The Red Sox have had one of the best bullpens in the American League this season. On Friday, they made some changes that could improve that group.
Righthander Ben Taylor was recalled from Triple A Pawtucket prior to a 5-4 victory against the Chicago Cubs and lefthander Robbie Ross Jr. was optioned.
Ross appeared in 108 games from 2015-16, the most among players on the roster. But a shaky spring training followed by inconsistent command once the season started led to the switch.
In four appearances, Ross threw only 39 of 70 pitches for strikes.
In Ross, Fernando Abad and Robby Scott, the Sox had been carrying three relievers. Manager John Farrell acknowledged that was overkill.
“We wanted to balance out and get another righthander,” he said. “With the lineups that we’re facing, three lefthanders is not the best option available to us.”
Taylor made the Opening Day roster and appeared in four games before being optioned on April 13. He allowed one run over 5⅔ innings and struck out seven with three walks.
Abad had not pitched well prior to getting two big outs on Friday. But he does not have minor league options.
Bench gets depth
The Sox added utility infielder Chase d’Arnaud to the roster and optioned outfielder/first baseman Steve Selsky to Pawtucket.
D’Arnaud was claimed off waivers from the Braves on Thursday. The 30-year-old is a versatile defender who has hit .231 in parts of six major league seasons.
“It’s a very storied organization, lot of history. I’m very honored to be a part of it,” d’Arnaud said. “Any chance that I get to come through, I hope I do.”
D’Arnaud could be holding down a spot until Brock Holt returns from the disabled list. Holt, who had vertigo, started a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Triple A Pawtucket as the designated hitter. He was 1 for 3 with a walk.
The plan is for him to DH for two games before playing in the field at different positions.
“I don’t have a date for his return but there’s going to be at least five games played [for Pawtucket],” Farrell said.
The 2004 and 2016 World Series trophies will be on display in the Gate B concourse at Fenway starting at 6:35 p.m. on Sunday.
For a $20 donation that will be split between the Red Sox Foundation and Cub Charities, fans can get a photo with the famed “curse-breaking” trophies.
The teams are working together on several other events this weekend.
Players from both teams will attend the sold-out Hot Stove Cool Music concert at the Paradise on Saturday that will benefit The Foundation To Be Named Later. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder will headline a show that will include Bill Janovitz, Kay Hanley, and Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor.
On Friday, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein participated in a panel discussion at the Sheraton Boston with Ryan Dempster, Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, and Bernie Williams on building championship teams.
Steven Wright, who starts Saturday, has an 8.66 earned average and 2.01 WHIP through four games. But some delivery changes led to better command in his last bullpen session. A more energetic motion has added movement to the knuckleball. None of the Cubs players have faced Wright, which should be to his advantage . . . Former Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis, now a special assistant with the Cubs, was at the game . . . Minor league pitcher Kevin Steen, who was badly injured in a car accident in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday, was listed as stable after undergoing surgery.