The reigning World Series MVP is back on the field. According to multiple reports, the Red Sox have activated first baseman Steve Pearce from the injured list. Pearce missed the first seven games of the season with a calf injury he suffered back in spring training. In a corresponding move, the Red Sox have assigned first baseman Sam Travis to the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.
Steve Pearce Activated, Will Play Against Oakland Athletics
This move was a long time coming for the Red Sox. After starting the season in Fort Myers, Pearce flew out to join the club in Oakland on Wednesday night. Manager Alex Cora announced that, barring something unforeseen, he would activate Steve Pearce from the IL today. This was the first day Pearce was eligible to return from the IL.
Pearce is expected to serve in the same right-handed platoon role that he played in 2018. Pearce initially joined the Red Sox as a midseason acquisition in June of 2018. Acquired from the Blue Jays in exchange for minor leaguer Santiago Espinal, Pearce caught fire with the Red Sox and provided a reliable power bat. During 49 regular season games in Boston, Pearce recorded a .279/.394/.507 slash line with an accompanying 143 wRC+.
While Pearce was fantastic in the regular season, he saved his best work for the biggest moments. During the 2018 World Series, Pearce recorded an absurd .333/.500/1.167 slash line. The righty hit three home runs and drove in eight batters while drawing four walks and never striking out. Additionally, Pearce earned a reputation as a Yankee killer, posting a .333/.448/1.000 slash line and a 269 wRC+ in 29 plate appearances against Boston’s hated rivals.
In Pearce’s absence, Sam Travis earned time behind incumbent starter Mitch Moreland. Travis made it into two games, recording seven plate appearances. During his time filling in for Pearce, Travis recorded a .286/.286/.286 slash line and a 62 wRC+.