Jalen Beeks obviously didn’t have the kind of performance he was hoping for in his major-league debut on Thursday, but in terms of his future on the roster it didn’t really matter. The lefty was only up for one game whether he pitched well or not, and he was optioned down to Pawtucket following last night’s game. Friday afternoon, we learned that Justin Haley would be the one replacing him on the roster.
Red Sox select the contract of right-hander Justin Haley.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) June 8, 2018
This is an interesting move for the Red Sox considering that Haley was not on the 40-man and they had some pitchers in Pawtucket available who were on the 40-man, specifically Marcus Walden, Robby Scott, Williams Jerez and Ty Buttrey. However, Boston had two open spots on the 40-man, so having to add Haley wasn’t really an impediment. As far as the role into which he’ll step, it’s likely going to be the one Brian Johnson was holding. The latter had to come in and clean up Beeks’ mess, and will likely be sitting for a couple days. Haley, a starter in Pawtucket, will be able to throw multiple innings in garbage time if needed. That’s not to say Haley isn’t an interesting pitcher. He had an impressive spring training and has a 3.18 ERA in 11 Triple-A starts this year. This just won’t be his opportunity to really shine.
Don’t expect this to be a long-term stay for the righty either. If this was a roster spot that wasn’t going to be in use for longer than a couple days, I’d fully expect the Red Sox to call upon Tzu-Wei Lin. The team still has a three-man bench, after all. However, Mookie Betts is due back within the next couple days, so they can survive with a short bench right now and add a little short-term depth to the bullpen. Ultimately this isn’t really a major move, but it was never expected to be.