Red Sox clear roster spot by outrighting Ronaldo Hernández to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have outrighted catcher Ronaldo Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced on Friday. The move clears a spot on Boston’s 40-man roster, which now sits at 39 players.

Hernandez, 25, was originally acquired from the Rays in a February 2021 trade that sent pitchers Jeffrey Springs and Chris Mazza to Tampa Bay. The native Colombian first signed with the Rays as an international free agent in 2014 and was regarded as on of their top prospects at the time the deal between the two division rivals was made.

For the better part of the last two seasons, Hernandez — who had been added to Tampa Bay’s 40-man roster in 2019, provided the Red Sox with upper-minors catching depth. He was called up from Worcester on two separate occasions this year but he has yet to make his major-league debut.

With the WooSox this year, the right-handed hitting Hernandez batted .261/.297/.451 with 27 doubles, 17 home runs, 63 RBIs, 50 runs scored, 21 walks, and 92 strikeouts over 105 games (439 plate appearances). From behind the plate, the 6-foot-1, 230-pound backstop threw out 16 of 65 possible base stealers while also allowing 13 passed balls and committing six errors.

Back in October,’s Christopher Smith reported that the Red Sox expected Hernandez to be eligible for a rare fourth minor-league option in 2023. While most minor-leaguers only receive three options, Hernandez qualified for a fourth since he played fewer than five full seasons of pro ball while using three options.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Hernandez did receive that fourth option, but the Red Sox elected to waive him anyway. Since he subsequently cleared waivers, Hernandez will remain in the organization without occupying a 40-man roster spot. He is currently regarded by as the No. 28 prospect in Boston’s farm system and has been playing winter ball in the Colombian Professional Baseball League.

By outrighting Hernandez, the Red Sox have an open spot on their 40-man roster to work with. That does not necessarily mean a trade or free agent signing is imminent, but the club could be looking ahead to next week’s Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

With Hernandez out of the picture to some degree, the only catchers currently on Boston’s 40-man roster are Connor Wong and Reese McGuire. Caleb Hamilton, who was outrighted last month, and Hernandez project as the club’s top two depth options at Worcester heading into next season. The Red Sox, of course, could still look to add a clear-cut starting catcher between now and Opening Day.

(Picture of Ronaldo Hernandez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)


Former Red Sox minor-leaguers Brian Keller, Johan Mieses close to signing with NPB’s Hanshin Tigers, per report

The Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball are expected to sign a pair of former Red Sox minor-leaguers in Brian Keller and Johan Mieses, according to Yahoo! Japan (and relayed by Yakyu Cosmopolitan on Twitter).

Keller, 28, was selected by the Red Sox in the minor-league phase of last December’s Rule 5 Draft. The right-hander was originally taken by the Yankees in the 39th round of the 2016 amateur draft out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He spent the first six years of his career in the New York organization and made it as far as Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before being scooped up by Boston a little more than 11 months ago.

After receiving an invite to major-league spring training, Keller broke camp with Triple-A Worcester in April. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound righty spent the entirety of the 2022 season with the WooSox and posted a 3.27 ERA and 3.76 FIP to go along with 126 strikeouts to 53 walks over 31 appearances (20 starts) spanning 113 innings of work.

Keller, who does not turn 29 until next June, operates with a five-pitch mix that consists of a 91-93 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, a low-70s curveball, a low-80s changeup, a cutter, and a slider. He became a minor-league free agent for the first time earlier this month. It is unclear if the Red Sox attempted to bring Keller back on another minors pact for 2023, but the native Wisconsinite will now try to make his mark overseas.

Mieses, on the other hand, first joined the Red Sox organization as a minor-league free agent in November 2019. The former Dodgers and Cardinals outfield prospect did not make his organizational debut until last May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he proved to be a solid power source over the last two years.

Appearing in 60 games for the WooSox this past season, the right-handed hitting Mieses slashed a respectable .271/.387/.536 (144 wRC+) with 15 doubles, 12 home runs, 35 RBIs, 32 runs scored, five stolen bases, 32 walks, and 60 strikeouts across 230 trips to the plate. His 31 homers since the start of the 2021 campaign rank eighth among all Red Sox minor-leaguers, per FanGraphs.

