Red Sox claim Jaylin Davis off waivers from Giants, option outfielder to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have claimed outfielder Jaylin Davis off waivers from the San Francisco Giants, the club announced earlier Thursday afternoon. A corresponding move was not needed since Boston had an opening on their 40-man roster.

Davis, 27, was designated for assignment by San Francisco last week after the Giants acquired right-hander Cory Abbott from the Cubs. Boston has optioned him to Triple-A Worcester.

A former 24th-round draft choice of the Twins out of Appalachian State University in 2015, Davis was dealt to the Giants in the same trade that sent Sam Dyson to Minnesota at the 2019 trade deadline. The North Carolina native made his major-league debut for San Francisco that September and appeared in 26 big-league contests with the club from 2019 to 2021.

In that 26-game span, the right-handed hitting Davis has batted .159/.221/.270 with one double, two home runs, four RBIs, five runs scored, one stolen base, three walks, and 18 strikeouts over 68 total trips to the plate. He has also seen playing time at both corner outfield positions with 139 1/3 of his 147 1/3 career defensive innings coming in right.

After failing to make the Giants’ Opening Day roster out of spring training this year, Davis was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, where he hit .295/.340/.500 (109 wRC+) to go along with three doubles, two homers, seven RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, three walks, and 14 strikeouts over 10 games (47 plate appearances) with the River Cats.

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, Davis, who turns 28 in July, should provide the Red Sox with some intriguing outfield depth in Worcester given the fact he has plus speed and power. It also helps that he has one minor-league option year remaining.

While Boston did not need to make a corresponding move to accommodate the addition of Davis on Thursday, they will need to make room on their 40-man roster on Friday when Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford are activated from the restricted list in Baltimore.

(Picture of Jaylin Davis: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign right-hander Tyler Danish to minor-league deal for 2022 season, per report

The Red Sox have signed free-agent right-hander Tyler Danish to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to MLB Trade Rumors’ Tim Dierkes. The deal includes an invite to big-league spring training.

Danish, 27, was originally drafted by the White Sox in the second round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Durant High School (Plant City, Fla.). After just three seasons in the minors, the Florida native made his major-league debut for Chicago as a 21-year-old in 2016.

In parts of three seasons (2016-2018) with the South Siders, Danish posted a 4.85 ERA and 6.70 FIP to go along with 11 strikeouts to 13 walks over 11 appearances (one start) and 13 innings of work.

Towards the end of the 2018 campaign, Danish was outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster and became a minor-league free agent. He inked a minors pact with the Mariners the following January.

The Mariners, however, released Danish in May after he had struggled with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma. Shortly after getting cut loose by the M’s, the well-traveled righty signed on with the independent league New Britain Bees and spent the rest of the 2019 season there.

While the COVID-19 pandemic may have wiped out the 2020 minor-league season, Danish was still able to pitch for the Sioux Falls Canaries of the independent American Association. He leveraged what he did there to a minor-league contract with the Angels last May.

Upon joining the Angels organization, Danish was initially assigned to Double-A Rocket City, but only needed three outings (and 10 one-run innings) there before receiving a promotion to Triple-A Salt Lake in June.

Across 29 appearances — three of which were starts — with the Salt Lake Bees, Danish put up a 4.33 ERA and 4.45 FIP with 67 strikeouts and 15 walks over 60 1/3 innings of work. His 47.1% groundball rate, 25.8% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate rank among the best of pitchers who accrued at least 60 innings in the Triple-A West last year.

The last time he appeared in the major-leagues, Danish — someone who has earned the reputation as a groundball specialist — operated with a five-pitch mix that consisted of a curveball, a sinker, a changeup, a four-seam fastball, and a slider, per Baseball Savant.

Danish, who does not turn 28 until September, is listed at 6-foot and 200 pounds and has one minor-league option remaining, per FanGraphs. It feels safe to assume that he will begin the 2022 minor-league season with Triple-A Worcester, though he should have a chance to compete for an Opening Day job in Boston’s bullpen this spring.

Regardless of that, Danish becomes the ninth player the Red Sox have invited to major-league camp, joining the likes of fellow hurlers Taylor Cole, Michael Feliz, and Zack Kelly, catcher Roldani Baldwin, infielders Roberto Ramos, and Yolmer Sanchez, and outfielders Rob Refsnyder and Christin Stewart.

