SEATTLE – The Boston Red Sox activated reliever Hirokazu Sawamura from the COVID-19 disabled list and returned left-handed pitcher Austin Davis from the paternity list on Monday, giving their bullpen a boost heading into a key series against Seattle. Mariners.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said there could be more players coming off the COVID-19 disabled list in the coming days. Left-hander Martin Perez is expected to be activated Tuesday, and Cora is hopeful that left-handed starter Chris Sale can return this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles.
Sale is on the COVID-19 injured list, but Cora said he has shown no symptoms. Sale tested positive late last week and was eliminated from his scheduled start for Sunday.
The Red Sox have nine players on the COVID-19 disabled list.
In his first major league season, Sawamura has become a key player in the Boston bullpen. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA that works primarily as a seventh or eighth inning option for Cora. Sawamura hasn’t pitched since Aug. 28 against the Cleveland Indians.
Davis has appeared in 14 games for Boston since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates and has a 4.61 ERA in his time with the Red Sox. He has kept opponents scoreless in eight of his nine appearances and allowed three runs in a loss to Cleveland on Aug. 29.
Boston selected left-hander Stephen Gonsalves and right-hander Brad Peacock to Triple-A Worcester to clear roster spots for Sawamura and Davis.
Cora said Sale is trying to stay as active as possible so that once he’s cleared to return, he can rejoin the rotation.
“I think he has a huge backyard in the house, so I bet he’s throwing rocks at trees or throwing baseballs into a net,” Cora said. “I think he will find a way to keep his arm healthy and he will be ready whenever.”