The Red Sox announced this morning that left-hander Bobby Poyner has been placed on the 10-day DL due to a strained left hamstring incurred in last night’s game. He’ll be replaced on the 25-man roster by righty Marcus Walden, who’s been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket for his second stint with the Red Sox in the young season. Poyner, 25, surprised many by forcing his way onto the Opening Day roster with a terrific Spring Training effort, and he’s done nothing to make that decision look questionable through his first seven innings. The former 14th-rounder has allowed just a run on eight hits and a walk with eight strikeouts through those seven frames in his MLB debut, and his absence will leave Brian Johnson as the lone southpaw in Boston’s bullpen. As for Walden, the 29-year-old made his big league debut with five innings of two-run ball spread across three relief appearances earlier this season. Just three years ago, Walden was pitching on the independent circuit in search of a return to affiliated ball.
Red Sox Rumors
Red Sox left-hander David Price exited tonight’s game after one inning for what the team called “precautionary” reasons due to a “sensation” in his left hand (Twitter link via Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald). It was a night to forget for the lefty, who was hammered for four runs on three hits (one homer) and a pair of walks in his lone inning before being replaced by rookie southpaw Bobby Poyner. Elbow problems cost Price a substantial portion of the 2017 season, but he’d kicked off the 2018 campaign with a pair of scoreless, seven-inning gems against the Rays. Presumably, the Sox will have further updates on his condition after tonight’s game and/or tomorrow morning.
The Red Sox announced that they’ve placed shortstop Xander Bogaerts on the 10-day disabled list due to a “small crack in the talus bone in his left ankle.” Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston first reported that the Sox were going to place Bogaerts on the DL with a bone injury in his foot, adding that Bogaerts is in a walking boot (all Twitter links).
While any kind of broken bone is worrying, it seems this is rather a minor injury. Indeed, the Sox’ announcement indicates optimism that Bogaerts can return in 10 to 14 days. They’ve recalled infielder Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket in the meantime.
Nevertheless, it’s unfortunate to see Bogaerts face an obstacle after he had turned in a strong opening run to the 2018 campaign, with a .368/.400/.711 slash over his first forty plate appearances. Last season was a bit of a down year at the plate for Bogaerts, who is still just 25 years of age. He’s already earning a healthy $7.05MM salary this year and could command a big payday in his final season of arbitration eligibility if he can return in relatively short order and continue to be productive with the bat.
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts suffered a left ankle injury Sunday, causing him to leave their game against the Rays, the team announced (via Rob Bradford of WEEI, on Twitter). Boston’s further evaluating Bogaerts, who has been one of the driving forces behind its 8-1 start this season. The 25-year-old’s hitting a red-hot .368/.400/.711 with two home runs through 40 plate appearances. The Red Sox replaced Bogaerts on Sunday with utilityman Brock Holt.
- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is making progress in his recovery from the left knee surgery he underwent in October, manager Alex Cora told Ian Browne of MLB.com and other reporters Sunday. Pedroia is slated to begin running the bases Tuesday, which would be the final hurdle in his recovery, Browne notes. Should that go well, Pedroia would remain on track to return in May. The Red Sox have been well-equipped to go without Pedroia early this year, thanks to the presence of Eduardo Nunez.
Athletics outfielder Boog Powell is headed to the DL after suffering a knee sprain, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The left-handed-hitting Powell has hit just .167/.200/.292 in the first week of the season, though he did impress with a 135 wRC+ in limited action with the A’s last season. Powell beat out top prospect Dustin Fowler for the starting center field job during spring training, but he’ll now be absent for at least ten days while rehabbing.
Other injury notes from around baseball…
- Maria Guardado of MLB.com tweets that Angels righty J.C. Ramirez exited his most recent start with “forearm tightness”. It’s highly disturbing news for the Halos; Ramirez was diagnosed with a partially-torn UCL in his throwing elbow last season, but elected to go with stem cell surgery rather than opt for a Tommy John procedure. Ramirez has thrown 6 2/3 innings this season; he’s struck out four opposing hitters while allowing seven earned runs on seven hits and seven walks.
- Rockies star Charlie Blackmon is dealing with some back spasms, but told reporters he is not injured (h/t Nick Groke of the Denver Post). “It was a little bit tight for most of the game and kept getting tighter. I’ve dealt with it before and been all right.” Blackmon, of course, just signed an extension with Colorado and is a key component to their contention plans this season.
