The Red Sox announced three roster moves on Friday before their game with the Cleveland Indians.
Catcher David Ross was activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list, and Ryan Lavarnway was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket. Right fielder Shane Victorino was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain, and pitcher Alfredo Aceves was recalled from Pawtucket. Finally, third baseman Will Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, and Jose Iglesias was called up from Pawtucket.
With this many players shifting around, this means a lot for the Red Sox. First of all, the team now has 13 pitchers and 12 position players, which is something manager John Farrell hinted wouldn’t last long.
“Given the short start last night [Thursday], we needed a pitcher in the short-term,” said Farrell as the reason to bring up Aceves. “We’re carrying an extra reliever obviously right now and we’d like to get back to a balance of 12 pitchers and 13 position players.”
One would expect a reliever to be sent back down in the coming days, with a position player coming back up, likely an outfielder. One option could be Jackie Bradley Jr., who is coming back from a right bicep strain and is just getting back to playing almost every day in Triple-A.
“I think we’re probably getting a little ahead of ourselves with the need for a pitcher, so as we maybe reshuffle and re-balance our roster other names will start to come into the mix,” said Farrell.
Bradley Jr. could be a candidate, as well as outfielder Bryce Brentz who is hitting .274 with eight home runs in 41 games with Pawtucket. As for relievers to be sent back down, one would assume it would be Aceves as relievers such as Alex Wilson and Clayton Mortensen have proven themselves in their major league action thus far.
Iglesias seems here to stay until Middlebrooks returns. Iglesias, a natural shortstop began taking ground balls earlier this week at third and second base and played one game at the hot corner with the PawSox. Although the situation isn’t ideal, it was the best option the Red Sox had.
“He was the best candidate internally and a guy who we feel confident will come up and play well enough at the position,” Farrell said of Iglesias.
In 25 games last season the 23-year-old hit just .118, but then in the first six games of this season he was 9-for-20 (.450) before being optioned to Triple-A when Stephen Drew returned to the lineup.
Pedro Ciriaco could see some time at the position, but moving a player like Iglesias to a brand new position speaks volumes of the lack of depth at the third base position in the organization.
The next few weeks will be a test for the Red Sox and their depth, but thinking long-term and the remainder of the season, these moves were necessary to make.
“It’s about getting out there and getting healthy and playing the rest of the season health, that’s what is important,” Victorino said.
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84.