Notes: J.D.; Casas wins silver; Muñoz

August 7th, 2021

For a second consecutive day, the Red Sox had to add a player to the COVID-19-related injured list. This time, slugger J.D. Martinez was placed on the list Saturday after he reported symptoms and having felt unwell in recent days. 

The news comes after rookie center fielder Jarren Duran was placed on the COVID-19 IL on Friday and stayed behind at the team hotel in Toronto to undergo the league’s COVID protocols. Manager Alex Cora said Duran was still going through testing and the team had not received his results from the prior day. 

"This is a day-by-day thing,” Cora said. “So let's see how it works out today, how we feel today and how the testing goes and we'll see if they can fly with us tomorrow."

The Red Sox are one of the few teams that haven’t reached the 85% vaccination threshold, which means players, coaches and club personnel continue to wear a mask in the clubhouse, on the team bus and in other open spaces. 

“It's kind of similar to what we did early in the season, except wearing the mask in the dugout,” Cora said. “But besides that, in the hotel, in the elevator, if you go to restaurants -- which we don't have time to -- but you have to wear a mask on the way in.”

Closer Matt Barnes was placed on the COVID-19 IL earlier in the week, but tested negative for the virus despite having symptoms from a head cold. The Red Sox hope that it will be the same case for Duran and Martinez. 

The team underwent testing before Friday’s series opener and Cora expects they’ll undergo another round of tests in between Saturday’s doubleheader. 

“I cross my fingers and I pray,” Cora said. “Hopefully it's nothing major. With Barnesy’s situation, he was OK afterwards. I hope it's the same thing.”

Catcher Connor Wong was recalled from Triple-A Worcester to replace Martinez on the active roster ahead of Boston’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Martinez has struggled at the plate recently, going 5-for-38 in his last nine games with three RBIs and 11 strikeouts. 

Casas, Team USA wins silver

The Red Sox have an Olympic medal winner within the organization after top prospect Triston Casas and Team USA were awarded silver Saturday in the final round of the Olympic Tournament. 

Though the offense fell quiet in the 2-0 loss to Japan in the Gold Medal Game, Casas' presence at the plate put him on the map as he led Team USA with three homers. His loudest was a two-run shot against the Dominican Republic in the semifinals.

The 21-year-old had the most RBIs in the Olympics with eight, and his three homers were tied for the most. 

Hitting streak in the farm

Yairo Muñoz is making an impression in the big leagues, even if he’s still in the lineup for Triple-A Worcester.

The 26-year-old utility player extended his hit streak to 28 games as he collected a pair of singles in six at-bats during Friday’s 4-3 win against Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Muñoz is batting .304 in 70 games, the eighth-highest average in Triple-A East.

“He’s a great ballplayer,” Cora said in Spanish. “He’s versatile and dynamic. We’re aware of what he’s doing down there.”

Though Cora didn’t commit to saying that Muñoz could be a September callup, he did acknowledge that Muñoz has made impressive strides since coming back from an injury earlier in the season.