Players the Red Sox should call back and those they should avoid.
I was not that enthusiastic about the bounty received in the trade of Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman. Prospect Connor Seabold is just that – a prospect, but Nick Pivetta had the bottom of the rotation journeyman stamped on his locker. In 2018, Pivetta went 7-14 with a 4.77 ERA and 3.79 FIP. Was that FIP something to take seriously? Pivetta had all the tools but using them is another thing. Maybe the Boston Red Sox evaluators are on to something? Call Pivetta back.
Jose Peraza was a gamble coming off a terrible 2019 season after impressing in 2018, hitting .288 for the Reds and displaying excellent speed. Peraza fits the versatility mold the Red Sox covet so they took a chance and failed. Peraza was a bust. No call.
The Red Sox tossed a wide net attempting to scoop up pitching talent and most of the catch became fertilizer except for right-hander Phillips Valdez. Valdez had some rough spots but continued to build his own confidence and that of manager Ron Roenicke who placed the 28-year-old former Ranger into more challenging leverage situations. Definitely a keeper for 2021.
Right-hand hitting Yairo Munoz went AWOL on the Cardinals and the Red Sox eventually signed the 25-year-old. Munoz can hit and show that with the Cards hitting .273 in 196 games. In Boston, Munoz just plain hit with a .333 average in 12 games. Munoz is listed as an infielder-outfielder, but his glovework – especially in the infield – is suspect. Make the call.
Jonathan Arauz was a risk pickup and the former highly touted prospect with the Astros was worth a peek. The Red Sox gave Arauz the opportunity and all it showed is Arauz is light hitting and poor defensively. Arauz has options. No call.
Is Christian Arroyo the real deal? Another first-round pick (2015) that failed or did he? Arroyo has made the rounds from the Giants to Tampa Bay, to Cleveland, and now to the Red Sox, not distinguishing himself until Boston. Did Arroyo finally just put it all together? Arroyo can play first, second, or third and the Red Sox view him as a potential solution to the vexing second base issue. Call back most certainly.
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Munoz and Ryan Brasier have something in common since Munoz went AWOL and Brasier’s fastball did the same. Brasier was a solid contributor to the 2018 success (2-0, 1.60) and then disappeared. With a weak bullpen, any sign of a positive is welcome and that means Brasier will get a call.
Backup catchers are only significant when the starter is down for an extensive period of time which usually demonstrates why they are backups. Kevin Plawecki was in Boston because Sandy Leon became too expensive and the 29-year-old did what was expected and more. The hitting started to erode in September, but overall he’ll be back until Connor Wong makes it.
With pitching the history is there for all to see and if Marcus Walden, Kyle Hart, Mike Kickham, Matt Hall, and Dylan Covey are back, I’d suggest disconnecting the phone. They have tried, they have failed.
An exception to the above is right-hander Chris Mazza who should get a call. Mazza’s stats are nothing special, but the gritty hurler mixes up four pitches with the issue being control. This may be a Pivetta situation where a long look in the spring is necessary before jettisoning a possible plus. Another plus is Mazza gives up impressive home runs.
The Red Sox have an option to pick up for $6.25 million on lefty Martin Perez. Perez did more than I and probably everyone else expected. Perez is what is affectionately known as a “crafty lefty” and the translation means he will not throw hard. Perez walks too many for my tastes, but he is perfect for lower end rotation material. Make the call and pick up the option.