Notes: Araúz makes first start; E-Rod update

July 31st, 2020

Red Sox Rule 5 pick Jonathan Araúz, who only played 28 games above Class A in his Minor League career, was placed into the spotlight on Thursday when he made his first Major League start against the Mets at Citi Field.

It has been a quick ascension for the versatile Araúz, who turns 22 on Monday. He is the youngest player on the Red Sox.

"I feel really happy," said Araúz, who went 0-for-3 in Boston's 4-2 win. "I'm very grateful to be given this opportunity to be able to start, but overall, I'm just really excited about the opportunity."

On a night Rafael Devers got the night off against a lefty, José Peraza moved to third base and Araúz started at second base.

"I'm impressed with a Rule 5 guy coming out of A ball, what he does," said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. "A few games in Double-A, but basically an A-ball player. Pretty confident, good hands, good arm. You saw when he turns a double play barehanding the ball, you know he's got a lot of confidence.

"Offensively, he's calm, he's got a simple swing. He's got more power than I thought he was going to have, but he's looked really good."

The chance to start comes just six days after Araúz made the Red Sox's Opening Day roster. Araúz will have to stay on the roster all season, otherwise the club will have to offer him back to the Astros, the team it selected him from in the Rule 5 Draft.

"I was extremely happy to hear that I was going to be on the Opening Day roster. I actually felt like crying, because it was news that I've always wanted to hear. And to be able to hear it was something that was very special to me," said Araúz. "My time here has been great. The guys have been great, treating me great and just learning a lot from them as well, so it's been a really good time being here."

A switch-hitter, Araúz can play second, short and third.

"Obviously there's not many guys who can play a lot of different positions, so being able to do so, I think just brings extra value and just another way for players to help their team win -- and that's something I'm trying to do," Araúz said.

E-Rod sees doctor, Red Sox wait for results
A week after Red Sox ace was diagnosed with myocarditis, which is inflammation in the heart, he was examined again by the team's medical staff.

"We haven't gotten results yet," Roenicke said. "If we know anything more, I'm hoping I do in the next day or two, then we'll get it to you and see where he is. Hopefully everything is good and we can start at least playing catch with him again."

Despite the urgency of the season, the Red Sox know this is a comeback they can't rush. Rodriguez had COVID-19 a month ago, and the myocarditis is likely related to that.

There is a chance the Red Sox could bring him back for one- or two-inning stints, and he could build up his pitch count in MLB games instead of at the team's alternate training site in Pawtucket, R.I.

"If that's not good medically, it's better to slow it down, to build him up, then we'll do it that way," Roenicke said. "And really, we're not there yet, because we still don't have an answer as to when he can start up. And once he does, we're still looking at a ways with him."

Hot Moreland sits
Though started the day hitting .357 with two homers and was 0-for-9, Roenicke again went with a traditional left-right platoon at first base on a day the Sox were facing Mets lefty Steven Matz.

"I like him up there all the time," said Roenicke. "He battles well. But it's also, Mitch, he's not 22 years old anymore. I know I can't put him out there all the time. So when we do face lefties, I think the advantage is he's always going to be strong whenever we get him in there."

With the Red Sox facing lefty Jordan Montgomery at Yankee Stadium on Friday and James Paxton on Sunday, Moreland will likely get the nod in one of those games.