Mieses, who turned 27 in July, became a minor-league free agent like Keller five days after the World Series ended. Rather than explore other opportunities in affiliated ball, the burly slugger elected to take his talents to Japan, where he helped his native Dominican Republic win a bronze medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

In addition to Keller and Mieses, it also appears that Hanshin is interested in former Red Sox reliever Phillips Valdez. Valdez was claimed off waivers by the Mariners in July and was outrighted off Seattle’s 40-man roster in October. He, too, is a minor-league free agent.

(Picture of Brian Keller: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox outright Caleb Hamilton to Triple-A Worcester after catcher clears waivers

Red Sox catcher Caleb Hamilton has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester, according to’s Chris Cotillo.

Hamilton and reliever Jake Reed were both designated for assignment on Tuesday so that the Red Sox could create space on their 40-man roster for the additions of Chris Murphy, Brandon Walter, Ceddanne Rafaela, Wilyer Abreu, and David Hamilton. Those five prospects needed to be added in order to receive protection from next month’s Rule 5 Draft.

While Reed was claimed by the Dodgers on Friday, Hamilton cleared waivers and was sent outright to Worcester. The 27-year-old backstop did not have the ability to refuse the assignment since he only made his major-league debut for the Twins this past July.

Minnesota originally selected Hamilton in the 23rd-round of the 2016 amateur draft out of Oregon State University. The Washington state native spent parts of seven seasons in the minor-leagues before finally breaking in with the Twins over the summer.

In 22 games with Minnesota, the right-handed hitting Hamilton went just 1-for-18 (.056) at the plate with one home run, one RBI, five runs scored, four walks, and 14 strikeouts. The 6-foot, 185-pounder appeared in six games as a first baseman in addition to 11 games at catcher.

At the Triple-A level this year, Reed batted .233/.367/.442 with 10 doubles, 11 homers, 43 runs driven in, 34 runs scored, one stolen base, 43 walks, and 67 strikeouts across 62 games (251 plate appearances) with the St. Paul Saints. He also threw out six of 32 base stealers from behind the plate.

While catcher has served as his primary position in pro ball, Hamilton came up as a utility player of sorts in college and has past experience at every defensive position in both the infield and outfield.

It is unclear when the Twins removed Hamilton from their 40-man roster, but the Red Sox claimed him off waivers from Minnesota on October 11. His run on Boston’s 40-man roster lasted a little more than a month.

Hamilton, who turns 28 in February, should now provide the Sox with upper-minors catching depth in Worcester alongside Ronaldo Hernandez and Kole Cottam, among others.

(Picture of Caleb Hamilton: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Red Sox re-sign relievers Oddanier Mosqueda, Michael Gettys to minor-league deals

The Red Sox have re-signed relievers Oddanier Mosqueda and Michael Gettys to minor-league deals for the 2023 season, according to’s Chris Cotillo.

Mosqueda, 23, spent the entirety of the 2022 campaign with Double-A Portland. The Venezuelan-born left-hander posted a 4.30 FIP — but much more respectable 4.05 FIP and 3.40 xFIP — with 76 strikeouts to 20 walks over 45 appearances (58 2/3 innings) for the Sea Dogs.

Among the 99 Eastern League pitchers who tossed at least 50 innings this season, Mosqueda ranked 13th in strikeouts per nine innings (11.66), 11th in strikeout rate (31.4 percent), 28th in swinging-strike rate (13.8 percent), 22nd in batting average against (.211), WHIP (1.12), and groundball rate (46 percent), and eighth in xFIP, per FanGraphs.

A native of Caracas, Mosqueda originally signed with Boston as an international free agent in July 2015. The 5-foot-10, 155-pound southpaw operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 90-92 mph fastball that tops out at 94 mph, a 78-80 mph curveball, and an 83-84 mph changeup, per his scouting report. He is projected to make the jump to Triple-A Worcester next spring.

