Callups reinforce Sox's 'pen, so what's next?

September 1st, 2019

ANAHEIM -- The Red Sox rang in the opening of expanded roster season by making a flurry of moves ahead of Sunday’s series finale against the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Right-hander , catcher and outfielder were added to the 40-man and Major League rosters. Right-handers , and , already on the 40-man roster, were recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Additionally, left-hander was reinstated from the injured list to start on Sunday.

To make room for Chacin, Centeno and Hernandez, left-hander Chris Sale (left elbow inflammation) and right-hander Steven Wright (right toe contusion) were transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day, while first baseman Joey Curletta was outrighted off the 40-man roster.

The Red Sox will get an immediate look at Hernandez, as he was in the starting lineup on Sunday, batting ninth and playing center field against Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney. Hernandez, who spent the season in Pawtucket after signing a Minor League deal with the Red Sox in December 2018, is a right-handed hitter whose career splits have been worse against left-handed pitching.

“He actually had a good season against lefties,” manager Alex Cora explained. “He’s a good defender. He can run, bring some energy, so that was the reason that we decided to call him up.”

Cora was also able to provide some clarity on a role for Chacin, who joined the Red Sox on a Minor League deal on Saturday. For the time being, he’ll be pitching out of the bullpen.

“Obviously, there’s gonna be a few days that it’s gonna be a bullpen day, and we’ll see the matchups, and if we feel that he’ll start and can give us three innings, we’ll start with him,” said Cora.

Here’s a look at some other players who have made an impact for the Red Sox this season, or could in the very near future:

Arrival: Left-hander

Level: Major Leagues
Of note: One earned run allowed in last 10 innings pitched (eight games)

Hernandez has proved emphatically that his stuff plays in the Major Leagues. While Hernandez was groomed as a starter in the Minors, he has been dominant for the Red Sox as a reliever, striking out 42 in 22 1/3 innings.

Breakout: Right-hander Tanner Houck
Level: Triple-A
Prospect ranking: No. 5
Of note: 105 strikeouts in 105 innings between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket

Houck looks like he could become the first solid homegrown starter the Red Sox have had in a while. In his 22 1/3 innings at Triple-A, Houck has a 3.22 ERA.

Something to prove: Right-hander Durbin Feltman
Level: Double-A
Prospect ranking: No. 16
Of note: 6.12 ERA in the second half

Prior to the season, Feltman was on everyone’s list as a reliever who might be able to make a swift impact, just one season after he was drafted. However, Feltman has had a tough go of it at Double-A, as evidenced by a 5.26 ERA and 31 walks in 51 1/3 innings.

Name to watch: Infielder Bobby Dalbec Level: Triple-A
Prospect ranking: No. 2
Of note: Batted .274/.313/.509 in 28 games since promotion to Triple-A

Dalbec could be a big part of the Red Sox in 2020. Dalbec belted 20 homers at Double-A and then another seven after his promotion to Triple-A. With Rafael Devers looking entrenched at third base for years to come, Dalbec could be in the mix for playing time at first base next season.