The Red Sox started their road trip in ugly fashion as David Price had a rough start and the Rangers broke the game open against Hector Velazquez in the fourth inning. With it being an early blowout, Boston had to either turn to one guy to finish the majority of the game or kill their bullpen. They opted for door number one, and that meant Marcus Walden tossed 53 pitches in 3 2⁄3 innings. The righty, who was just recently brought to the active roster when Eduardo Rodriguez was placed on family medical leave, pitched pretty well on Friday, but it didn’t matter. As we’ve learned over the years, if you’re a good-but-not-great arm with minor-league options, your performance doesn’t always matter. Boston wouldn’t have used Walden for at least a few days, so they switched him out for a fresh arm. That fresh arm is Bobby Poyner.
The #RedSox today recalled LHP Bobby Poyner from Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room for Poyner on the 25-man roster, the club optioned RHP Marcus Walden to Pawtucket following last night’s game. pic.twitter.com/vzmfQtaThs— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 4, 2018
This will give the Red Sox a true left-handed reliever in their bullpen for the first time since, well, since Poyner hit the disabled list on April 12. Brian Johnson has been there, to be fair, but he is more of a multi-inning weapon than someone who can come in to get tough lefties out. Poyner looked good in a limited sample to start this season after impressing everyone who saw him in spring training. Over six regular season appearances and seven innings, he pitched to a 2.57 ERA with eight strikeouts and just one walk. He’s made five minor-league appearances since coming back from his injury, and he’s allowed one earned run (two total) over 5 1⁄3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
So, Poyner has been good and has certainly earned his spot on the active roster. Unfortunately, don’t expect it to last very long. In fact, it could just be for Friday night. As I mentioned above, Rodriguez is on the family medical leave yet and as of now the team still expects him to be back to make his scheduled start on Saturday. If he does, the team will obviously need to make room on the roster for him, and sending Poyner back down to Pawtucket would make the most sense. Whether or not this is just a one-day stint for the lefty, it won’t be the last time we see him in Boston this year. This is, as we talked about, life for pitchers with minor-league options.