BOSTON -- The Red Sox, in dire need of pitching reinforcements after Joe Kelly's injury and the 9 1/3 innings pitched by their relievers on Tuesday, brought up not one, but two hurlers from Pawtucket today.
The Sox, as expected, placed Kelly on the 15-day disabled list to open one roster spot, and created another by sending infielder Marco Hernandez -- who was just recalled last weekend and got his first major-league hit on Sunday -- back to the PawSox. To fill them, they summoned pitchers Noe Ramirez and William Cuevas from Pawtucket. To make room for Cuevas on the 40-player roster, they designated left-handed pitcher Edwin Escobar for assignment.
"We needed to add a couple of guys,'' said John Farrell. "One in length with William Cuevas, who has been starting in Pawtucket, and Noe coming back to give us a guy a little bit later in the bullpen. Cuevas is here in the unlikely event that something happens to Rick [Porcello, Wednesday's starter] earlier on. We would need that length available to us. So we go through a fotified bullpen and a high number of guys out there. We try to get ahead of it, where we can give a high number of guys a breather.''
Ramirez's stint at Pawtucket lasted less than 48 hours. He had been demoted after pitching in Monday morning's loss to the Blue Jays and replaced by Heath Hembree, who worked 3 1/3 innings in relief of the injured Kelly on Tuesday. Ramirez was 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA for the Sox this season, with eight strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
Cuevas, 25, is making his first trip to the majors. He was 1-1 with a 6.71 ERA in 11 2/3 innings (two starts) for Pawtucket.
Red Sox minor league catcher Oscar Hernandez has been handed a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, our own Evan Drellich reports.
Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in January and currently is on the Triple-A Pawtucket roster. The 24-year-old will be able to return in late May.
Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, NBC Sports Boston has learned. The league is set to make the announcement Friday.
Wright, working his way back from right knee surgery, has to serve the suspension when healthy. Potential time on the disabled list to begin the season would not count. Wright is not expected to appeal.
Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.
The case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse. If Wright commits no other offenses for a 12-month span, the charges are expected to be dropped.
Fifteen games matches the lowest suspension MLB has given out in relation to a domestic violence case since the league and players union agreed to a policy in 2015. Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia was suspended 15 games in March 2017.
"It's a situation that, it sucks not only for me, but for my family, for the team," Wright told reporters in Florida on Thursday. "But I try not to think about it. When MLB comes out with their discipline, or if there's going to be discipline or not, it's just going to go from there."
Wright said this spring that he did not harm his wife.
“We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it,” Wright said. “We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”