The Red Sox could use a bit of a spark in their lineup after the last couple days, and they’re getting one with the return of Dustin Pedroia. Just ten days after being placed on the disabled list, Boston is getting their veteran second baseman back just in time for their trip back to Fenway.
This is, undoubtedly, very good news for the Red Sox. They’ve been forced to play a combination of Josh Rutledge and Deven Marrero at second base — with both in the lineup against lefties — with Pedroia out of the picture. Both have proven to be fine bench players in the right situations, but having their bats in the lineup every day isn’t super helpful. Pedroia hasn’t quite been the same guy as he was in 2016, but he’s a big upgrade and will lengthen the lineup significantly.
On the other end of this transaction is where we may see some controversy. Instead of demoting Marrero or designating Rutledge for assignment, the Red Sox opted to send Sam Travis back down to the minors. This move was hinted at just a few days ago, and it makes sense even if he’s the best bat among the three. The fact is there just isn’t a ton of playing time for him right now, and Mitch Moreland isn’t someone who needs to be platooned. Instead, this gives Travis a chance to work on some things on an everyday basis in Pawtucket — specifically his defense and in-game power — before hopefully stepping into an everyday role in the future. He was impressive during this stint in Boston, and he’ll be back soon. It’s just not yet his time to shine.
In other news, Brandon Workman has been optioned back to Triple-A to make room for Brian Johnson.
Red Sox option Travis, Workman to make room for Pedroia, Johnson.— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) June 9, 2017
Workman hasn’t gotten a ton of work in the majors this season, but his role certainly seems cemented as an up-and-down arm. There is an argument to be made that Fernando Abad is the arm who deserves to go, but I imagine they don’t want to limit their bullpen to just one lefty. Whether or not that’s the right move is a different discussion. Either way, don’t expect this to be the last we see of Workman in the majors in 2017.