Connor Wong is in the big leagues a bit sooner than expected. So, now what?
The Boston Red Sox on Tuesday promoted Wong, acquired last year in the Mookie Betts trade, while placing backup catcher Kevin Plawecki on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring injury. The top 20 prospect (No. 17 on SoxProspects.com) primarily plays catcher but also has fielded second base and third base as a pro.
Prior to Tuesday’s series opener with the Tampa Bay Rays, Alex Cora revealed how the Red Sox plan to utilize Wong moving forward.
“We’ll use him just like (Plawecki),” Cora said over Zoom. “The plan is for him to start on Sunday (against the New York Yankees). … We’ll stay away from him today, most likely. In case of an emergency, we’ll move him out there. He can pinch-run, he’s a right-handed bat. As of now, just like Kevin — use him that way.”
Cora added: “I’m very comfortable with him. … There’s just something about him. There’s a calm behind the plate. There’s not a lot of emotion, he just goes about his business. He’s a good athlete. … We’re very pleased with his progress.”
Cora also acknowledged some of Wong’s recent offensive struggles since his activation from the injured list. Wong in 2019 hit .349 with nine homers across 40 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers? Double-A affiliate, but is hitting just .148 with a 29.7 strikeout percentage in 16 games this season for Triple-A Worcester.
“But that doesn’t matter,” Cora said. “We like the player, we know what he can do.”