Ceddanne Rafaela got here to Boston with a sterling fame defensively, and since his promotion he’s already seen in depth motion at shortstop and middle subject. Friday, the Red Sox gave him a brand new task, beginning the rookie at second base to assist fill in for the injured Luis Urias.
It’s not arduous to think about Rafaela having a clearer path to common enjoying time at that spot, particularly with Trevor Story at shortstop and a possible logjam within the outfield, however trying forward Red Sox supervisor Alex Cora has little question about what he sees as Rafaela’s preferrred long-term function.
“Center field,” Cora mentioned Friday. “He’s a game changer.”
Outside of 1 excessive profile miscue in final weekend’s loss to Toronto, Rafaela has impressed since incomes his call-up on Aug. 28. The Red Sox have felt snug alternating him between the 2 most vital positions on the diamond, and he’s already made a behavior of constructing extremely tough performs look routine.
Cora mentioned Rafaela’s items within the outfield caught his eye this previous winter, and that he possesses an unusual mixture of athleticism, instincts and an excellent first step.
That athleticism and instincts are an enormous a part of why the Red Sox really feel snug tossing Rafaela out at second base, the place he’s solely began 22 video games in his skilled profession, none since 2021.
“Just be an athlete,” Cora mentioned. “We’ve been talking to him throughout, he’s been able to work on his pivot so just go out there and be you, don’t try to be someone else. He’s a good player, he’s a good defender and a good athlete so we should be OK.”
“We always talk about cutoffs and relays, where to go and where not to go, so that part we always are very aware of it,” Cora added later. “But he’s playing the middle of the field and he’s seen everything from center field, so I believe he’s going to be OK in that aspect.”
Rafaela now ranks as Boston’s No. 3 prospect, in accordance with MLB Pipeline, however even after dominating Triple-A and posting sturdy numbers on the large league degree, the Red Sox nonetheless hope to carry the rookie alongside steadily. The membership is leaning in the direction of Rafaela not enjoying winter ball in favor of a standard offseason, that manner he might be contemporary and prepared for what guarantees to be an vital 2024 season.
“There’s still work to do. This is a league where they will expose you and we have to be very careful, but the fact that he’s here, he’s been able to play, he’s been able to play against tough competition this whole month, it only benefits him,” Cora mentioned. “We’ll attack the offseason the right way, give him a plan, he’s very disciplined with that. So moving forward we’ll see him in spring training and see where it takes us.”
O’Halloran to remain
When the Red Sox introduced final week that Chaim Bloom was out as chief baseball officer, the membership additionally indicated normal supervisor Brian O’Halloran wouldn’t stay in that function however had been provided a distinct place within the entrance workplace. After mulling it over, O’Halloran has accepted that supply and can stick with the group as government vice chairman of baseball operations.
According to Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic, who first reported the story, O’Halloran will report back to the following head of baseball operations, however the particular nature of his function continues to be being decided.
“He’s an experienced guy who’s been here forever. He’s been here through the good times and bad times,” Cora mentioned. “Obviously a different role but I’m glad he’s going to be a part of this.”
O’Halloran has spent 22 years with the group, initially becoming a member of the Red Sox in 2002 as a baseball operations assistant and dealing his manner up by means of the entrance workplace. He spent eight years as an assistant GM serving below Ben Cherington and Dave Dombrowski earlier than taking up as normal supervisor and as Bloom’s No. 2 man in 2019.
Urias positioned on IL
Urias was positioned on the 10-day injured checklist Friday on account of a left calf pressure, the membership introduced. Urias left Wednesday’s loss in Texas early as a result of harm, and with the transfer retroactive to Thursday he might be eligible to return for the ultimate sport of the season in Baltimore.
“It’s nothing serious but we don’t believe he’s going to be available for the next four or five days so it doesn’t make sense to push him,” Cora mentioned.
To fill Urias’ spot on the energetic roster, the Red Sox referred to as up infield prospect Enmanuel Valdez.
Cora additionally mentioned Triston Casas (proper shoulder irritation) is scheduled to see a physician on Friday to get additional readability on his harm, however he gained’t play once more the remainder of the season regardless. … Kenley Jansen (COVID-19) was again within the Red Sox clubhouse on Friday and is predicted to be activated on Saturday. … Right-hander Zack Kelly (proper elbow surgical procedure) has accomplished his rehab task and will return to the energetic roster over the weekend. … Infielder David Hamilton underwent a profitable left thumb UCL restore on Friday, the membership introduced. The process was carried out by Dr. Thomas Graham on the Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute.
Mata to pitch in fall
Eight Red Sox prospects will take part within the upcoming Arizona Fall League, with probably the most noteworthy title among the many membership’s contingent being former high pitching prospect Bryan Mata.
Mata, who entered the 12 months as Boston’s No. 6 prospect, in accordance with MLB Pipeline, has endured a nightmare season. The 24-year-old can hit 100 mph on the radar however struggled along with his command at Triple-A, strolling 30 batters in solely 27 innings whereas posting a 6.33 ERA. He additionally simply returned to motion after lacking greater than 4 months with a shoulder harm, and the membership hopes that by going to Arizona he can compensate for a few of the innings he missed and end the 12 months on a excessive be aware.
The full checklist of Red Sox members: right-handers Felix Cepeda, Wyatt Olds, Christopher Troye and Mata, left-hander Zach Penrod, catcher Nathan Hickey, infielder Brainer Bonaci and outfielder Corey Rosier.