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John Schreiber has transformed himself into a shutdown reliever in high-leverage situations

John Schreiber isn't shy about showing his emotions on the mound.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

TORONTO — For the Red Sox, the emergence of John Schreiber as a shutdown late-innings reliever has been an extraordinary development.

Teammate Rich Hill suggested that the righthander warrants All-Star consideration for his dominance in high-leverage situations en route to a 0.79 ERA and 27-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 22 2/3 innings. Garrett Whitlock has taken to calling the righthander “Dr. Nasty.”

But for the Red Sox, Schreiber’s emergence has not been without consequence. Specifically, the typically unassuming righthander transforms into a maniacal force when on the mound and, when delivering key outs with the game in the balance, as he enters the dugout at the conclusion of an inning.


Schreiber, who pitched a scoreless seventh in the Red Sox’ 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Tuesday night, has taken to diving into the dugout with the most enthusiastic succession of high-fives since Koji Uehara burst onto the scene in 2013. His technique?

“Unconscious and firm,” he said.

John Schreiber is a high-energy guy.Nick Cammett/Getty

At one point, his post-inning celebrations proved nearly injurious.

“I made the mistake one time of high-fiving him righthanded. I thought I broke my hand,” said Whitlock. “I was just like, ‘Alright, I’m high-fiving him lefthanded from here on out.’”

Schreiber chuckled at the characterizations, and acknowledged that his competitive demeanor is very different from who he is in the hours preceding games.

“As a reliever, you’ve just got to be able to flip a switch and almost become a different person. I feel like that’s what I kind of do,” said Schreiber. “Whenever I can get a big out or get out of a big situation, I’m just really excited. Adrenaline just takes over.”

For the Red Sox, that transformation has occurred to considerable effect.

Sea you again?

The Red Sox optioned righthander Connor Seabold back to Triple A Worcester, one day after he allowed seven runs over 4 2/3 innings against the Jays. But the righthander made a favorable impression while recording seven strikeouts and getting 21 swings-and-misses, most of those coming on his low-90s fastball and a vicious changeup that Seabold said he employed heavily out of necessity on a day when his slider was flat.


“I got a text message from David Price at 1 a.m. yesterday. He was like, ‘That kid is good.’ I was like, ‘Oh, thank you for watching,’” relayed manager Alex Cora. “There were a lot of positives from [Monday]. We want to make sure he understands that.”

According to Alex Cora, former Boston hurler David Price likes like look of youngster Connor Seabold.Jon Blacker/Associated Press

The Sox may do just that in the most meaningful way possible this weekend. The team will need a fifth starter on Sunday against the Cubs following Rich Hill to the mound on Friday and Josh Winckowski on Saturday. (The team wants to give Michael Wacha, Tuesday night’s starter in Toronto, an extra day of rest before he starts on the July 4 against the Rays at Fenway.) Seabold is staying with the team on its taxi squad, and Cora said he is a strong possibility for Sunday’s start.

According to team sources, WooSox righthander Brayan Bello is not a consideration for Sunday’s game.

Paxton getting antsy

Lefthander James Paxton is getting antsy in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.

“I haven’t felt like much of a baseball player for a while,” he said.

Paxton, who underwent the procedure in April 2021 and was nearing live batting practice sessions in May before he experienced elbow soreness that slowed his progress, has gotten up to 30-pitch bullpen sessions. He’s thrown only fastballs, but could add changeups as soon as Wednesday, with his breaking ball on the horizon. He hopes that either the week before or week after the All-Star break, he’ll be ready to throw live batting practice and start getting feedback from hitters.


Barring a setback, that timetable could put him in line for a rehab assignment in July and a potential return to the big leagues in mid-August. Paxton has talked with Chris Sale — who returned from his 2020 Tommy John surgery last August and contributed down the stretch — about the opportunity to return at that stage of the season and make an impact on the team’s playoff hopes.

“He just talked about what a grind it is mentally and physically, but once you do get back, how good you feel,” said Paxton. “I’m looking forward to feeling that and getting out there at my 100 percent.”

Whitlock working his way back

Righthander Whitlock (hip), who is scheduled to throw a bullpen session and go through fielding drills on Friday in Chicago, likely will need a rehab assignment before he can return to the rotation, Cora said … Righthander Nate Eovaldi is likely to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, which would mark the first time that he’s worked off a mound since landing on the injured list with lower back soreness on June 10 … Lefthander Josh Taylor is scheduled to pitch in back-to-back games for Double A Portland on Tuesday and Wednesday, a key test as he moves closer to potential activation … The Red Sox added righthander Silvino Bracho to the roster. Bracho, 29, had a 3.16 ERA and 36-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in Worcester as a multi-innings reliever. “I’m super excited,” said Bracho, who made 92 career big league appearances with the Diamondbacks over parts of five seasons. Bracho said that he’s worked to increase the break on his slider this year to strong effect. “I’ve seen a lot [of progress]. I’ve created more sweep on it, and that’s why there’s more swing-and-miss,” said Bracho … On Monday, Rafael Devers hit a chopper that bounced off second base and kicked into shallow left-center for a double. When he arrived at second, Devers appeared to give the bag an affectionate pat. Was that indeed the case? “Yes!” he pronounced on Tuesday afternoon. “It gave me a hit!” … The Red Sox expect to use all their lefthanded hitters on Wednesday against Jays starter Alek Manoah, including switch-hitting infielder Yolmer Sánchez. Sánchez, who was added to the roster in Toronto with outfielder Jarren Duran on the restricted list, hit .244/.391/.410 against righties with Worcester.


Alex Speier can be reached at alex.speier@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @alexspeier.