Another former Sea Dogs player has made the leap from Portland to the Boston Red Sox in the same season.
Boston, still searching for cures for its ailing offense, called up Mookie Betts from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday.
To make room for Betts, the Red Sox sent pitcher Rubby De La Rosa back to Pawtucket. Betts was not in Saturday night’s starting lineup at Yankee Stadium but is expected to play Sunday.
Betts, 21, began the season as a second baseman for the Sea Dogs, but he will play center field or right field for Boston, Manager John Farrell told The Associated Press.
“He isn’t looked on as the savior for the Red Sox,” Farrell told the AP. “It’s a quick ascent, no doubt about it. The time has come, as has Mookie.”
Farrell and General Manager Ben Cherington said they wanted to give Betts a day to get acclimated to life in the majors before putting him into the lineup. On Saturday night, Daniel Nava started in left field, Jackie Bradley Jr. was in center and Brock Holt was in right.
The Red Sox had hoped star outfielder Shane Victorino would’ve rejoined them by now, but his rehabilitation for an injured hamstring has been shut down and there’s no timetable for his return.
Bottom line for Boston, however, is that the team needs some sort of boost and that might come from Betts.
“We have to get better,” Cherington told the AP as the Sox started the day eight games behind AL East-leading Toronto. “We think that’s a deficit we can manage”
Betts was moved to the outfield near the end of his stay with the Portland Sea Dogs when it became apparent the Red Sox needed help at that position.
A fifth-round draft pick in 2011, Betts broke out last year in Class A, finishing with a .341 average at Salem. But he was not expected to be ready for the majors this year. He wasn’t invited to the rookie development camp in January or to major league spring training camp.
Betts batted .355 with a .443 on-base percentage in 54 games for the Sea Dogs. With Pawtucket, he was batting .322 with a .425 on-base percentage and reached base in all 23 games before his call-up.
Last year, three players began the season in Portland and ended it in Boston – pitchers Drake Britton and Brandon Workman and infielder Xander Bogaerts. Both Workman and Bogaerts played in the World Series.
De La Rosa was demoted despite a 2-2 record in five games with a 2.51 ERA. His return to the minors was expected once Clay Buchholz returned from the disabled list.
Farrell said he didn’t have a slot for De La Rosa’s next start and, with Boston carrying 13 pitchers and only 12 position players, it made sense to option De La Rosa to Pawtucket.
Cherington said he was confident De La Rosa would be back in the majors at some point.
The Red Sox got De La Rosa on Aug. 25, 2012, as part of a nine-player trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that involved Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett.