The Red Sox are set to call Yoan Moncada, Robby Scott, Joe Kelly, Deven Marrero, and Ryan Hanigan up to the majors ahead of Friday's game in Oakland.
Moncada is the obvious highlight here. He's been Boston's top prospect pretty much since he signed with the team before the 2015 season, and after a brief adjustment period, has been crushing minor league pitching ever since. In the eyes of more than a few talent evaluators, he's the best the minor leagues have to offer across all thirty MLB franchises. While Moncada comes with a lot of uncertainty given his inexperience, for a Red Sox team that has gotten virtually nothing from third base over the past couple months, there's little to lose giving him a shot.
Most of the attention paid to the two arms will likely fall on Joe Kelly just because, well, we know him. For my money, though, Robby Scott is the bigger addition. A lot of that, frankly, is because of how utterly Kelly failed the optics test in my book when he pitched out of the bullpen in July. His results look reasonable, but it felt no different from watching a Kelly start since he showed up in 2014: big velocity coming in leading not to swings-and-misses, only more big velocity coming out. He must have the least effective triple-digit fastball of all time. That being said, the results have been there in Pawtucket, so he's at least worth a shot.
Robby Scott? Well, who knows. Where for Moncada uncertainty might be considered a negative given his excellent reputation, for Scott it's a positive. The 27-year-old has never exactly earned much in the way of attention in the minors. He was signed out of the independent leagues in 2011 after going undrafted, and has quietly made his way through Boton's farm system with exceptional results ever since. His first exposure to Triple-A hitters in 2015 caused him no small amount of trouble, but in his first full season in Pawtucket, Scott has posted a 2.54 ERA over 78 innings with by far his best peripherals yet (73 strikeouts to 14 walks). The junkballer doesn't bring any real heat to the mound, relying more on his changeup and curveball. Guys with his profile rarely end up scouting all that well, but sometimes do have the right mix of tools to record outs, particularly against competition that's unfamiliar with their arsenal. If given the opportunity, Scott might actually have a legitimate chance to help fix Boston's bullpen problems.
That leaves Marrero and Hanian and, well, they are what they are: defensive replacements, effectively. What bat Marrero did have has completely disappeared in 2016, and if Hanigan maybe gives the Red Sox the ability to be more aggressive with Leon as a substitute in the games he doesn't start, the gap between tier one and tier two in Boston's catching corps is massive.
There will, one assumes, be more to come later this week when the Triple-A season ends. Christian Vazquez will likely join the catchers, perhaps even forcing another one out if the Red Sox want to make room for the likes of Kyle Martin and Chandler Shepherd in the bullpen. Which they probably should. After all, they're not in a position to pass up anyone who might be able to help that beleaguered unit.