Gettys, meanwhile, split the 2022 season between High-A Greenville and Double-A Portland. After posting a 3.34 ERA (4.33 FIP) in 22 outings (29 2/3 innings) with the Drive, the 27-year-old right-hander earned a promotion to Double-A in mid-July. As a member of the Sea Dogs bullpen, he pitched to a 0.48 ERA and 4.00 FIP to go along with eight strikeouts to eight walks over 18 appearances spanning 18 2/3 innings of work.

Unlike Mosqueda, Gettys is not your prototypical relief prospect. The Georgia native was originally selected by the Padres in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Gainesville High School. At that time, Gettys was a highly-touted outfield prospect who quickly rose through the ranks of San Diego’s farm system.

After reaching minor-league free agency for the first time at the conclusion of the 2020 season, Gettys inked a minors pact with the Red Sox that November. The right-handed hitter was used exclusively as an outfielder by the WooSox before being placed on the development list last August. By the end of the month, Gettys was with the rookie-level Florida Complex League Red Sox in Fort Myers making his professional debut as a pitcher.

Boston first re-signed Gettys to a minor-league deal last November. Between last season and this season, the 6-foot-1, 217-pound hurler owns a lifetime 2.36 ERA in 45 relief career appearances (53 1/3 innings) across three different levels. notes that his arsenal consists of a 92-94 mph heater that tops out at 95 mph and a 77-82 mph breaking ball that resembles a slider or curveball.

Gettys, who does not turn 28 until next October, is expected to return to Portland for the start of the 2023 minor-league season in April. By bringing back both Gettys and Mosqueda, the Red Sox have reduced their minor-league free agent pool by two.

According to, Boston has 14 minor-league free agents who remain unsigned. Notables from that group include Pedro Castellanos, Geoff Hartlieb, Brian Keller, Johan Mieses, Hudson Potts, and Christin Stewart. Minor-league free agency just began on Thursday, so it should be interesting to see which of these players are re-signed or which opt to sign elsewhere.

(Pictures of Oddanier Mosqueda and Michael Gettys: Kelly O’Connor/

Red Sox offseason: Eduard Bazardo elects free agency after clearing waivers

Eduard Bazardo has cleared waivers and was outrighted off the Red Sox’ major-league roster, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon. Rather than accept an assignment to Triple-A Worcester, Bazardo has elected to become a free agent.

Bazardo, 27, was designated for assignment on Thursday after fellow reliever Jake Reed was claimed off waivers from the Orioles. Because he had previously been outrighted in his career, the right-hander had the ability to reject a minor-league assignment in favor of free agency if he went unclaimed.

Originally signed out of Venezuela for just $8,000 in July 2014, Bazardo first burst onto the scene in the wake of the COVID-shortened 2020 season. Although there was no Minor League Baseball in 2020, the Maracay native impressed at fall instructs in Fort Myers and was ultimately added to the Sox’ 40-man roster that November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

The following April, Bazardo made his big-league debut in Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Twins at Target Field. He tossed a scoreless seventh inning and was sent back down to Worcester. His only other appearance of the 2021 season came on May 12, when he tossed two scoreless frames of relief against the Athletics while filling in for a sick Nick Pivetta.

Shortly after returning to the WooSox, Bazardo suffered a right lat strain that resulted in him being sidelined for nearly three months. The Red Sox placed him on the 60-day injured list last July and did not activate him until mid-September.

On the heels of an up-and-down debut season, Bazardo came into spring training this year with a chance to earn a spot in Boston’s Opening Day bullpen. But the righty was optioned on April 2 and was designated for assignment five days later.

After clearing waivers for the first time, Bazardo was outrighted to Worcester. He spent the majority of the 2022 campaign with the WooSox before having his contract selected again last month. In his second go-around with the Red Sox, the 6-foot, 165-pound hurler posted a 2.76 ERA and 6.05 FIP to go along with 11 strikeouts to four walks over 12 relief appearances spanning 16 1/3 innings of work.

