The Red Sox announced a slate of roster moves this morning, recalling left-hander Brandon Walter and selecting the contract of catcher Caleb Hamilton from Triple-A Worcester. In corresponding 26-man roster moves, Boston placed outfielder Alex Verdugo on the bereavement list and placed catcher Reese McGuire on the 10-day injured list due to a strained oblique. Additionally, infielder Yu Chang was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list in order to open a spot for Hamilton on the 40-man roster.
The looming promotions of Walter and Hamilton were both reported last night, though the corresponding moves needed to get that pair on the roster weren’t clear until this morning. It’ll be the MLB debut for the 26-year-old Walter, who posted a 2.88 ERA with a ludicrous 68-to-3 K/BB ratio in 50 Double-A innings last year but has struggled so far in Triple-A — both in a late promotion there in ’22 and in a full season so far in ’23. Through his first 69 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level, Walter carries a 6.49 ERA, although a .362 average on balls in play hasn’t helped his cause.
Hamilton, meanwhile, will be on the roster and possibly suit up against the team for which he made his MLB debut last year, when the Red Sox wrap up their series against the Twins in Minneapolis. The 28-year-old went just 1-for-18 in his debut season with Minnesota, though that one hit was a big fly. Hamilton also drew four walks and scored each time, giving him the rare distinction of having come around to score every time he’s reached base in the Majors. He’s hitting .180/.285/.310 through 116 plate appearances in Worcester this season.
The Red Sox haven’t yet revealed how long McGuire will be sidelined, though oblique strains tend to require absences greater than the 10-day minimum and can often last upwards of a month. The 28-year-old McGuire, acquired from the White Sox last year, earned a look at a prominent role in Boston when he hit .337/.377/.500 down the stretch following a trade. He’s fallen well short of that in 2023, however, batting .267/.313/.352 (80 wRC+) and throwing out just two of the 26 runners who’ve attempted to steal against him. Connor Wong will take on an even larger role in McGuire’s absence.
As for Chang, his transfer to the 60-day IL is a procedural move that doesn’t impact his eligibility to return to the club. The “60-day” minimum stay on that list is retroactive to his original placement on the IL, which happened back on April 25. He originally went out on a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month, but that was paused due to continued discomfort in his surgically repaired hand. He’ll likely need another rehab stint before he can return anyhow, and since he’s already spent 58 days on the injured list anyway, the move to the 60-day IL amounts to little more than a formality.