The Red Sox bullpen has been working a lot of late, and it’s starting to catch up to some of their workloads. Between being in the midst of a 17-game stretch without a day off and some recent performances in which the starter got knocked out early, the arms are not well-rested. It seemed inevitable that a move would be coming soon, although their 40-man situation makes things a little more complicated. Nevertheless, they did make a move here on Thursday, optioning Phillips Valdez with Brandon Brennan coming up from Worcester.
The #RedSox today recalled RHP Brandon Brennan from Triple-A Worcester.— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 10, 2021
To make room for Brennan on the active roster, the club optioned RHP Phillips Valdez to Worcester.
Valdez has thrown three innings over the last couple of days, and was one of the few relievers in the bullpen with options remaining. He’s been throwing better of late, though his overall season ERA of 4.24 is a bit underwhelming. That said, it may not be a long wait for Valdez to come back up. Hirokazu Sawamura is dealing with a hip issue — and his unavailability is all the more reason to call up a fresh arm — that Cora says could end up with an IL stint. Valdez has to be down for at least 10 days, but that restriction goes away if he replaces someone who hits the injured list.
As for Brennan, he was a waiver claim by the Red Sox back in early May. The righty has tossed 54 2⁄3 innings of major-league action under his belt in his career, pitching to a 4.45 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 29 walks. Since being claimed off waivers, Brennan has made eight appearances at Triple-A Worcester, tossing 8 1⁄3 innings with a 2.16 ERA with 11 strikeouts and five walks. He’s a sinker/changeup pitcher and is likely to serve in a low-leverage role while he’s up, or at least to the extent that’s possible.