40 once Arroyo is activated from the COVID-19 related injured list.

(Picture of Jeter Downs: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Kutter Crawford to Triple-A Worcester; James Norwood to be activated Sunday

Following Saturday’s 11-2 loss to the Cardinals at Fenway Park, the Red Sox optioned right-hander Kutter Crawford to Triple-A Worcester. In a corresponding move, fellow righty James Norwood will be added to Boston’s major-league roster ahead of Sunday’s series finale.

Crawford made his second start of the season for the Sox on Saturday night. The 26-year-old allowed four earned runs on six hits and zero walks to go along with three strikeouts over four innings of work. Fifty-three of the 85 pitches he threw went for strikes as he was ultimately charged with the losing decision.

This was Crawford’s third big-league stint of the season as he was most-recently called up on June 12 to take the spot of Garrett Whitlock (right hip inflammation) in Boston’s starting rotation.

Prior to that, Crawford primarily worked out of the Red Sox’ bullpen to begin the 2022 campaign, posting an 8.44 ERA and 5.20 FIP with 14 strikeouts to eight walks across eight relief appearances spanning 10 2/3 innings pitched.

With the WooSox this season, the Florida Gulf Coast University product has pitched to a 7.43 ERA and 6.61 FIP with 11 strikeouts and three walks over four outings (three starts) and 13 1/3 innings. He is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 8 pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Norwood, meanwhile, was acquired from the Phillies in exchange for cash considerations on Saturday afternoon. The 28-year-old was designated for assignment last Monday after producing an 8.31 ERA — but a much more respectable 3.65 FIP — with 22 strikeouts to nine walks over 20 appearances (17 1/3 innings) with Philadelphia this season.

The Red Sox were able to add Norwood to their 40-man roster without making a corresponding move since utility man Christian Arroyo is on the COVID-19 related injured list.

That being said, Norwood is out of minor-league options, so the Sox would have to expose the hard-throwing righty to waivers if they intended on sending him to Worcester at some point.

By swapping Crawford for Norwood, Boston will keep 14 pitchers on its 26-man roster. They will, however, need to remove one pitcher from their roster when Major League Baseball’s 13-pitcher limit goes into effect on Monday.

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Red Sox acquire right-hander James Norwood from Phillies

The Red Sox have acquired right-hander James Norwood from the Phillies in exchange for cash considerations, the team announced on Saturday.

Norwood, 28, was designated for assignment by Philadelphia last Monday after posting an 8.31 ERA — but a much more respectable 3.65 FIP — with 22 strikeouts to nine walks over 20 relief appearances (17 1/3 innings) with the club this season.

Before this move was made, Boston’s 40-man roster was at 39 players since Christian Arroyo is on the COVID-19 related injured list. They therefore did not need to make a corresponding move in order to add Norwood, who is out of minor-league options.

A native of New York City, Norwood was originally selected by the Cubs in the seventh round of the 2014 amateur draft out of St. Louis University. The righty broke in with Chicago in 2018 and has since produced a 5.48 ERA (3.73 FIP) in 48 career major-league outings between the Cubs, Padres, and Phillies.

Per Baseball Savant, Norwood operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, a splitter, and a slider. The 6-foot-2, 215 pound hurler has averaged 96.6 mph with his four-seamer this season, which ranks in the 91st percentile of qualified big-league pitchers.

Because he is out of options, the Red Sox will have to keep Norwood on their 26-man roster or will otherwise have to expose him to waivers if they wish for him to remain in the organization at Triple-A Worcester.

(Picture of James Norwood: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Red Sox outfield prospect Devlin Granberg leading off in debut for Triple-A Worcester

Devlin Granberg will bat leadoff and start in right field in his Triple-A debut for the Worcester Red Sox Friday night at Polar Park.

The Red Sox assigned Granberg to Worcester from Double-A Portland on Thursday. However, SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield noted that this might not necessarily be a promotion for the 26-year-old and instead a temporary move since the WooSox have a thin outfield with both Jarren Duran and Rob Refsnyder on Boston’s big-league roster.

