Red Sox activate Kelly Johnson, send Mookie Betts back to Triple-A

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Boston’s trade deadline moves left Mookie Betts without a regular spot in the lineup, so the Red Sox have decided to send the 21-year-old top prospect back to Triple-A.

In two stints in the big leagues Betts has logged 44 total plate appearances, hitting .244 with one homer and a .645 OPS in 13 games. In the minors this year he’s hit .342 with more walks (55) than strikeouts (43) and a .959 OPS in 88 games between Double-A and Triple-A, so he remains a huge part of the Red Sox’s long-term plans even if they’re not quite sure where yet.

To replace Betts on the roster the Red Sox activated Kelly Johnson, whom they acquired from the Yankees in exchange for Stephen Drew despite Johnson being on the disabled list with a groin injury. He can fill in all over the diamond and, unlike with Betts, the Red Sox won’t mind giving the 32-year-old Johnson sporadic playing time.

A.J. Hinch: “If it was any other time of the year, [José Altuve] wouldn’t be in the lineup.”

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It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.

Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:

He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.

Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”

During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.