The Red Sox haven’t been on top of the ball with roster management.
From the news of Blake Swihart being DFA’d, to the odd lineup on in the series closer on Monday, Red Sox roster choices in 2019 have been questionable, to say the least. When catcher Blake Swihart was DFA’d by the franchise early Tuesday morning, most fans were stunned by the sudden decision. Swihart had been the club’s best hitting catcher of 2019 and was mostly consistent behind the plate as well. Leading up to Tuesday, the 27-year old was slashing .231/.310/.385, with a .305 wOBA. Considering his offensive abilities, to most, this move makes little to no sense.
Obviously, Leon’s defense and experience behind the plate trumps both Vasquez’s and Swihart’s. In case you forgot, this team won it all in 2018 with three catchers, which makes DFA’ing Swihart very odd. On the other hand, Leon’s defense is top of the line. Leon is usually paired with the starters who have been struggling so far this season, so the Red Sox were hoping his return would help the staff get back on track. This seems unlikely, as Sale, Leon’s main partner, continued to struggle even with Leon behind the plate on Tuesday.
Pedroia’s Controversial Start to 2019
Now that the catching situation is, kind of, figured out, the club should learn to better handle this Dustin Pedroia situation. Following his knee surgery this past season, Pedroia achieved a return in early 2019. Before his season debut, most felt that the club handled this situation with grace. They somehow figured out a way to handle it rationally and cautiously, which was great for Pedey, given his age. But following Pedroia’s debut game on his new knee, conflict arose on how to pace the veteran second basemen. He needs to become accustomed to playing Major League baseball for the first time in almost a year. His schedule of play is all over the place, ranging from back to back starts, to consecutive days at DH. In his first eight games of the year, Pedroia’s positioning was as follows: 2B, 2B, off, 2B, DH, DH, off, 2B (early exit).
It seems that the club hasn’t yet figured out how to properly deal with the struggling Pedroia. But one thing to look for when the veteran returns from the IL is more rest between starts. He needs to pace himself. Fans can’t expect the 35-year-old to play 100 games in his first season back from a knee replacement.
The Red Sox recently re-called Marcus Walden from Pawtucket which has thus refilled the active roster to a round 25. At this point, it’s a matter of time before Boston brings Tzu-Wei Lin up to the active roster to serve as a replacement for the injured duo of Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt.
At the moment, the Sox will likely move on from Erasmo Ramirez and will expose him to waivers. It seemed rather odd that they’d add the journeyman pitcher to the active roster, knowing he’s out of options and a temporary replacement; however it’s likely his Boston journey will end shortly.
It’s been an odd start to the season, but the roster management needs to improve. The Red Sox are behind the ball in this regard.