Red Sox Sign Former Nats, Mets Slugger Following Garett Cooper Injury

The injury bug in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse has been relentless early in the 2024 MLB season, and the trend continues. Red Sox newly acquired first baseman Garett Cooper was forced to leave during his debut after being hit in the wrist by a pitch in his third at-bat. The early indication is that Cooper has only suffered a bone bruise, and there were no fractures or broken bones. Cooper was taking over at first base for Red Sox slugger Triston Casas, who recently visited the IL with a torn cartilage in his rib cage. Casas’s return date is up in the air and could be anywhere from three to nine weeks.

Red Sox first baseman Garrett Cooper leaves game after being hit in the wrist


📰: @BeyondtheMnstr

— Beyond the Monster (@BeyondtheMnstr) May 1, 2024

It appears that Red Sox chief baseball operator Craig Breslow will not waste any time finding more help and depth at first base. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Bay Rays have parted ways with first baseman Dominic Smith, granting him his release after activating an opt-out clause in his minor league contract.

Further insights from Julian Mack of the Boston Globe have confirmed that the Boston Red Sox have secured Smith’s talents and will add Smith to the big league roster. This will mark the second notable addition to the Red Sox’s major league roster this offseason, following the recent acquisition of infielder Zack Short from the New York Mets.

Dominic Smith will indeed join the Sox’ big league club according to a league source.

— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) May 1, 2024

The Dominic Smith File

After an impressive display during the 2019 season and an actual breakout performance in 2020, Dominic Smith’s 2021 campaign fell short of expectations in New York with the Mets. The year proved to be a regression for Smith as he transitioned from a clear starter to a bench role in New York. Selected as the first-round draft pick for the Mets in 2013 straight out of high school, Smith navigated his way through the minor leagues before making his major league debut in August of 2017.

However, his initial seasons in the majors left much to be desired, with Smith struggling to find his footing, posting lackluster numbers with a batting line of .210/.259/.407 across 105 games between 2017 and 2018.

Looks like the Red Sox will be adding more depth with first baseman Dominic Smith, per @BGlobeSports.

Smith spent 21 games with the Rays’ AAA affiliate to start the year before being released.

Front office was interested in him at the 2022 deadline.

— Tyler Milliken ⚾️ (@tylermilliken_) May 1, 2024

Yet, in 2019, a transformative period involving proper treatment for sleep apnea set the stage for Smith’s breakout. Despite a stress fracture in his foot sidelining him for much of the second half of the season, Smith showcased promise with a batting line of .282/.355/.525, boasting a 134 wRC+ and a 0.9 fWAR across 89 games. However, it was in 2020 that Smith truly flourished, delivering his best season to date. Amidst the challenges of a COVID-shortened season, Smith dazzled with a remarkable batting line of .316/.377/.616, accompanied by an incredible 166 wRC+ and accruing 1.8 fWAR in just 50 games.

Smith put together a solid season last year in Washington, hitting .254 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI in 156 games. It’s important to note that Smith enters as a platoon option and a right-handed bat to combine with Garett Cooper until Tristan Casas is healthy enough to return to the everyday lineup.

Red Sox Continue to Compete Despite Rash of Injuries

The current Red Sox injured list looks more like a lineup card daily. Aside from Casas and Cooper recently making their way to the IL, there are a staggering number of big league contributors already on the list, and it keeps growing. Red Sox infielder Vaugh Grissom, who was acquired in an off-season trade for former Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, had his highly anticipated debut delayed because he came down with the flu.

OF Masataka Yoshida is currently listed as day-to-day but is scheduled for an MRI on his hand. Red Sox SP Garrett Whitlock is on the 15-day IL with an oblique strain. He is joined by fellow Red Sox SP Nick Pivetta, who found his way on the 15-day IL with elbow soreness. Pivetta is supposed to make a rehab start on May 2. Bryan Bello, the Red Sox opening-day starter, is also on the 15-day IL with lat tightness.

The Red Sox have 13 players on the injured list, including three pitchers and two position players on the 60-day IL. Every healthy position player on the 40-man roster right now is on Boston’s active 26-man roster.

— masslivesports (@masslivesports) May 1, 2024

The most significant injury is the loss of Red Sox all-star SS Trevor Story. Story is currently on the 60-day IL with a shoulder injury and is not expected to return this season.

Despite the injuries, the Red Sox are on a three-game win streak and have won seven of their last ten games. They play host to the San Francisco Giants tonight at Fenway Park as they look to extend their win streak to four games.

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