(Picture of Tyler Danish: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox first baseman Josh Ockimey signs minor-league deal with hometown Phillies

Former Red Sox first baseman Josh Ockimey has signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies, he announced on Twitter. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Ockimey, who hails from the Philadelphia-area.

The Red Sox originally selected Ockimey in the fifth round of the 2014 amateur draft out of Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School. He debuted in the Gulf Coast League that summer and made it as far as the Triple-A level.

After the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor-league season, Ockimey re-signed with Boston that December and opened the 2021 campaign with Triple-A Worcester.

In 98 games for the WooSox, the left-handed hitter batted .225/.358/.416 with 11 doubles, 15 home runs, 45 RBIs, 35 runs scored, 62 walks, and 117 strikeouts over 360 plate appearances. He became a minor-league free agent in November.

Since the time he was drafted nearly eight years ago, Ockimey has established himself as a power threat from the left side of the plate. His 40 home runs since the start of the 2019 season are tied for the 15th-most in Triple-A over that stretch.

Off the field, Ockimey quickly became a fan favorite in Worcester for his community service last year and was named the WooSox Foundation’s inaugural “Heart of the Heart” winner as a result. Even after becoming a free agent in the fall, the 26-year-old still took the time to join the WooSox Foundation on their Holiday Caravan in December.

On the heels of spending seven seasons with the Red Sox organization, Ockimey will now look to make it to the major-leagues for the first time with his hometown team in the Phillies in 2022.

It’s unclear at this point in time if Ockimey’s deal with Philadelphia includes an invite to big-league spring training, thought it feels safe to assume it probably does.

As for the Red Sox, it seems like the idea of a reunion with Ockimey was ruled out when they signed fellow first baseman Roberto Ramos to a minors pact last week. Ramos and top prospect Triston Casas hit from the left side of the plate and both figure to begin the upcoming season in Worcester.

(Picture of Josh Ockimey: Katie Morrision/MassLive)

Former Red Sox infielder Yairo Muñoz signs minor-league deal with Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies have signed former Red Sox infielder Yairo Munoz to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to the team’s transaction log. It’s likely the deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Munoz, who turned 27 last month, spent the last two seasons with the Sox after originally inking a minors pact with the club in March 2020, just a few weeks after he was released by the St. Louis Cardinals.

With Boston, Munoz appeared in 12 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign and five games last season when the Red Sox were in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak. He batted .286/.286/.429 with five doubles, one home run, four RBIs, six runs scored, two stolen bases, zero walks, and 13 strikeouts over 17 games (56 plate appearances) in that stretch.

More notably, Munoz enjoyed quite the year at the plate for Triple-A Worcester in 2021. There, the right-handed hitter slashed an impressive .308/.340/.444 (109 wRC+) with 18 stolen bases across 88 games. From July 1 through August 14, Munoz notched a hit in 35 consecutive contests to set a new Red Sox organizational record. That historic hitting streak surely helped him take home the WooSox’ Most Valuable Player Award in September.

Since Munoz was outrighted off the Red Sox’ 40-man roster in October, he was eligible to become a minor-league free agent. The Phillies are his fourth organization after he first signed with the Oakland Athletics out of the Dominican Republic in 2012.

Over the course of his professional career, Munoz has proven to be a versatile defender. Last year alone in Worcester, the 5-foot-11, 200 pounder logged 70 innings at first base, 33 innings at second base, 437 2/3 innings at third base, 92 innings at shortstop, 15 innings in left field, 21 innings in center field, and 22 innings in right field.

The Phillies have assigned Munoz to their Triple-A affiliate in Lehigh Valley, so it should be interesting to see if the 27-year-old can make it back to the majors for a fifth consecutive season in 2022.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, have lost a somewhat significant amount of infield depth in minor-league free agency when you consider the fact that both Munoz and Jack Lopez (Tigers) have signed elsewhere this off-season.

That being said, the Sox did gain some experienced infield depth when they signed former Gold Glove Award winner Yolmer Sanchez to a minors pact earlier this week.

(Picture of Yairo Munoz: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Worcester Red Sox name Chad Tracy as new manager

The Worcester Red Sox have named Chad Tracy as their new manager for the 2022 season, the team announced on Monday.

