Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas homers in Triple-A debut

Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas wasted no time in introducing himself to a new level of competition in his debut for Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday night.

After earning a promotion from Double-A Portland earlier this week, Casas batted third and started at first base for the WooSox in their series opener against the Rochester Red Wings (Nationals affiliate) on a rainy night at Polar Park.

Matched up against 2020 first-round pick Cade Cavalli to begin things on Wednesday, the 21-year-old struck out in his first at-bat in the first inning and also fell behind 0-2 in his second at-bat following a two-out double from Jonathan Arauz two innings later.

At that time, the WooSox found themselves trailing the Red Wings by a score of 2-0, but Casas changed that rather quickly after he stepped out of the box to recompose himself.

As he stepped back into the box, the left-handed-hitting first baseman proceeded to take three straight balls from Cavalli before crushing a game-tying, two-run shot over the wall in left field for his first Triple-A home run.

“I knew I was one take away from settling in,” Casas told reporters Wednesday night. “I got behind 0-2 pretty quick in that second at-bat and I was like, ‘Man, I don’t want to go down like this again.’ So I had a couple good takes, and I know he’s got put-away stuff on the other side. He’s a really good pitcher, he made a mistake, and I capitalized on it.”

Franchy Cordero followed with a homer of his own to give Worcester their first lead of the night, as they would go on to take Wednesday’s contest by a final score of 4-3.

Casas wound up going 1-for-4 with just that one home run and two punchouts, but he certainly made his presence felt in his first exposure to Triple-A pitching.

“I try to take it as just another game, but I know this means a lot to me and it means a lot for the organization to bring me up here and get me playing time at this level,” he said following the WooSox’ win. “I just wanted to come out and contribute anyway I can, especially in the first game and it definitely settled the nerves, for sure.”

Casas, who was originally selected by the Red Sox with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 amateur draft out of American Heritage High School (Plantation, Fla.), is currently regarded by Baseball America as the top prospect in Boston’s farm system.

The Miami-area native initially opened the 2021 minor-league campaign at Portland after spending some time with the big-league club in spring training and held his own there, slashing .284/.395/.484 (142 wRC+) with 12 doubles, two triples, 13 homers, 52 RBI, 57 runs scored, six stolen bases, 49 walks, and 63 strikeouts over 77 games (329 plate appearances).

He also spent part of his summer in Tokyo, where he helped the United States’ Olympic baseball team win a silver medal at the 2020 Summer Games while being named the top first baseman of the tournament.

Casas’ promotion from Portland to Worcester came shortly after the Sea Dogs’ season ended this past Sunday, so the 6-foot-4, 252 pounder will now have the chance to get into some more games before the WooSox’ season comes to a close next weekend.

Given the progress he has made this year in the wake of the 2020 minor-league season getting cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Casas — who turns 22 in January — knows he is on the cusp of garnering serious consideration for a big-league call-up. Put another way, his time is coming.

“I felt it when they first gave me the call,” he said when asked if he has realized how close he is to the majors. “I was like, ‘Yeah, this is the last step, you know?’ I’m really close and it feels really good to know that my hard work is being appreciated.”

(Picture of Triston Casas: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

Red Sox to promote top prospect Triston Casas, 2 others to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox are promoting top prospect Triston Casas to Triple-A Worcester for the final two weeks of the minor-league season, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Per Speier, right-handed pitching prospect Josh Wincowski and catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez will join Casas in Worcester, as all three had spent the entirety of the 2021 campaign with Double-A Portland, whose season concluded on Sunday.

Casas, 21, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 1 prospect in Boston’s farm system. He was originally selected by the Sox with the 26th overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft out of American Heritage High School (Plantation, Fla.).

After participating at the club’s alternate training site and fall instructional league last year, Casas opened the 2021 season with Portland and held his own there.

In 77 games with the Sea Dogs, the left-handed hitting first baseman slashed .284/.395/.484 (142 wRC+) to go along with 12 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs, 52 RBI, 57 runs scored, six stolen bases, 49 walks, and 63 strikeouts over 329 trips to the plate.

Back in July, Casas temporarily left the Sea Dogs to play for Team USA in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where he helped the United States win a silver medal while being named the tournament’s best first baseman.

While with Portland, Casas — who does not turn 22 until January — was the second-youngest qualifying regular in the Double-A Northeast, per Speier. The 6-foot-4, 252 pounder will undoubtedly become one of the youngest players at the Triple-A level as well.

