The Red Sox have had some roster imbalance for a few days now, a fact that was made abundantly clear when Christian Vazquez played third base for the final inning on Monday night’s game in Kansas City. With a few roster moves made on Tuesday, they’ve addressed that.
John Farrell on @WEEI: Sam Travis and Deven Marrero coming back up to the big leagues. Pablo Sandoval to DL (flu), Maddox optioned— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) June 20, 2017
With Speier’s tweet above, you see all the moves in one. We’ll start with the Pablo Sandoval DL stint. Speier has it as the flu while others have it as an ear infection. While I don’t have any reason to doubt the sincerity of the illness, it wouldn’t be hard to believe that the Red Sox were just looking for an excuse to place him on the disabled list while they try to figure out what the next step is. The fact that he wasn’t even trusted to hit against a left-handed hitter when there were no other backup infielders on the roster shows just how out of place he is right now. It doesn’t seem like the Red Sox are 100 percent ready to move on at this point, and he’ll probably get another shot after returning from this illness, but I can’t see him making it very far past the All-Star break. And that’s if he even makes it that far.
Meanwhile, Deven Marrero comes up to replace his roster spot. Marrero was up very recently, of course, and was only able to return because of Sandoval’s placement on the disabled list. The glove-first player was fine in his time here, and he can be a valuable piece off the bench as a defensive replacement and pinch runner. However, his bat is not suited for a full-time role. He may be filling one in the short-term, though, depending on how long Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup.
Also coming up to join the roster is Sam Travis, who figures to get a little more playing time during this stint compared to his last one. Mitch Moreland has been perfectly fine as the first baseman and has exceeded expectations for most of the year, but he’s also been playing a ton. When you add in the fact that he’s playing on a broken toe, having someone who can fill in at first base — and Hanley Ramirez is not a consistent option at this point — is valuable. Expect Travis to play against any lefty while he’s up, and don’t be surprised if he gets a handful of starts against righties, too.
The final move was sending Austin Maddox back down to Pawtucket. The righty was never going to be up for very long, as he was only added to the roster to help a tiring bullpen. Maddox only appeared in two one-inning stints during his short time on the major-league roster, but he just allowed a single hit while striking out one batter. He’ll likely be back up at some point, though he’s fighting with a large group of potential middle relievers. There’s a chance we won’t see him again until September, depending on the performances of the others in the competition.