Tracy, 36, had spent the last seven seasons in the Angels organization, most recently serving as the club’s minor-league field coordinator since 2018 before being let go towards the end of September.

A former third-round draft choice of the Rangers out of Pepperdine University in 2006, Tracy played in the minor-leagues for eight seasons with three different organizations. He played 390 games at the Triple-A level but never got the call up to the majors and wound up finishing his playing career with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League in 2013 and 2014.

The following year, Tracy officially joined the Angels’ coaching ranks by becoming the manager of Low-A Burlington and followed that up by managing High-A Inland Empire from 2016-2017 before being promoted to minor-league field coordinator.

A native Illinoisan, Tracy is the son of former Dodgers, Pirates, and Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who managed Red Sox manager Alex Cora during his time with Los Angeles.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, when Cora was first hired as Boston’s manager in November 2017, he considered two candidates (Jim Tracy and Ron Roenicke) to become his bench coach before ultimately landing on Roenicke. So there is somewhat of a connection there.

In being named the next man to lead the WooSox, Tracy becomes the 18th manager in team history while taking over for Billy McMillon. McMillon, who had served as PawSox/WooSox manager since 2019, was let go by Boston at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.

Joining Tracy’s staff will be Jose David Flores, who has been named as Worcester’s bench coach. The soon-to-be 51-year-old most recently spent the 2018 season as the Phillies’ first base coach and served as the Orioles’ third base coach from 2019-2020.

Flores is a native of Puerto Rico and spent five seasons in the Astros’ organization after being selected by Houston in the 38th round of the 1990 draft. He has coached and managed in the Puerto Rican Winter League and managed Team Puerto Rico in international play from 2011-2012.

Besides the additions of Tracy and Flores, the rest of the WooSox’ coaching staff will look very similar to the one they rolled out in 2021. Hitting coach Rich Gedman and pitching coach Paul Abbott are both back for the 2022 season, while Mike Montville has been promoted to assistant hitting coach after serving as a coach this year.

(Picture of Polar Park: Christine Peterson/Telegram & Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK)

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 call up pitching prospect Connor Seabold for major-league debut Saturday; Brad Peacock returned to Triple-A Worcester

Before taking on the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Saturday night, the Red Sox recalled right-handed pitching prospect Connor Seabold from Triple-A Worcester.

In a corresponding move, fellow right-hander Brad Peacock was returned to Worcester to make room for Seabold on the active roster, the club announced earlier Saturday afternoon.

Seabold, 25, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking sixth among pitchers in the organization.

The right-hander will make his major-league debut and first career start in Saturday’s contest against the White Sox, as he was one of four players who traveled with the Red Sox to Chicago as part of the team’s taxi squad.

Nick Pivetta was originally in line to get the start on Saturday, but has since had to be scratched from that outing on account of testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

That being said, Pivetta will be able to make his return to the mound and start in place of Chris Sale, who also recently tested positive for coronavirus, in the finale of this three-game weekend series on Sunday.

While Pivetta will take over for Sale on Sunday, Seabold will essentially take over for Pivetta on Sunday.

The Red Sox originally acquired Seabold and Pivetta from the Phillies in a trade that sent relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies last August.

The 25-year-old was added to Boston’s 40-man roster in November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft and was also invited to major-league camp earlier this spring, but had the start of his 2021 season pushed back by approximately 2 1/2 months due to right elbow inflammation.

After a brief rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League, Seabold made his debut for Worcester on July 23. He has posted a 3.67 ERA and 4.17 FIP to go along with 44 strikeouts to 13 walks over eight starts spanning 41 2/3 innings of work for the WooSox since then.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, the California-born righty operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a 91-93 mph fastball that tops out at 95 mph, a deceptive 80-82 mph changeup, and an 83-85 mph slider, per his SoxProspects.com scouting report.

Considering the fact that his most recent start for the WooSox came on September 4, it’s safe to assume that Seabold — who will be wearing the No. 67 — will be plenty stretched out for his big-league debut later Saturday night.

With the addition of Seabold to the major-league roster, the Red Sox returned a veteran in the form of Peacock to Worcester.

Boston picked up the 32-year-old in exchange for cash considerations in a minor trade made with the Indians late last month.