In addition to Casas, the WooSox will also be adding a pitcher in the form of Winckowski, who the Red Sox acquired from the Mets as part of the three-team trade that sent Andrew Benintendi to the Royals back in February.

The 23-year-old, in his debut season with a new organization, posted a 4.14 ERA and 4.02 FIP with 88 strikeouts to 30 walks over 21 appearances (20 starts) spanning exactly 100 innings of work for the Sea Dogs. He was named Portland’s Pitcher of the Year earlier this month for his efforts.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Winckowski — the No. 16 prospect in Boston’s farm system — “has shown a potential starter’s mix, with a major league-quality fastball (usually 94-96 mph), a slider and a changeup that has the potential to emerge as a solid third pitch.”

Winckowski, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 202 pounds, will once again be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter, so the Sox would need to add the righty to their 40-man roster by the November 20 deadline in order to protect him from that.

Finally, we arrive at Hernandez, who the Red Sox acquired from the Rays alongside infield prospect Nick Sogard in exchange for right-hander Chris Mazza, left-hander Jeffrey Springs, and cash considerations in mid-February.

Hernandez, who turns 24 in November, is already on Boston’s 40-man roster and is primarily viewed as the No. 2 catching prospect in the organization behind only Connor Wong.

With the Sea Dogs this season, the 23-year-old backstop out of Colombia batted an impressive .280/.319/.506 (121 wRC+) with 26 doubles, one triple, 16 home runs, 53 RBI, 44 runs scored, 11 walks, and 70 strikeouts over 92 games and 357 plate appearances. He also threw out 28% of the runners who attempted to steal against him.

Following Monday’s series of moves, the WooSox’ roster just got a bit more crowded for the final stretch of their season, which is slated to end on October 3.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox activate Eduard Bazardo from 60-day injured list, option him to Triple-A Worcester

In addition to reinstating Hirokazu Sawamura from the COVID-19 related injured list and Austin Davis from the paternity leave list on Monday, the Red Sox also activated right-hander Eduard Bazardo from the 60-day injured list and optioned him to Triple-A Worcester.

Bazardo, who turned 26 earlier this month, was originally placed on the 60-day injured list back in July, well after sustaining a right lat strain in an outing for Worcester on May 18.

While Bazardo was initially placed on the minor-league injured list at that time, he was later recalled from Worcester and “transferred” to the 60-day IL so the Red Sox could create an open spot on their 40-man roster.

As a result of him straining his right lat muscle, Bazardo was shut down for approximately three weeks before beginning a throwing program in mid-June and later being sent out on a rehab assignment with the Florida Complex League Red Sox on August 13.

After spending a little more than two weeks in Fort Myers, the 26-year-old righty had his rehab assignment transferred over to Worcester, where he has posted a 7.20 ERA and 8.56 FIP across four relief appearances (five innings pitched) leading up to Monday’s news.

Prior to getting shut down earlier this spring, Bazardo had appeared in two games for the Red Sox in two separate stints with the club after being added to the 40-man roster last November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

In his major-league debut, the Venezuelan-born righty served as the 27th man for a doubleheader against the Twins at Target Field on April 14. He worked a scoreless seventh inning of that contest while walking two and striking out one to preserve a 7-1 win for the Sox.

Fast forward to May 12, Bazardo made his Fenway Park debut against the Athletics while filling in for Nick Pivetta, who was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list that day due to side effects from the vaccine.

Working in relief of Eduardo Rodriguez, Bazardo retired six of the seven batters he faced over two scoreless frames of work, though he was sent back down to the WooSox the following day.

Listed at 6-foot and 190 pounds, Bazardo primarily relies on two pitches: a slider that has averaged 82.4 mph at the big-league level this season and a four-seam fastball that has averaged 93.8 mph at the big-league level this season, per Baseball Savant.

The Red Sox were able to activate Bazardo from the 60-day injured list — and add him back to the 40-man roster in doing so — without having to make a corresponding move on account of the nine players they currently have out on the COVID-related IL.

As noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield, Bazardo’s 30-day rehab assignment period ended on Sunday, so he needed to be reinstated on Monday regardless of the circumstances.

(Picture of Eduard Bazardo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Hirokazu Sawamura, Austin Davis activated; Brad Peacock, Stephen Gonsalves returned to Triple-A Worcester

Before opening up a pivotal three-game series against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Monday, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, right-handed reliever Hirokazu Sawamura was activated from the COVID-19 related injured list, while left-handed reliever Austin Davis was activated from the paternity leave list.

