Earlier this morning, we found out that Robby Scott was being demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Brian Johnson, who is taking the mound for Tuesday’s start. That wasn’t the only roster move the team made prior to this contest, as they are also recalling Hector Velazquez and optioning Sam Travis to Pawtucket.
Red Sox have officially recalled Biran Johnson AND Hector Velazquez for tonight. Robby Scott and Sam Travis down.— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) July 18, 2017
I found the move with Scott perplexing, and I’m a little surprised by this one as well. The Red Sox don’t have much right-handed punch on their bench right now — particularly with Chris Young struggling — and while Travis hasn’t been hitting well either he is a better option than Deven Marrero. With that being said, the bullpen could use a little help right now. Velazquez gives them a fresh arm and also provides some insurance in case Johnson struggles and needs to exit Tuesday’s game earlier. In addition to that, Hanley Ramirez is starting at first base in this game (spoiler alert!). Since that is now something that can happen, it makes Travis less useful to the major-league roster.
With this move, the roster is now imbalanced with an extra pitcher and one less bat on the bench. This leads me to believe at least on of Johnson or Velazquez will only be up for this one day. Johnson is the most likely to be sent down tomorrow as he’ll be unavailable for a few days anyway. He’ll probably be replaced with a bat, but it’s unclear who that could be. Tzu-Wei Lin was just demoted on Monday, so he can’t come back up for ten days. Steve Selsky is the only other healthy bat that can be recalled on the 40-man roster, but he’s been struggling mightily in Pawtucket of late. It seems possible they could instead call upon Bryce Brentz, who isn’t currently on the 40-man roster. We’ll have to wait at least a day to find that out, though. For now, we’re looking at a Sam Travis-less roster.