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)

Connor Seabold limited to 1 inning in latest start for Triple-A Worcester in case Red Sox need a starter for upcoming series in Toronto

Red Sox pitching prospect Connor Seabold went just one inning in his 11th start of the season for Triple-A Worcester on Friday night. The right-hander allowed one run on two hits, no walks, and two strikeouts.

Matched up against the Charlotte Knights at Polar Park, Seabold served up a first-pitch home run to the very first batter of the game in Mark Payton. He then struck out Yolbert Sanchez and Blake Rutherford in consecutive order before giving up a two-out single to Xavier Fernandez. Micker Adolfo ended the inning by grounding out to third base.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 21 (16 strikes), Seabold was relieved by fellow righty Taylor Cole in the second inning. Following Worcester’s 10-2 win over Charlotte, WooSox manager Chad Tracy explained to reporters (including MassLive.com’s Katie Morrison) that Seabold’s early departure was not injury- or performance-related.

“I just was told that he’s an option and they might need a starter and I was just told to limit him to one inning,” Tracy said. “So for now, that’s what we know. So we’ll see what happens.

As things stand right now, the Red Sox find themselves in need of a starter for Monday’s series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto. There was hope that Garrett Whitlock would be activated from the 15-day injured list in time to start that game, but the righty is still dealing with continued soreness in his right hip and is unlikely to pitch during the team’s road trip.

This is where someone like Seabold — who is on the 40-man roster comes into play. Since he only pitched one inning on Friday night, the 26-year-old would still be able to provide Boston with some length on Monday. He is also vaccinated against COVID-19, as that was a prerequisite for all minor-leaguers who played in the Arizona Fall League last year.

Originally acquired from the Phillies along with Nick Pivetta in August 2020, Seabold is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 10 pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system.

In his 11 starts with the WooSox this year, the California-born hurler has posted a 2.09 ERA and 0.99 WHIP to go along with 51 strikeouts to 14 walks over 51 2/3 innings of work. He is also holding opposing hitters to a .197/.262/.277 slash line against.

Under somewhat similar circumstances last season, Seabold made his major-league debut against the White Sox while starting in place of Pivetta at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 11. He allowed two runs over three innings in that outing and was optioned to Worcester the following day.

If Seabold does get the starting nod on Monday, he could replace another pitcher on the major-league roster like Tanner Houck, who will be placed on the restricted list since he remains unvaccinated against COVID-19.

As Tracy said, though, it’s more of a wait-and-see situation at the moment.

(Picture of Connor Seabold: Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Red Sox place top pitching prospect Brandon Walter on Triple-A Worcester’s 7-day injured list due to neck strain

Top Red Sox pitching prospect Brandon Walter has landed on Triple-A Worcester’s 7-day injured list due to a neck strain, the team announced on Friday.

Walter, who owns an 8.22 ERA in two starts (7 2/3 innings) for the WooSox, last pitched in a game on June 8, when he struck out five over six one-run innings against the Buffalo Bisons at Sahlen Field.

Since then, the 25-year-old left-hander has only just resumed throwing and is unlikely to return to Worcester’s starting rotation before the month of June comes to an end, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

The Red Sox originally selected Walter in the 26th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Delaware. As an unheralded college senior, the New Castle native received a modest $35,000 signing bonus from the club.

After his first full professional season was wiped out as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walter burst onto the scene in 2021 by posting a 2.92 ERA in 89 1/3 innings between Low-A Salem and High-A Greenville.

The 6-foot-2, 200 pound southpaw broke camp this spring with Double-A Portland and pitched to a 2.88 ERA (2.74 FIP) with 68 strikeouts to just three walks over nine starts (50 innings) with the Sea Dogs before earning a promotion to Worcester on the final day of May.

Equipped with a low-90s sinking fastball, a sweeping low-80s slider, and a plus changeup, Walter is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 6 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranks second among pitchers in the organization behind only fiery right-hander Brayan Bello.

Walter, who turns 26 in September, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this December if the Red Sox do not add him to their 40-man roster by the November deadline. Even with this latest setback, it seems all but certain that Walter will indeed be added this fall.

