The Red Sox announced Thursday that they’ve selected the contracts of left-handed reliever Bobby Poyner and right-handed reliever Marcus Walden. In order to clear a necessary 40-man roster slot, Boston placed infielder Marco Hernandez on the 60-day DL as he recovers from a surgical revision of last year’s shoulder operation. Boston also placed Austin Maddox, Dustin Pedroia and Tyler Thornburg on the 10-day disabled list.
Poyner, 25, pitched to a superb 1.49 ERA with 12.5 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 60 1/3 innings split between High-A and Double-A in 2017, and he impressed Red Sox brass perhaps even more this spring. In 10 1/3 Grapefruit League frames, Poyner allowed just one run on four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. He’ll break camp with the team as its top left-handed relief option despite the fact that he’s never appeared in a Triple-A game — let alone a Major League contest.
Walden, 29, will also be making his big league debut the first time he steps onto a Major League mound. He’s been on the 40-man roster with the Blue Jays (his original organization) and the Athletics, but he’s topped out at Triple-A to this point. In parts of three seasons at that level, Walden has a 4.30 ERA with 6.4 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9, but like Poyner, he turned in a dominant spring effort. In 14 frames, Walden yielded just one earned run on six hits and four walks with 16 strikeouts.