A roster rarity unfolding with Red Sox after latest moves

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By WEEI 93.7

The Red Sox are sending Matt Hall and Chris Mazza down to the team's alternate training site in Pawtucket.

That, in itself, isn't surprising news considering teams need to have their rosters cut from 30 to 28 by Thursday and neither pitcher seemed integral in the Sox' immediate plans.

But assuming Major League Baseball locks in on 28-man rosters for the rest of the season (with taxi squad participants going from three to five players), the roster maneuvering does represent something of note. It sure looks like Jonathan Arauz is going to be sticking with the Red Sox for a while.

Arauz joined the organization as a Rule 5 player this past offseason, meaning he needed to be kept on the major league roster for the entirety of the season in order to stay with the Red Sox. If that wasn't the case he would be sent back to the Astros, who the 22-year-old had been the property of since being traded from the Phillies in 2015.

While the odds of the infielder remaining with the Red Sox for the 2020 season got appreciably better with the shortened season, there was still no lock he would stick around with the original plan for rosters to land at 26 players a few weeks into the regular-season schedule.

But not only did the roster rules change, but Arauz proved he could actually serve a purpose in the here and now despite never having played above Double-A.

The Red Sox have won both of the games he has started, with Arauz showing above-average ability in manning second base, participating in four double plays. And while he is hitless in his nine at-bats, the infielder has proven to be Ron Roenicke's best pinch-running option while offering hints that he may ultimately be good enough across the board to carve out a big-league career.

Managing to remain on the roster as a Rule 5 player is a rarity when it comes to the Red Sox, with Adam Stern representing the last Rule 5 participant for the Sox, making it through the 2005 season (with a few strategic disabled list stints along the way). Another was Lenny Dinardo, who got a championship ring while remaining with the Red Sox throughout 2004.

Prior to Dinardo and Stern, the Red Sox last Rule 5 pick to make it through an entire season was the late Vaughn Eshelman, who pitched for the 1995 team.

Jonathan Arauz with a bomb over the Monster. #RedSox pic.twitter.com/9QBeWI4d37

— Brendan Campbell (@brendan_camp) July 20, 2020