Bobby Dalbec was informed Monday he had been optioned to Triple-A Worcester and thus would not be on the Opening Day roster of the Boston Red Sox.
And while Red Sox manager Alex Cora expects Dalbec will play a role in Boston this season, the news wasn’t easy to receive. Dalbec beginning the season with Worcester indicates Yu Chang, who impressed during the World Baseball Classic, will make the Opening Day group as Boston’s utility infielder.
“Looking on the positive side, playing every day, playing every position and having fun,” Dalbec told reporters Monday at JetBlue Park, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith. “I’m still going to have fun and play my game. There’s no bitterness or anything. Yeah, it sucks. I think I’ve played well enough to deserve a spot. I think they would agree with that, too. It’s just how (expletive) goes.”
Chang, unlike Dalbec, does not have minor league options and would be subject to waivers if not retained in Boston.
Dalbec hit .235 with a .813 OPS in 18 spring training games. He finished with eight extra-base hits including two home runs and six RBIs all while impressing Cora with his ability to play around the infield.
“I thought I played really well,” Dalbec told reporters. “Defense, offense. A little lull the last 10, 15 at-bats maybe. But I felt like I still contributed every day on the base paths. Played hard. So I did all I can do. I think I controlled what I could. The rest isn’t up to me.”
Dalbec now will have the chance to play every day in Worcester. He would not have had the same opportunity in Boston with Triston Casas at first base, Rafael Devers at third and Kiké Hernández starting at shortstop. Both Cora and Dalbec are hoping it will help the 27-year-old get a rhythm, one which he can capitalize on when Boston calls him up.
“I’m an everyday player in the major leagues, I think,” Dalbec told reporters. “I’ve never not thought that. I never won’t think that. Obviously I want to help the team win any way I can. If that’s my role, I’ll embrace it. But in the grand scheme of things, I know I’m an everyday player in the big leagues.”
Boston’s Opening Day roster is coming into shape following Monday’s developments. Jorge Alfaro also will head to Worcester with Dalbec meaning Connor Wong will begin the season as Boston’s backup catcher.
The Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on Thursday.