(Picture of Brandon Walter: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox reinstate Christian Arroyo from COVID-19 related injured list

Before opening up a three-game weekend series against the Guardians in Cleveland on Friday night, the Red Sox reinstated utility man Christian Arroyo from the COVID-19 related injured list. A corresponding move was not needed since infielder Jeter Downs was optioned to Triple-A Worcester on Thursday.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, had been sidelined for the last nine days after testing positive for the virus on June 15. The versatile 27-year-old began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts over the course of two games.

With the Red Sox this season, the right-handed hitting Arroyo has batted just .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 (98 plate appearances) while getting playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and in right field.

In his return to Boston’s lineup on Friday, Arroyo will bat ninth and start at shortstop as Xander Bogaerts has the night off. First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Red Sox promote Pedro Castellanos to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have promoted first baseman/outfielder Pedro Castellanos from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Worcester, per the club’s minor-league transactions log.

Castellanos, 24, originally signed with Boston for just $5,000 as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2015. So he has been with the organization for quite a while and is eligible to become a minor-league free agent this winter.

In 61 games with Portland this season, the right-handed hitter batted .279/.303/.463 (107 wRC+) with 18 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 42 RBIs, 23 runs scored, seven walks, and 56 strikeouts over 254 plate appearances. He was hitting .358/.369/.519 in 20 games this month before earning a well-deserved promotion on Friday.

Among qualified hitters in the Eastern League, Castellanos ranks fifth in hits (67), fourth in doubles, eighth in RBIs, 12th in batting average, 22nd in slugging percentage, and 28th in OPS (.766), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, the 6-foot-3, 195 pounder received playing time at three different positions with the Sea Dogs in 2022. He logged 257 1/3 innings at first base, 26 innings in left field, and 129 innings in right field.

Castellanos, who turns 25 in December, will be getting his first taste of action at the Triple-A level. He is not in the WooSox’ starting lineup for their contest against the Charlotte Knights Friday night at Polar Park.

(Picture of Pedro Castellanos: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo on second bout with COVID-19, rehab assignment with WooSox, adjusting to the outfield, and more

WORCESTER — With the Red Sox optioning Jeter Downs to Triple-A Worcester on Thursday, the expectation is that Christian Arroyo will be activated from the COVID-19 related injured list ahead of Friday night’s series opener against the Guardians in Cleveland.

Arroyo, who is vaccinated, has been on the COVID-related IL since June 15 after testing positive for the virus in Boston. He previously tested positive for it last August and spent more than three weeks on the COVID-related IL as a result.

This time around, the 27-year-old utility man says COVID did not hit him as hard. He had one really bad day, but it was being stuck in his house due to virus-related protocols that was more frustrating than anything.

“It’s six days in my house and another week of not doing anything,” Arroyo said at Polar Park on Wednesday. “Not playing, it sucks.”

Arroyo began a rehab assignment with the WooSox on Tuesday. The right-handed hitter got into two games and went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts. All three of those punchouts came while he played five innings at shortstop in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Charlotte Knights.

“Obviously, the results I had tonight aren’t necessarily me as a player or what I can do as a player,” said Arroyo. “But the most important thing is that I feel fine, I feel good. I try not to stress too much on the results stuff. Obviously, tonight was a tough night. But that’s baseball. You’re going to have tough nights. It is what it is.”

After dealing with a plethora of injuries — including a left hand contusion, right knee contusion, and left hamstring strain — last season, Arroyo took note of the fact that it took less time for him to get up to speed coming off his second bout with COVID.

“It was a quick turnaround for me this time,” he said. “Last year, I had some physical injuries. Hand, knee, hamstring stuff, which was a little different. It’s a little different protocol. But with the COVID stuff, it’s a lot easier this time around.”

One thing that may have helped Arroyo on his road to recovery is a tea recipe sent to him by Red Sox manager Alex Cora. As Cora, who tested positive for COVID back in April, explained to reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) last week, it’s a family recipe that consists of honey, ginger, onion, and pineapple, among other ingredients.

“It was good, it tasted good,” Arroyo said, smiling. “My wife (Jessica) made it for me and it was solid. So we’ll be using that one again.”

As Arroyo prepares to rejoin the Red Sox, he will once again be returning to his role as one of the club’s most versatile players. Prior to testing positive for COVID, he had appeared in two games at first base, six games at second base, one game at third base, eight games at shortstop, and 15 games in right field.

Arroyo had never played the outfield professionally before the 2022 season began. He has learned how to become an outfielder on the fly with the help of his teammates and bench coach, who is a former big-league outfielder himself.

