After missing almost a month and a half with eye and shoulder injuries, Brock Holt will soon be making his return to the Boston Red Sox. The team is likely to activate him from the IL either Monday or Tuesday, according to manager Alex Cora.
Holt was hitting just .063 to start the season, but part of that was due to an eye injury he suffered just before Opening Day. His son, Griff, poked him in the eye and Holt was having trouble picking up spin on the ball as a result. That's what led him to his first rehab assignment. There, he suffered a shoulder injury that has derailed him a bit longer than many had anticipated. But now, he's ready to come back.
Holt's return as the top utility man will give the Boston bench a boost. They have been operating with only three hitters (at most) on the bench for the season, as Cora has opted to keep at least 13 pitchers on the roster to shore up their uncertain bullpen. Holt's ability to play anywhere will give Cora more options about when to rest his players, and he will give the team a lefthanded bat on the bench as well.
“We can move Michael Chavis to first if needed,” Cora said per Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald. Holt “can play the outfield, he can play short, so we’ll use him the same way we did last year. Obviously he’s a bat off the bench when he doesn’t play that matches up well against righties, so it gives us multiple options now on the bench.
“You’ve got Pearce, you’ve got Nunez, you’ve Holt when he doesn’t play, so it’s a little bit tougher for the opposition to match up with us late in games.”
It's unclear exactly what the corresponding move to adding Holt would be. The team has seemingly delayed adding Holt to the roster because of their need of bullpen depth in wake of David Price's 15-pitch outing on Saturday. But perhaps after Sunday's game, the team will option Travis Lakins or the recently called up Darwinzon Hernandez to the minors to get Holt back on the roster. If the Sox do that, it will mark the first time this year that the team will carry less than 13 pitchers on the roster.
We'll soon see what the Sox plan on doing, but definitely keep an eye on Holt in the coming days.
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