The Red Sox announced a series of roster moves Friday morning, revealing that they’ve placed Eduardo Nunez on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to April 18) due to a mid-back strain). Additionally, Boston has designated righty Erasmo Ramirez for assignment and recalled infielders Tzu-Wei Lin and Michael Chavis from Triple-A Pawtucket. It’ll be the MLB debut for Chavis, a former first-round pick who is currently ranked as the game’s No. 75 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com.
Nunez will join fellow second basemen Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt on the injured list. There’s no word yet on long he’s expected to be sidelined. The loss of that trio facilitated the promotion of Chavis for his first look in the big leagues as well as the return of the versatile Lin, who has been up and down with the Sox dating back to the 2017 season. While Chavis has been primarily a third baseman in his minor league career, he’s played 47 innings at second base in 2019 and has experience at shortstop in the past, as well. He seems likely to step up at second base for the time being with Boston’s other options on the mend.
Selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Chavis posted modest numbers in his first two and a half professional seasons before breaking out with a .282/.347/.563 batting line between Class-A Advanced and Double-A in 2017. He followed that up with a similarly impressive .298/.381/.538 slash across three levels in 2018 (topping out in Triple-A but spending the bulk of his time in Double-A), though it should be pointed out that Chavis’ 2018 campaign was shortened by an 80-game PED suspension.
This season, he was off to a .250/.354/.600 start in Pawtucket. Chavis is a bat-first prospect, drawing the most praise for plus raw power and a solid hit tool. Strikeouts are part of his game but haven’t been a huge problem for him, and he’s shown improved plate discipline in recent years as well.
Ramirez’s stint with the Sox will go down as a brief and forgettable one. The veteran right-hander made only one appearance with the Boston organization, allowing four runs on four hits (including a pair of homers) and a walk with one strikeout in three inning of relief. The Red Sox will have a week to trade him, release him or pass him through outright waivers; Ramirez would be able to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency anyhow, so this move seems quite likely to end his tenure with the Red Sox organization.
Though he had a poor year with the Mariners in 2018, Ramirez isn’t far removed from a three-year stretch (2015-17) in which he logged a combined 3.97 ERA with 7.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 in 385 1/3 innings between Tampa Bay and Seattle. He has extensive big league experience as both a starter and reliever, and a club looking at adding some depth in either area could take a look at the righty, who won’t turn 29 until early next month. The Braves are known to be on the lookout for potential bullpen arms, for instance, while the Rangers haven’t been secretive about their desire to add rotation depth.