11:30AM: Yet another Boston player has been impacted by the ongoing virus situation. The team has announced that utility player Danny Santana has been placed on the COVID IL, with outfielder Franchy Cordero being recalled to take his place on the roster.
8:17AM: The Red Sox have placed starter Nick Pivetta on the COVID IL, per a team announcement. Pivetta was scheduled to start this afternoon’s game against Cleveland. Instead, 25-year-old righty Kutter Crawford will have his contract selected and start in Pivetta’s place.
Pivetta is now the 10th Boston player to land on the COVID IL in the past week as part of an outbreak that has been spreading through the team. The loss of Pivetta could potentially be a significant one for the club, as he has been one of the more reliable members of the rotation this season. As fellow hurlers such as Martin Perez and Garrett Richards have struggled enough to get moved into bullpen duties, Pivetta has held a rotation spot all year with solid, in unspectacular, numbers. Across 135 innings this season, the righty has an ERA of 4.67, with a 25.9% strikeout rate and 10.7% walk rate, both of which are within range of league average.
In more positive news, Enrique Hernandez, the first Red Sox player to hit the IL as part of this outbreak, seems to be nearing a return. According to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, he could be activated as soon as Tuesday.
For the club, the outbreak doesn’t seem to be hurting their playoff push much. They’ve gone 7-3 over their past ten games and are sitting on a four-game win streak going into today’s action. They’re currently holding down the second Wild Card spot in the American League, four games ahead of the Athletics and Mariners.
As for Crawford, this will be his major league debut. He’s been in the Red Sox organization since being drafted in the 16th round of the 2017 draft. He climbed up the ranks of the minors, reaching Double-A in 2019. Unfortunately, he had to undergo Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2020 season. Since returning to the mound this year, he’s thrown 75 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A with an ERA of 4.16. However, his rate stats are excellent, a huge 34.4% strikeout rate and a measly 4.3% walk rate. As a COVID replacement, he can be removed from the 40-man roster at a later date without being exposed to waivers.