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Red Sox activate Darwinzon Hernandez, place Triston Casas on the player pool

Christian Arroyo was also designated for assignment.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Back in March when the world was still somewhat normal and we were expecting a regular old 162-game season, one of the most exciting players for the coming season was Darwinzon Hernandez. The lefty never began showing the control we were looking for from a potential starter, but the stuff was undeniable and he looked tremendous in relief. Then, when they reconvened for camp this summer, Hernandez was a late attendee after a positive COVID test held him back. He is finally ready to return, and was added back to the active roster on Thursday. To make room, Christian Arroyo was designated for assignment.

It’s hard to know what to expect from Hernandez since we don’t have a normal minor-league season to track his work back to the majors, but we know what kind of pitcher he is. There will be some frustrating walks, but there will also be some incredible swing-and-miss stuff. Last season in his 30 13 innings in the majors he struck out a whopping 57, just under 17 per nine innings. That’s absurd.

As for the role he is going to play, for now it is expected that he’ll pitch out of the bullpen, and as long as he pitches well it shouldn’t be long before he is trusted in big innings. The stuff is just too dominant. However, as a starter as recently as the start of 2019, he could get some time in a Zack Godley-type role as a starter who is only expected to go three or four innings. I’ll probably write about this relatively soon, but I would prefer he not do that. For now, though, it’ll be nice to see him in the normal one-inning bursts.

As for Arroyo, this move at first glance is a bit surprising considering the infielder was just added to the active roster literally yesterday. However, as I mentioned in that linked post, he wasn’t a great fit on this roster anyway and it makes sense that they were really just trying to see if they could sneak him through waivers and keep him in the organization without needing him to be in the majors.

These weren’t the only moves the Red Sox made Thursday, either. Making good on a Chris Cotillo report from a few days ago, the team officially added Triston Casas to the player pool and assigned him to the Alternate Site in Pawtucket.

Casas is, of course, arguably the top prospect in the system and a consensus among the top two along with Jeter Downs. (Baseball America actually has Downs number three behind Bobby Dalbec, for what it’s worth.) He was initially left off the player pool as the Red Sox were looking to keep more potential major-league options on the roster. After seeing what some have to offer and narrowing down who they like, though, they have decided to bring Casas in. To be clear, this is just to get in-person instruction with the coaching staff, as players not in Pawtucket have to rely on Zoom coaching sessions. Casas is too important for the organization to not have him in person with the coaches at all this season. So, don’t expect to see him in the majors or in trade talks. That was not the reason for the move.