It’s been an unfortunate few weeks for Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland, who is headed back to the 10-day injured list after suffering a right quad strain during Friday’s 5-1 loss to the Rays. While the extent of his injury has not yet been determined, it’s an alarming development for the infielder, who is newly-returned from the IL after rehabbing a lower back strain last month. A clear timetable for his return to the lineup has not yet been announced.
The 33-year-old Moreland made it through just six innings on Friday, and what appeared to be a precautionary move by the team turned out to have more serious implications. Prior to his removal, he went hitless in two at-bats against Yonny Chirinos, slumping to a .225/.316/.543 batting line on the year. He was replaced by rookie second baseman Michael Chavis, who handled the bulk of the starts at first base during Moreland’s initial stint on the IL and figures to see increased playing time there over the next several weeks as well.
In a corresponding move, infielder Marco Hernández was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. Hernández, 26, is poised to make his season debut after a lengthy recovery from shoulder surgery. All told, he’s lost 446 days to the injured list over the last two years and has yet to see more than 40 games in any single major-league season. So far in 2019, however, he’s batting an impressive .299/.356/.442 with 18 extra-base hits, 18 RBI, and a .798 OPS through 174 plate appearances at High-A Salem and Triple-A Pawtucket.