The Red Sox will select catcher Caleb Hamilton onto the big league roster, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive (Twitter link). He’ll take the active roster spot of Reese McGuire, who is headed to the 10-day injured list after straining his right oblique tonight.
Hamilton will join the Sox in Minnesota. He’s no stranger to Target Field, as his only MLB experience to date has come in a Twins uniform. A former 23rd-round selection by Minnesota, he reached the majors for 22 games last year. Minnesota put him on waivers at the end of the season.
Boston claimed him and successfully passed him through waivers themselves a month later. They kept him in the organization without dedicating a spot on the 40-man roster. Hamilton has spent the season with their top affiliate in Worcester, struggling to a .174/.281/.306 line over 114 trips to the plate. The right-handed hitter had a much better .233/.367/.442 slash in Triple-A with Minnesota last year.
This season’s production isn’t eye-catching, but McGuire’s injury forced Boston’s hand. The Red Sox have only had two catchers on the 40-man roster all season. McGuire and Connor Wong have taken the entirety of the work. McGuire hurt himself on a swing this evening, necessitating a depth call-up from Triple-A.
Boston could’ve turned to Ronaldo Hernández, who has a more impressive .242/.327/.492 showing in Worcester this season. Hernández, a former top prospect, has yet to make his MLB debut. Boston will go with Hamilton, who has a bit of experience in a depth role. Both Sandy León and Mike Zunino were released Wednesday evening. The Red Sox make for a speculative fit for either player. León spent five years in Boston earlier in his career, while Zunino overlapped in Tampa Bay for a season with Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.
For now, Wong ascends to the top of the depth chart. He’s hitting .245/.314/.447 in 53 games on the year. The Red Sox will need to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Hamilton, though that can be achieved by transferring Yu Chang to the 60-day injured list. The versatile infielder has already been out since April 25 after suffering a hamate fracture in his left wrist; his IL transfer would simply be a procedural formality.