The Red Sox announced they have the selected the contract of utilityman Chris Owings. First baseman Steve Pearce was transferred to the 60-day injured list to create 40-man roster space. Right-hander Hector Velázquez was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in a corresponding active roster move.
Owings, who’s immediately getting a chance to start at second base and lead off for Boston in this afternoon’s game against the Angels, played his way back to the big leagues with a monster showing in Triple-A. The 27 year-old slashed .325/.385/.595 over 183 plate appearances with Pawtucket, blasting 11 home runs along the way. He also struck out in 27.3% of his Triple-A plate appearances, though, and he’s never been much of a power threat before his barrage in the International League. Clearly, the introduction of the MLB ball to Triple-A has inflated Owings’ power output, but he’ll obviously have the luxury of hitting with the same ball at the game’s highest level.
Even still, it’s tough to imagine Owings emerging as a major offensive threat in Boston. The 27 year-old was a below-average hitter every year with the Diamondbacks between 2014 and 2018, and he struggled mightily after signing a one-year contract this offseason with the Royals. Owings slashed .133/.193/.222 with a 37.9% strikeout rate over 145 plate appearances before being released June 4. Only Zack Cozart (-13 wRC+) has put up a worse offensive performance than Owings (6 wRC+) among players with at least 100 plate appearances this year.
Even if he’s not much of a threat in the box, though, Owings is a plus baserunner with ample experience up-the-middle defensively. Defensive metrics haven’t traditionally loved him at shortstop, but he’s rated well at the keystone, where he seems likely to get the most work in Boston. He also transitioned well to center field in Arizona, giving the Red Sox some additional outfield depth on hand, even if it’s tough to imagine him spending much time on the grass in Fenway.
The IL transfer for Pearce is entirely procedural. He hit the 10-day IL June 1 with a lower back strain, so he’s already exceeded the 60-day minimum on the shelf. We last heard about Pearce a month ago, when the organization confirmed he was “nowhere close” to returning. It’s been a lost season for the reigning World Series MVP, who hit just .180/.245/.258 before hitting the shelf for the long haul.
Velázquez has logged 48 big league innings in 2019 as a swingman. He’ll be optioned for the second time this year, reflecting his subpar MLB results. Velázquez has worked to a 5.81 ERA with mediocre strikeout (21.6%) and walk (10.6%) rates.
red sox Have no idea what they’re doing…. they must be desperate!
Guy hit a dinger in six straight games a couple weeks ago…feels like he earned it
In AAA, right? Did you see his batting average for when he was with the Royals? 133!
If the Red Sox think they can fix him, then good luck
I mean the Red Sox did turn Nathan Eovaldi from a “minor league deal with invitation to spring training” to 4 years $70M.
If I recall they did trade for him after he was having a pretty good year in Tampa Bay. He did pitch significantly better down the stretch but did have success earlier in his career with the Marlins and Yankees.
Yes he played several good games at Pawtucket. Now Brock Holt can go back to being a utility player anywhere he’s needed. I still would like Whit Merrifield to play for Boston.
Sorry, Boston doesn’t have enough prospects to get whit
Any team can get any player if they really want to. It’s just that what the Royals want for Whit is a ridiculous overpay. No reason to even broach the subject with them. The Red Sox season is close to lost might as well see if Mica has figured something out maybe he has embraced the launch angle revolution who knows. Depth for the Sox.
Dumbroski is the King Of overpay. That is why you have nothing left in the farm system. Plus Pearce making $6.5 million? What a joke
They crushed all of baseball last year. They just don’t benefit from the fake baseball as much as the muscle bound teams. So be it. This too shall pass.
Pearce’s one-year contract is the one you have an issue with?
I would simply keep Chavis at 2B. We need to stop chasing. Establish a couple of minimum wage players at 1st & 2nd. We blew ~ $18M between Moreland, Pearce & Nunez.
We need to get younger & cheaper.
Dumbroski is the King Of overpay
Not really. I didn’t like the price he paid for Kimbrel, but unless Allen continues to develop, it hasn’t come back to haunt us. We paid a lot for Sale, but the guy is a true ace.
You can argue that we received damaged goods in Smith and Thornburg, but that doesn’t constitute an overpay as much as a poor medical check.
AAA competition bruh.
You are talking about the 2013 PCL MVP. This guy is a future star.
It’s just been a bad year the Starters were expected to carry the team and that didn’t happen. The Red Sox are 15-1 in there last 16 games that the starter goes 6 innings and gives up 3 or fewer. The Red Sox brass thought the starters would carry the team and that hasn’t happened. If the starters were as good as they were last year then the Yankees and Red Sox would be batting out for supremacy in the AL East but that hasn’t happened the starters have disappointed greatly. Chalk it up to a bad year it happens.
Isn’t this the last year of Dombrowski’s contract? Just saying….
Boston screwed themselves trading away all their minor league depth trying to build a super team! They really need to go into semi rebuild mode and get some prospects for the guys that are aging while they can. Sale really would not bring back the haul he would have in the off season and the only starters that could really return anything that they may part with would be Betts, Boegarts, or Benitendi. The pitching staff is a joke. No real value there and they got exactly what they deserved giving Eovaldi that albatross of a contract. It’s not looking good in Red Sox nation unless they add through free agency.
Dude it’s just one year and the Red Sox May do a soft rebuild maybe they trade Mookie if they can’t get an extension.
The Red Sox starters have disappointed but it’s just one year. My guess is Sale and Price pitch must better next year along with Edro that is a solid three. While the Red Sox probably aren’t as good as they looked last year they are certainly not as bad as they looked this year. They have a real solid foundation and there farm system is improving the death knell on the future of Boston is being sung way to early. They will be just fine.
Oh and mister baseballfreak you forgot Devers he might be the most valuable player on the Red Sox considering he is pre arb.
Yeah, things look really bad for Red Sox fans. They might have to keep just winning the WS once every 4 years. The horror.
“Boston screwed themselves trading away all their minor league depth trying to build a super team! ”
The trades resulted in coming in 1st three years in a row, and one WSC. That’s a pretty good return.
They really need to go into semi rebuild mode
However, on this one I agree. I now wish we hadn’t crushed the NYY and TB in those two series. Without that mini-resurgence, we might have been in sell mode, and gotten rid of of Porcello (+$18M), Betts, JDM, etc.
We still have a very good team, but so does the NYY, CL, Houston, etc. I okay with our farm, but a trade of Betts could bring us back to a top 10-15 farm, without dooming the 2020 team.
It’s a completely different kind of baseball altogether.
“It’s a completely different kind of baseball.”