PAWTUCKET — The conversation started out as a prime chance to look ahead for PawSox players Alex Hassan and Dan Butler. The pair is listed on Boston’s 40-man roster, meaning there’s a pretty good chance that each will make their big-league debuts when MLB rosters expand come September.
It wasn’t Gary DiSarcina’s intention to throw this reporter off the trail, but not soon after the two aforementioned names and the particular circumstances surrounding them were brought to his attention, the Pawtucket manager made a point that helped place everything in proper perspective.
“John Farrell and Ben Cherington are not afraid to call guys up who aren’t on the (40-man) roster,” notes DiSarcina. “That’s why there’s a lot of hope in that dugout.”
Translation: Call-ups are not solely reserved for minor leaguers with 40-man distinction to their credit. As this PawSox season has demonstrated, anyone who passes through the clubhouse doors is fair game.
All DiSarcina has to do is hold up Brandon Snyder and Jonathan Diaz as two prime examples of getting a shot. Both players had to be added to the 40-man before leaving Pawtucket for Boston.
“The days of calling guys up to reward them for having a good year, that’s gone. You call guys up that are going to help you win games,” said DiSarcina. “If you can bring a skill set that somebody else may not have to the team, you’re going to have a chance.
“All of those players in there should feel like they have an opportunity,” the skipper continued.
When Hassan was broached about the prospect of making his Red Sox debut sooner rather than later, the outfielder simply smiled. As much as being on the 40-man is something that’s a definite plus, the outfielder is not ready to get too ahead of himself.
“I haven’t really thought about it,” said Hassan. “Maybe if I had been here since the start of the season, maybe it would be a distraction, but my priorities have been to come to the field and number one, be healthy and number two, be a productive player.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the years I’ve been here, it’s that if the Red Sox have guys who can help them at the big-league level, they will find a way to use them. Last year it was (Pedro) Ciriaco and Mauro Gomez,” said a clearly cognizant Hassan. “Look at someone like Daniel Nava. Look at all the first-round outfielders he came up with and played better than. For a young player to see that from day one, it gives you some incentive that if you can help in any way, they’ll find a way.”
EXTRA BASES: The PawSox reinstated reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith off the disabled list Monday after following appendicitis. He underwent surgery on June 28. The lefty is 5-0 with a 1.03 ERA this season. … Alex Wilson will make a rehab appearance Tuesday that will consist of him pitching the first inning. Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger will take the mound in the second inning. … DiSarcina on recently elevating shortstop Xander Boagerts to the No. 2 spot in the lineup: “He’s not going third or fourth in the lineup (in Boston), he’s going to hit down in the lineup. When you hit down in the lineup, you have to bunt and move runners. I’d like to see him get some opportunities where he’s going to bunt and move runners over. You don’t project him to be that type of player five years from now, but I want him to go through all his firsts down here.”
Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03.