After spending eight seasons in minor league baseball with the Diamondbacks, before appearing in a few major league games with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pedro Ciriaco has more than twice the number of at-bats with the Red Sox in 24 games than he had in two seasons with the Pirates.
First filling in for the injured Dustin Pedroia, and more recently Mike Aviles, Ciriaco certainly has made the most of his opportunity.
The 26-year-old utility infielder has appeared in nine games at second base, eight at shortstop and also has DH’d five times in his month-long stint with the team after being called up July 6 to fill in for Pedroia.
He made his debut in a doubleheader against the Yankees on July 7, where in the nightcap he sparked the team to a 9-5 win in a game nationally televised on FOX. The Fenway faithful chanted “Pedro, Pedro, Pedro…” for the first time since Pedro Martinez wore the Red Sox uniform.
“It’s amazing,” Ciriaco said following the game of the chants. “It’s a good feeling. This is my first time. It was a big surprise, but it was fun.”
Ciriaco went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored, and four RBIs. He followed the performance up going 3-for-3 with two runs scored the next night going into the All-Star break.
Manager Bobby Valentine continued to stick with Ciriaco, and didn’t send him down to Pawtucket once Pedroia returned. Ciriaco had starred with Pawtucket hitting .301 with four home runs and 21 RBI in 64 games. He was also named an International League All-Star, but did not play in the game due to being called up to the Red Sox.
Not sending Ciriaco back down paid off when shortstop Mike Aviles developed turf toe and was forced out of the lineup for a few games. It was in that time where Ciriaco went on a career-high six game hit streak where he hit .391. Included in the streak was driving home the game-winning runs July 28 and 29 against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. The RBIs came in the ninth and tenth innings respectively.
The summer of Ciriaco continued last Saturday when he hit his first career home run, a pinch-hit solo home run in the eighth inning, which gave the Red Sox 3-2 lead, before the team lost in heartbreaking fashion 6-4.
In his 24 games with the Red Sox he is hitting .338 with 11 RBIs. Ciriaco is out of options, meaning if the Red Sox were to send him back down to Pawtucket he would need to clear waivers and it is very likely another team would claim him.
Therefore, fans can expect Ciriaco to stay with the Red Sox for the remainder of the season, and by the way he has produced so far he could be a member of the Red Sox for a few years to come.