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Mitch Moreland reinstated off the injured list

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Ryan Weber heads down to Pawtucket

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox are starting to get a bit healthier, with one of their two injured first basemen coming off the injured list on Friday. Mitch Moreland was placed on the IL back on May 29 with a sore back, but he is returning for the start of this weekend’s series in which Boston will host the Rays. To make room on the active roster, Ryan Weber goes back down to Pawtucket.

This is obviously good news for the offense, who has been missing that left-handed punch Moreland can provide. Before his short stay on the shelf, he had been a little on the colder side, though the injury may have had something to do with that. On the season, the veteran first baseman is hitting .228/.330/.550, with the power being a welcome addition in the middle of the lineup. He is coming back at the right time, too, as Michael Chavis is starting to scuffle a bit with pitchers making an adjustment. Giving the rookie a chance to take a little more time off and find counter-adjustments can only help. Expect Chavis to still get some time at second base, of course, as well as playing first base against lefties. That said, Brock Holt and Eduardo Núñez are both hitting relatively well right now, so there will likely be some mixing and matching up the middle for the time being.

On the other end, it was a bit interesting to see Weber as the guy sent down to make room. Weber has, of course, been handling the empty rotation slot left when Nathan Eovaldi went on the IL. When that spot comes back around, they’ll have to look in a different direction. They do have options, of course, including Mike Shawaryn. The righty still has yet to make his major-league debut despite being called up over a week ago. Perhaps Brian Johnson may be ready to return by then, too. With this move, the Red Sox are back to a 12-man pitching staff, which has been rare for them this year. Presumably, J.D. Martinez dealing with back spasms yet again played into that decision.

Moreland will be back in the lineup on Friday, batting fifth and playing first.