Christian Arroyo continues to leave his imprint on this Red Sox team.
Heading into spring training, Arroyo — who was out of options — found himself in a battle for a roster spot. He would ultimately seal that spot following his impressive spring that included a reliable glove up the middle and some pop at the plate. Arroyo tallied a .269 batting average to go along with three homers and nine RBIs in 55 plate appearances.
The 2013 first-round pick by the Giants has struggled to secure a place in the majors, playing for three organizations before finding a home with the Red Sox.
Arroyo’s journey with the Red Sox began last season after he was designated for assignment by the Indians. The Red Sox designated Arroyo for assignment, too, but he made it through waivers and was outrighted to the team’s alternate site. When former Sox second baseman José Peraza continued to struggle that provided an opportunity for Arroyo.
Saturday night’s game in Texas marked Arroyo’s 17th start at second. He went 2 for 5 in the Red Sox’ 8-6 loss, raising his average to .302, with three homers and seven doubles. Arroyo’s focus last year was to hit the ball hard and not focus on results. That still hasn’t changed this year.
“I think the mentality for me kind of always stayed the same,” Arroyo said before the Sox’ contest against the Rangers. “I think last year, just in general, I changed the way I thought about baseball in the sense of that process-oriented way [of going] about it instead of focusing on the results every single day. That’s when you get beat up and I think the mind-set has been the same coming into this season. I just try to come out and help us win in any way that we can. We have a really deep lineup, we’ve got great pitching, and we can win ball games.”
Fun, of course, comes with winning. The Sox started Saturday sitting atop the American League East after finishing April with the most wins in baseball (17).
“Really, this journey it’s been awesome,” Arroyo said. “I know there’s a lot more left for me. I’m excited for it. But at the same time, I’m just relishing in the now and in the present and not thinking about what’s going to happen in the future or what’s happened in the past.”
Since the start of spring training, manager Alex Cora has been bullish regarding what Arroyo brings to the table, particularly with the flexibility he provides the club up the middle. Cora’s belief in Arroyo has certainly left an impact on the infielder.
“He’s helped me out in more ways, from the mental side, obviously, from the physical standpoint, everything,” Arroyo said. “From a managing standpoint, he keeps it loose and he cares about you.”
Santana ramping up
Red Sox utilityman Danny Santana will begin his rehab stint in Greenville, S.C., next week. The Sox placed Santana on the injured list in mid-March after he was diagnosed with a right foot infection.
Santana missed much of last year with a right elbow sprain, collecting just 55 at-bats with the Rangers. However in 2019, Santana had a breakout year, hitting .283/.324/.514 with 28 homers in 511 plate appearances.
Santana will get reps in both the infield and outfield in Greenville, per Cora. He’s fully healthy but will need game reps for more than two weeks to give the Red Sox an idea of what he will need next.
“It’s just a matter of the progression, so we don’t push him too hard,” Cora said. “He needs a lot of at-bats.”
The Red Sox gave Kiké Hernández another day off Saturday. Hernández ran into the center field wall in the bottom of the seventh Thursday vs. the Rangers.