Well, in non-cheating news the Red Sox are still making additions to their roster, and this is a big one. After he made his final rehab appearance over the weekend, Carson Smith has been activated from the disabled list and joins the active roster. Kyle Martin was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
Kyle Martin DFA'd to make room on 40 man for Carson Smith— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) September 5, 2017
Smith’s addition is possibly a big one for the bullpen, though that shouldn’t be the expectation. The righty, of course, was acquired in the offseason prior to the 2016 campaign, but has hardly been able to pitch for the Red Sox due to injury. He came back from Tommy John surgery in August and has been ramping up with rehab assignments since then. The stuff is sort of there, though he hasn’t been able to get swings and misses against minor-league competition in his rehab. It’s possible he will surprise us, and if he’s close to where he was in 2015 when he was one of the best relievers in baseball then the Red Sox have a huge boost to their bullpen. More likely, though, is that he is just another arm added to the middle innings. The realistic approach to take here is to expect him to come back strong for the 2018 season.
Martin, meanwhile, was added to the 40-man roster this past winter when he was eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 draft. Although he comes with a big fastball, the righty wasn’t able to take the next step and become someone who has a big major-league future. There’s still a chance that can come, but as a fastball/changeup pitcher it’s hard to see that as a real possibility. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the road for Martin in the Red Sox roster, but he’s fallen behind on a depth chart that is full of middling right-handed arms.