After Tuesday night’s disaster of a loss to the Indians in which the bullpen totally imploded against one of the weaker lineups in baseball, the Red Sox have shaken up their bullpen a bit. To headline all of the moves made ahead of Wednesday’s game, however, the bullpen is not involved. Instead, the headliner here is Mitch Moreland being placed on the 10-day injured list with a lower back strain. Joining him on his way off the roster is Travis Lakins, who was optioned back to Pawtucket after being a part of the implosion on Tuesday. To take the open spots on the active roster, the Red Sox added a couple of pitchers in Colten Brewer and Josh Taylor.
Prior to tonight’s game, the #RedSox made the following roster moves:— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 29, 2019
1B Mitch Moreland was placed on the 10-day IL with a low back strain, retroactive to May 26.
RHP Travis Lakins was optioned to AAA Pawtucket following last night’s game.
RHP Colten Brewer and LHP Josh Taylor were recalled from Pawtucket. Taylor will wear number 72.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 29, 2019
We’ll start with Moreland, who as the tweet says is on the IL retroactive to May 26. He’s missed the past few games with some soreness, and it makes sense to just put him on the IL if he’s going to miss any more time rather than waste the roster spot. There’s no indication right now that the injury is anything serious, but in the meantime you can expect to see Michael Chavis and Steve Pearce splitting time at first base, with Brock Holt perhaps getting a start or two if things get weird.
As far as the reliever shuffle goes, that Lakins finds himself off the roster isn’t too surprising. He was sort of a fringy guy to begin with in the sense that he didn’t make the Opening Day roster and has options. That puts him lower on the totem pole and gives him a shorter leash. After he totally lost the strike zone on Tuesday in what was essentially a clean inning and gave Cleveland the lead after they’d tied it against Ryan Brasier, he was an easy demotion once the team decided they needed fresh arms.
The two fresh arms include a familiar face and another making his major-league debut whenever he appears in a game. Brewer is, of course, the familiar face. The righty has struggled with control this year with 11 walks in 22 innings while striking out just under a batter per inning. He was just optioned prior to Sunday’s game but was able to get right back on the roster once Moreland was placed on the IL.
Taylor, meanwhile, gives the Red Sox a left-handed look that they’ve been lacking this year. The bullpen, while solid overall for much of this year, has struggled a bit against lefties, particularly in terms of power. Lefties have a .208 Isolated Power against Red Sox relievers this year. Taylor was acquired in the Deven Marrero trade last year and added to the 40-man this past winter to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.