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Sox add bullpen, catcher depth in final callups

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The Red Sox called up three players to their roster Monday prior the start of a three-game series with the Padres, adding to their list of September additions as they make a postseason push.

Relievers Heath Hembree and Noe Ramirez joined the team's bullpen, while catcher Christian Vazquez became another option behind the plate in a suddenly crowded catching depth chart. All three were with Triple-A Pawtucket.

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OAKLAND -- The Red Sox called up three players to their roster Monday prior the start of a three-game series with the Padres, adding to their list of September additions as they make a postseason push.

Relievers Heath Hembree and Noe Ramirez joined the team's bullpen, while catcher Christian Vazquez became another option behind the plate in a suddenly crowded catching depth chart. All three were with Triple-A Pawtucket.

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Manager John Farrell said on Sunday this is the last wave of September callups. The Red Sox also activated reliver Koji Uehara from the disabled list Monday.

Vazquez, 26, slashed .226/.278/.305 in 164 at-bats with Boston this season, spending parts of the season as Boston's starting catcher before being optioned to Triple-A on July 5. Sandy Leon's torrid pace at the plate coupled with Vazquez's struggles at the plate contributed to the demotion, and Vazquez hit .252/.305/.353 in 37 games with Pawtucket after being sent down.

He'll be the fourth Red Sox catcher on the roster. Leon remains the starter, and Farrell said that Bryan Holaday will be the backup, leaving Ryan Hanigan as the third option.

Farrell was asked if four catchers were too many.

"No, it's not too many," Farrell said. "It's important that the players we feel that are going to be main contributors for us not only this year, but going forward, I think it's important to keep involvement there. If Vazquez ends up being here we'll find a way to keep everybody mixed in."

Farrell delivered a similar message about getting Hanigan playing time, pointing to Boston's success with Hanigan in the lineup. The Red Sox are 48-30 in his starts, dating back to 2015, and 15-3 this season when he drives in a run.

"I don't want to lose sight of what Hanny has done for us," Farrell said. "He's not just going to be a guy who is an extra body, I'll tell you that. He'll be involved."

Hembree and Ramirez add a pair of right-handed arms to Boston's bullpen. Hembree, 27, has been effective at times with the Red Sox this year, posting a 2.40 ERA in 41 1/3 innings. He pitched in three August games with the Red Sox, allowing two runs in four innings, and has thrown 2 1/3 scoreless innings in Pawtucket since being sent down on Aug. 26.

Ramirez, 26, has a 6.55 ERA in 11 innings with Boston this year.

Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Red Sox on Sunday.

 

Boston Red Sox