“It hasn’t been bad, it’s been fine,” Arroyo said of his acclimation to the outfield. “Definitely is an adjustment. It’s a lot tougher of a position than people like Jackie Bradley Jr. make it look. But I’ve obviously got a good staff in the big-leagues. Will (Venable) has helped me out a lot, Jackie’s helped me out a lot, Kiké (Hernández) has helped me out a lot. Even talking to Dugie (Alex Verdugo), it’s been good.”

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/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’ Christian Arroyo, Josh Taylor begin rehab assignments with Triple-A Worcester

Red Sox reliever Josh Taylor and utility man Christian Arroyo began their rehab assignments with Triple-A Worcester on Tuesday night.

Taylor, serving as an opener for the WooSox in their contest against the Charlotte Knights, tossed a scoreless first inning and needed just seven pitches (five strikes) to do so.

The left-hander retired the only three batters he faced by getting Mark Payton to line out to center, a rehabbing Eloy Jimenez to ground out to short, and Carlos Perez to ground out to third. He was relieved by top pitching prospect Brayan Bello.

Taylor has spent the entirety of the season on the injured list because of a lower back strain that first started bothering him last September. He was initially sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment back in April, but suffered a setback and was shut down for weeks as a result.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off an exceptional 2021 campaign in which he posted a 3.40 ERA and 2.83 FIP with 60 strikeouts to 23 walks over 61 relief appearances spanning 47 2/3 innings of work.

Since the Red Sox transferred Taylor from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list on May 12, he does not currently count against Boston’s 40-man roster.

The same can be said for Arroyo, who was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on June 15 after testing positive for the virus. The 27-year-old served as Worcester’s designated hitter and went 0-fo-3 with a ground out, pop out, and fly out out of the leadoff spot before being pinch-hit for by Ronaldo Hernandez in the seventh inning.

Arroyo last suited up for the Red Sox on June 12 and is currently batting .187/.227/.319 with three home runs and 10 RBIs on the season. He will play the field for Worcester on Wednesday and could be activated for Friday’s series opener against the Guardians in Cleveland.

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas has yet to participate in baseball activities since spraining right ankle on May 17

It has been more than a month since top Red Sox prospect Triston Casas last appeared in a game for Triple-A Worcester.

On May 17 at Polar Park, Casas sustained a right ankle sprain while running on the basepaths. He was placed on Worcester’s 7-day injured list on May 22 and has since made the trek to the Sox’ Fenway South complex in Fort Myers, Fla. to continue his rehab.

When Casas initially suffered the injury, the Red Sox believed the 22-year-old first baseman would only be sidelined for a short period of time. They have since learned it is more serious than originally expected.

As a left-handed hitter, Casas shifts most of his weight onto his right foot when he swings. Because of this sprain, though, the 6-foot-4, 252 pounder has had trouble pushing off his ever-important right ankle.

“In the beginning, we thought it was something minor,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) on Sunday. “Around the bag, he twisted his ankle. We thought it was going to be day-to-day. But he wasn’t moving well. And as you know, he’s a big dude. He’s a big guy. And he hasn’t been able to actually push off of it. It’s not something that we’re worried about.”

Prior to getting hurt, Casas — Baseball America’s 19th-ranked prospect — was batting .248/.359/.457 (115 wRC+) with nine doubles, six home runs, 22 RBIs, 22 runs scored, 23 walks, and 25 strikeouts over 36 games (156 plate appearances) with the WooSox this season.

Coming into the year, it seemed like Casas was in line to make his major-league debut at some point in 2022 after spending an extended period of time in Worcester. In his tenure as Boston’s chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom has stressed how important making adjustments in Triple-A is to a prospect’s development.

With this setback, though, Casas has missed out on important development time that could potentially impact his path to the big-leagues.

So that part, he’s missing at-bats and that’s the part that he’s actually disappointed in a sense,” said Cora. “But we expect him to keep moving forward, keep getting better

Given that he has not been able to push off his right ankle, Casas has yet to resume baseball activities but has begun running again, per Smith. That being said, there is still no timetable for when the Miami-area native could return to action.

“It’s just a matter of him being able to push off and move around,” Cora said. “When that happens, we’ll decide what we do. Right now, he’s just down there doing his rehab, moving around, but nothing yet as far as when he starts playing.”

(Picture of Triston Casas: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via 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)