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Sox support players who wish to kneel

@IanMBrowne
July 21, 2020

BOSTON -- Aware that several Giants players and manager Gabe Kapler took a knee during the national anthem on Monday, Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke discussed the topic with his players in a Zoom call hours before Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Blue Jays. “Yes I’m aware of what happened.

BOSTON -- Aware that several Giants players and manager Gabe Kapler took a knee during the national anthem on Monday, Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke discussed the topic with his players in a Zoom call hours before Tuesday’s exhibition game against the Blue Jays.

“Yes I’m aware of what happened. We’ve had lots of discussions about this,” Roenicke said. “We had another one today with the team on another Zoom call. Obviously a very important topic and as far as I know we don’t have guys that are going to take a knee, but certainly we will join in with the other concerns.

“It’s a very strong statement we have for this organization and how we feel about the fight on equality and so we’ll see,” Roenicke said. “We haven’t told players you have to do anything. We’ve given them the rights, which is what this country is all about and the freedom to do what they feel strongly about. So we have said what we think and what we’d like them to do, but we also want to give them the opportunity to express themselves.”

Roenicke made it clear that the support he is giving his players to express themselves comes from the very top of the organization.

“We’re all supportive of what the fight is about and so I think that by making sure that they know how we feel and whether it’s [owner] John [Henry] and [chairman] Tom [Werner] or [president/CEO] Sam [Kennedy] or [chief baseball officer] Chaim [Bloom], they’ve all said the same thing, that we’re supporting the BLM,” Roenicke said. “And we’re going to do what we need to do here to make sure the players know that we support whatever they do.”

Sox add Covey from Rays
Bloom continues to stockpile the Red Sox player pool with depth arms. The latest is the acquisition of righty Dylan Covey from the Rays on Wednesday. The Red Sox were not required to provide compensation to the Rays for Covey, who had an assignment clause in his Minor League contract.

Covey, a righty, has pitched in 63 games -- including 45 starts -- in his career, all for the White Sox. The 28-year-old has a career record of 6-29 with a 6.54 ERA.

Perhaps the most memorable game of Covey’s career so far was at Fenway Park on June 8, 2018, when he fired six shutout innings to beat Chris Sale, 1-0. It’s hard to say that Covey outdueled Sale that night, because Boston’s lefty had one walk and 10 strikeouts over eight innings.

The addition of Covey puts Boston’s player pool at 59, giving them one open spot.

Darwinzon easing back in
Lefty reliever Darwinzon Hernandez has been eased slowly into camp following his recent bout with COVID-19.

Hernandez threw a light bullpen session on Wednesday, but it’s doubtful he will open the season on the active roster.

Armed with electric stuff, Hernandez could become a key reliever for Boston once he is back to full strength.

“We need to see where he's at,” said Roenicke. “He had been throwing, but we don't know how much and really what effort he's been giving. We'll get a read on him and then same thing, just try to build him up as we can. We know how important these guys are to get them back in there, but we also want to do it the right way.”

Still sorting it out
The Red Sox are still trying to sort out the starting rotation after the front three of Nathan Eovaldi, Martín Pérez and Ryan Weber.

Brian Johnson and Zack Godley, two candidates to claim the No. 4 slot, will split time in Wednesday’s exhibition against the Jays.

Godley, a righty who was signed last week, is expected to start the game. Johnson, a lefty, will piggyback him. Both should go three innings.

The Sox will use an opener in at least one spot of the rotation.

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