While the ERA is encouraging, the peripherals certainly say otherwise and likely played a role in Bazardo losing his 40-man roster spot to Reed last week.

Given that he does not turn 28 until next September, though, it seems likely that Bazardo will have plenty of suitors (the Red Sox included) this winter if he is willing to entertain minor-league offers. He has, after all, produced a 4.33 ERA across 48 appearances (four starts) and 68 2/3 innings in parts of the last two seasons with the WooSox.

(Picture of Eduard Bazardo: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox claim Caleb Hamilton off waivers from Twins, designate Abraham Almonte for assignment

The Red Sox have claimed catcher Caleb Hamilton off waivers from the Twins. In order to create space for Hamilton on the 40-man roster, outfielder Abraham Almonte was designated for assignment, per the team’s transactions log.

It is not clear when Hamilton was removed from the Twins’ 40-man roster. The 27-year-old was originally selected by Minnesota in the 23rd round of the 2016 amateur draft out of Oregon State University. He made his major-league debut in August and went 1-for-18 with one home run, one RBI, five runs scored, four walks, and 14 strikeouts over 22 games.

From behind the plate, Hamilton logged 38 innings at catcher and did not throw out any of the six baserunners who attempted to steal off him. The 6-foot, 185-pounder also made six appearances at first base and has experience at every other defensive position in the minor-leagues.

At the Triple-A level this season, Hamilton appeared in 62 games for the St. Paul Saints. The right-handed hitter batted .233/.367/.442 with 10 doubles, 11 homers, 43 runs driven in, 34 runs scored, one stolen base, 43 walks, and 67 strikeouts across 251 trips to the plate. He made 29 starts at catcher and threw out six of 32 base stealers.

Hamilton, who turns 28 in February, has two minor-league options remaining. The Washington state native becomes the fourth catcher on Boston’s 40-man roster, joining the likes of Reese McGuire, Connor Wong, and Ronaldo Hernandez.

During the team’s end-of-season press conference at Fenway Park earlier this month, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom indicated that catcher would be one position group the club explores making external addition at over the winter.

“This is one of the areas I fully expect that we’re going to explore additions,” Bloom said. “It’s nice to know that we have two guys (McGuire and Wong) that are familiar with how we do things, that showed a lot of good things. But we owe it to ourselves and everybody who cares about this team to look to get better and catcher is certainly not going to be an exception to that.”

It is no sure thing that Hamilton will stick on the Sox’ 40-man roster through the off-season, but the fact that he is versatile and posted a 1.027 OPS against left-handed pitching at Triple-A this season certainly makes him intriguing if he is given an opportunity to fight for a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster in the spring.

Almonte, meanwhile, was acquired from the Brewers in exchange for cash considerations towards the end of July. The well-travelled 33-year-old appeared in 32 games for Triple-A Worcester before having his contract selected on September 7.

In 15 games with the Red Sox, the switch-hitting Almonte slashed .257/.297/.400 to go along with two doubles, one home run, two RBIs, seven runs scored, one stolen base, one walk, and 12 strikeouts over 37 plate appearances. He saw playing time at all three outfield positions.

If Almonte goes unclaimed and clears waivers in the coming days, the native Dominican has the ability to refuse an outright assignment to the minor-leagues since he has already accrued more than five years of big-league service time.

Following Tuesday’s series of moves, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster is back at full capacity. Expect the team to make an announcement on Wednesday morning since they are not allowed to do so during postseason games.

Red Sox catching prospect Ronaldo Hernández could receive fourth minor-league option next season

Red Sox catching prospect Ronaldo Hernandez was called up from Triple-A Worcester on two separate occasions this season, yet he never got into a game and has yet to make his major-league debut.

Instead, Hernandez spent one day on the big-league roster in late April after Christian Vazquez was briefly placed on the COVID-19 related injured list. He then spent an additional day with the club in early August after Vazquez was traded to the Astros. But he was quickly optioned following the acquisition of Reese McGuire from the White Sox.

When Worcester’s season ended in late September, Hernandez made the trek to Boston and was added to the Red Sox’ taxi squad for their final road trip of the year in Toronto.

