Red Sox notes: Second base now belongs to Christian Arroyo, former first-round draft pick

When the rebuilding (or tanking, whatever you want to call it) Red Sox had a chance to add a first-round draft pick to their roster at no cost, you bet they took it.

That Chaim Bloom was already familiar with Christian Arroyo made the transition even more logical.

Arroyo, drafted by the Giants 25th overall out of Hernando High School in Florida in 2013, is now getting a chance to prove himself as the Red Sox’ everyday second baseman.

After Jose Peraza was optioned to the alternate training site in Pawtucket earlier this week, Arroyo has bubbled up as the Sox’ flavor of the week at second base.

A waiver claim from the Cleveland Indians in August, Arroyo made his fourth start at second base on Saturday as the Red Sox keep searching for value from the scrapheap.

“The last couple years have been injury-riddled so every opportunity is a great opportunity,” Arroyo said before the game. “When I got here I talked to Chaim and it was nice to talk to someone who was familiar with me and I was familiar with him as well.

“I’m always thankful for every opportunity. Just want to show what I can do at the big league level.”

Arroyo was previously acquired by the Rays in the trade that sent longtime Rays icon Evan Longoria to the Giants. He raked in Triple-A Charlotte last year, hitting .314 with eight homers and a .984 OPS in 121 at-bats. And he’s always hit well in the minors, with a career .293 average and .775 OPS.

But in 239 big league at-bats, he’s hit just .219 with a .639 OPS.

The Rays traded him to the Indians last summer, while Bloom was still in Tampa.

“Chaim is very straightforward,” Arroyo said. “He’s great at what he does. You see what he did in Tampa, the guys he brought in and put on the roster that helped them win games. When he claimed me from Cleveland it was a situation where for me, personally, I didn’t know what to expect. But he made sure I knew it was a situation they didn’t do just to do it, it wasn’t just because Chaim was familiar with me. They think I have potential and want me to build on it.”

Arroyo said he couldn’t stay healthy in Tampa and was coming off hand surgery going into 2018. He was injured in 2019, too.

He’s now healthy but not feeling great at the plate. He entered Saturday 3-for-11 without an extra-base hit since joining the Red Sox.

“Sometimes it’s just going back to your roots and know you are talented enough to be in the big leagues,” he said. “You’re in the big leagues for a reason. I think I got away from that a little bit. When I got my feet under me and I understood, ‘hey, you’re a talented player just go have fun and make your adjustments,’ I started driving the ball more and I was trusting what I was doing, trying to elevate the ball.

“With the coronavirus year it’s been weird for me personally. I’m still trying to get my timing back and I just think it’s one of those things that comes with time.”

Manager Ron Roenicke said Arroyo will play most of the games at second base down the stretch.

“Most of the time that’s what we’d like to do, give him an opportunity to see the good tools everybody saw, where he was drafted and how everybody thought about him when he was coming through the minor leagues,” Roenicke said. “I know he was rushed fast because people liked what he had.

“We like his tools and want to see how the head and instincts play. And then see if the tools are a fit for whether it’s an every-day second baseman or a utility man or where we think he should be.”

Coronavirus impacts continue to be felt

The coronavirus has had some unexpected effects on all of the Red Sox pitchers who have gotten it.

Eduardo Rodriguez is out for the year due to heart complications, and now Darwinzon Hernandez and Josh Taylor are both on the injured list with shoulder trouble.

Is there any connection between the virus and the injuries?

“Yes, I think so,” Roenicke said. “I think all these guys that had the covid, they had to sit out a while. Josh was about a month. You think about sitting out for a month and not doing anything, you can do as much as you can physically in your room but that’s still not the same.

“I think yeah, there’s definitely a correlation between that and something happening physically. You’ve lost all that training you do before you come in. You basically lost it. And then we try to ramp you up. And I’m not saying it was wrong what we did. We actually tried with both of them to give them a lot of time and make sure they were right. But because we hadn’t had experience with this virus, we really don’t know what effects it has on you and we probably still don’t know that much about it.

“By taking our time we feel good we did it the right way, but it’s showing up here. And some of the other people, too, that have had it. It seems to be affecting pitchers more than it is the regulars. Some of the regulars are still performing well.”

Taylor, out with shoulder tendinitis, could return soon. Hernandez, with a sprained SC joint, is also expected to pitch again this year.

Injury updates

Right-hander Colten Brewer is done for the year with a finger injury, Roenicke said.

Matt Hall was optioned to make room for Nathan Eovaldi, who returned from the injured list to start Saturday.

Since making his big league debut on Aug. 30, Bobby Dalbec ranks among the American League leaders in homers (tied for first, six), slugging percentage (second, .769) and total bases (third, 30).

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