Red Sox make first round of spring training roster cuts; Matthew Lugo among four players reassigned to minor-league camp

Before defeating the Marlins, 4-1, at JetBlue Park in the afternoon, the Red Sox made their first round of spring training roster cuts on Sunday morning.

Per a team announcement, right-handers Dan Altavilla and Victor Santos, catcher Elih Marrero, and infielder Matthew Lugo were all reassigned to minor-league camp in Fort Myers, Fla.

Of these four, Altavilla is the only one with prior major-league experience. The 30-year-old righty originally signed a two-year minor-league deal with the Red Sox last March, but he did not pitch at all in 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery while a member of the Padres in June 2021.

Since debuting with the Mariners in 2016, Altavilla owns a lifetime 4.03 ERA (4.39 FIP) with 129 strikeouts to 60 walks in 119 career relief appearances (116 innings between Seattle and San Diego. He will likely begin the season with Triple-A Worcester, but he could ultimately help the Red Sox out of the bullpen at some point in 2023.

Lugo, meanwhile, is the most notable prospect listed here . The 21-year-old briefly held the title of the youngest player at Red Sox camp and has fared well in Grapefruit League play by hitting .400 (4-for-10) with two doubles, one triple, five RBIs, one run scored, zero walks, and four strikeouts over seven games this spring.

A former 2019 second-round draft selection out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, Lugo spent the vast majority of the 2022 minor-league season with High-A Greenville. The right-handed hitter batted .288/.344/.500 with 18 home runs and 78 RBIs in 114 games (512 plate appearances) for the Drive before appearing in three games with Double-A Portland in late September. He was also named co-Rookie of the Year in the Puerto Rican Winter League after posting an .810 OPS in 39 games with the Criollos de Caguas.

Lugo, who turns 22 in May, is expected to return to Portland for the start of the 2023 season. The Manati native is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 18 prospect in the Red Sox’ farm system and has past experience at every infield position besides first base.

With Sunday’s subtractions, the size of Boston’s spring training roster has shrunk from 64 to 60 players. Twenty of the 60 players who remain are not on the 40-man roster and are therefore at camp as non-roster invitees.


Pitchers (8): Taylor Broadway, Matt Dermody, Jake Faria, Durbin Feltman, Norwith Gudino, Oddanier Mosqueda, Ryan Sherriff, Chase Shugart

Catchers (4): Jorge Alfaro, Caleb Hamilton, Ronaldo Hernández, Stephen Scott

Infielders (1): Christian Koss

Outfielders (3): Greg Allen, Narciso Crook, Raimel Tapia

Infielder/Outfielders (4): Ryan Fitzgerald, Niko Goodrum, Daniel Palka, Nick Sogard

(Picture of Matthew Lugo: Elsa/Getty Images)


Red Sox pitching prospect Victor Santos tosses 5 one-run innings in final start of season for Triple-A Worcester

Victor Santos ended his first full season in the Red Sox organization on a strong note Monday night.

In his final start of the year for Triple-A Worcester, Santos held the Rochester Red Wings to just one run on four hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts over five solid innings of work.

The right-hander very well could have pitched deeper into the game after only throwing 72 pitches (49 strikes) through five, but it was ultimately called in the top of the sixth due to rain in the Rochester-area. And so the WooSox came away with a 6-1 win over the Red Wings while Santos was credited with a complete-game victory.

Monday’s performance continued an encouraging trend for Santos that dates back to August 25. In his final six starts of the season for Worcester, the 22-year-old hurler posted a 1.91 ERA and 2.45 FIP with 39 strikeouts to just nine walks across 33 frames.

This comes after Santos initially struggled when he first made the jump from Double-A Portland to Worcester last month. The Dominican-born righty was tagged for 17 runs in his first three starts (10 2/3 innings) for the WooSox before turning things around in late August.

Prior to earning that aforementioned promotion, Santos had pitched to a 4.97 ERA and 4.78 FIP with 79 punchouts to 20 walks over 19 appearances (16 starts) spanning 101 1/3 innings for the Sea Dogs to begin the 2022 campaign.

The Red Sox originally acquired Santos from the Phillies as the player to be named later in the January 2021 trade that sent minor-league infielder C.J. Chatham to Philadelphia. He made his organizational debut in Portland last July.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 191 pounds, Santos throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a 90-92 mph four-seam fastball that tops out at 93 mph, a low-90s sinker, an 82-84 mph split-changeup, and an 83-86 mph slider, per his scouting report.

Although he has already reached Triple-A and does not turn 23 until next July, Santos is not currently regarded by any major publication as one of the top pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system. He is instead viewed by sites such as as a “potential solid organizational starter” who has the “ceiling of an emergency up-and-down depth arm.”

That being said, Santos can become Rule 5-eligible this winter. If left unprotected by the Red Sox, he could be scooped up by another team in December. Assuming he does not get picked up, though, Santos would seemingly be in line to return to Worcester’s rotation for the start of the 2023 season.

(Picture of Victor Santos: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox prospects Victor Santos, Juan Daniel Encarnación earn Eastern League, Carolina League Pitcher of the Week honors

Red Sox pitching prospects Victor Santos and Juan Daniel Encarnacion have respectively been named the Eastern League and Carolina League Pitchers of the Week for the week of May 30-June 5, Minor League Baseball announced on Monday.