Despite not making his impact felt in the majors this season, Hernandez still enjoyed a relatively productive year at the plate in Worcester. The right-handed hitting backstop batted .261/.297/.451 with 27 doubles, 17 home runs, 63 RBIs, 50 runs scored, 21 walks, and 92 strikeouts in 105 games (439 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

From behind the plate, Hernandez logged 577 1/3 innings and threw out 16 of 65 possible base stealers. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder out of Colombia also allowed 13 passed balls and committed six errors.

Hernandez, who turns 25 next month, was originally acquired from the Rays with minor-league infielder Nick Sogard in a February 2021 trade that sent pitchers Chris Mazza and Jeffrey Springs to Tampa Bay.

At that time, Hernandez was already a member of the Rays’ 40-man roster after being added in November 2019. His status did not change after being traded, so he has used minor-league options in each of the last three seasons.

Under normal circumstances, players typically receive three minor-league options. As’s Christopher Smith reported earlier this month, though, Hernandez — who did not play above rookie ball until 2018 — is expected to be eligible for a fourth option next year since “he has fewer than five full seasons of pro ball while using three options.”

If Hernandez receives a fourth option like the Red Sox expect him to , they would once again be able to send him to Worcester next season to continue to develop and provide depth. Without that option, Hernandez would need to make Boston’s Opening Day roster out of spring training if the club did not want to trade him or expose him to waivers.

“The main goal is to be here in the big-leagues,” Hernandez told Smith (through interpreter Carlos Villoria Benítez) last weekend. “If they have that option next year, that’s fine. That’s not a big deal for me. My main goal is to keep improving every day and try to be better so I can make it to the big-leagues and stay here. So my focus doesn’t change whether I have the extra option or not.”

Beyond Hernandez, McGuire and Connor Wong are the only other catchers on the Sox’ 40-man roster. During the team’s end-of-season press conference at Fenway Park on Thursday, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom indicated that catcher would be one position group the Red Sox explore making external additions at over the winter.

“This is one of the areas I fully expect that we’re going to explore additions,” Bloom said. “It’s nice to know that we have two guys that are familiar with how we do things, that showed a lot of good things. But we owe it to ourselves and everybody who cares about this team to look to get better and catcher is certainly not going to be an exception to that.”

McGuire and Wong split time behind the plate for the Sox after Vazquez was traded in August and Kevin Plawecki was designated for assignment in late September. Even though they were out of it at that point, Hernandez never received a promotion. As noted by Smith, this reflects that the Red Sox “still feel like he has improvements to make and he’s not in the immediate plans for 2023. ”

Depending on how the offseason plays out, however, Hernandez could solidify his case for an Opening Day roster spot if he is able to impress club officials and put together a strong showing in spring training.

“Obviously, if I can make the team and stay here with Boston, it would be great,” said Hernandez. “That’s what I’m working for. But I can’t focus on things that I can’t control. I’m going to work hard this offseason. I’m going to work hard and improve in all the aspects of my game and we’ll see what happens in spring training. But I’m confident that my skillsets will be good enough to play in the big-leagues.

“And hopefully, it’s with the Red Sox,” he added. “But we’ll see what happens. I can’t control the decisions they are going to make. But the things I can control, which is preparing for next season and preparing to be ready for spring training, that’s what I’ll do.”

Hernandez told Smith that if the Red Sox were to go in a different direction, there would be “a lot of options and a lot of opportunities out there with other organizations.

“I know the type of player that I am,” he said. “I know what I can do. And that’s why I’m not too worried about what’s going to happen in the future.”

(Picture of Ronaldo Hernandez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox relief prospect Jacob Wallace ended his season by posting 1.38 ERA in final 19 appearances for Double-A Portland

In some respects, it was a tale of two seasons for Red Sox relief prospect Jacob Wallace.

After spending the entirety of the 2021 campaign with High-A Greenville, Wallace made the jump to Double-A Portland out of camp earlier this spring. The right-hander got off a tough start while going up more advanced competition, as he posted a 6.75 ERA in the month of April.

