Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas is in Boston for an evaluation of an undisclosed, non-baseball medical issue, manager Alex Cora said Thursday.
“They found something medically that we have to take care of,” Cora said. “It’s not baseball-related. It’s actually personal. I’ll leave it at that. We’re hoping that everything is fine. He’s in Boston right now going through all that stuff.”
According to a major league source, the decision to send Casas to Boston was an effort on the part of the Red Sox to be thorough, and there’s a good chance that he’ll be back in Fort Myers, Fla., and taking part in baseball activities in a matter of days.
Casas, a 21-year-old first baseman, was in big league camp as a nonroster invitee for the first time this spring. The 2018 first-round pick out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., had a strong pro debut with Single A Greenville in 2019 (with a few games in High A Salem), hitting .256/.350/.480 with 20 homers. He and Xander Bogaerts are the only Red Sox teenagers in the last 50 years to hit 20 homers in a season.
With the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season, Casas spent part of the year at the team’s alternate site in Pawtucket. Based on the fact that he’s played just three regular-season games above Single A, Casas is projected to open the season in Double A Portland.
The Red Sox signed utility player Danny Santana to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training pending a physical, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Santana, 30, was hampered by an elbow sprain much of last year and hit just .145 in 15 games with the Rangers. However, the year before, he hit .283/.324/.534 with 28 homers and an .857 OPS in 511 plate appearances.
The Sox have made an effort to build depth and versatility heading into this signing Kiké Hernández and Marwin González. If Santana makes the club, he will add even more flexibility.
“We’re going to move around,” Cora said regarding the team’s versatility. “It’s interesting to manage this roster. It’s a challenge, but a good challenge.”
Matt Andriese got the start Thursday afternoon against the Orioles, tossing two innings and retiring each batter he faced. Andriese, an offseason acquisition, doesn’t possess dominant stuff but his four-seam/changeup combo keeps hitters off balance.
“Early on, I was just getting ahead in the count, working my fastball on both sides of the plate, using the changeup, curveball, mixing in some speed,” Andriese said.
Andriese, who can start, relieve or be a bulk-inning guy, is embracing his potential role.
“Whatever they decide what’s best for the team at the end of spring training, that’s what I go with,” Andriese said. “I know I’m capable of doing a starting role and I’m capable of pitching out of the bullpen. I think that’s what makes me valuable.”
Bogaerts’s next step
Bogaerts (shoulder) hasn’t seen game action yet but started a throwing program on Thursday ... Michael Chavis (back tightness) was held out of Thursday’s game after being a late scratch Wednesday against the Twins. With the additions of Hernández, González, and now Santana, Chavis is a strong candidate to start the season in Triple A ... Pitching prospect Bryan Mata (triceps soreness) also was scratched from Wednesday’s game. He received an MRI Thursday, but there was no word on the results, according to Cora.