Boston Red Sox activate Mookie Betts


Mookie Betts will be back in his familiar spot at the top of the lineup and patrolling center field for Tuesday night’s game in Miami.

The Boston Red Sox placed the 22-year old outfielder on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion after he tumbled over the right field wall in a game at Fenway Park on July 28. Betts passed the league’s concussion protocols and completed a one-game rehab assignment with Double-A Portland on Sunday before being deemed ready to return to the team.

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The center field job has been held down admirably by Jackie Bradley, Jr. while Betts was sidelined. Bradley is one of the elite defensive outfielders in the game, but manager John Farrell is inclined to keep Betts in center. That remains the plan even when both are in the lineup, as is the case in tonight’s game. Bradley will shift over to left field with Hanley Ramirez still recovering from a sore foot.

Why not use the stronger defender in center when he’s on the field? Bradley may have a better glove, but his struggles at the plate make his playing time inconsistent when everyone is healthy. He’s not the franchise cornerstone type that they hope Betts will become, so it makes sense to keep Betts planted in the position they expect him to hold for many years to come. Besides, it’s not as if Betts is any slouch defensively, considering he’s 7th among major league outfielders with 12 defensive runs saved.

Left-handed reliever Tommy Layne has been recalled to join the bullpen. He owns a 3.51 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 33.1 innings at the big league level this season.

Ryan Cook has also joined the Red Sox. The right-handed pitcher was acquired from the Oakland A’s prior to the trade deadline, but was optioned to Pawtucket before making an appearance.

The addition of the two relievers helps fill a bullpen void in the wake of closer Koji Uehara being lost for the season and Justin Masterson being designated for assignment this week. That left two open roster spots, but a third was still needed in order to activate Betts. Infielder Deven Marrero has been optioned back to Pawtucket to accommodate that move.

Farrell was a late arrival to the ballpark Tuesday after undergoing hernia surgery in Detroit the previous day. He made it to the clubhouse shortly before 5 PM to discuss today’s roster moves prior to game time.

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