It’s September 1, which means rosters have expanded around the league and every team is about to see an influx of players. The Red Sox are no exception, though it’s important to keep in mind that these things tend to happen in a couple waves rather than all at once. On Saturday, the Red Sox will be adding eight players to their roster. They’ll call up five minor leaguers while also welcoming back three injured players.
For injured players coming back to the active roster, the Red Sox plan to activate Eduardo Rodriguez, Christian Vazquez and Steven Wright on Saturday. Rodriguez, of course, is making the start in Chicago, his first appearance on a major-league mound since the middle of July. It’s hard to know what to expect, but the Red Sox need to hope he’s still the same guy he was in the first half. If he is, it’s a huge shot in the arm. Vazquez, meanwhile, joins a much different catching group than the one he left. Sandy León isn’t hitting at all, but he’s won the hearts and minds of the pitching staff. Swihart, meanwhile, has looked much improved with increased playing time and is only getting better and better. Finally, Wright is set to take on a multi-inning relief role and try to fight for a spot on the postseason roster.
As for the five minor leaguers, they are getting two position players among them in Tzu-Wei Lin and Sam Travis. This isn’t a surprise as these are now long-tenured players on the 40-man who have ridden the shuttle from Pawtucket to Boston many times at this point. Lin will provide strong defense on the infield as well as good legs off the bench. Travis is a right-handed bat who....bats right handed.
Along with those two, the Red Sox will bring up three pitchers in Bobby Poyner, Robby Scott and William Cuevas. That both Poyner and Scott have been in Pawtucket essentially all year is fascinating as the team clearly believes they don’t need a left-handed reliever. That belief was only enforced when they let players like Luis Avilan and Xavier Cedeño pass through them on waivers. Still, if either Poyner or Scott dominates this month maybe they could change the team’s mind. Cuevas, meanwhile, will serve as long relief and emergency depth in the rotation after posting a shockingly and somewhat quietly strong year in Pawtucket.
Keep in mind that this is not the only group of players who will join the roster this month. Expect another wave to come up on Tuesday with Pawtucket’s season ending Monday. Some guys have to stay there and play those games.