Red Sox's corresponding roster move for Tyler O'Neill is already hurting the team

Chicago Cubs v Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox sent Tyler O'Neill on his second stint on the injured list, retroactive to May 26. The outfielder is expected to be sidelined for 10 days while he rehabs right knee inflammation, which opened a roster spot for the Sox.

Enmanuel Valdez was called up from Triple-A Worcester as the corresponding move to O'Neill's placement on the IL. Valdez spent the first 30 games of the season with Boston before he was shipped to Triple-A on May 2.

The Sox used him for the first time since his recall on May 30 against the Tigers. He entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter for Garrett Cooper, and struck out. Then, he took the field at second base in Vaughn Grissom's stead.

Chase Anderson fanned the first batter of the frame then Javy Báez lifted a fly ball into shallow right field. Valdez backed into the outfield to play the ball and it dropped to the ground, inches from his open glove.

Enmanuel Valdez still struggles to meet the moment for the Red Sox

In that moment, the Red Sox's early-season defensive woes flooded back into fans' minds. NESN's broadcast stated that there were no excuses for missing a play so simple, and they were right.

On a recent episode of WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy stated that he believes the team has underperformed so far this season. Valdez's recall shows the opposite, and that Boston's complete lack of competent depth has been its downfall. When a team fields underwhelming players, it should expect to receive underwhelming results.

Alex Cora put Valdez in the game when it was already out of reach for the Red Sox, and the infielder immediately showed why. His performance in Triple-A hasn't been worthy of a call-up — he's slashing .230/.360/.527 — and Boston is just desperate.

Red Sox fans were recently able to put April's barrage of errors behind them while the infield defense showed promise. Boston fans have seen Valdez's potential — he can hit 450-foot plus home runs and make nice defensive plays with practice. But he and a few other Sox players have struggled to live up to the moment in the big leagues.

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