What are the Red Sox planning at shortstop?

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By declining Alex Gonzalez’s option for next season the Red Sox moved Jed Lowrie back atop their shortstop depth chart for now, but Peter Gammons of ESPN.com reports that “it is clear they want Lowrie to play at Pawtucket, make up for what amounts to a lost season, and prove that his wrist will hold up.”
Gammons speculates that the Red Sox could look to re-sign Gonzalez for less than the $6 million option, go after another low-cost, short-term veteran like Omar Vizquel, or perhaps make a serious run at free agent Marco Scutaro, although his Type A status would cost them a first-round draft pick.
Prior to his wrist injury Lowrie had emerged as the Red Sox’s starting shortstop after hitting .258/.339/.400 with good defense as a 24-year-old rookie in 2008, but he appeared in just 32 games this season while batting .147. Counting on him to be the full-time starter again in 2010 is perhaps more of a risk than the Red Sox are willing to take, but clearly if he’s healthy Lowrie won’t be at Triple-A or on the bench for long.
All of which makes me think that they’ll go short term (Gonzalez, Vizquel, etc.) rather than make a multi-year commitment to someone like Scutaro. Of course, if reports about the Red Sox’s interest in J.J. Hardy are accurate they were certainly willing to make a multi-year commitment to him at shortstop. Boston reportedly offered Michael Bowden to Milwaukee in exchange for Hardy, but balked when the counteroffer was Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard. Hardy ended up being dealt to Minnesota for Carlos Gomez.

Blue Jays place Aaron Sanchez on 10-day disabled list with blister issue

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The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger, the club announced Saturday. This marks the fourth disabled list stint for Sanchez this season after blister issues cropped up again during his start against the Red Sox on Wednesday. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, there is still no estimated timetable for his return to the mound.

Sanchez, 25, has made just eight starts for the Blue Jays in 2017. Between multiple trips to the DL, he’s racked up a 4.25 ERA, 5.0 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through 36 innings and currently carries a 1-3 record. He started to look stable after delivering his first quality start last week, but lasted only four innings against Boston on Wednesday night and issued six hits, five runs and two strikeouts in another losing effort.

In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays activated right-hander Joe Smith from the 10-day disabled list (right shoulder inflammation) and recalled fellow righty Chris Smith from Triple-A Buffalo. Left-handed reliever Jeff Beliveau, who suffered in an eight-run inning during Friday’s 13-3 loss to the Indians, was designated for assignment.

Diamondbacks promote Anthony Banda

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Diamondbacks’ left-hander Anthony Banda is set to make his big league debut on Saturday, per a team announcement. The Diamondbacks recalled the southpaw from Triple-A Reno prior to the game after Taijuan Walker was placed on paternity leave.

It’s been a rough season for the club’s top prospect, who enters Saturday’s contest with a 5.08 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.3 SO/9 over his first 101 innings in Triple-A this season. The 23-year-old lefty carries a 7-5 record through his first 18 starts and is coming off of his worst outing of the year, during which he issued 15 hits, seven runs and just one strikeout against the Angels-affiliated Salt Lake Bees.

Facing Banda is Nationals’ right-hander Tanner Roark, who owns a 4.98 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 through 106 2/3 innings in 2017. Roark pitched a respectable six innings in his last start, scattering four hits, three runs and five strikeouts en route to his seventh win of the season. He also has the added benefit of pitching behind one of the league’s most potent offenses, and boasts a hefty run support average of 5.68 runs per game.

The D-backs currently lead the Nationals, 1-0, and will face off for their second game at 8:10 ET on Saturday night.