Regardless of that, Granberg has had a fine season with the Sea Dogs to this point and one that is worthy of a promotion. In 40 games for Portland, the right-handed hitting outfielder slashed .304/.427/.467 with 11 doubles, four triples, one home run, 10 RBIs, 25 runs scored, four stolen bases, 20 walks, and 22 strikeouts over 164 plate appearances. He has not played since June 4 due to an unspecified injury that led to him being placed on the 7-day injured list.

Among qualified Eastern League hitters, Granberg ranks 23rd in walk rate (12.2%), first in strikeout rate (13.4%), fifth in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage, 20th in slugging percentage, ninth in OPS (.893), 17th in speed score (7.1), and seventh in wRC+ (154), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, Granberg has seen all his playing time this season come in the outfield. The 6-foot-2, 225 pounder has logged 35 innings in left field and 268 1/3 innings in center field. He also has prior experience at first base and unsurprisingly in right field.

The Red Sox originally selected Granberg in the sixth round of the 2018 amateur draft out of Dallas Baptist University. The Colorado native signed with the club for only $40,000 and is currently regarded by SoxProspects.com as the 56th-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Granberg, who turns 27 in September, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft later this winter if he is not added to the Sox’ 40-man roster by the November deadline. An extended look at Triple-A could help with determining his future value moving forward.

(Picture of Devlin Granberg: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo tests positive for COVID-19

Red Sox utility man Christian Arroyo has tested positive for COVID-19 and has therefore been placed on the COVID-19 related injured list, manager Alex Cora announced prior to Wednesday’s game against the Athletics.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated against the virus, was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup shortly before first pitch due to illness. He was replaced by Franchy Cordero and was subsequently entered into COVID protocols.

Since Arroyo has indeed tested positive for COVID-19 and is not just exhibiting symptoms, it is unlikely that he will be able to return to the Red Sox within the next few days.

Instead, the 27-year-old could be sidelined for the next 10 days, though there is a chance he comes back before then if he registers two consecutive COVID-19 tests (taken at least 24 hours apart) and does not exhibit any virus-like symptoms.

In 34 games with Boston this season, the right-handed hitting Arroyo has slashed .187/.227/.319 with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 17 strikeouts over 98 plate appearances. He has seen playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and right field.

With Arroyo on the COVID injured list, the Red Sox have recalled outfielder Jarren Duran from Triple-A Worcester. The speedy Duran will bat leadoff and start in center field on Wednesday. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Billie Weiss/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 lose infielder Jonathan Araúz on waivers to Orioles

Former Red Sox infielder Jonathan Arauz has been claimed off waivers by the Orioles, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon. Boston had designated Arauz for assignment last Friday in order to create a spot on both the 26- and 40-man roster for outfielder Rob Refsnyder.

Arauz, who turns 24 in August, joined the Red Sox organization when he was acquired from the Astros in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft. The switch-hitting Panamanian batted .250/.325/.319 with one home run and nine RBIs as a rookie during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.

Over the last two seasons, Arauz was shuttled between Boston and Triple-A Worcester on a consistent basis while undertaking a utility role with the big-league club. He appeared in games at second base, third base, and shortstop while providing adequate defense at each position.

After making Boston’s Opening Day roster out of spring training this year, Arauz struggled to find his footing at the plate both in the major- and minor-leagues. In two separate stints and six games with the Red Sox, he went 0-for-10 with one RBI, one run scored, and three strikeouts. With the WooSox, the 23-year-old batted just .185/.242/.239 across 24 games spanning 99 plate appearances.

Originally signed by the Phillies as an international free agent in 2014, Arauz does have a connection to the Orioles’ front office. When the Phillies dealt Arauz and reliever Ken Giles to the Astros in December 2015, current Baltimore general manager Mike Elias was serving as Houston’s amateur scouting director and had worked his way up to assistant general manager before leaving for the O’s in November 2018.

So, in a sense, Elias is now reunited with Arauz, whose versatility and two minor-league options likely appealed to the Orioles. He has since been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

(Picture of Jonathan Arauz: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)