Red Sox skipper John Farrell announced to reporters today that left-hander Robby Scott will be on the team’s Opening Day roster in place of the injured Tyler Thornburg (Twitter link via the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham). Scott, 27, made his Major League debut with Boston last season and tossed six shutout innings after a standout season in the minors. In 78 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket logged a 2.54 ERA with a pristine 73-to-14 K/BB ratio.
A few more notes out of the AL East…
- Rays right-hander Shawn Tolleson is likely to open the season on the 10-day disabled list due to a back issue, reports Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times. More concerning, Topkin notes that it “could potentially be a lengthy stay.” Mooney’s colleague, Marc Topkin, notes in a separate piece that right-handers Jumbo Diaz, Chase Whitley, Jaime Schultz and Austin Pruitt are candidates to step into the bullpen in the wake of the injuries that will sideline Tolleson and former closer Brad Boxberger to begin the season. The Rays inked Tolleson, the former Rangers closer, to a one-year deal with a modest $1MM base salary this offseason. This is hardly Tolleson’s first brush with back troubles; the righty missed much of the 2013 season with a back sprain and hit the DL late last August with a back injury that proved to end his season and his Rangers tenure.
- Recently acquired Peter Bourjos made a strong impression in his debut with the Rays and fits “the profile that we’re looking for,” manager Kevin Cash tells Mooney. Tampa Bay has been on the hunt for a right-handed-hitting outfielder that can man center field, and Bourjos’ three-hit debut (which included a homer and a jumping catch at the wall) can only have helped his cause. The Rays picked up Bourjos in a trade that’ll send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox recently, despite an excellent spring showing for Bourjos with the South Siders (.313/.340/.521 prior to Wednesday’s strong performance).
- Right-hander Vance Worley and the Orioles have mutual interest in a reunion, reports Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. Worley certainly makes sense as a depth piece for the O’s following his recent release from the nearby Nationals. The 29-year-old Worley logged 86 2/3 innings with Baltimore last season and posted a solid 3.53 ERA, though his secondary stats were less impressive in nature; Worley averaged 5.8 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 with a fastball that averaged just over 89 mph and the worst hard-contact rate of his career (31.6 percent). Manager Buck Showalter sounded intrigued about the possibility of bringing Worley back to Baltimore, telling Encina: “It’s different with a guy like Worley because you have a prior [history] with him. It’s like he’s been through camp with us. In fact, he’s been through the fire of the season.”
- The Blue Jays announced today that they’ve optioned right-hander Dominic Leone and catcher Juan Graterol to Triple-A Buffalo. Graterol has long appeared to be on the outside looking in when it comes to the Jays’ backup catcher role, which will go to veteran Jarrod Saltlamacchia, but today’s move effectively makes that outcome official. As for Leone, his demotion reduces the competition for the final couple of ’pen spots in Toronto to a three-horse race, as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet points out (Twitter link). Left-hander Aaron Loup and righties Mike Bolsinger and Ryan Tepera are all still in the picture. Bolsinger is out of minor league options and has experience as a starte and multi-inning reliever, all of which could work in his favor (though that’s merely my own speculation).