The Red Sox are designating left-hander Matt Dermody for assignment, manager Alex Cora told the team’s beat (including Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe). The move clears active and 40-man roster spots. That’s likely to go to outfielder Adam Duvall, as Pete Abraham of the Globe tweeted this afternoon that Duvall was expected to be reinstated from the 60-day injured list before tomorrow’s game against the Yankees.
Dermody was just selected onto the big league roster a few hours ago. He took the ball tonight against the Guardians, allowing three runs (all driven in on a pair of José Ramírez homers) across four innings. Knowing Duvall would be back on Thursday, it seems likely the Boston front office always viewed this as a one-off start for Dermody, which represented the first of his major league career.
The 32-year-old southpaw had spent the season in Triple-A Worcester after signing a minor league deal over the winter. He’d pitched reasonably well for the WooSox, working to a 4.50 ERA across 44 innings. He fanned just under a quarter of opponents, had a decent 45.3% grounder rate and kept his walk percentage to a stingy 4.7% clip.
Dermody has always had strong control but generally worked as a low-strikeout grounder specialist. The Iowa product has been a reliever for the bulk of his career, only moving to the rotation in Triple-A for the Cubs last year. He entered play tonight with a 5.60 ERA through 27 1/3 major league innings over 30 relief outings.
The Sox will have a week to trade Dermody or put him on waivers. The latter is the likelier course of action. Were he go to unclaimed, he’d have the right to test minor league free agency because he’s been outrighted before in his career.
Duvall will make his return to the Boston outfield when first eligible, 60 days from his initial IL placement. The offseason signee opened the season as the Sox’s center fielder after signing a $7MM free agent deal. He got off to an incredible start, blasting 10 extra-base hits (four homers, five doubles and a triple) in his first eight games. Those scorching two weeks were cut unceremoniously short when he suffered a fracture in his left wrist while diving for a ball in the outfield.
Boston has used Jarren Duran as the primary center fielder of late. The former top prospect has a solid .278/.335/.432 line through 179 plate appearances. He’s cooled significantly after a roaring start, though, hitting only .236/.292/.371 while striking out a third of the time since the calendar flipped to May.
Boston has gotten excellent corner outfield work out of Masataka Yoshida and Alex Verdugo, so Duran figures to be pushed into a fourth outfield role, joining the righty-swinging Rob Refsnyder as an option off the bench. Cora held Verdugo out of today’s game in response to what the manager cited as a lack of hustle during Wednesday’s contest, as noted by Ian Browne of MLB.com. However, Cora indicated Verdugo’s discipline would be limited to one game and he’d be back in the lineup for Friday’s series opener in the Bronx.