Red Sox notebook: Sox acquire some speed in getting outfielder Rajai Davis from Oakland
Dave Roberts is managing the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the Red Sox have a new speedster on the way just in time for the postseason.
Rajai Davis, who has 26 stolen bases with the Oakland A’s this year and 381 steals in 12 years in the big leagues, was traded to the Sox yesterday and is expected to join the team today in Cleveland.
“It’s important for a club that has a chance, you want to add every little dimension you can,” Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said.
The Sox will send the A’s minor league outfielder Rafael Rincones, an 18-year-old switch-hitter who batted .258 with a .742 OPS in the Dominican Summer League. Outfielder Steve Selsky was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
Davis, 36, hits right-handed and plays all three outfield positions. He’s hitting just .233 with a .647 OPS this season, though he’s hit .307 in his past 17 games. He’s making $6 million and will be a free agent at season’s end.
Manager John Farrell said Davis would play mostly center field for the Red Sox, but he wasn’t sure how often he’d play.
“This is a guy with postseason experience and a speed element that will add to what’s here already,” Farrell said. “I have familiarity with him from our time in Toronto. He’s a very good fit at a really important time.”
The Davis acquisition is timely, given that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was placed on the 10-day disabled list yesterday with a sprained left thumb.
“He was actually a guy we talked about adding to hopefully add some speed going into the month of September in our organization,” Dombrowski said. “And then with Jackie’s injury, when we found out this morning, picked up the phone and called (A’s vice-president of baseball operations) Billy Beane today and moved it along at a quicker pace because we had room on the roster for him.”
JBJ not too bad
The Red Sox caught a break in that the damage to Bradley’s thumb is minimal. X-rays were negative and an MRI yesterday revealed no ligament tears.
“He is immobilized, currently in a splint, and that will probably be in the next coming days, 5-7 days, and hopefully at that point we’re able to get some range of motion and strengthening back in there,” Farrell said.
Thumb sprains without any ligament damage or bone breaks tend to heal quickly. Had he torn a ligament, it would be different. Angels outfielder Mike Trout missed six weeks with a torn ligament in his thumb earlier this year, and Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is still out after tearing a ligament in his thumb on July 18.
Without Bradley, the Sox will slide Andrew Benintendi from left field to center. Brock Holt and Chris Young will form a platoon in left.
Infielder Deven Marrero was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to add versatility off the bench. Marrero is likely to be sent back when Davis arrives.
Right-hander Hector Velazquez will also be optioned while righty Blaine Boyer is activated from the disabled list.
Holt gives a jolt
Holt is starting to look himself after a multi-year battle with multiple concussions and then his bout with vertigo this season.
Holt was on base twice for the second time in three games in last night’s 6-1 win. He drew a two-out walk to start a rally off the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the eighth inning, then drove in a run with a two-out double that extended the Sox’ four-run ninth.
“I’m getting there,” said Holt, who is hitting .200 on the season. “It’s a process right now, just missing so much time and playing here and there. I’m getting there, I’m feeling better, but still not there. Just continue to work. I kind of dug myself a hole early. Trying to dig out right now.”
The PawSox announced “Kyrie Irving Night” in honor of the Celtics recent acquisition. Any fan wearing green or any Celtics paraphernalia will get a free general admission ticket for tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game. There will also be other giveaways. .?.?.
Opponents figured out how to attack rookie Rafael Devers, Farrell said, but with Bradley out, he can’t give Devers a rest. Devers went 1-for-4 last night.?.?.
Farrell said the Sox will do what it takes to have a better record than the Indians and get home-field advantage for the ALDS, but noted it’s not time to go crazy with 37 games still to play. “At some point, I’m not going to say caution gets thrown to the wind, but you become even more aggressive than we are now,” Farrell said .?.?.
Dustin Pedroia is improving from a knee injury, but expecting him to return for the Yankees series next weekend “would be optimistic,” Farrell said.