Earlier today the Red Sox made a couple of roster moves that sent two players from Boston down to Pawtucket, and two up from Pawtucket to Boston.
It seemed like it was bound to happen eventually, but Allen Craig has finally been sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket. This season Craig is batting .135 (7-for-52) with just one homerun and only two RBIs in the 24 games that he’s played with the team.
Those numbers, and the fact that he’s batted just .130 since being traded to the team from the St. Louis Cardinals last July, are every indication that it was time for a change of scenery for Craig. However, in the context of his career the demotion is far from what’s come to be expected. He’s played in two World Series with the Cardinals and batted .291 with the team during his five seasons there.
Craig has not been the same since suffering from a fracture in his left foot towards the end of the 2013 season, and in fairness the Sox knew about that injury when he was acquired. What remains to be seen is if some time down in Pawtucket will be enough to get him back on track or if he will end up being a dud with the Sox.
Coming up to fill his void is Jackie Bradley Jr., who is now making the move up to Boston for the second time this season. Though he struggled last year in outfield and was arguably brought up to the majors sooner than he should have been, he has posted a .343/.393./.465/.857 slash line in Pawtucket this season. At the time of the call-up Bradley was batting 14-30 during a seven game hitting streak.
Also being sent down to Pawtucket is Robbie Ross Jr., a reliever, and being called up in his place is pitcher Steven Wright. After being traded from Texas, Ross has struggled with the Sox, posting a 6.17 ERA in 13 appearances with the team. On the other hand, Wright has gone seven innings in each of his last two appearances with Pawtucket, that distance something Red Sox starters have not been able to find this season, and was 2-1 in four starts with Pawtucket.
The moves come at a time when the Sox have lost eight of their last 10. The team needs to make some serious changes, and these moves are an indication that change could be on the way. With the calling up of Wright, it may be that the team is getting ready to move a starter to the bullpen, and God knows that the starting rotation right now could use work.