ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Christian Arroyo knows what it’s like to be on the outside looking in.
When the Red Sox acquired the infielder off waivers from the Guardians during the 2020 season, Arroyo just wanted to stick around the big leagues. The Red Sox were Arroyo’s fourth team in four years. For the former first-round pick, stability was a stranger.
Fast forward two years and Arroyo, 27, has achieved his goal of sticking in the big leagues. He’s become a productive player in the process, batting .283/.325/.416 with five homers in 72 games while showing the defensive tools to bounce around the infield.
“I have been happy with what I have been able to do this year,” said Arroyo before going 1 for 4 with a double in the Sox’ 1-0 loss to the Rays Wednesday night. “The beginning of the season was up and down. But I kind of figured some stuff out. I want to finish strong, keep going.”
Arroyo has never had a feeling like this, he noted. One where he can go into the offseason with peace of mind, knowing he contributed. He also knows his path to becoming a big league mainstay isn’t uncommon.
“I just always wanted to be in a situation where I felt comfortable,” Arroyo said. “But I knew that it wasn’t going to be as linear as most people always think it is. Not many guys come up and are Juan Soto, or Xander Bogaerts, or Trevor Story. Guys that come up and they play every day and they figure it out. Given the road I’ve been on, I don’t take anything for granted.”
The thought of not making the team out of spring training, or being designated for assignment still lingers. That’s just who Arroyo is, and it keeps him motivated.
“Given the road I’ve been on I don’t take anything for granted. That’s just my way of always making sure I’m being honest with myself,” Arroyo said.
He’s learned how to become a big leaguer. Understands what a routine should look like. When to get to the ball field and when to leave.
When Story went to the injured list back in July, manager Alex Cora said it was time for Arroyo to show what he could do. Arroyo responded. He was the Sox’ hottest hitter, batting .367/.400/.511 in 95 plate appearances. Now he’s gone back to more of a utility role, meaning limited time. Story is back and the team called up first baseman Triston Casas, who Cora said will play most days.
“I got to see Casas play during the spring,” Arroyo said. “I get it. I understand the situation. At one point, you kind of run the young guy out there and see what he’s got. For me, I just always stay prepared.”
Cordero out for season, Almonte promoted
The Red Sox placed Franchy Cordero on the 60-day IL with a right ankle sprain, officially ending his season. In a corresponding move, the team selected outfielder Abraham Almonte from Triple A Worcester. The Sox acquired Almonte, 33, from the Brewers in July in exchange for cash considerations. Almonte hit .293 (86 for 294) with a .951 OPS, 18 home runs, and 66 RBIs in 80 Triple A games this year between Worcester (32 games) and Nashville (48).
“He’s controlling the at-bats from the left side,” Cora said. “It’s another quality at-bat. He can work deep counts, 3-2 counts. He’s got some pop, too. He’s been great down there.”
Wait and see with Eovaldi
Nate Eovaldi threw a bullpen session Wednesday. The Sox will see how his body responds before determining next steps . . . Both Rafael Devers and Bogaerts (back spasms) got the night off. Bogaerts was removed from Tuesday’s game. “We’ve got to be smart,” Cora said. “It’s not the time to get hurt and we have to protect players we know where we’re at.” The hope is that Bogaerts will be ready for the series opener against the Orioles on Friday after an off day Thursday.