After a very disappointing loss to the Orioles on Saturday, the Red Sox have made a couple of moves with their pitching staff, one that is sure to be a churn all year long. First, pretty much immediately after the game they optioned right-hander Dylan Covey to the Pawtucket training site (I guess that’s how I should phrase it?). The corresponding move for this one is yet to be announced.
Red Sox sent Covey to Pawtucket. Haven't said who is coming up.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 25, 2020
Roenicke said he thought Covey pitched well and they want to stretch him out.
Covey appeared in Saturday’s game, struggling in his first inning of work and ultimately giving up a two-run double that extended Baltimore’s lead to five just after the Red Sox had cut it to three. To his credit, he did come back out for a second inning of work and was perfect there. I’m not sure I buy Roenicke’s line above about them thinking Covey pitched well — he wasn’t terrible overall, but he wasn’t really good either — but I do buy that they want to stretch him out. The Red Sox obviously need all the rotation help they can get, and so they’re going to stretch out anyone who can give them a few innings at a time, likely working to mix and match where they can. Covey was likely only up to begin with because he had to be on the 40-man when he came over from Tampa Bay, and so they gave him a quick stint to start the year.
As for who replaces him, that becomes a more interesting question. Roenicke has said that he knows who is starting the fifth game of the year, but doesn’t know who is going to go for the fourth. My guess is that the fifth game will go to either Zack Godley or Brian Johnson, and they’ll have some piggyback/bullpen game action for Monday’s game. With that assumption — which, again, total guesswork here — I’d expect a long man like Chris Mazza or Mike Shawaryn to come up for a couple days before going back down for either Godley or Johnson on Tuesday.
So, that’s one move. A couple hours after the game, the Red Sox added a little more depth to the mix by claiming Stephen Gonsalves off waivers from the Mets. He’s heading to the training site in Pawtucket.
The #RedSox today claimed LHP Stephen Gonsalves off waivers from the New York Mets and optioned him to the club’s Alternate Training Site at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI.— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 25, 2020
Gonsalves was once a fairly well-thought of prospect when he was with the Twins, landing at the very back of Baseball America’s top 100 list in both 2017 and 2018. The former fourth round pick pitched very well in the early part of his minor-league career but struggled a bit with command once he reached Triple-A. He did get to the majors with Minnesota in 2018, pitching to a 6.57 ERA with a 5.75 FIP and an 8.22 DRA over 24 2⁄3 innings.
After missing most of last season with elbow issues, the southpaw was claimed off waivers by the Mets back in November, but was recently designated for assignment by New York. Gonsalves will likely serve as potential rotation depth for the Red Sox, as he has not pitched much at all out of the bullpen in his career. Given his pedigree, this could be a nice pickup by Boston if the health checks out. Of course, that’s a big if. Gonsalves has a fastball, changeup, curveball and slider.