Red Sox drop lineup and reveal corresponding roster move in Wilyer Abreu's return

Wilyer Abreu connects on a pitch for the WooSox while on a rehab start.
Wilyer Abreu connects on a pitch for the WooSox while on a rehab start. / Alan Arsenault/Special to the Telegram

Wilyer Abreu is back in the Boston Red Sox lineup for the first time since he sprained his ankle on June 2.

The young slugger traveled with the team to their series against the Reds at Great American Ballpark and he'll get the start in his usual right field. Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced that Abreu would be back in the lineup either June 21 or 22 and he opted to give the rookie the extra day of rest on Friday night.

Boston optioned Bobby Dalbec to Triple-A to open a spot for Abreu on the roster. Dalbec has been between Worcester and the big leagues all season and his defense has been a reliable solution to the Sox's infield woes — he's filled in for Rafael Devers at third base and Dominic Smith and Garrett Cooper at first.

Dalbec's bat hasn't lived up to his defense, though, and he's a worthy swap for Abreu's offensive talent. He's slashing just .133/.217/.193 with 43 strikeouts in 37 games with Boston.

Wilyer Abreu back in Red Sox lineup, Bobby Dalbec optioned to Triple-A

The Red Sox fared surprisingly well offensively without Abreu in the lineup, but they struggled against Andrew Abbott and the Reds on June 21. Cincinnati snapped Boston's five-game win streak and stymied its bats. The Sox fanned 14 times and were limited to two runs by the Reds' pitching.

Abreu should help his squad get back in the win column. He batted .250/.308/.750 with two homers during his three-game rehab assignment with the WooSox and he slashed .272/.344/.485 with six homers in the big leagues before his injury.

Abreu's play has been great all-around for Boston. His return to action comes just in time to continue his push for a spot in the All-Star game and his AL Rookie of the Year caliber play.

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