Secondly, right-hander Brad Peacock and left-hander Stephen Gonsalves were both returned to Triple-A Worcester to make room for Sawamura and Davis on the major-league roster.

The Red Sox made these transactions official earlier Monday night. They also reinstated righty Eduard Bazardo from the 60-day injured list and optioned him to Worcester.

Sawamura rejoins the Sox after initially testing positive for COVID-19 while the club was in Tampa Bay in the final days of August. At that time, he was the fifth player on the team to return positive results since their outbreak began in Cleveland on Aug. 27.

Upon his quarantine period coming to an end, the 33-year-old — who is vaccinated against coronavirus — traveled with the Red Sox to Chicago for their weekend series against the White Sox and even threw a bullpen session at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday.

On Monday, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo tweeted that Boston would be making Sawamura available to reporters ahead of the series opener against Seattle, indicating that he would indeed be activated.

In his first season with the Red Sox, Sawamura has posted a 3.09 ERA and 5.35 FIP to go along with 54 strikeouts to 29 walks over 50 relief appearances spanning 46 2/3 innings of work. The Japanese hurler last pitched in a game on August 28, as he did not require a rehab assignment.

Davis, on the other hand, returns to the Red Sox bullpen after being placed on paternity leave over the weekend.

Acquired from the Pirates in exchange for Michael Chavis ahead of the July 30 trade deadline, the 28-year-old southpaw has put up a 4.61 ERA, but much more respectable 3.38 FIP, with 14 strikeouts to six walks in 14 outings (13 2/3 innings pitched) since making his Boston debut on July 31.

In activating Davis, the Sox gain yet another left-handed bullpen option alongside the likes of Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, and Martin Perez, who is expected to be reinstated from the COVID IL himself on Tuesday.

With Sawamura and Davis back in the fold, the Red Sox returned another pair of hurlers to Worcester in the form of Peacock and Gonsalves.

Peacock had just been sent back to the WooSox on Saturday when Connor Seabold was called up to make his major-league debut, but remained on Boston’s taxi squad before having his contract selected once again on Sunday after Phillips Valdez was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list on account of a positive test.

That being said, it’s safe to assume that the 33-year-old righty will remain with the Red Sox in Seattle as part of the taxi squad in the event that they need to add another pitcher for the final leg of this road trip.

Gonsalves, meanwhile, had his contract selected from Worcester on August 31 — when both Taylor and Sawamura were added to the COVID-related IL.

The 27-year-old lefty made his Red Sox debut that very same day and appeared in three games for the club, allowing a total of two earned runs on two hits, two walks, one hit batsman, and four strikeouts over 4 1/3 total innings in that stretch.

(Picture of Hirokazu Sawamura: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Red Sox outright Taylor Motter to Triple-A Worcester after infielder clears waivers

Three days after designating for assignment, the Red Sox have outrighted infielder Taylor Motter to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Friday afternoon.

Motter, who turns 32 next weekend, was initially claimed off waivers from the Rockies on September 2 — a point in time in which the Sox found themselves in need of experienced infield depth with the likes of Enrique Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Xander Bogaerts, and Yairo Munoz all out on the COVID-19 related injured list.

After being activated on September 4, Motter made his Red Sox debut that same night, as he appeared as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning and scored the game-winning run in last Saturday’s 4-3 walk-off victory over the Indians at Fenway Park.

The versatile 31-year-old also appeared as a defensive replacement on Sunday and made his first start at second base for Boston in Monday’s 11-10 loss to the Rays, going 2-for-5 with a double, a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored while batting out of the leadoff spot.

Despite the bit of explosiveness he showed in his brief stint with the Red Sox, Motter lost his spot on the club’s major-league and 40-man rosters when both Hernandez and Danny Santana were activated from the COVID-19 related injured list on Tuesday.

Now that he has cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Worcester, the 6-foot-1, 195 pound right-handed hitter will look to provide the Red Sox with some upper-minors infield depth as a member of the WooSox.

Prior to being claimed off waivers from the Rockies last week, Motter had appeared in 68 games for Colorado’s Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque.

In those 68 games, the former 17th-round draft pick slashed an impressive .335/.460/.759 to go along with 16 doubles, one triple, 24 home runs, 57 RBI, 54 runs scored, 49 walks, and 49 strikeouts across 267 trips to the plate for the Isotopes.

