BOSTON — The Red Sox made a flurry of roster moves before Tuesday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
Outfielder Rusney Castillo and right-handed pitcher Steven Wright were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Right-hander Justin Masterson was activated from the 15-day disabled list, and catcher Erik Kratz, who was claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, was added to the active roster.
Castillo’s demotion was inevitable. The 27-year-old started in only one of Boston’s last seven games and was hitting just .230 with one homer, six RBIs and a .544 OPS in 77 major league plate appearances this season. He hasn’t lived up to expectations since signing a $72.5 million contract last August despite a strong showing last season in 10 big league contests down the stretch.
Brock Holt and Alejandro De Aza will continue to hold down right field in Shane Victorino’s absence. Victorino is expected to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday with Triple-A Pawtucket.
Wright has pitched well for the Red Sox, making the decision to send him down an extremely difficult one. The 30-year-old knuckleballer posted a 4.15 ERA in 11 appearances (four starts). He’ll be stretched out as a starter at Pawtucket in case the Red Sox need him in that capacity down the road.
Masterson will join the bullpen in his return to the Red Sox. He posted a 6.37 ERA in seven starts earlier this season before landing on the DL. Eduardo Rodriguez has since taken Masterson’s spot in the rotation.
Kratz will give the Red Sox some additional catching depth, which the club needs because of Blake Swihart’s injury. Swihart is dealing with a left foot issue that kept him out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive game Tuesday, and Red Sox manager John Farrell said Tuesday he’s hopeful his catcher will return to the lineup Wednesday. Kratz offers some insurance in case something happens to catcher Sandy Leon in Swihart’s absence.
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