By the time the All-Star break arrived in late July, Wallace’s numbers had not improved much. Although he was holding opposing batters to a .191 batting average against, the 24-year-old was struggling with his command and walking nearly 22 percent of the batters he had faced to that point. That led to an ERA of 5.87 and a FIP of 5.96.

Maybe he worked on something or maybe he just took some time off. But whatever Wallace did over the course of the four-day summer break clearly worked.

From July 22 through the end of the regular season, Wallace pitched to a much-improved 1.38 ERA and 4.07 FIP to go along with 30 walks to 17 walks across 19 relief appearances spanning 26 innings of work. The free passes were still an issue to a certain extent, but the righty did manage to lower his walk rate down to 16.3 percent in the second half.

“I started off the year not doing so hot with the control,” Wallace told The Eagle-Tribune’s Mac Cerullo last month. “As much emphasis as there is always with it, I struggled a little bit. I was getting in my own head with my mechanics and beating myself out there, which haltered a good season right out of the gate. But I worked on it all year long and the mechanics kind of clicked, and that’s helped me get better control and keep the walks down.”

A native of Methuen, Mass., Wallace was originally selected by the Rockies in the third round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the University of Connecticut. The following September, the Red Sox acquired the local hurler as the player to be named later in the August 2020 trade that sent veteran outfielder Kevin Pillar to Colorado.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Wallace is described by as having “among the best raw stuff for a true relief prospect in the system, with the potential for two plus pitches.” Those two pitches — a high-90s fastball and mid-80s slider — are now complemented by a changeup and a cutter.

“I’m still getting the perfect location on it and trying to get it inside to lefties and away to righties and locating that really well, but overall feeling great throwing it,” Wallace said. “Just pure confidence going into the game knowing if [the catcher] puts down a cutter I’m going to throw it for a strike, swing and miss, whatever I need.”

Wallace, who does not turn 25 until next August, can become Rule 5-eligible this off-season if he is not added to Boston’s 40-man roster by the November deadline. Assuming he remains in the organization through the winter, it appears likely he will break camp with Triple-A Worcester in the spring.

“I’m going at my pace. I feel like what I’ve learned this year would have been lost on me if I’d just jumped up to Worcester early with a good start,” said Wallace. “I wouldn’t have grown as a player as much as I did this year sticking around in Portland. It’s honestly perfect that I haven’t moved up, and growing as a player down here and being able to really feel comfortable down here and gain that confidence, pitching against the Double-A guys because they’re good enough as it is. But I’m excited for that next step and that’s on the Red Sox to tell me when that’s the case.”

(Picture of Jacob Wallace: Kelly O’Connor/

Could Red Sox pitching prospect Bryan Mata make his MLB debut next season?

The Red Sox saw their top pitching prospect in Brayan Bello make his major-league debut this season. Could fellow right-hander Bryan Mata be next in line next year?

Bello, who appeared in 13 games and pitched 57 1/3 innings for the Red Sox in 2022, has graduated from his prospect status. Barring a major surprise, Mata will likely enter the 2023 season ranked by most publications as the top pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Although he has yet to debut for the Sox, Mata has gotten a taste of the big-league lifestyle. The 23-year-old hurler travelled with the club to Toronto as a member of the taxi squad for their final road trip of the season. He threw a bullpen session at Rogers Centre prior to Friday’s game against the Blue Jays.

“His first big-league bullpen,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters, including’s Christopher Smith, last week.

As The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier previously reported, Mata was unlikely to be added to the 28-man roster since the Red Sox just wanted to familiarize him “with the big-league environment, including pregame pitchers’ meetings that take place in advance of series and games.”

Still, that the Red Sox elected to include Mata in such meetings shows that they think highly of him. Boston originally signed the native Venezuelan for just $25,000 in January 2016. He had already emerged as one of the more intriguing pitching prospects in the system before undergoing Tommy John surgery last April.

