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Notes: Arroyo looking to prove himself

@IanMBrowne
September 12, 2020

Once a valued enough prospect to be taken in the first round of the 2013 Draft by the San Francisco Giants, Christian Arroyo will spend the last two weeks of this season simply trying to demonstrate that he deserves playing time in the Major Leagues. How much playing time he

Once a valued enough prospect to be taken in the first round of the 2013 Draft by the San Francisco Giants, Christian Arroyo will spend the last two weeks of this season simply trying to demonstrate that he deserves playing time in the Major Leagues.

How much playing time he will get could depend on how well he performs over these final 14 games for the Red Sox.

Earlier this week, the Sox optioned José Peraza to the alternate training site in Pawtucket, R.I. One of the main reasons for that decision being that they could get a closer look at Arroyo, who should get most of the reps at second base for the rest of the season.

“He won’t be out there every single day, but most of the time,” said Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke. “I think that’s what we’d like to do is to give him an opportunity to see the good tools that everybody saw when he was drafted, and how they felt about him as he was coming up through the Minor Leagues. I know he was rushed pretty fast because people really liked what he had. All those things, we just need to get a better look at.”

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was part of the front office in Tampa Bay that once traded Evan Longoria for a package of prospects that included Arroyo. Two years later, Bloom and Rays general manager Erik Neander dealt Arroyo to the Indians.

When Cleveland placed Arroyo on waivers last month, Bloom claimed him and is now taking another look at the 25-year-old.

“The last couple of years have been kind of injury riddled, so every opportunity is a great opportunity,” Arroyo said. “When I got over here, I talked with Chaim, and it was nice to talk to someone who was a little bit familiar with me and who I was familiar with as well. So I’m always thankful for every opportunity. I just want to show what I can do at the big league level.”

Arroyo’s immediate goal is to fix some flaws in his swing that should help make his longer-term goals pan out.

“Thankfully [hitting coaches] Tim [Hyers] and Pete [Fatse] are helping me out, and they’ve seen some stuff I’ve done in the past that’s maybe gotten in my way a little bit,” Arroyo said. “So we’re working through those things and getting to that next level where I can prove my ability and prove my worth at the big league level.”

His adjustments at the plate appeared to pay off on Saturday as Arroyo hit a game-tying homer -- his first shot of 2020 -- in a 5-4 loss to the Rays.

Though things didn’t work out as Arroyo had hoped with the Giants, Rays or Indians, he is enthusiastic about his latest chance.

“I couldn’t be happier to do it in a Red Sox uniform,” Arroyo said.

Perez: ‘I want to stay here’
The Red Sox hold a $6.25 million option on lefty Martín Pérez for next season. Given that he has been the team’s only starter to avoid injuries this season, it would seem to be a worthwhile investment. In a perfect world, Pérez could settle in as a No. 4 or 5 starter, rather than being asked to be a one or two this season.

Either way, he hopes the Red Sox bring him back.

“Any decision they are going to make after the season, I want to respect. I want to stay here,” Pérez said. “I like the organization and coaches and everybody. We just have to wait until the season is over to see what they’re going to do.”

Darwinzon update
Roenicke is encouraged by the progress Darwinzon Hernandez is making from the sprained SC joint on his left side, and is confident the power lefty will pitch again this season.

Hernandez started the season late due to testing positive for COVID-19 and made just three appearances for the Red Sox before getting hurt. He is considered a big part of the team’s future.

“Yeah, I think he’ll pitch again this season,” Roenicke said. “Again, we need to be smart about it. If we don’t think that he’s ready and he’s right, we won’t do it. He’s throwing a bullpen today. He’s felt really good the last couple of days. A light bullpen two, three days ago -- and so this one he’s going to get after it a little bit, and hopefully it goes well and then we’ll make a decision from there.”

Hall pass
Lefty Matt Hall, who has struggled mightily in the four times he’s pitched for the Red Sox this season, was optioned back to the alternate training site to make room on the roster for Saturday's starter, Nathan Eovaldi.

Hall will remain on the taxi squad for the rest of the road trip in the event the Red Sox suffer another injury to the pitching staff.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.