Now that September 1st has arrived, the annual Major League roster expansion has begun. The Red Sox made six corresponding roster moves today, calling up five players while designating Jeff Bailey for assignment. For a team in contention, these moves usual serve to strengthen the bench. This is no different for Boston, as the majority of moves profile as positional depth or late inning tactical replacements.
Here’s a rundown of the moves.
1B Jeff Bailey (DFA): Bailey has always been a favorite of mine, for no reason other than he’s a Quad-A player, and its easy to root for those guys. However, it appears he won’t have a place in Boston for the remainder of the season.
It remains to be seen what his future holds, but he was sputtering at the Major League level, to say the least, posting a career .228/.340/.434 career line in 159 plate appearances. Bailey turns 31 in November.
Called Up:
SP Junichi Tazawa: The prospect returns to Boston after being sent to Florida just a few days ago. With Wakefield injured and Paul Byrd being, well, Paul Byrd, Tazawa may get another shot to establish himself in the rotation. He’s slated for a Saturday start.
C George Kottaras: Gives the Sox another catching option and some flexibility should they choose to pinch hit for Varitek when V-Mart is already in the game. Hit .224/.303/.376 in the bigs this year in 99 plate appearances.
OF Joey Gathright: Good glove, no hit, excellent speed. Expect Gathright to pinch run quite a bit this month and possibly be a defensive replacement in the outfield. Career 9.0 UZR/150 in center field, .262/.327/.303 with the stick in 1311 PA. 79 SB in 108 career attempts.
IF Chris Woodward: Gives the Sox some added infield depth. Not much with the bat. Career .242/.299/.370 line. While shortstop is his primary spot, he’s fielded every position other than catcher over his 10 big league seasons.
OF Brian Anderson: Not much of a bat, with a .225/.287/.363 career line. Doesn’t have speed either, as he’s attempted just 27 steals over 869 plate appearances, being caught 14 times. Extra Outfielder.
Overall, the Sox September moves aren’t very exciting, but should provide Tito with some additional late inning options. While these players usually don’t see the field much, the late inning substitutions can make the difference in a few precious games and get the team in the playoffs.
Maybe Gathright can provide some David Roberts type magic over the next few weeks. You never know.