- The Red Sox have officially activated left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez from the 10-day disabled list. Right-hander Marcus Walden has been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in a related move. Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald writes that Hector Velazquez and Brian Johnson are expected to pitch out of the bullpen for the time being, as the Sox have a number of off days coming up; those days will eliminate the need for a fifth starter for the time being. The 25-year-old pitched to a 4.19 ERA last season in 137 1/3 innings last season, and is coming off a winter knee surgery.
- Jordan Bastian of MLB.com has the latest updates on a number of Indians injuries. Right-hander Danny Salazar (shoulder) is still unable to throw off a mound with “full intensity”, so he’s still a few weeks away from game activity. Third baseman Giovanny Urshela (hamstring), on the other hand, is just a week away from possibly starting a minor-league rehab assignment. Left-hander Ryan Merritt (knee) has resumed throwing and is scheduled to pitch an extended spring game on Wednesday, while righty Cody Anderson (elbow) is finally back to throwing off a mound following Tommy John surgery in March of 2017; he’s “several week away” from potential game activity. Of these four players, only Anderson has a minor-league option remaining, meaning the Tribe will be facing a significant roster crunch in the near future. In other Tribe injury news, Lonnie Chisenhall has officially been placed on the 10-day DL. Tyler Naquin has been recalled from Triple-A Columbus to take his place (h/t Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Top Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis, a third baseman, has been hit with an eighty-game suspension by Major League Baseball. Per a league announcement, he tested positive for a prohibited performance-enhancing substance, dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.
The 22-year-old, who was taken 26th overall in the 2014 draft, turned in a breakout effort in 2017. Chavis entered the present season with consensus top-100 prospect status leaguewide.
It had been hoped that Chavis would continue to develop in the upper minors this year, perhaps even becoming an MLB option later in the summer or early in 2019. Now, though, he’ll miss about half of the coming season while serving his sentence.
After a few tough seasons, Chavis laid waste to the High-A level last year (.318/.388/.641) before turning in a productive second half at Double-A and then doing the same in the Arizona Fall League. While he’s not considered a standout defender, Chavis seems to have settled in as a palatable gloveman at third.
In an interesting look back at recent history, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com explores the Red Sox’ decision-making process on finding a big bat over the just-concluded offseason. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski says the organization zeroed in from the outset on J.D. Martinez, despite knowing it could take a big salary to get a deal done. Giancarlo Stanton’s no-trade rights mostly took him out of consideration, says Dombrowski, while Marcell Ozuna came with too high a prospect price tag — reflecting his value as an outfielder, not just a DH, which was the Sox’ primary need.
- Red Sox top prospects Jay Groome and Michael Chavis will open the season on the disabled list, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. Groome, 19, is dealing with a mild flexor strain that is similar to the injury that hampered him in 2017, though farm director Ben Crockett tells Speier that the injury isn’t serious in nature, calling it “pretty mild overall” and noting that Groome has already been symptom-free for “several days.” Chavis, 22, is dealing with an oblique strain that he suffered back in February. He’s begun swinging a bat, however, and could get into extended spring games next week.
- Aaron Hicks is confident that he can return to the active roster in time for the Yankees’ upcoming series against the Red Sox, which begins next Tuesday, writes MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. Beyond that, while recently claimed Trayce Thompson is initially reporting to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, skipper Aaron Boone tells Hoch that the optional assignment “doesn’t mean he won’t become an option very soon.”
- The Red Sox picked up catcher Mike Ohlman from the Rangers in exchange for cash, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reports in a comprehensive rundown of late-spring releases, trades and signings. The 27-year-old made his Major League debut with Toronto last year but collected just 13 plate appearances over the life of seven games. An 11th-round pick of the Orioles back in 2009, Ohlman has logged a respectable .758 OPS in 518 Triple-A plate appearances thus far in his minor league career. He’ll give Boston some depth behind the plate, though the Sox are largely set in that capacity with Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart all on the 25-man roster.
- The Red Sox have released outfielder Steve Selsky, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. Selsky was a member of the Cincinnati organization from 2011-16 before joining Boston last season. The 28-year-old spent nearly all of 2017 with Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .215/.270/.360 with 11 home runs in 322 plate appearances. Selsky also appeared in eight of Boston’s games, though he only picked up nine PAs in that span.
- It could be a month before Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg joins the team’s bullpen, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told WEEI on Saturday (via Ian Browne of MLB.com). Thornburg remains on the comeback trail from the thoracic outlet syndrome surgery he underwent last June. The 29-year-old, whom the Red Sox acquired from the Brewers in a December 2016 deal that also involved third baseman Travis Shaw, still hasn’t pitched in a meaningful game for Boston.