The Red Sox got some good and surprising news Monday afternoon ahead of their series opener in Baltimore. Mookie Betts has, of course, been out since late-May with an oblique injury (they’ve been calling it an abdominal issue, but I’m pretty sure it’s an oblique). The plan has seemingly been for the Red Sox superstar to go on a quick rehab appearance before he came back. In fact, that was his idea. Apparently, that plan is no longer in place, because Betts is back and he’s leading off Monday night. Rob Bradford was the first to suggest this could happen.
Don't be surprised if Mookie plays tonight— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) June 11, 2018
I don’t really need to go into detail about how great this is for the Red Sox. They get the best player on the team back, one of the top, early MVP candidates in the league and the guy who has been the best hitter in baseball this year by wRC+. He’s going to help, is what I’m saying. This is particularly encouraging after the lineup put forth a rough effort last week in a disappointing homestand.
To make room on the roster, Sam Travis is being optioned back down to Pawtucket.
Sam Travis optioned to Pawtucket.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 11, 2018
This corresponding move surprised me a bit. Earlier this morning, I wrote about the Blake Swihart situation, and in it I noted that Travis was likely going to be optioned at some point soon. However, I figured it would be when Dustin Pedroia returned since the team is rolling with a three-man bench and a 13-man pitching staff at the moment. I figured they’d go back to a more typical 4/12 split. Instead, they’ll continue with the fuller bullpen for the moment and sacrifice a little position player depth. I’d probably prefer another position player on the roster, but Travis or any other option isn’t so intriguing that it’s an issue to be too worked up about.