The Red Sox have made some roster moves prior to Monday’s series opener in Cleveland. Earlier today we passed along news from Masslive’s Chris Cotillo that Ryan Weber was to be optioned down to Pawtucket, presumably to bring back a fresh arm for the bullpen. That indeed has happened, but that’s not the biggest piece of news from the series of moves. In addition to the Weber news, we also learned that Michael Chavis has been placed on the 10-day injured list with an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder. Marco Hernández will take his place on the roster while Travis Lakins also comes up to replace Weber.
We’ll start with Chavis since that is clearly the biggest story here. This is obviously a big blow for the rookie, as a shoulder injury is never what you want to see for a power hitter. As of this writing there’s no indication of the severity of the injury, and there are certainly a wide range of possibilities. Hopefully this is just a minor injury that needs some rest to repair, but the more severe side of these can require long layoffs and perhaps even surgery. Again, though, as of now there is no indication that is the case for Chavis. This could perhaps explain the recent funk he has been in at the plate, as he has just five hits in 34 plate appearances this month. Given where the Red Sox are in the standings, the Red Sox would be wise to give him all of the time necessary to sort this issue out and not allow it to become a more serious, potentially long-term ailment.
In his absence, one would assume Sam Travis and Chris Owings will get most of the time against left-handed pitching on the right side of the infield. Chavis had been primarily handing second base duties in those situations. It will be interesting to see what kind of role is filled by the re-called Hernández, who hits from the left side just like Brock Holt. I’m sure he’ll get time, but it will likely be in a less stable role than the one held by his fellow position players.
On the pitching side, as I said we already discussed the Weber demotion this morning. That Lakins comes up is a bit interesting as he is sort of in between the potential of someone like Tanner Houck and the long relief capabilities of guys like Josh Smith and Erasmo Ramírez. Lakins has been struggling a bit of late at Pawtucket, tossing a scoreless outing his last time out but allowing runs in each of his previous five appearances. Going back to his last demotion in the middle of June, the righty has pitched to a 6.43 ERA in 21 innings with the PawSox with 20 strikeouts and nine walks. He is capable of recording 4-6 outs, which could make him a potential option as an opener if Alex Cora does decide to go that route with his rotation moving forward.