November 20, 2015 at 5:44 PM
The Red Sox added three players to the 40-man roster before Friday's deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft. A pair of relievers, right-hander Pat Light (pictured) and lefty Williams Jerez, will join infielder Marco Hernandez on the major league roster. The moves line up with those projected by Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects.com in his in-depth roster breakdown. The Red Sox cleared two spots by designating infielder Josh Rutledge for assignment and outrighting pitcher Anthony Varvaro off the 40-man roster. Varvaro elected free agency following his outright.
Light, 24, was a supplemental first-round draft choice out of Monmouth University in 2012. The hard-throwing right-hander took quickly to a move to the bullpen in 2015 after struggling as a starter. Light posted a 2.43 ERA in 21 appearances with Double-A Portland, striking out 32 in 29 1/3 innings before an early-June promotion to Triple-A. He struggled some with his control with the PawSox, walking 26 in 33 innings, but he continued to strike out more than a batter per inning. Light joins fellow 2012 draftees Deven Marrero and Brian Johnson on the 40-man roster.
Hernandez had a breakout season in his first with the Red Sox organization. The 23-year-old shortstop was acquired as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs in August 2014. Like Light, Hernandez began the season with Portland, where he hit .326/.349/.482. That line was capped with a 13-game hitting streak immediately before his promotion in July. Hernandez's .305 batting average for the season was his best since hitting .333 as an 18-year old in the rookie-level Arizona League in 2011.
The addition of Jerez was not one that seemed likely a couple years ago. The 2011 second-round pick had bottomed out during the 2013 season with Lowell--as an outfielder. After hitting .176/203/.235 with the Spinners, Jerez resurrected his career by making the move to the pitchers mound. After getting acclimated to pitching in 2014, the 23-year-old was excellent across three levels this year. In 41 appearances between Greenville, Salem, and Portland, Jerez posted a 2.54 ERA, striking out 86 and walking 31 in 88 2/3 innings.
The following players, not on the 40-man roster, are eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft:
Mario Alcantara, Mike Augliera, Ty Buttrey, David Chester, Carlos Coste, Keith Couch, Allen Craig, William Cuevas, Jacob Dahlstrand, Jeffry Fernandez, Edwar Garcia, Carlos Garcia, Justin Haley, Kevin Heller, Zach Kapstein, Kyle Kraus, Deiner Lopez, Austin Maddox, Brandon Magee, Jorge Marban, Chris Marrero, Mike McCarthy, Simon Mercedes, Mike Miller, Aneudis Peralta, Randy Perez, Yankory Pimentel, Carlos Pinales, Heri Quevedo, Henry Ramos, Tim Roberson, Dioscar Romero, Danny Rosenbaum, Robby Scott, David Sopilka, Alixon Suarez, Aneury Tavarez, German Taveras, Jervis Torrealba, Jose Vinicio, JT Watkins, Jordan Weems
Photo Credit: Pat Light by Kelly O'Connor