AL East Notes: Hosmer, Pham, Castro, Peralta, Espinal

Eric Hosmer will be activated from the injured list tomorrow, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Hosmer has been out since late August with lower back inflammation.

It’s been a curious season for Hosmer. Dogged by trade rumors for years, the first baseman was initially reported to be part of the deadline blockbuster between the Padres and the Nationals where San Diego acquired Juan Soto and Josh Bell. Hosmer refused to waive his no-trade rights, however, and so the Padres pivoted, sending Luke Voit to Washington as part of the Soto package and instead moving Hosmer, Corey Rosier, and Max Ferguson to Boston in exchange for Jay Groome.

Hosmer played just 12 games for the Red Sox before heading to the injured list. In those games, he slashed a meager .225/.311/.300, though his season line of .267/.333/.381 is good for a 104 wRC+, his best mark in a full season since his 2017 walk year with the Royals. Though Hosmer’s contract, which will pay him $13 million a year for the 2023-2025 seasons, has an opt-out after this season, it’s extremely unlikely to be exercised. As such, Hosmer is expected to compete with Bobby Dalbec and top prospect Triston Casas for playing time at first base going forward, though with J.D. Martinez slated to hit free agency after this season, it’s possible Hosmer could see some time at DH as well.

Additional notes from around the AL East…

  • Red Sox outfielder Tommy Pham’s mutual option for the 2023, previously reported as $6 million, is a $12 million option, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith. Like any mutual option, it remains exceedingly unlikely to be exercised. The Red Sox acquired Pham from the Reds at the trade deadline earlier this season in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. It’s been a disappointing season at the plate for Pham, as he’s slashed just .241/.316/.381 in 611 plate appearances between Cincinnati and Boston.
  • The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner reports that Yankees reliever Miguel Castro is expected to be activated from the injured list tomorrow. The right-hander has posted a 4.00 ERA with a 3.75 FIP in 27 innings this season. Castro has been out with a right shoulder strain since July. As he’s coming off the 60-day injured list, a 40-man roster spot will be necessary to activate Castro. That spot could come from Matt Carpenter, who was transferred to the 60-day IL himself earlier today. Additionally, Kirschner relays that lefty Wandy Peralta will not pitch again during the regular season this year, instead heading to Somerset to prepare for the postseason while the Yankees travel to Texas for their final regular season series against the Rangers. Peralta was placed on the 15-day injured list in September with left thoracic spine tightness.
  • Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that Blue Jays infielder Santiago Espinal will take live batting practice on Tuesday, and could be activated from the injured list shortly thereafter as Toronto gears up for the postseason. Espinal has slashed .267/.322/.370 in 491 plate appearances this season, but was placed on the injured list with a left oblique strain in September. While Espinal is expected to be ready for the postseason, how much playing time he’ll have available to him is an open question. Espinal has primarily played second base this season, but fellow second basemen Whit Merrifield has posted an .865 OPS since the start of September. That being said, both players have the positional versatility to share a lineup if interim manager John Schneider so desires.

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