Upon returning from the procedure earlier this spring, Mata made one start for Low-A Salem and three starts for High-A Greenville before making the jump to Double-A Portland — the level he last pitched at in 2019 — in late June. With the Sea Dogs, he posted a 1.85 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts) and strung together 18 consecutive scoreless frames before earning a promotion to Triple-A Worcester in late August.

In five starts with the WooSox, Mata pitched to 3.47 ERA and 3.12 FIP with 30 strikeouts to 15 walks over 23 1/3 innings of work. According to Speier, the 6-foot-3, 238-pound righty was operating with a high-90s sinker, a four-seam fastball that reached triple digits, an improving slider, and a whiff-inducing changeup.

While his arsenal is tantalizing, Mata does need to work on throwing more strikes and giving up fewer walks. Though his 29.4 percent strikeout rate remained constant between Portland and Worcester this year, he saw his walk rate rise from 11.7 percent to 14.7 percent after going from Double-A to Triple-A.

“I think the strike-throwing thing is the next step,” Cora said. “He had some good games and some OK games. The stuff will always play. And he’s come a long way since his injury. And we really like his season. He was able to get his innings. We’re really excited. It’s just a matter of we need to be patient. But as far as stuff, he’s really good.”

Mata, who turns 24 in May, is already a member of Boston’s 40-man roster. Because of that, he could be in a position to make his major-league debut at some point next season. There are still some things to iron out, though, and they could determine Mata’s role moving forward. Can he stick as a starter? Or is he better suited for the bullpen? The answer will be revealed soon enough.

(Picture of Bryan Mata: Kelly O’Connor/

Rob Refsnyder is in Red Sox’ plans for 2023: ‘He’s a guy we definitely can rely on,’ Alex Cora says

The Red Sox placed Rob Refsnyder on the 10-day injured list with low back spasms on Monday, thus ending the outfielder’s season.

Refsnyder, 31, originally signed a minor-league deal with the Sox last December. The former fifth-round draft pick came with plenty of experience, as he previously bounced around between the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays, Rangers, and Twins over the course of six seasons after breaking in with New York in 2015.

Once heralded as a top prospect in the Yankees organization, Refsnyder had to settle for a minors pact with Boston this past winter. After failing to make the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster, the right-handed hitter began his season with Triple-A Worcester. He first served as a COVID-related substitute in late April before having his contract selected on a full-time basis in early June.

Though he missed some time in August with a right knee sprain, Refsnyder still proved to be a valuable asset for the Red Sox in 2022. In 57 games, he batted .307/.384/.497 with 11 doubles, six home runs, 21 RBIs, 25 runs scored, one stolen base, 15 walks, and 46 strikeouts over 177 plate appearances.

“Great season. Great job for us,” manager Alex Cora told reporters (including’s Ian Browne) on Monday. “He was really good. Offensively, the versatility, the quality of the at-bats were awesome.”

As advertised, Refsnyder proved to be particularly effective against left-handed pitching by going 23-for-64 (.359) with six doubles and three homers off southpaws. He also posted a .417 on-base percentage and .932 OPS in 17 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter.

Defensively, Refsnyder saw playing time at all three outfield positions for the Sox. The 6-foot, 205-pounder logged 163 innings in right, 115 innings in center, and 24 2/3 innings in left. His one outfield assist came against the Rays at Tropicana Field on April 24. He also made a fantastic diving catch against the Mariners in Seattle on June 12.

Refsnyder, who turns 32 in March, is under club control through 2024 and is eligible for salary arbitration next year. Given his ability to hit lefties and play all over the outfield, it certainly seems like Refsnyder is in the Red Sox’ plans for 2023 as a potential fourth outfielder.

“He’s a guy we definitely can rely on,” Cora said, via’s Christopher Smith. “We recognized it in spring training. I remember we were talking (during) the lockout and all that. We had our meetings with the information department. And the ability to impact the baseball was there and the projections. Defensively solid.

“It’s a matter of staying healthy,” added Cora. “That’s the most important thing with him. We’ll set up a good program for him in the off-season and this is a guy we really like. We really like. And he can contribute at this level.”

(Picture of Rob Refsnyder: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)