Vaughn Grissom’s rehab assignment tear could endanger this Red Sox player’s role

Boston Red Sox Spring Training
Boston Red Sox Spring Training / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox have played with a thin bench for weeks, but reinforcements are coming. After two months of rehab from a groin injury in spring training, the Red Sox and their fans will get a look at Vaughn Grissom against the San Francisco Giants.

Boston acquired Grissom from the Atlanta Braves as their prize from the trade of Chris Sale. The 23-year-old is a natural shortstop, but he'll play second base for the Sox. And since Grissom is joining the middle infield, Enmanuel Valdez will likely be pushed from his everyday slot at second.

Valdez's defense was far from ideal to start the season — the infielder has an error and a few miscues in the early games of the slate. He's since cleaned up his defense, and he made one of the better stops of his career against the Cubs on April 28.

Valdez's biggest upside was supposed to be his bat, but he's yet to hit consistently in Boston's lineup. He's batting an unfortunate .148/.182/.259, just 12 hits in 87 at-bats. Valdez has racked up 27 strikeouts and just four walks in 26 games.

Red Sox second baseman Vaughn Grissom looks ready for Fenway after latest rehab start

When Grissom arrives, which will likely be on April 30 or May 1, he'll bring a hotter bat to the lineup. The infielder had a great night at the plate in one of his final rehab starts on April 28, as the Sox battled the Cubs. Grissom went 4-for-4 with a walk with the Woo Sox, and his slash line will likely finish around .333/.444/.400 with a .884 OPS.

The rest of Boston's infield has been looking up offensively. The Sox signed Garrett Cooper to help replace Triston Casas at first base, and Cooper has better offensive numbers than their current option, Bobby Dalbec. Rafael Devers is back at third base after a few injury scares and he's been swinging well. Ceddanne Rafaela is now Boston's everyday shortstop and he's been picking up the pace at the plate. He had five hits in the Sox's series against the Cubs, including a home run.

The Red Sox and Grissom are trending in the same direction. If they can continue their hot streaks after the second baseman arrives at Fenway, they'll be in great shape for Nick Pivetta's return the following week.

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