Red Sox News: COVID forces Boston to shuffle the roster once again
COVID issues force the Red Sox to shuffle the deck again
Welp, it’s another day and another headache for the Red Sox. As Boston is riding high off of a series win over the Minnesota Twins, they made their way to Cleveland for a weekend series against the Indians. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows as Alex Cora spoke to the media in his pre-game presser as the skipper had to announce that the team will be without Kiké Hernández and Christian Arroyo for the foreseeable future.
Cora made it known that while Hernández is fully vaccinated he has tested positive and is showing symptoms. Arroyo is considered someone who has been in close contact with Kiké and therefore must also enter the COVID protocols until everyone is deemed healthy. This couldn’t come at a worse time for the Red Sox as it feels like the team may be rebounding from the past few weeks of misery. Hernández has become one hell of a lead-off man and has become the lifeblood of this offense.
For Arroyo, his season has been nothing but a rollercoaster. Between the highs and lows on the field, he’s had to deal with injuries while also being plunked by the opposition seven times in 2021. Christian was one of Boston’s best hitters in the first half of the season and had a serious penchant for coming through in the clutch. Since returning recently from the IL he hasn’t made many waves but with a guy of his caliber, it’s only a matter of time.
Under MLB’s COVID protocols, players must sit out 10 days as they pass tests and get clear of any possible symptoms. The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham mentions that Hernández may be able to return before the 10-day window due to his vaccination status. Sending nothing but positive vibes to Kiké right now and hoping Arroyo is healthy as well. The Red Sox can’t afford to lose these two with a playoff race hitting full tilt and the rest of the American League getting hot.
In order to fill their spots in the lineup, Boston made two moves today and both should be in tonight’s game. Jonathan Arauz was recalled from Worcester to fill in for Arroyo at second base and since he’s already on the 40-man roster, no extra moves needed to be made. In 16 games with the Red Sox, Arauz is slashing .207/.281/.241/.523 with a double and two RBI. While he’s shown some flashes of brilliance he’s also had some blunders in the field.
In regards to Yairo, I think anyone and everyone that follows the farm system will be excited with this announcement. Munoz has been absolutely killing it with the Woo Sox and recently set the franchise hit-streak record at 35-games. Yairo currently owns a .318/.346/.461/.808 line in Worcester with eight homers and 36 RBI.
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Munoz played in 12 games for the Red Sox in 2020 after being signed as a free agent by Chaim Bloom. In that span, he totaled a .333/.333/.511/.844 slash while also flashing some serious leather in the outfield. With this roster in serious need of a spark to get them firing on all cylinders again, Yaori can be that guy.
Though he isn’t on the 40-man roster, Bloom didn’t need to make any corresponding moves since a player who tests positive is removed from the roster when placed on the COVID-IL. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Munoz brought up for the remainder of the season once MLB allows teams to expand their rosters as it’ll be hard to deny him with everything he’s been doing in 2021.
As I said before, this couldn’t come at a worse time for the Red Sox. Just as things were beginning to look up for the squad they lose two of their best when they need them the most. I’m hoping both remain healthy and make quick recoveries while Arauz and Munoz make the best of these opportunities and crush it. Boston needs to have a big series against Cleveland in order to keep their momentum up as the first-place Rays loom on the horizon.