The Red Sox announced that they’ve activated left-hander Drew Pomeranz from the 10-day disabled list. Righty Marcus Walden was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to open a space on the active roster for Pomeranz’s return.
Pomeranz, 29, has been on the shelf all season thanks to a forearm issue he sustained in Spring Training, but he’ll return to the mound for tonight’s series opener in Oakland. He’ll step into the final spot in the rotation alongside Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez, with Hector Velazquez moving to the bullpen now that Boston’s projected starting five is at full strength.
[Related: Boston Red Sox depth chart]
The 2018 campaign will be a pivotal one for Pomeranz, who’ll qualify for free agency for the first time in his career at season’s end. Pomeranz took some time to establish himself as a quality big league piece after being selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft. Originally drafted by Cleveland, he was traded to the Rockies as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez swap 14 months later. Pomeranz never put things together in Colorado, but his career took off after being dealt to the A’s prior to the 2014 season.
After a pair of quality seasons spent more as a reliever than a starter, Pomeranz stepped into the Padres’ rotation on a full-time basis in 2016 and hasn’t looked back. Over the past two seasons, he’s tossed 344 1/3 innings of 3.32 ERA ball with 9.4 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9 and a 44.5 percent ground-ball rate. He’s yet to top the 180-inning mark at any point in his career, but if he can make another 29 to 30 starts in Boston this season, he should have no shortage of interested parties when free agency rolls around in November.