What Tuesday's Red Sox roster moves mean

Rob Bradford
March 12, 2019 - 10:12 am

And then, out of nowhere, there were a whole bunch of empty lockers in the Red Sox' clubhouse at JetBlue Park.

Dave Dombrowski and Alex Cora made their first sweep through the Sox' spring training roster Tuesday, announcing 11 players would be sent out of big league camp. 

Optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket: Infielder Michael Chavis, lefty pitcher Josh Taylor and right-handed hurlers Travis Lakins and Chandler Shepherd.

Optioned to Double-A Portland: Pitcher Denyi Reyes.

Reassigned to minor-league camp: Catcher Austin Rei, outfielder Rusney Castillo, infielder Tony Renda, first baseman Josh Ockimey and righty pitchers Mike Shawaryn and Carson Smith.

"I mean certain guys they’re not a finished product and they’ve got to get their reps and keep getting better," Cora told reporters Tuesday morning. "But I learned a lot from a lot of them, guys I haven’t seen play like Michael (Chavis) last year. He was hurt during spring training so I got a chance see him play. See him swing the bat. Taylor, JT, we got him in the trade and I was able to see him pitch here. Lakins saw him pitch. So it was a good learning experience for both of us, from their end and my end. We count on everybody. To win this whole thing, it takes more than the 25 guys we’re going to take to Seattle. Injuries, slumps, a lot of stuff happens in the season and they know there’s a chance they can contribute."

Perhaps the most notable name of the bunch is Chavis, who impressed at times at the plate, hitting four home runs while finishing with six hits. As the competition amped up throughout the first days of March the 23-year-old didn't have the same sort of success. He adequately manned first base, third base and second base (a position that will clearly be a work in progress if he gets any time there at all).

"He can hit," Cora said of Chavis. "I think everybody knew that except for me. I didn’t see him last year, he was hurt, so you see the numbers and videos whatever but you see a game and yeah he can swing the bat. He didn’t play too much second but the last time he played in West Palm Beach he made two routine plays and he looked very relaxed and turned a double play. That’s something he’ll do wherever he goes. We’ll move him around and make sure he gets his reps at second base, too."

While Chavis is being sent down, the other first base/third base power hitter, Bobby Dalbec, remains. 

Dalbec has been impressive well beyond just his ability to hit the ball out the park. He has struck out eight times in 28 plate appearances but has also drawn five walks. His ability to play above-average defense at both corner positions has also stood out.

Lakins, a pitcher some thought might have a chance to break camp with the Red Sox, didn't stand out in his five Grapefruit League games, giving up at least one hit in each of the appearances while also walking three. Another 40-man roster minor-leaguer Darwinzon Hernandez, conversely, remains after making the most of his opportunity to date. The 23-year-old, who is being stretched out to start, has struck out 10 over seven innings while not giving up a run.'

Castillo's exit isn't a surprise. He has yet to get into game action after suffering a groin injury early on in camp.

The moves leave 47 players in big league camp, 14 of which are non-roster invitees.

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