Coming off of the shortened spring training which came as a result of the lockout, the league and players agreed to expand rosters to 28 players through the month of April to ease any workload concerns. While they later adjusted and allowed for up to 14 pitchers for the month of May — that was supposed to be capped at 13, and will start to be at the end of this month — rosters still had to be cut to 26 by this morning. Following Boston’s disappointing loss in Baltimore on Sunday, they announced that they’d optioned Phillips Valdez and Jaylin Davis to get their roster down to the required 26.
While this is certainly a Red Sox team that looks like it could use a shake up, there were no real surprises in these moves to get the roster down to where it needed to be. Valdez had been one of the team’s better relievers for most of April, so his move may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but he’s struggled his last two times out. The righty has allowed seven runs over his last 2 1⁄3 innings, which includes one outing in which he allowed three runs while only recording an out. That, combined with the fact that Valdez has minor-league options remaining, likely put him on the chopping block.
As for Davis, he was just added to the major-league roster for the series in Baltimore after being claimed off waivers earlier last week. The outfielder entered Saturday’s game as a pinch runner and started on Sunday, going 2-4 with a pair of singles. The plan all along was almost certainly for him to just be up for this series. As things currently stand, the Red Sox are going to be rolling with a three-man bench for the first time this season, taking advantage of the rule adjustment to allow them to carry up to 14 pitchers. They’ll have to replace a pitcher with a position player by Monday, May 30.