Red Sox call up infielder Enmanuel Valdez from Triple-A Worcester

Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox made a roster move this morning, calling up infielder Enmanuel Valdez to the major league roster. In a corresponding move, second baseman Yu Chang was placed on the paternity list, per Gabrielle Starr. With the Sox's other starting infielders, Trevor Story and Christian Arroyo, dealing with injuries, Valdez was able to get a roster spot to get the start at second base.

Valdez was a key component in the trade last season that sent Red Sox catcher Christian Vasquez to the Houston Astros, while the Sox also got outfielder Wilyer Abreu. So far this year, Valdez has had a down season in terms of productivity at the plate comparatively to his time in Houston. He is currently hitting .180/.289/.622 on the season for Worcester, through 45 plate appearances.

With that said, he has somewhat been ramping up recently, especially on April 15 against Columbus. He went 3-for-4, with a home run, three RBI, a double, and a walk-off single to give Worcester a 6-5 win.

His combined stats for Double-A and Triple-A in the 2022 season show what type of player he could really be for Boston. During the season he hit .296/.376/.542 splits, with 500 at-bats, 107 RBI, 28 home runs, 2 triples, 35 doubles, and a .977 fielding rate at second base.

The main struggle for Valdez has been how many strikeouts he has taken, however. In 2023 through his 45 plate appearances, he already has 15 strikeouts to only six walks drawn (33.3%). Throughout all of last season, it sat at 24.6%, which shows a more reasonable sample size. While he has improved his patience at the plate, it is still not necessarily at an optimal rate. prospect analysis stated the following:

"More patience at the plate has paid off with more production for Valdez, as he's making higher quality of contact and drawing more walks. He combines a quick left-handed stroke with strength in a compact frame, which allows him to regularly drive the ball with authority to his pull side. He doesn't see the ball well against left-handers, however, chasing all types of pitches and batting just .261/.315/.388 against them last season. "

In terms of fit and need currently, Valdez fits the bill for both of those requirements. As aforementioned, Trevor Story will be missing more time with his UCL, and Christian Arroyo with his hamstring. With Yu Chang out for a few games on the Paternity list, this leaves the second base role open for the taking. This gave the Sox an option, between Enmanuel Valdez or infielder David Hamilton, also currently in Worcester. Hamilton has been white-hot, hitting .360/.407/1.047 splits this season through 50 at bats.

The odds that we get to see both Valdez and Hamilton this season at one point or another are pretty high, presuming the infield remains in flux. Getting Trevor Story back near the mid-season mark would be a huge boost to the roster as well, and with him already back throwing the ball, that could be a possibility.

It is nice to see the Sox giving chances to their prospects this early in the season, even if it was somewhat forced due to injury. They have one of the better farm systems in baseball, and with some more major prospects coming up through the ranks, opening up roster spots in AAA will be helpful.

Valdez will be batting 9th tonight against the Minnesota Twins and will get the start at second base with Kike Hernandez at short stop.

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