The Red Sox are on a roll right now, which is not a new thing for them in 2018. They have been on a roll pretty much all year, but are riding high after a four-game sweep of the Yankees and another thrilling late-game victory against the Blue Jays. What’s even more amazing than the fact that they can’t stop winning is that they are doing it without being at full strength. Well, they are starting to get healthy again, and that begins on Wednesday. For the second game of this three-game set in Toronto, they’ll have Rafael Devers back. He’s going to be activated before Wednesday’s game, with Tony Renda being optioned back down to Pawtucket.
Red Sox will activate Rafael Devers and option Tony Renda to Pawtucket on Wednesday, source tells MassLive.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) August 8, 2018
Devers has not had a great season, but his return to the roster is very much welcome for this Red Sox team. They have certainly been fine without him, but the idea of trading for Ian Kinsler (also injured, of course) was to relegate Brock Holt and Eduardo Núñez to bench roles. They have both been playing every day for the last few days, but now at least one can return to a backup role. I would guess Holt will be on the bench in favor of Núñez, but there’s arguments to make on both sides. As for Devers, well, even if he’s been a little disappointing this year it’s hard to argue that the offense doesn’t have a much higher ceiling when he is in the lineup rather than Holt or Núñez.
This is the first of a few decisions the Red Sox will have to make over the next week or so. Optioning Renda was really a no-brainer, as he has had a great season in the minors but has never really had success before 2018. He was the best option given the depleted infield depth, but he’s not someone you want on the roster for a long time. Blake Swihart, Kinsler and Chris Sale are all set to return soon as well, though. When Swihart come back, Dan Butler will obviously be the guy to go down. The other two are more of a mystery. The team still has a short bench, so I’d assume Brandon Workman will go down when the first of Kinsler or Sale is ready to return. When the other comes back, it gets interesting. That could spell the end of the Drew Pomeranz era in Boston, though the team has always erred towards preserving depth. With that in mind, it’s probably more likely that either Ryan Brasier or Hector Velazquez gets demoted, even if that seems absurd. I really have no idea what’s going to happen, but in the meantime the team has Devers back, and that’s a very good thing.