Mookie Betts is headed back down to Pawtucket, optioned before Thursday night's game against the Cardinals a source told Joon Lee of Over The Monster.
Source: #RedSox option Mookie Betts to Triple-A Pawtucket. Heading to join team in Charlotte.— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) August 7, 2014
This marks Betts' second return to the minor leagues. The 21-year-old was first called up in late June, but saw only sporadic playing time with the Red Sox, making nine starts in two weeks' time. This most recent stint saw Betts receive just seven plate appearances dating back to June 1st.
The Red Sox seem eager to get Betts whatever experience they can in he majors this season, but the opportunities just haven't been there. Even with Betts able to play a number of positions between the infield and outfield, the presence of so many other young bats has made it difficult to squeeze him into the lineup. John Farrell recently mentioned the need to get Betts sufficient playing time, lest his development be hampered.
In all likelihood, Betts will be replaced by Kelly Johnson, who has completed a short rehab assignment in the minors. Johnson won't be expected to contribute much, but if he fills a roster spot well enough to at least get Betts consistent playing time in Triple-A, well, that's something in itself.