For his big-league career, which dates back to May 2016, Motter has gotten playing time at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and both corner outfield positions over the course of four seasons spent with the Rays, Mariners, Twins, Rockies, and Red Sox.

(Picture of Taylor Motter: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Darwinzon Hernandez set to begin rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester

Red Sox reliever Darwinzon Hernandez has been sent out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Hernandez, 24, has not appeared in a game for the Sox since July 29 after being placed on the 10-day injured list on account of a right oblique strain two days later.

At the time Hernandez initially hit the IL, it did not appear as though the left-hander would be out for long, but he wound up undergoing an MRI — which came back clean — in early August.

On August 15, Hernandez resumed playing catch and threw a bullpen session at Fenway Park the following weekend. He completed his second live bullpen session on Sunday, which seemed to be one of the final hurdles he needed to clear.

That being the case because Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey) on Sunday that the team was trying to determine if Hernandez would need to go on a rehab assignment or if he would just be immediately activated from the injured list.

As it turns out, Hernandez will indeed head out to Worcester to join the WooSox ahead of their six-game series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs that begins Tuesday night at Polar Park.

Before straining his right oblique in late July, the Venezuelan southpaw had posted a 3.44 ERA and .697 OPS against to go along with 46 strikeouts and 26 walks over 41 relief appearances spanning 34 innings of work out of the bullpen.

In the time that Hernandez has been sidelined, the Red Sox have used four additional left-handed relievers in Josh Taylor, Austin Davis, Martin Perez, and Stephen Gonsalves.

Those four lefties have combined to put up a 4.98 ERA, a 3.72 FIP, a 4.08 xFIP, and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 37:16 over 34 1/3 total innings pitched in Hernandez’s absence dating back to July 30.

As noted by Speier, Hernandez’s time away from the team has been ‘significant’ given his ability to induce punchouts at a relatively high rate (29.9% this season).

(Picture of Darwinzon Hernandez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox claim right-hander Geoff Hartlieb off waivers from Mets, option him to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have claimed right-handed reliever Geoff Hartlieb off waivers from the Mets and optioned him to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced earlier Saturday afternoon.

Hartlieb, 27, became available when he was designated for assignment by New York on Thursday so that the team could add fellow reliever Brad Hand to its 40-man and major-league roster.

In just three appearances with the Mets, Hartlieb allowed seven runs — all earned — on seven hits, six walks, and one hit batsman to go along with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work.

The right-hander began the 2021 season with the Pirates, posting a 7.71 ERA and 4.95 FIP in four outings (4 2/3 innings pitched) before being designated for assignment in early July.

A former 29th-round draft pick of Pittsburgh coming out of Lindenwood University (St. Charles, Mo.) in 2016, Hartlieb made his major-league debut for the Pirates in May 2019.

Since that time, the Illinois native has made a total of 57 appearances between the Pirates and Mets while also appearing in 45 games at the Triple-A level dating back to the start of the 2019 campaign.

While pitching at Triple-A across two separate seasons (2019, 2021), Hartlieb has put up a 3.18 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 77:28 over 62 1/3 total innings pitched.

Per Baseball Savant, the 6-foot-5, 240 pound righty operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a slider, sinker, and four-seam fastball that has hovered around 93-94 mph season. He previously featured a changeup in 2019 and 2020, but apparently has not done so this year.

Hartlieb, who turns 28 in December, will join a WooSox bullpen that includes a number of relievers with big-league experience, such as Eduard Bazardo, Brandon Brennan, Colten Brewer, Austin Brice, Alex Claudio, Michael Feliz, Kyle Hart, and Yacksel Rios, among others.

It is also worth mentioning that Hartlieb has two minor-league option years remaining and is not arbitration eligible until 2023, so something to keep in mind there.

Additionally, the Red Sox did not need to make a corresponding move to add Hartlieb to their 40-man roster on account of the nine players they have on the COVID-19 related injured list.

(Picture of Geoff Hartlieb: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Red Sox recall Tanner Houck from Triple-A Worcester, option Jarren Duran

Before opening up a three-game series against the Twins at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, the Red Sox recalled right-hander Tanner Houck from Triple-A Worcester.

In a corresponding move, outfielder Jarren Duran was optioned to Worcester, the club announced earlier Tuesday afternoon.

