After placing him on outright waivers on Monday, the Red Sox officially outrighted Brian Johnson to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday, meaning the left-hander went unclaimed.
Johnson, who turns 29 next month, is no longer a part of Boston’s 40-man roster after posting an ERA of 6.02 and FIP of 5.32 over 21 total appearances (seven starts) and 40 1/3 innings of work in an injury-filled 2019.
A former first round pick out of the University of Florida in 2012 and a Florida native himself, Johnson can still provide the Sox with pitching depth, and he’ll still probably get an invite to major-league camp in the spring, but he is no longer one of the top two or three choices to make a spot start for Boston when needed. That much was made evident when 27-year-old left-hander Kyle Hart was added to the Sox’ 40-man roster last week.
Speaking of 40-man rosters, the Red Sox currently have 38 players on theirs.
In addition to adding top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez to the active roster, the Red Sox also announced Tuesday that they have recalled right-handed pitching prospect Travis Lakins from Triple-A Pawtucket to the club’s 25-man roster. In a corresponding move, left-hander Bobby Poyner was optioned to the PawSox following Tuesday’s Game 1 loss at the hands of the Detroit Tigers.
The team made the following statement regarding the aforementioned transactions.
Lakins, 24, is ranked as Boston’s 17th-best overall prospect and seventh-best pitching prospect, according to MLB.com
Originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 amateur draft out of Ohio State, Lakins has posted a 3.38 ERA and .281 batting average against over six appearances and eight innings of work with the PawSox so far this season.
So, all of a sudden, the Red Sox have three of their top 20 prospects on their temporary 26-man roster in Michael Chavis, Hernandez, and Lakins.
Hernandez, of course, will be optioned back to Double-A Portland later Tuesday night, while both Chavis and Lakins will remain with the big league club for the time being.
Following a 7-4 loss in the first of a two-game doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, the Red Sox have added top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez to the active roster as the club’s 26th man for Game Two.
Hernandez, 22, had begun the 2019 season with Double-A Portland, where he posted a 1.80 ERA and .222 batting average over two starts and 10 total innings pitched for the Sea Dogs.
Added to Boston’s 40-man roster for the first time last November, the Venezuela international really opened eyes during Red Sox camp this past spring, as he allowed just one earned run over six outings (two starts) and 11 frames of work.
Still, I believe the main issue for Hernandez is his control. Granted, I have not watched a lot of what he’s done outside a handful of Grapefruit League games, but, according to MiLB.com, the left-hander has allowed seven total walks in two Eastern League starts this season. That’s good for a BB/9 of 6.3, which is not great.
Optioned to Double-A Portland to develop more as a starter, it appears that Hernandez will see some time as a reliever once Hector Velazquez’s start comes to an end Tuesday. He will be optioned back to the Sea Dogs at the conclusion of Tuesday night’s contest.
While the big league club was in the middle of getting stomped by the New York Yankees in an 8-0 rout Tuesday night, Red Sox pitching prospect Durbin Feltman put together another impressive performance for the Double-A level Portland Sea Dogs.
Facing off against the Reading Fightin Phils, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the 2018 third round pick struck out a pair in a scoreless eighth inning in a 5-2 loss for the Sea Dogs.
Since allowing one run on one hit and two walks in his Double-A debut on April 5th, Feltman has actually retired the last nine hitters he faced dating back to April 7th, lowering his ERA to 2.25 and batting average against to .083 on the Eastern League season.
Ranked as Boston’s 12th best prospect as per MLB.com, the Texas Christian product could very well get a shot in the majors depending on how the rest of the year pans out for the Red Sox.
Feltman even caught the attention of manager Alex Cora earlier this spring.
“He’s a work in progress,” the Red Sox skipper said following a perfect ninth inning from the 21-year-old hurler back on March 21st. “But he’ll be a good one.”
Set to turn 22 on Thursday, Feltman is definitely a prospect you should keep your eye on.
After starting his first full season with the Red Sox on the 10-Day injured list, Steve Pearce is back, as the club activated him from the IL prior to Thursday’s game against the Oakland Athletics.
As the above tweet reads, to make room on Boston’s 25-man roster, first baseman Sam Travis was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket Wednesday night.
Pearce, 35, strained his left calf while running out a ground ball in the first inning of a Grapefruit League game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 17th.
He was removed from that game seemingly as a precaution, but did not appear in any other big league games for the remainder of the spring.
Now, after getting some work in at the minor-league level down in Fort Myers, the South Carolina native appears ready to make his 2019 debut. He re-joined the club in Oakland Wednesday.
Given his .304/.400/.559 slash line to go along with five home runs and 20 RBI in 120 plate appearances against left-handers last season, it would not be surprising to see Pearce in the three-hole against southpaw Brett Anderson and the Athletics Thursday afternoon.
In Pearce’s place, Sam Travis went 2/7 with two singles in two games played while making Boston’s Opening Day roster for the first time in his career.
First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 3:37 PM EDT on NESN.
After being placed on waivers by the Red Sox on Sunday, catcher Sandy Leon could remain with the organization following a 48-hour period in which he went unclaimed by other clubs.
Officially clearing waivers on Tuesday, Leon was then outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket, meaning he is no longer on Boston’s 40-man roster.
The 30-year-old backstop now has an additional 48 hours to accept or reject that assignment to the PawSox.
If he chooses to reject it and thus becomes a free agent, then he will also be losing out on his $2.475 million salary for 2019, so as WEEI’s Evan Drellich notes, “it’s quite possible he remains in the Red Sox organization.”
On the other hands, if Leon accepts the assignment, then his 2019 salary will count towards Boston’s luxury tax.
As of this moment, the Red Sox currently have 37 players on their 40-man roster, so I’m assuming they have to add three more before Thursday.
After dealing with tightness in his left calf since March 17th, Steve Pearce will indeed not be ready for his first Opening Day with the Red Sox, as he was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday night.
The 2018 World Series’ Most Valuable Player sustained the injury in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, where he apparently strained his calf while running out a first inning ground ball out.
Pearce, 35, was removed from that game in the middle of that first inning and has not appeared in any big league spring training action since despite getting at-bats in minor league contests.
“Tt just matters how he feels moving around,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora prior to Monday’s game against the Chicago Cubs in Arizona. “You guys know we’re not going to push him. We have to be smart about this because just to push him out there just because it’s Opening Day makes no sense for what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Given the fact that Pearce’s stint on the 10-day injured list is retroactive to March 25th, there is a chance that he could return to the Red Sox in just over a week when the team is in Oakland.
With Pearce heading back to Fort Myers to get more minor league related work in before rejoining the team, Sam Travis appears set to make his first ever Opening Day roster.
The 25-year-old infielder has slashed .250/.306/.357 with one home run and eight RBI in 112 plate appearances over 52 total games since making his major league debut with Boston in 2017.