The Red Sox announced a series of moves, including the placement of the right-hander Connor Seabold on the 15-day injured list and utilityman Christian Arroyo on the 10-day IL. Right-hander Phillips Valdez and infielder Jeter Downs were called up from Triple-A in corresponding moves. As reported earlier today, Boston also selected the contract of Kaleb Ortwhile designating Michael Feliz for assignment.
Seabold has an extensor strain in his right forearm, which forced him out of last night’s game with the Yankees in the third inning. While extensor strains aren’t always a precursor to Tommy John surgery, any forearm-related injury is naturally a concern, and Seabold will undergo further examination before a recovery timeline is known.
With the injury bug taking a big bit out of the Sox rotation, Seabold was called up in late June and has made three starts. The results haven’t been pretty, as he has an 11.91 ERA over 11 1/3 innings — Seabold sandwiched a respectable one-run performance against the White Sox between a pair of seven-run blowouts to the Blue Jays and Yankees.
Chris Sale is slated to be activated from the IL on Tuesday, and the veteran southpaw will join a makeshift rotation of Nick Pivetta, Kutter Crawford, Josh Winckowski and top prospect Brian Bello. However, the Red Sox have more than an entire rotation’s worth of arms on the injured list, as Seabold joins Sale, Garrett Whitlock, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha, Rich Hilland James Paxton. Eovaldi is tentatively set to return next weekend, but the Sox might have to wait until after the All-Star break to get any semblance of a healthy starting five.
The team will also lose bench depth, as the versatile Arroyo will miss time due to a left groin strain. Arroyo’s placement opens the door for Downs’ latest opportunity at the MLB level, as the star prospect made his big league debut with a single game earlier this season.
Downs has been on fire in the 14 Triple-A games since his return, as his offense has hugely improved since cutting down on his leg lift during his swing. (Hat tip to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe.) His role on Boston’s active roster will be of some interest, as Downs has almost exclusively played shortstop this season, with only a single game at third base. Rafael Devers is currently battling a bad back, and with Downs now up, this could hint that the Sox are considering a precautionary IL placement for Devers. However, it is also possible Downs might only get another cup-of-coffee stint if Devers’ back heals up after a weekend off.