Can young Red Sox infielder redeem himself and recapture fan support amid injuries?

Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox and their fans long-awaited Vaughn Grissom's debut at second base. He made his first appearance as a Red Sox on May 3 and lasted 23 games before he needed another stint on the injured list.

Grissom was pulled from Boston's June 1 game against the Tigers after one plate appearance. He aggravated his hamstring while running out a ground ball to first base, and Connor Wong took his place at second base the following frame.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, Grissom's frequent replacement at second was already in Boston at the time. Enmanuel Valdez was recalled to the Red Sox after Tyler O'Neill's May 29 placement on the IL. Valdez wasn't recalled to replace O'Neill in the outfield but to fill his open roster spot.

Valdez's first game back in a Red Sox uniform wasn't his best. He pinch-hit for Garrett Cooper in the eighth inning of Boston's May 30 game against the Tigers and struck out. He then took over for Grissom at second, the spot he occupied for the first month of the campaign. The first ball hit in Valdez's direction dropped to the ground inches from his glove for an error.

Enmanuel Valdez's two-homer game made up for his first error back in a Red Sox uniform

He redeemed himself the following day. Valdez must've felt Grissom's injury coming because he homered in the at-bat before his teammate strained his hamstring. He also doubled and hit another homer, a two-run shot, later in the game.

Valdez may have found his home run swing. In his 20-game spell with Worcester, the infielder hit six bombs and six doubles to accompany them. He also may have fine-tuned his eye — Valdez only collected four walks in the big leagues compared to 15 in Triple-A.

The infielder shared that he was ready to put in the work to make it back to the major leagues, and he may have done just that. Valdez's defense was notably improved from his first game at second base for the Sox on May 1, the final game before his demotion.

Grissom was only placed on the 10-day IL, but strains are notoriously unreliable in terms of recovery time. Valdez's stint with the big league team may be short, but the first two-homer game of his Red Sox career is a great way to set his season right.

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