After Justin Haley was forced to come in during the fourth inning of Sunday night’s game to try and stop the bleeding created by David Price’s disastrous start, it was clear that he was not long for the roster. That is no fault of his, but rather the nature of being a non-elite reliever with minor-league options. The righty did his job, but he’ll be unavailable for a couple of days and the Red Sox need a better use for that roster spot. The only question was who would replace him on the roster. The answer was a bit of a surprise, with William Cuevas being selected out of Pawtucket.
Source: Red Sox call up William Cuevas— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) July 2, 2018
Cuevas is a surprising call-up, but it’s not undeserving. Before we get to his credentials, though, we have a bit of housekeeping. Cuevas was “selected,” which is a fancy way of saying he was called up having not already been on the 40-man roster. After the Steve Pearce trade, Boston’s 40-man was full, so a corresponding move had to be made. They had a relatively easy one in the bag, though, as Carson Smith was moved to the 60-day disabled list.Since he’s out for the year, that doesn’t hurt at all.
Now, Cuevas is not a big name, but he’s been solid down in Pawtucket this season. Over 15 starts and 86 1⁄3 innings, he’s pitched to a 3.65 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 25 walks. He doesn’t boast overpowering stuff and likely won’t be pitching important innings for the Red Sox, but he gives them a stretched out arm to turn to in case of emergencies such as the one they faced on Sunday. This won’t be Cuevas’ major-league debut, either, as he made three relief appearances for the Red Sox in 2016 and one with the Tigers last summer.
The righty will be serving a role, but he may not be up for very long. We learned that the team expects to call Tyler Thornburg up soon, and one has to imagine Cuevas would be the one to make room. Whatever the case, Cuevas gets a 40-man spot for his troubles and if he gets a chance to prove himself he could join Haley on that bus back and forth between Pawtucket and Boston.