Red Sox prospect Mookie Betts made his first career start in right field last night for Triple-A Pawtucket.
This is significant as we just learned the other day that Shane Victorino suffered a setback in his rehab from back and hamstring injuries this week. Thus the move to put Betts in right — he had been playing center field and is naturally a second baseman — seems calculated to fill a hole at the big league level. Or to at least give the Sox some data on which to consider it.
Betts, 21, has torn it up at the plate across two minor league levels this year, hitting a combined .348/.437/.523 with eight homers, 48 RBI and 29 stolen bases in Double- and Triple-A. He’s slated to play in the Future’s Game next month. At what position I have no damn idea.
On Wednesday, the Brewers placed first baseman Eric Thames on the 10-day disabled list with a torn UCL in his left thumb. In a corresponding roster move, the Brewers recalled pitcher Brandon Woodruff from Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Thames, 31, exited Tuesday’s game against the Royals before the bottom of the ninth inning. After the game, manager Craig Counsell expressed concern about his thumb. As MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports, Brewers GM David Stearns says that surgery is likely but not definite, but that he expects Thames to be back for a “significant” portion of the 2018 season.
Thames was hitting quite well for the Brewers, owning a .250/.351/.625 triple-slash line along with seven home runs and 13 RBI in 74 plate appearances. Jesus Aguilar should handle first base while Thames is out. Ryan Braun could also see some action at first base.