AL East Notes: Red Sox, Paredes, Swanson

Top prospect Ceddanne Rafaela has found limited playing time with the Red Sox since being called up at the end of August despite an overall strong performance at the plate in the majors so far, going 7-for-16 with two doubles. When asked about Rafaela’s playing time, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MassLive’s Chris Cotillo) that Rafaela will continue to play in a reserve role as long as the club remains in the playoff race.

While the playoff odds at Fangraphs give the Red Sox just a 1.3% chance to make the postseason after tonight’s loss to Baltimore, Boston still has three games to go against each of the two clubs directly ahead of them in the standings, Texas and Toronto. That gives them a slim opening for a miracle run despite being a whopping seven games back of the final AL Wild Card spot with just three weeks to go in the regular season. With Rafaela’s first taste of everyday action in the big leagues on hold for the time being, the versatile youngster figures to share time at second base with Enmanuel Valdez while also offering backup options to Trevor Story at shortstop and Adam Duvall in center field.

More from the AL East…

  • Rays infielder Isaac Paredes exited today’s game after being hit in the hand by a pitch from right-hander Luke Weaver during the fifth inning of today’s game against the Mariners. Fortunately for Tampa, x-rays on Paredes’s hand came back negative and the 24-year-old third baseman was diagnosed with a hand contusion. Manager Kevin Cash indicated to reporters (including those at that Paredes won’t be in tomorrow’s starting lineup and is day-to-day, but could be available off the bench if necessary. It’s been a breakout campaign for Paredes in 2023, as the youngster has slashed a fantastic .253/.352/.502 in 497 trips to the plate this season. 22-year-old rookie Osleivis Basabe figures to take over at the hot corner while Parades is out of action.
  • The Blue Jays could welcome back right-hander Erik Swanson in the near future. The righty has been out due to thoracic spine inflammation since late August, and he’ll reach the minimum 15 days spent on the IL tomorrow. Swanson made a rehab appearance with Triple-A Buffalo this evening, and notched one strikeout without allowing a baserunner during his inning of work. Assuming he bounces back from tonight’s outing well, notes that Swanson could return to the big league club without requiring another rehab appearance. That’s great news for the Blue Jays, as Swanson was perhaps their most reliable set-up man for closer Jordan Romano before he went on the shelf. In 58 innings of work this season, Swanson sports a 3.10 ERA, 3.28 FIP, and a 29.4% strikeout rate. He figures to form a lethal three-headed-monster at the back of the Toronto bullpen alongside Romano and deadline addition Jordan Hicks should the Blue Jays make it to the postseason.

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