Houck will make his eighth start and 10th overall appearance of the season for Boston in Tuesday’s series opener against Minnesota. Through nine outings (eight starts) at the major-league level this year, the 25-year-old has posted a 3.12 ERA and 2.54 xFIP to go along with 46 strikeouts and seven walks over 34 2/3 innings pitched.

In his last time out, Houck served as the Sox’ 27th man in last Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Yankees in the Bronx. The righty allowed two earned runs on five hits, zero walks, and two strikeouts in four innings of work during the day cap of the twin bill and was promptly returned to Worcester shortly thereafter.

Under normal circumstances, the Red Sox would have to wait 10 days to recall Houck again, but they took advantage of the fact he was used as the 27th man for a doubleheader to call him back up after just one week.

In order to create a spot for Houck on the major-league roster, Duran winds up getting sent down to the WooSox.

Originally beginning the season with Worcester, Duran earned a big-league promotion during the All-Star break on July 16 after lighting it up against Triple-A pitching.

Making his major-league debut a day later, the speedy 24-year-old has since slashed .221/.236/.372 (56 wRC+) with three doubles, two triples, two home runs, eight RBI, 12 runs scored, one stolen base, two walks, and 33 strikeouts over his first 27 games (89 plate appearances) with Boston.

Despite seeing the ball better lately (.313 batting average going back to August 13), Duran had seen his playing time take a hit in the wake of Kyle Schwarber making his Red Sox debut earlier this month.

With Schwarber making his first start in left field in Monday’s 8-4 win over the Rangers after solely being used as a designated hitter in his first six starts with the team, Duran’s role was essentially reduced as he slid down the outfield depth chart.

By optioning him down to Worcester, the Red Sox ensure that Duran will get more regular playing time and at-bats as opposed to the limited opportunities he was and would be getting at the big-league level.

Duran, who turns 25 in early September, is still regarded by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking tops among outfielders in the organization.

Prior to getting called up in July, the former 2018 seventh-round draft pick was hitting a solid .270/.365/.561 to go along with eight doubles, one triple, 15 home runs, 32 RBI, 37 runs scored, 12 stolen bases, 24 walks, and 52 strikeouts across 46 games (219 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

Because Duran is a member of the Red Sox’ 40-man roster, it seems likely that the speedster would be a candidate to re-join the team once rosters expand from 26 to 28 players on September 1.

Of course, the soonest he could be called up again would be next Friday, September 3 (10 days from Tuesday), so there is that to consider as well.

(Picture of Tanner Houck: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox pitching prospect Connor Seabold dominates for Triple-A Worcester on one-year anniversary of trade from Phillies

August 21 continues to be a memorable date for Red Sox pitching prospect Connor Seabold.

At this time one year ago, Seabold — then a member of the Phillies organization — was traded to the Red Sox alongside fellow right-hander Nick Pivetta in exchange for relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree.

365 days later, and Seabold’s name is in the headlines once more, though it has to do with what he did on the mound for Triple-A Worcester this time around.

Making his sixth start of the season for the WooSox in Saturday’s contest against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees affiliate), the young right-hander put together quite the outing in front of 7,432 spectators at Polar Park.

Over seven quality innings of work, Seabold kept the RailRiders off the scoreboard while yielding just one hit and one walk to go along with nine strikeouts on the afternoon.

After retiring the first five batters he faced in order, Seabold issued a two-out walk to Socrates Brito in the top half of the second. He followed that up by getting Kyle Holder to line out to first base for the final out of the inning before truly settling in.

That being the case because from the beginning of the third inning on, Seabold did not allow a single hitter to reach base as he took a no-hitter into the top of the seventh before giving up a one-out single to Donny Sands.

Seabold was, however, able to induce a ground ball off the bat of Trey Amburgey to set up an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play, thus ending his outing on a more positive note.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 87 (61 strikes), the 25-year-old hurler wrapped up his day having induced 11 total swings-and-misses in the process of picking up his very first win of the year to improve to 1-3. He also lowered his ERA on the season down to 3.73 in what would go down as a 2-0 victory for the WooSox.

“I’m going to be honest, I’m fighting a cold right now,” Seabold, who sat around 90-93 mph with his fastball, told MassLive.com’s Katie Morrison. “That wasn’t fun for the first few innings, but then it got fun once the adrenaline kicked in. I was sweating like a dog out there. A couple of times when I threw it, I saw beads of sweat coming off. But outside of that, I felt pretty good.”

