After yet another crushing loss on Wedensday, the Red Sox mercifully get a day off on Thursday, but they still made a minor roster move ahead of time. The team officially removed infielder Jonathan Araúz from the COVID list, optioning him back to Triple-A Worcester. To make room on the 40-man roster, they transferred Josh Taylor to the 60-day injured list.
Araúz was placed on the COVID list back on April 19 and spent more time there than any of the others who have been placed on it. Generally, Red Sox players haven’t spent more than a couple days on the COVID list this season. Araúz has been playing a bit from late, officially on a rehab assignment with Worcester. He can only rehab for so long, though, and the Red Sox eventually had to make a move on the 40-man to reinstate him. Araúz got nine plate appearances in the majors before hitting the COVID list, failing to reach base in any of them. In seven games with Worcester he has hit .125/.222/.167 over 27 plate appearances. He will serve as infield depth in the near future.
With Taylor, this move does not come as much of a surprise. The southpaw has not been able to pitch for the Red Sox at all this season as he’s dealt with a back injury. He did make a few rehab appearances last month, but after a setback he suffered in his last one it’s unclear when he’ll be able to make it back to the mound. As this move is retroactive to the start of the season, he’ll be eligible to return as soon as June, though it’s not at all clear that’s his actual timeline.
Moving Taylor to the 60-day right now does have some implications for the near future, though, as the team has an upcoming decision to make with reliever John Schreiber. The righty is on the roster right now in place of Rich Hill, who is on the COVID list himself, but when the latter comes back Schreiber will be removed from the 40-man. If the team decides to keep him — and he’s earned it — another move will have to be made. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes, but with the Taylor to the 60-day move off the table the most likely DFA candidates would be someone like Jaylin Davis, or perhaps even Araúz. For now, though, Araúz remains on the roster and will continue playing mostly every day for Worcester.