Santos made two appearances (one start) for Double-A Portland in its most recent series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Delta Dental Stadium. In those two outings, the right-hander allowed one earned run on seven hits, three walks, and nine strikeouts over 12 total innings for the Sea Dogs.

On the 2022 campaign as a whole, Santos has posted a 3.94 ERA and 4.63 FIP with 42 strikeouts to 12 walks across 11 appearances (10 starts) spanning 61 2/3 innings with Portland. Among qualified Eastern League pitchers, the 21-year-old ranks sixth in walks per nine innings (1.75), seventh in walk rate (4.8%), 12th in batting average against (.232), seventh in WHIP (1.07), and first in innings pitched, per FanGraphs.

Originally acquired from the Phillies last July as the player to be named later in the trade that sent C.J. Chatham to Philadelphia, Santos is currently regarded by as the 51st-ranked prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Per his scouting report, the 6-foot-1, 191 pound hurler from the Dominican Republic throws from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 90-92 mph fastball that tops out at 94 mph fastball, a 77-79 mph split changeup, and a 77-81 mph slider.

Santos, who turns 22 in July, can once again become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter. Because of that, he could be a prime candidate to pitch in the Arizona Fall League later this year.

Encarnacion, meanwhile, also made two appearances (one start) for Low-A Salem in its latest series against the Columbia Fireflies at Carillion Clinic Field. Over seven cumulative innings of work, the righty allowed no runs on just four hits and zero walks to go along with seven strikeouts.

In 10 outings (nine starts) with the Salem Sox this season, Encarnacion has produced a 4.01 ERA and 3.36 FIP with 49 punchouts to 12 walks across 42 2/3 innings. Among qualified pitchers in the Carolina League, the 21-year-old ranks eighth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.34), seventh in walks per nine innings (2.53), 10th in strikeout rate (27.2%), eighth in walk rate (6.7%), eighth in FIP, and ninth in xFIP (3.84), per FanGraphs.

The Red Sox originally signed Encarnacion for $40,000 as an international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in September 2018. The San Pedro de Macoris native is not yet regarded as one of the premier pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system, though he certainly possesses intriguing potential.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 173 pounds, Encarnacion throws from a three-quarters arm slot and works with a 90-93 mph fastball that reaches 94 mph, a 76-81 mph slider, and an 84-85 mph changeup, according to his scouting report.

Unlike Santos, Encarnacion — who does not turn 22 until next March — is not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft until the conclusion of the 2023 season. So there is still a ways to go there.

(Picture of Victor Santos: Kelly O’Connor/

Red Sox pitching prospect Victor Santos’ debut season with Double-A Portland was a solid one

It was one year ago Tuesday (January 18) when the Red Sox traded infielder C.J. Chatham to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

The trade allowed the Sox to create an opening on their 40-man roster, which enabled them to acquire veteran reliever Adam Ottavino and pitching prospect Frank German from the Yankees the following week.

Nearly four months after the initial trade between Boston and Philadelphia was finalized, it was revealed on July 17 that the Red Sox would be acquiring another pitching prospect in Victor Santos from the Phillies to complete the Chatham deal.

Santos, 21, originally signed with Philadelphia as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2016. The young right-hander opened the 2021 minor-league season with High-A Jersey Shore before earning a promotion to Double-A Reading in late June.

In 13 appearances (five starts) between Jersey Shore and Reading to begin the year, Santos posted a 2.20 ERA and 3.69 FIP to go along with 40 strikeouts to nine walks over 41 innings of work.

Upon getting assigned to Double-A Portland in mid-July, the 6-foot-1, 191 pound hurler proceeded to put up a 2.58 ERA and 3.49 FIP with 45 strikeouts and six walks across 10 outings (eight starts) spanning 45 1/3 innings pitched to close out his 2021 campaign.

Among all pitchers who accrued at least 60 innings in the Double-A Northeast last year, Santos ranked 33rd in strikeouts per nine innings (8.18) second in walks per nine innings (1.36), 29th in strikeout rate (22.2%), second in walk rate (3.7%), 16th in batting average against (.233), seventh in WHIP (1.06), sixth in ERA (2.73), 10th in FIP (3.62), and 14th in xFIP (4.00), per FanGraphs.

A native of Villa Tapia, Santos works from a three-quarters arm slot and operates with a three-pitch mix of a 90-92 mph fastball that tops out at 94 mph, a 77-79 mph split-changeup, and a “slurvy” 77-81 mph slider, according to his scouting report.

This off-season, Santos returned to his home island to pitch for Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League. Working strictly as a reliever, he pitched to the tune of a 2.45 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 17 strikeouts and six walks over 14 appearances (18 1/3 innings) out of the bullpen for Escogido.

Santos, who turns 22 in July, is still technically eligible for the 2021 Rule 5 Draft since the Red Sox did not add him to their 40-man roster by last November’s deadline. However, due to the nature of the MLB lockout, the major-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft has been postponed indefinitely and a makeup date has not yet been determined.

If there is eventually a Rule 5 Draft and Santos goes unselected, the Dominican-born righty is projected by to begin the 2022 season in the starting rotation for the Sea Dogs. If that winds up being the case, an eventual promotion to Triple-A Worcester cannot be ruled out depending on how he performs in the spring.

(Picture of Victor Santos: Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)