BOSTON -- Known for his willingness to fight through injuries, Mitch Moreland will have no choice but to sit for the next several days.
The Red Sox placed their first baseman on the 10-day injured list -- retroactive to Sunday -- due to a low back strain. Moreland has also had some discomfort in his right knee in recent days after he got smoked by a hard ground ball last weekend in Houston.
Moreland leads the Red Sox with 13 homers.
How long has the back been bothering Moreland?
“Since Spring Training,” quipped Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “No, it’s been on and off the last few weeks. With Mitch, the thing is you actually have to unplug him out of the equation. If not, he’s going to try to grind it out, and we don’t want to get caught up in a situation that he’s trying to play not close to 100 percent and it doesn’t benefit him.”
The soonest Moreland would be eligible to return to action is June 5, when the Sox will play the middle game of a three-game series in Kansas City.
“I think this is the smartest thing to do,” said Cora. “And the feeling is it’s going to be a short stint and he should be back right around the 10 days, whatever, right around there, and he’ll be OK. He’ll probably start doing baseball activities again in two or three days and go from there.”
“We'll find at-bats for [Chavis], somehow, somewhere,” said Cora. “Brock is going to play, too. Eduardo will have his starts. They're all versatile. They're going to help us out to give guys off-days and all that. That's the beauty of having all those guys healthy. We'll use it that way.”
Other roster moves
Brewer has spent almost the entire season with Boston, but he was optioned last week when the Sox were in a roster crunch.
This is the first trip to the Major Leagues for the 26-year-old Taylor, who was acquired from the D-backs to complete a trade for infielder Deven Marrero on May 15, 2018.
In 19 relief appearances for the PawSox this season, Taylor is 1-1 with a 2.91 ERA (seven earned runs in 21 2/3 innings) and 29 strikeouts.
Taylor gives the Red Sox something they didn’t have in the bullpen -- a lefty.
"He's been throwing the ball well for weeks,” said Cora. “Good stuff. Obviously having a lefty, we do feel that he can get lefties out and righties. He can go multiple innings. So the game will dictate the way we use him. But he's throwing the ball well, not only this week. I think the velocity is up. Slider is good. All the feedback for the last two weeks was this guy is getting close. We saw the opportunity and he's here with us."
Red Sox ‘all in’ on Bruins
Wednesday marked the second time in three days that the Red Sox were playing at Fenway Park on the same night the Bruins were a couple of miles away hosting the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Red Sox moved Wednesday’s game time up an hour to 6:10 p.m. ET so their fans would be able to catch a bigger chunk of Bruins-Blues Game 2, which starts at 8.
When the Red Sox fly to New York after Wednesday’s game for a four-game series against the Yankees, they will all be decked out in Bruins gear for the short flight.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy called Cora in the days leading up to the Stanley Cup Finals.
“He actually gave me a call a few days ago asking me for advice,” said Cora. “I'm like, ‘We don't play hockey in Puerto Rico. Keep doing what you're doing and you'll be fine.’"
The Bruins are trying to join the Red Sox and Patriots as Boston teams who have won championships within the last year. Boston’s four major sports teams have won 12 titles since the turn of the century.
Cora, Tito will be back together in July
When Cora played for the Red Sox from 2005-08, his manager the entire time was Terry Francona.
With Francona’s current team -- the Indians -- in town, Cora extended him an invite to be part of his All-Star coaching staff in July. The game will be played at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
It is customary for the manager of the host city to be part of the coaching staff.
“I’ll try to stay out of the way mostly,” Francona said. “I’m there because I got invited and we’re the home team. His staff deserves to be front and center because of what they did last year. That’s an honor. I’m honored because they asked me. There’s a difference. So I’ll be a little more low-key. I want [Cora] and his staff to get the credit they deserve.”