BOSTON -- With an extra pitcher on their roster, Will Middlebrooks nursing a strained hamstring and Mike Napoli showing up to Fenway on Wednesday suffering back spasms, the the Red Sox have been forced to make some roster moves prior to their game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
First baseman/outfielder Alex Hassan was called up to serve as bench depth while pitcher Steven Wright was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. In addition, the Red Sox have activated catcher David Ross off the 15-day disabled list and optioned Dan Butler to Pawtucket.
For Middlebrooks, his injury occurred in Tuesday night’s game on an infield single in the fourth inning. One batter after the hit, Middlebrooks was lifted for a pinch-runner and initially diagnosed with right hamstring tightness. He was treated by trainers Tuesday night, and Red Sox manager John Farrell felt it best to leave him out of Wednesday’s lineup.
“He strained it,” Farrell said. “We don't feel like this is a long-term thing. We’d be putting him in jeopardy if we were to start him tonight.”
As for Ross, Wednesday’s return will come without a preceding rehab stint, as the catcher has been putting in early work at Fenway all week in preparation for his activation. Ross will immediately be getting back in the swing of things, catching Clay Buchholz and batting ninth for Boston.
“We had mapped out all along as David was going through his rehab and getting back to us that he’d get right back in the mix when he was activated,” Farrell said. “The number of games to be played per week will be dependent upon how he comes out of tonight. Likely he’ll get Saturday as well just to see how the foot responds. He’s gone through all the necessary steps to get back in the game tonight.”
In his time with Boston, Butler went hitless in 11 at-bats spread across his three starts behind the plate. Meanwhile, Wright was seemingly the victim of needed depth on the bench as the knuckleballer impressed after surrendering only one run in four innings of relief against the Houston Astros on Sunday.
Hassan, returning to Boston for his second stint with the club this year, went 1-for-7 with five strikeouts in the two games he started last time up. Since being sent back to Pawtucket on June 8, Hassan has hit .327 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs.