A bit of late night roster movement occurred after Friday’s game as Sam Travis was recalled to the major-league roster. He takes the place of the injured Mookie Betts who was recently put on the 10-day Disabled List.
Speculation was that Travis would indeed be the move after he was removed from the PawSox lineup in the middle of Friday night’s game. As it turns out, speculation is sometimes right.
As reported by NESN, Alex Cora chose Travis, because “there’s a lot of lefties we’ve gotta face” and “in spring training, he got our attention. He can play first, he can play the outfield.”
This would seem to imply he’s probably going to be more of a bench bat than anything, although in the upcoming Tigers series it seems fairly likely that the Sox will face two lefty starters (Matt Boyd and Blaine Hardy both seem to slot in this far out, in addition to Michael Fulmer, who is decidedly not left-handed), so you may see him snag a start or two to give Moreland a day off.
Travis has struggled a bit in 2018, as he was hitting .213/.285/.352 entering June 1st. I wish I could tell you he turned it on in May and was in the process of improving his numbers, but he hit just .123/.188/.316 and wasn’t showing much progress, striking out 43.8% of the time.
He’s not going to be on the roster very long even if he absolutely tears the cover off the ball in his brief stint back with the Sox. When Mookie comes back, there will be few options you can cut. Blake Swihart, Sandy Leon, and other out-of-options players would be presumably safe, because the Red Sox aren’t comfortable enough to cut depth for no reason, and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to send down Brock Holt, who remains the team’s only really useful utility player.
Can Sam Travis be a good player? That’s a question for another day. He showed some promise in 2017, but lacks the power that most first basemen boast. In any case, he’s the call. Get well soon, Mookie.