The Boston Red Sox activated Ian Kinsler from the disabled list today, but as a corresponding move, Rafael Devers was placed back on the DL.
The Boston Red Sox activated second baseman Ian Kinsler from the 10-day disabled list on Friday following an 11-game absence with a left hamstring injury.
Third baseman Rafael Devers was placed on the DL for the third time this season with a left hamstring strain. It’s the same injury for which he was on the DL in mid-July.
Kinsler was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels during the early hours of the July 31 trading deadline. He was brought to Boston to be the everyday second baseman so that Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez would not have to see as much time at the position.
But since Kinsler’s injury on August 3 during a game against the New York Yankees, Holt has started eight games at second, with Nunez starting the other three. The original intent was to get Nunez more time at third base, where he has spent much of his career. He has played 252 games at third in his career, compared to 121 at second (73 of those games have come this season).
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The Red Sox can be more confident in Nunez at third base than they were at the time of Devers’ last DL stint. They can be confident in multiple areas. First off, Devers leads all of baseball with 21 errors at third base. Having Nunez at the position will sure up the defense and perhaps even give Red Sox pitchers a little bit more confidence.
Second, since Devers came off of the DL on August 8, he was 4-22 with eight strikeouts in six games. Meanwhile, Nunez has been better since the All-Star break than he was prior to it. He is slashing .277/.294/.422 since the break, compared to his line of .260/.285/.374 before it. Plus, it is easier to be confident in a veteran presence such as Nunez than in a youngster like Devers.
Kinsler didn’t seem to be having much trouble fitting in with the Red Sox before his injury. In his three games with the team, he was 4-10 with a double and two RBI, and made two spectacular plays in the field.
In the last couple of days, there has been speculation about who would be the corresponding move for Kinsler. Hector Velazquez being sent down and Mitch Moreland being put on the DL were both possible moves, but seeing Devers back on the DL comes as a bit of a surprise. There wasn’t much indication that he was still hurt other than his poor offensive numbers, which could have just been another slump.
But fortunately, the Red Sox still have the depth to cover for his absence. Holt – who has been hot lately – and Nunez can both play third, as can Blake Swihart, who showed his ability to play the position before his latest DL stint. The team still has the necessary depth to play well into September and October.