September 1, 2013 at 11:23 AM
With rosters expanding on Sunday to 40 players, the Red Sox reportedly have added four players to the roster in addition to last night's announced acquisition of John McDonald. The club recalled Ryan Lavarnway (pictured, left) and Rubby De La Rosa from Pawtucket, purchased the contract of Quintin Berry, and activated Brandon Snyder from the DL, bringing the number of players on the active roster to 30.
But the bigger news arguably was the designation of once-elite reliever Daniel Bard for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Berry. Bard, who has spent most of this season in the minors trying to recover his lost command and stuff, had thrown just nine of 31 pitches for strikes while walking four and striking out two in a scoreless inning of work for Lowell on Saturday, the third game of a rehab assignment. Including his rehab assignment, Bard has walked 27 batters and thrown 11 wild pitches in 17 1/3 innings this season. Over the next 10 days, he must be either traded, released, or placed on waivers.
Lavarnway has already spent about two months in the majors this season as the backup to Jarrod Saltalamacchia while David Ross was on the disabled list. He is hitting .283/.323/.383 in 19 major league games while posting a .250/.346/.350 line in 50 games with Pawtucket. As the third catcher, he could see time pinch hitting against left-handers, while his presence could allow Saltalamacchia to do the same on days that Ross catches.
De La Rosa (pictured, right), like Lavarnway, was recalled to Boston for the third time this season. When he was last called up, in August 3, the team moved him into the bullpen, putting him in a role he continued working in after being optioned back to Pawtucket. The right-hander with the live arm has had an inconsistent season as he completed his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery, showing dominance for stretches and occasionally falling apart, mostly from trying to overthrow. He had three scoreless outings out of four since being sent back to Pawtucket, but control has still been an issue, as he has walked six and struck out just two in 3 2/3 innings of work.
Berry, acquired from Kansas City for Clayton Mortensen on Tuesday, will be used primarily as a pinch runner. The Sox are Berry's third organization of the season — Kansas City claimed him on waivers from the Tigers in June — but he has spent all of 2013 in Triple-A. He has hit .191/.309/.257 while splitting time among those three teams, collecting 14 extra-base hits and 31 RBI in the process. He stole 30 bases and was caught four times in the minors this season, and was a perfect 21-for-21 (plus 2-for-2 in the postseason) while playing in 94 major league games with Detroit in 2012.
Snyder has been on the disabled list since Boston recalled Will Middlebrooks on August 10. Mostly as part of a third base platoon with Brock Holt while Middlebrooks was in Triple-A, he is hitting .209/.227/.419 in 21 major league games, including .321/.321/.643 marks against left-handed pitchers. He will likely see most of his time as a pinch hitter for a club that has struggled with left-handers recently.
It appears that any other players on the 40-man roster, such as Jackie Bradley, Jr., Brock Holt, Jose De La Torre, Allen Webster, Steven Wright, Dan Butler, and Pedro Beato, will not be called up until the end of the Pawtucket Red Sox's playoff run. In addition, Alex Wilson, who is rehabbing with the PawSox and was transferred to the 60-day DL last night to make room for McDonald, can be activated as soon as this Saturday.
Photo Credit: Ryan Lavarnway and Rubby De La Rosa by Kelly O'Connor.
Staff Writer Tim Healey contributed to this report.
Chris Hatfield is Executive Editor of SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPChrisHatfield.