The Red Sox a series of roster moves to reporters, including Ian Browne of MLB.com. Right-hander Garrett Whitlock is heading to the 15-day injured list, with right hip inflammation, retroactive to June 9. Fellow righty Phillips Valdez, who was just optioned yesterday for the activation of Hansel Robles, will take his roster spot. Optional assignments usually require a 15-day minimum stint before returning to the roster, though exceptions are made when a player goes on the IL or for double-headers. Additionally, the previously-reported selection of outfielder Rob Refsnyder has been made official, with infielder Jonathan Arauz being designated for assignment to create a spot for him.
A native of Panama, Arauz was originally signed by the Phillies as an international free agent back in 2014. The following year, he was traded to the Astros as part of the Ken Giles deal. The Red Sox selected him in the 2019 Rule 5 draft, with Arauz sticking on the roster through the entirety of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Of course, the Red Sox were undergoing a miserable season in 2020, finishing dead last in the AL East with a record of 24-36. As the team has put some distance between themselves and that campaign, Arauz has done little to justify hanging onto a roster spot. In 59 career games over the past three seasons, he’s hit .204/.280/.320 for a wRC+ of 62. Even in Triple-A, things haven’t gone much better, as Arauz has hit just .228/.303/.329 in 92 career games there.
The Red Sox will now have a week to trade him or put him on waivers. Despite his light-hitting stat line, he could still garner some interest, as he is still very young at only 23 years old, making it possible he still has some development ahead of him. He also brings versatility to the table, as he is a switch-hitter and is capable of playing shortstop, second base and third base. He still has options remaining, meaning a team that acquires him could keep him in Triple-A for depth purposes.
As for Whitlock, he was scheduled to start Sunday’s game, meaning the club will have a rotation hole to fill. He started the year in the bullpen but has gradually been shifted into the rotation. He was getting better results as a reliever, though it’s possible this hip issue has contributed to his dampened results. Through the end of April, he had a 0.54 ERA, though it’s been 5.06 since.