Red Sox revamp pitching staff and place red-hot bat on paternity list

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox made a flurry of roster moves ahead of their series-opening game against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 24.

The most notable shift includes scorching catcher Connor Wong, who's been placed on the paternity list. The 28-year-old is on a 13-game on-base streak, batting .330/.390/.480 with a .870 OPS. He homered twice against the Cincinnati Reds and was key to Boston's series victory.

WooSox catcher Tyler Heineman has been called up in Wong's stead. The veteran is batting .245/.382/.337 with two homers and 14 RBI for Worcester. Heineman's strikeout-to-walk ratio is stellar — he's fanned 22 times and walked 19 — so he may be able to do some damage on the base paths in Wong's absence.

Boston also refreshed its bullpen. Brad Keller and Cam Booser have been optioned to Triple-A in favor of Josh Winckowski and Isaiah Campbell.

Keller hasn't had the best run with the Sox so far, as he's logged a 5.40 ERA in 16.2 innings. Booser has fared much better and he brought some much-needed diversity to Boston's pitching staff as one of its two lefties. He's posted a 3.21 ERA through 28 innings and struck out 33 batters.

The Red Sox finished out their series against the Reds with a bullpen game and they used eight hurlers to get the job done. Winckowski and Campbell will revamp the bullpen with fresh arms — Winckowski was optioned to Triple-A on May 12 and Campbell went on the injured list with a shoulder impingement a month prior.

Manager Alex Cora shared that Winckowksi would be back with the big-league club eventually, and he's been given his moment during a stretch of particularly good Red Sox baseball. He's pitched to a 2.87 ERA in 31.1 innings, mostly as a starter, for Worcester. He logged a 3.33 ERA in his 12 appearances with Boston.

Campbell started his season well with the Red Sox, but his shoulder pain affected his final two outings before he was placed on the IL. His ERA was 2.08 on April 6 and was 12.79 by April 11. Campbell found his early-season self with the WooSox and pitched to a 2.19 ERA in 12.1 innings.

If Winckowski and Campbell can maintain the success they had with Worcester, they should fall into lockstep with the rest of Boston's bullpen.

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