The Boston Red Sox bullpen will be getting some reinforcements on Monday, as a pair of lefties rejoin the roster.
Robbie Ross Jr. has been recalled after spending the past couple of weeks down in Pawtucket. Ross bounced back and forth between Triple-A and the big leagues last month, with his most recent demotion occurring on May 31 when the Red Sox re-signed infielder Jeff Bianchi. Now the tables have turned, as Bianchi has been designated for assignment to make room to add Ross.
Ross has struggled in his first season in Boston, posting a 5.29 ERA in 17.0 innings spread over 15 appearances. He has struck out 12 batters this season, but walked 6 among the 26 base runners he’s allowed.
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While his time in Pawtucket showed some progress, Ross is still struggling to find his control. He has a 3.86 ERA at the Triple-A level this season, but has walked 4 batters in only 7.0 innings.
Ross hasn’t made the type of impact the Red Sox were hoping for when they traded for him last winter, but at least Anthony Ranaudo hasn’t come back to haunt them so far. The former highly-touted pitching prospect was lit up for 6 runs in 1.2 innings in his Texas Rangers debut back in April and hasn’t been heard from at the major league level since.
The Red Sox will also welcome back Craig Breslow from paternity leave. The veteran reliever has been away from the team since June 12 and hasn’t appeared in a game since June 4, so he should be well rested – or as rested as someone who has been caring for newborn twins possibly could be.
Breslow carries a 4.03 ERA through 22.1 innings this season, with 18 strikeouts and 10 walks. The results haven’t been as disastrous as last year’s nightmare season, but he has yet to recapture the form that made him one of manager John Farrell‘s most trusted relievers during the team’s 2013 World Series run.
To make room for Breslow’s return, the Red Sox have optioned first baseman Travis Shaw. He and Bianchi were both seldom used infielders who failed to record a hit in five at-bats between the two of them. With Mike Napoli and Mookie Betts back in the lineup today, there was less of a need to carry extra bats on the bench, making them expendable.