Return of Michael Wacha headlines positive Red Sox injury updates

Red Sox

A pair of outfielders are expected to join the ball club this week.

Michael Wacha was one of three pitchers who combined on a no-hitter.

The Red Sox receive reinforcements.

First, Michael Wacha has been activated from the 15-day injured list and will start Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees. The right-hander was arguably the most pleasant surprise for the Sox in the first half of the season, going 6-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 13 starts.

However, Wacha hasn’t pitched in the majors since June 28 due to right shoulder inflammation. In two rehab starts earlier in August, Wacha allowed two runs in nine innings between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester. Wacha allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings in his last league start, against the Blue Jays. He hasn’t started a game against the Yankees this season.

With Wacha back, the Red Sox will have to juggle the rotation a bit. Manager Alex Cora says Nick Pivetta, Rich Hill and Nathan Eovaldi will start the next three games against the Pirates respectively. For Wednesday’s game though, Josh Winckowski will likely throw after Hill in what should be a lengthy relief appearance, Cora added.

On the positional side, outfielders Kiké Hernández and Rob Refsnyder will likely be active for Tuesday’s game, which begins a six-game road trip for Boston. Hernández has been out since June 8 with a sprained hip flexor.

After being placed on the 10-day disabled list, Hernández suffered a setback that led to him being placed on the 60-day disabled list in July. Hernández received a PRP injection for the injured hip on July 15 and made several rehabilitation debuts in the past week. After a strong first season in Boston in 2021, Hernández has struggled at home plate this season. He’s just hitting .209 with a .613 OPS and four homers in 51 games.

Refsnyder, who was part of the equation to replace Hernández following his injury, was placed on the IL on April 2 with a sprained right knee. He’s hitting .309 with four homers in 34 games this season.

With both outfielders back, Cora said Tommy Pham would still be in the lead.

Trevor Story remains out due to the hand contusion he sustained in a punt against the Rays on July 12. But he will join the Red Sox for the next road trip and practice batting. He will, however, have to undergo rehab before returning to the big league roster.

In the bullpen, southpaw Matt Strahm is also close to a return. Strahm threw 30 pitches on Sunday against Red Sox batters and will be out for rehab soon. He injured his wrist in the same game Story injured himself.

Reliever Darwinzon Hernandez was moved to Triple-A to make room for Wacha.


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