The COVID positives just keep on coming.
The Red Sox are still winning ballgames, but their COVID issues are not subsiding in any way. They have been adding what seems like a player a day over the last week-plus, and they’ve added another player Sunday morning. Nick Pivetta, who was scheduled to start the series finale against Cleveland, has been placed on the COVID list. Kutter Crawford is coming up for Worcester and making today’s start.
The #RedSox today placed RHP Nick Pivetta on the COVID-19 Related Injured List.
To fill Pivetta’s spot on the active major league roster, the Red Sox selected RHP Kutter Crawford from Triple-A Worcester. Crawford will start today’s game against Cleveland.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 5, 2021
Amid all of these positive COVID tests, the one area of the roster that had remained clear was the rotation, until this move. Pivetta hasn’t exactly been great of late, but he’s largely been able to avoid total blow ups, and against a team like Cleveland he was a solid bet to at least keep the offense in the game. It’s not yet clear whether or not Pivetta tested positive, which would effect how long he is out.
All we know for now is that he is out, and Crawford will be coming up to make his big-league debut. The righty has been one of the big breakouts in the system this year having undergoing Tommy John in 2019. A former 16th round pick out of Florida Gulf Coast — the same alma mater as Chris Sale, and the two have worked out together in the past — he has made 15 starts plus a relief appearance this year between Portland and Worcester, totaling 75 2⁄3 innings with a 4.16 ERA, 103 strikeouts and 13 walks. It’s those peripherals that make his year so intriguing despite the middling ERA. The 25-year-old throws a solid fastball to go with a cutter, curveball, and changeup.
For those wondering why Connor Seabold, who is already on the 40-man, isn’t getting called up, he pitched for Worcester on Saturday. It’s worth noting that since Crawford was brought up as a COVID replacement, he can later be taken off when Pivetta is back without having to be placed on waivers or be outrighted. That said, Crawford is also Rule 5 eligible this winter and seems like a solid bet to be protected, particularly if this start goes well.