Seabold, who does not turn 26 until January, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking sixth among pitchers in the organization.

After coming over to the Red Sox in that trade with the Phillies last summer and being added to the Sox’ 40-man roster in November, the former third-round draft pick out of Cal State Fullerton opened the 2021 minor-league season on the injured list.

Right elbow inflammation sidelined Seabold for approximately 2 1/2 months, but he was able to make his return to the mound for the Florida Complex League Red Sox on July 12 before doing the same for the WooSox on July 23.

In addition to posting a 3.73 ERA through his first six starts of the year for Worcester, the 6-foot-3, 195 pound righty has also held opposing hitters to a .209 batting average against while putting up a WHIP of 1.02 over 31 1/3 total innings pitched.

Because he is fully healthy and pitching at a high level (2.35 ERA in the month of August), Seabold may be a name to keep an eye on when it comes time for major-league rosters to expand from 26 to 28 players at the start of September.

This is not to say a promotion this season is imminent, but if the occasion were to arise where the Red Sox needed a spot start or multiple innings out of the bullpen at some point in September, calling up Seabold would seem sensible considering the fact that he is already on the 40-man roster.

In the meantime, though, Seabold — who operates with a 91-93 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, a deceptive 80-82 mph changeup, and an 83-85 mph slider according to his SoxProspects.com scouting report — should be in line to make his next start for the WooSox during their upcoming series against the Buffalo Bisons at Sahlen Field.

(Picture of Connor Seabold: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Christian Arroyo ‘in a good spot’ amid rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester, Alex Cora says

Red Sox infielder Christian Arroyo continues to make progress during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester, so much so that he has caught the attention of his manager, Alex Cora.

In his second game with the WooSox at Polar Park on Thursday evening, Arroyo went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts, but also drew a leadoff walk in the fifth inning and promptly stole second base before coming around to score on an RBI double off the bat of Joey Meneses.

“He must be feeling really good,” Cora said of Arroyo ahead of Friday night’s game against the Rangers at Fenway Park. “I mean, he took off yesterday and stole a base, so that was good to see. I was watching on TV. He got a few at-bats.”

Arroyo, who has been on the 10-day injured list due to a left hamstring strain since July 19, played five innings of second base for Worcester in Game 1 of their doubleheader against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (a 5-3 win) on Thursday before making way for Chad De La Guerra in the top half of the sixth.

Two nights before, Arroyo went 0-for-2 with a flyout and groundout while also getting plunked by a pitch while serving as the WooSox’ designated hitter for six innings before getting pinch-hit for by Johan Mieses in the bottom half of the seventh of a 2-0 victory.

The 26-year-old originally strained his left hamstring in his professional debut at first base against the Yankees back on July 18.

In the third inning of that Sunday night contest in the Bronx, Arroyo attempted to stretch out while receiving a throw from second baseman Enrique Hernandez in order to complete a potential double play, but wound up doing a split that resulted in his immediate removal from the game.

Since that time, Arroyo has gotten back to the point where he was able to begin a rehab assignment earlier this week and will once again be starting at second base and batting second for the WooSox on Friday night.

“He’s going to play today again,” said Cora. “I don’t think he’s that far off. Obviously he hasn’t played in a while. It’s been a month. So as far as the timing and all that, we’ll talk to him. We’ll see how he feels. But I do believe body-wise, the way he’s moving, he’s in a good spot. The fact that he stole a base yesterday, it was a good sign.”

As previously mentioned, Arroyo did injure himself in his first career start at first base at any level back on July 18, but that does not mean the Red Sox will keep the 6-foot-1, 210 pounder away from that position in the future.

“As long as he doesn’t stretch or slip, whatever you want to call it,” Cora said on Wednesday. “He’s going to work at first. I don’t think he’s going to start at first base but I think he’s going to get some work in at first base.”

Taking that point into consideration, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Joe McDonald tweeted earlier Friday afternoon that Arroyo was spotted working out at first base at Polar Park.

Also, this:

Arroyo, who has missed time on the injured list on three separate occasions this season, has primarily served as Boston’s everyday second baseman when healthy.

In what is his first full season with the Red Sox, Arroyo is hitting .271/.327/.465 with 12 doubles, six home runs, 25 RBI, 21 runs scored, one stolen base, seven walks, and 41 strikeouts over 50 games (170 plate appearances).

(Picture of Christian Arroyo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)