The Red Sox on Friday added right-handed pitcher Seth Blair to their 60-man player pool.
Boston released outfielder John Andreoli in a corresponding roster move to make room.
On the surface, this seems like a minor personnel decision. And perhaps it is, especially with Blair reporting to the Red Sox’s alternate training site in Pawtucket.
But it’s definitely fascinating in some respects.
For one, Blair was a first-round pick in 2010, chosen by the Cardinals with the 46th overall pick they owned as compensation for losing free agent Mark DeRosa. (Bryce Harper, Jameson Taillon and Manny Machado were the first three players selected in that draft, which netted the Red Sox their current closer, Brandon Workman, in the second round.) Clearly, he’s impressed some talent evaluators in his life.
Blair never made it to the majors with St. Louis, though, only reaching as high as Triple-A, where he allowed four earned runs over just 5 2/3 innings in 2014. After that, he didn’t throw a professional pitch from 2014 until 2019, at which point he posted a 4.11 ERA in 35 innings with High-A Lake Elsinore of the San Diego Padres’ system.
Still, Blair evidently hasn’t given up on the dream of someday pitching in the big leagues. And the 31-year-old’s passion for baseball has been on full display during the coronavirus pandemic, as The New York Times ran an article back in May that highlighted a makeshift practice area Blair set up in his Arizona backyard. Other players, including fellow 2010 first-rounder Danny Hultzen, joined Blair in making the best of a difficult situation.
Will Blair’s arrival to the Red Sox organization finally open the door for his major league debut? Only time will tell, although Boston’s pitching woes to this point suggest the opportunity is very much within reach.