Red Sox

Red Sox call Zack Kelly, Kaleb Ort up from WooSox to bolster bullpen

Austin Davis and Hirokazu Sawamura were designated for assignment after lackluster outings.

Hirokazu Sawamura
Boston Red Sox's Hirokazu Sawamura on the mound between pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays in the sixth inning of a baseball game. AP Photo/Steven Senne

The Red Sox promoted Zack Kelly and Kaleb Ort to join their bullpen on Sunday, per multiple reports.

To make room, the team reportedly designated Hirokazu Sawamura and Austin Davis for assignment.

Kelly will make his major-league debut after striking out 72 batters while walking 25 in 49.2 innings pitched this season with the WooSox. The 27-year-old signed with the A’s as an undrafted free agent in 2017, netting just $500 for his signing bonus. In 2020, he tore the UCL in his pitching arm but avoided Tommy John surgery and climbed through the Red Sox’s minor leagues with a fastball and changeup that Sox Prospects graded “potential plus” and “potential above average” offerings.


Ort, meanwhile, returns to the team with big-league 15 innings under his belt this season, in which he allowed 15 runs, 24 hits and seven walks. Those stats are warped somewhat by his disastrous July 22 outing against the Blue Jays, which the Red Sox dropped 28-5 (Ort gave up eight runs on seven hits in four innings). The 30-year-old has a 98 mph fastball and an ERA of 2.98 with 62 strikeouts and 20 walks in 45.1 innings pitched with the WooSox this season.

Neither Kelly nor Ort are ranked in Sox Prospect’s Top 60.

Sawamura and Davis, meanwhile, were DFA’d after lackluster showings in the Red Sox’s 12-4 loss to the Rays. Sawamura allowed four hits and three runs in one inning, while Davis allowed three hits and four runs in his lone frame.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was asked about Davis’ recent struggles.

“It’s more about command,” Cora said. “You see the WHIP, you see the walks, you see the counts. He hasn’t been able to put people away.”


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