The Red Sox announced a series of roster moves before this evening’s game against the White Sox. As expected, shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list. Hard-throwing reliever Darwinzon Hernández has been activated from the 10-day IL, while the club selected fellow bullpen arm Kaleb Ort. In corresponding moves, starter Chris Sale was placed on the COVID-19 IL after testing positive for the virus and reliever Austin Davis was placed on the paternity list. Additionally, infielder Jonathan Araúz has been placed on the COVID IL. He’s experiencing virus-like symptoms but has continued to test negative, relays Chris Cotillo of MassLive (Twitter link).
Ort is up to make his major league debut. The right-hander went undrafted out of Aquinas College in 2016. He signed with the Diamondbacks but was released not long after and then latched on with the Yankees. Ort spent the past few seasons in the New York system, but the Red Sox added him in the minor league phase of last offseason’s Rule 5 draft.
Assigned to Worcester, Ort has pitched well at the minors’ top level to earn the call. The 29-year-old has worked 43 1/3 innings of 3.12 ERA ball with the WooSox, striking out a very strong 30.4% of batters faced. Ort has had issues with his control throughout his pro career, but his 10.3% walk rate this season is only marginally above the league average for relievers.
Hernández is back after missing a little more than five weeks with a right oblique strain. The southpaw has a 3.44 ERA in 34 frames of relief despite an elevated 16.9% walk percentage. That’s largely thanks to his quality 29.9% strikeout rate, a continuation of Hernández’s lofty punch out and walk totals throughout his big league career.