The Boston Red Sox selected Pawtucket pitchers Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez, in favor of Sam Travis and Robbie Scott.
Travis has been a bright spot for the Sox, hitting .279 and .380 OBP this season.
The rookie typically draws starts against left-handed pitching. Many people anticipated Travis drawing the start tonight against J.A. Happ; however, this move entirely contradicts that notion. Travis has shown glimpses of what he can do at the major league level. He has shown the ability to work deep in the count and make pitchers pay for mistakes.
The move leaves the Red Sox with the struggling Mitch Moreland, hitting .218 since the beginning of June, Brock Holt, and Hanley Ramirez at first base. Chris Young is likely to see increased at-bats, as well, with the demotion of Travis.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
It is not just first base that has struggled recently. With Dustin Pedroia being the only guy hitting over .300 since the All-Star break, the offense could certainly use some help. It is clear that Dombrowski is not looking to solve this problem internally. Keep your eyes on Todd Frazier.
Meanwhile, tonight is the return of Brian Johnson to the Sox rotation. The lefty is 2-0 this season with a 4.29 ERA and already has a victory over the Blue Jays this season.
With the rotation recovering from the long weekend, I agree with the decision to start Johnson here. Hector Velazquez will also head to the bullpen to provide some depth, and assist with the absence of Joe Kelly.
I completely understand why the Red Sox would look to add some bullpen depth; however, this is all very peculiar timing for such a move. With the Red Sox offense being entirely apathetic, it looks like now would be a prime opportunity to let Travis get regular at-bats. Rather, Dombrowski and John Farrell have opted to let the rookie get those in AAA.
Lost in these moves is the demotion of Robby Scott. Scott has been struggling considerably since the beginning of July, posting a 8.44 ERA. This leaves Fernando Abad as the only lefty in the bullpen – potentially leading to the addition of another arm. Keep your eyes open Sox fans, Dealin’ Dave may be ready to make a move.