The Red Sox announced today that they’ve placed right-hander Carson Smith and left fielder Brock Holt on the 15-day and 7-day disabled lists, respectively. Smith is dealing with continued soreness in his right elbow, and Holt has what the Sox termed a “mild” concussion. In that duo’s place, right-hander Noe Ramirez and catcher Blake Swihart have been recalled, although the Sox’ press release announcing the moves referred to Swihart as a catcher/left fielder, so presumably he will continue the outfield work he began at Triple-A in his latest big league stint. That’d mean that Swihart could platoon with outfielder Chris Young in Holt’s absence, and Swihart’s presence also will allow manager John Farrell to be a bit more liberal in terms of pinch-hitting for either Christian Vazquez or Ryan Hanigan in late situations. Swihart gets the call over high priced outfielder Rusney Castillo, who remains at the Triple-A level with a .263/.315/.316 slash line through 124 plate appearances.
Here’s more from the AL East…
- Blue Jays president of baseball operations Mark Shapiro said to hosts Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt on Sportsnet 590 The FAN this morning that he remains confident in manager John Gibbons despite a “disappointing” start for the reigning AL East champions (via Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith). “To spend time around Gibby is to be incredibly confident in his leadership and to recognize that he’s part of the solution,” said Shapiro. “We feel that he’s a guy who’s consistent. He is strong. He is tough. He is committed, and I feel like he’s the right guy to help guide us through the challenges that we’re facing now.” Rather than focus on potential changes to the field staff, the Blue Jays are instead already having internal discussions about trades and other roster changes, said Shapiro. It’s still rather early to expect significant trades, of course (as White Sox GM Rick Hahn recently noted when revealing that his club has already had talks with other teams), but the groundwork that goes into a trade can often be the product of months of effort.
- ESPN’s Buster Olney opines (Insider subscription required) that while the Yankees have a chance at playing October baseball this season, their focus should be on improving the 2017 club without completely tearing down the 2016 product. That, he writes, means playing Aaron Hicks regularly even if it costs Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez some at-bats. Olney, in fact, believes it’d be wise for the Yankees to explore the idea of trading Gardner to a contender for prospects as a means of getting Aaron Judge some playing time in the Majors later this summer. Other contributing pieces that could be moved without significantly tanking the club’s chances, he continues, are Brian McCann and one of Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller. The Yankees currently sit at 18-22, last place in the division, although there’s clearly time to turn things around, and they’ve won seven of their past 10 games.
- Yankees prospect Ty Hensley is lost for the season due to a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, reports Chad Jennings of the Journal News. The 2012 first-rounder has seen a once-promising career decimated by injuries to this point, as hip surgery cost him the entire 2013 season and he missed all of 2014 due to the aforementioned Tommy John procedure. Jennings doesn’t state that Hensley needs a second Tommy John surgery, and the specific nature of the setback isn’t entirely clear, but Jennings does note that both GM Brian Cashman and VP of player development Gary Denbo have confirmed that Hensley will miss the 2016 campaign. Now 22 years of age (23 in July), Hensley hasn’t pitched since 2014 and has pitched in just 16 games since being drafted, posting a 2.98 ERA with 54 strikeouts against 18 walks in 42 1/3 innings.