Peacock appeared in two games for the Sox, making his first start for the club in their bout against the Rays on August 31 and being used out of the bullpen exactly one week later.

As he makes his way to Worcester, Peacock will look to provide the Red Sox with experienced starting rotation and bullpen depth for the final few weeks of the regular season.

Prior to getting traded, Peacock put up a 7.68 ERA and 5.16 xFIP in addition to 38 strikeouts and 14 walks over 11 appearances (10 starts) and 34 innings pitched with Triple-A Columbus after signing a minor-league pact with Cleveland in June.

(Picture of Connor Seabold: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

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 scratch pitching prospects Kutter Crawford, Connor Seabold from starts with Triple-A Worcester amid club’s COVID-19 issues: ‘We got to be prepared,’ Alex Cora says

Two of the top pitching prospects in the Red Sox farm system have each been scratched from their respective starts for Triple-A Worcester within the last two days.

Kutter Crawford had been slated to make his sixth start of the season for Worcester in their contest against the Rochester Red Wings on Thursday night, while Connor Seabold was in line to do make his eighth start on Friday.

Instead, the pair of right-handers have been pulled aside as somewhat of a contingency plan in the event that a shorthanded Red Sox team finds themselves in need of more pitching depth if additional COVID-19-related issues arise.

Since last Friday, Boston has placed four pitchers on the COVID-19 related injured list, as Matt Barnes, Martin Perez, and Hirokazu Sawamura have all recently tested positive for the virus while Josh Taylor was identified as a close contact.

Because of all those hurlers being sidelined at the moment, the Sox have had to call up the likes of Raynel Espinal, Stephen Gonsalves, John Schreiber, and Brad Peacock — who was recently acquired from the Indians for cash considerations — within the last week in order to stabilize its starting rotation and bullpen depth.

That being said, the reinforcements from the minor-league side may not stop there, as both Crawford and Seabold have essentially been put on standby for the time being.

“We got to be prepared,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Friday when asked about the reasoning behind the two prospects being scratched from their starts. “We got to be prepared. Yes.”

Crawford, 25, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 22 prospect in Boston’s farm system, ranking 11th among pitchers in the organization.

The former 16th-round draft selection out of Florida Gulf Coast University initially began the 2021 season at Double-A Portland, but earned a promotion to Worcester in late July.

Since that time, Crawford has posted a 5.52 ERA and 3.80 xFIP to go along with 39 strikeouts to eight walks over six appearances (five starts) and 29 1/3 innings of work for the WooSox.

Seabold, on the other hand, is regarded by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in Boston’s farm system, placing 10 spots above Crawford.

Unlike Crawford, the 25-year-old righty is on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster after being added to it last November in order to receive protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

One of two right-handers (the other being Nick Pivetta) the Sox acquired from the Phillies in exchange for relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree last August, Seabold missed the first several weeks of the 2021 campaign due to elbow inflammation.

After rehabbing in the Florida Complex League debut for a spell, the former third-round draft pick out of Cal State Fullerton made his highly-anticipated WooSox debut on July 23.

In seven starts with Worcester, Seabold has pitched to the tune of a 4.29 ERA and 4.62 xFIP while striking out 26.5% of the batters he has faced and walking just 6.6% of them over 35 2/3 innings pitched.

Between the two of them, Seabold has more experience as a reliever, though five of his six career relief appearances in the minors came in 2017.

Earlier this week, Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) that the club has not discussed promoting Seabold to use him as a multi-inning reliever, though they have been impressed with what he’s done with Worcester.

“We have talked about him,” Cora said on Wednesday. “We know he’s very talented. He’s throwing the ball well. I do believe that September is going to be very interesting as far as like maneuvering our roster and trying to maximize our roster. It’s only two more spots. It’s not a few years ago when you could go up to 40.

As noted by Smith, major-league rosters now expand from 26 to 28 players at the beginning of September — not all the way up to 40 as they did previously.

“He’s throwing the ball well,” added Cora. “We know that probably he can contribute. How? We’ll talk about it and when/if we need him. But as of now, he’s still down there (in Worcester). He’s still getting better. And we’re very happy that he’s performing the way he’s performing.”

(Picture of Kutter Crawford: Katie Morrison/MassLive)