One of the side effects we’re likely to see in the coming days and weeks from the lack of healthy starting pitching on the roster is the metaphorical shuttle from Pawtucket to Boston being extremely active. Right now, the Red Sox have two starters in Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez who can be expected to go a normal starter’s length in any given game, and then a couple of guys like Nathan Eovaldi and Brian Johnson who can give three, maybe four, innings per start. That’s not a lot of length, which means the bullpen is going to be taxed. That, in turn, means they are going to need fresh arms, and often. With Johnson on the hill for Tuesday’s game against the Phillies, a long reliever is almost certainly going to be needed. So, the team made a roster move prior to the game with Josh Smith coming up from Pawtucket and Travis Lakins heading back down.
Prior to tonight’s game against the Phillies, the #RedSox recalled RHP Josh Smith from Triple-A Pawtucket.— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 20, 2019
To make room for Smith on the 25-man roster, the club optioned RHP Travis Lakins to Pawtucket.
There’s really not too much more to say here, to be honest. Smith is here because he’ll be able to throw two or three innings out of the bullpen if/when they need that. We’ve seen him in this role a whole bunch this year, and this is why he is on the 40-man roster. Smith has been in Pawtucket for most of the month outside of a short stint in the majors a couple of weeks ago. He’s stretched out, too, having pitched six innings a couple outings ago. Lakins, meanwhile, goes back down to the Triple-A ‘pen and there’s a good chance he doesn’t come back until September. Get used to this kind of moves for the next ten days.