BOSTON – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – To mark the New Year and begin the 2019 season, the Boston Red Sox added 10 non-roster invitees to the team’s 2019 Spring Training roster: catchers Juan Centeno and Óscar Hernández; outfielder Gorkys Hernández; infielder Tony Renda; and right-handed pitchers Zach Putnam, Erasmo Ramírez, Carson Smith, Josh Smith, Domingo Tapia, and Ryan Weber.
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made the announcement.
Juan Centeno, C – Centeno, 29, has appeared in 111 major league games (87 starts) with the Mets (2013-14), Brewers (2015), Twins (2016), Astros (2017), and Rangers (2018), batting .227 (74-for-326) with six home runs. The left-handed hitter is 8-for-17 (.471) in six career games at Fenway Park and has batted .266 (17-for-64) against left-handed major league pitchers. He spent most of the 2018 season with Triple-A Round Rock, where he threw out 18 of 41 attempted base stealers (43.9%) and hit .234 (48-for-205) in 59 games. During the Astros’ 2017 championship season, Centeno appeared in 22 games and was on the club’s ALDS, ALCS, and World Series rosters, though he did not appear in a postseason game. Born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, he was selected by the Mets in the 32nd round of the 2007 June Draft.
Gorkys Hernández, OF – Hernández, 31, has spent the past three seasons in the San Francisco Giants organization, appearing exclusively with the major league club in both 2017 (128 games) and 2018 (142 games). Last season, the right-handed hitter batted .234 (97-for-414) with 15 home runs, including .277 (72-for-260) with a .778 OPS before the All-Star break. Originally signed by Detroit in 2005 at the age of 17, the Venezuelan native has appeared in 374 major league games with the Pirates (2012, ’15), Marlins (2012), and Giants (2016-18), making 155 starts in center field, 58 in left field, and 14 in right field. His lone postseason experience came in the 2016 Division Series against the Cubs, when he started Game 1 in center field and appeared in two other games as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement.
Óscar Hernández, C – Hernández, 25, attended 2018 Major League Spring Training camp with the Red Sox as a non-roster invitee and spent the entire season with Triple-A Pawtucket, batting .205 (31-for-151) and throwing out 17 of 39 attempted base stealers (43.6%) in 47 games. The Venezuelan native spent his first eight professional seasons in the Rays (2010-14) and Diamondbacks (2015-17) organizations, posting a 3.05 catcher’s ERA in his 17 major league games (10 starts), all with Arizona from 2015-16. At the minor league level, Hernández has thrown out 41.0 percent of attempted base stealers (162 of 395). Selected by Arizona as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft, Hernández was named MVP of the Venezuelan Summer League in 2011 after winning the Triple Crown with a .402 batting average, 21 home runs, and 66 RBI.
Zach Putnam, RHP – Putnam, 31, missed the entire 2018 season recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in June 2017. Selected by Cleveland in the fifth round of the 2008 June Draft, the right-hander has appeared in 145 major league games—all in relief—with the Indians (2011), Rockies (2012), Cubs (2013), and White Sox (2014-17). In 130 games with the White Sox, he posted a 2.71 ERA (42 ER/139.1 IP) with 149 strikeouts, with lefties batting .228 (53-for-232) and righties hitting .210 (55-for-262) against him in that time. Putnam has pitched primarily in the later innings in his major league career, having made 61 appearances in the eighth inning and 34 in the ninth. He has faced 171 batters with runners in scoring position since the start of 2014, allowing zero home runs and holding opponents to a .196 batting average (27-for-138) in that situation.
Erasmo Ramírez, RHP – Ramírez, 28, missed a majority of the 2018 season due to a pair of stints on the disabled list. He made 10 starts with the Mariners and went 2-4 with a 6.50 ERA (33 ER/45.2 IP), including 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA (12 ER/29.1 IP) in a six-start span from August 12-September 9. Originally signed by Seattle in 2007, Ramírez has appeared in 192 major league games (92 starts) with the Mariners (2012-14, ’17-18) and Rays (2015-17), going 32-39 with a 4.36 ERA (309 ER/637.2 IP). In 81 relief appearances since the start of 2016, the right-hander has posted a 3.81 ERA (49 ER/115.2 IP), including a 3.23 mark (11 ER/30.2 IP) in 2017. One of only 15 players in major league history born in Nicaragua, Ramírez is 13-8 with a 3.20 ERA (80 ER/225.0 IP) against AL East clubs, having posted a 2.05 ERA (6 ER/26.1 IP) in 11 games at Fenway Park.
Tony Renda, INF – Renda, 27, made his Red Sox organization debut this past season after signing with the club as a minor league free agent on April 29, 2018. He appeared in one game with Boston, 42 with Triple-A Pawtucket, and 26 with Double-A Portland, batting .318 (85-for-267) with an .826 OPS at the minor league level. His lone appearance with the major league club came on August 5 against the New York Yankees, as he entered in the 10th inning as a pinch runner and scored the winning run on an Andrew Benintendi walk-off single. His only other major league experience came with Cincinnati in 2016, when he hit .183 (11-for-60) in 32 games for the Reds. Selected by Washington in the second round of the 2012 June Draft, Renda has hit .289 (738-for-2,551) with 15 home runs in 665 career minor league games.
Carson Smith, RHP – Smith, 29, missed a majority of the 2018 season due to an injury suffered on May 14, as he was placed on the disabled list the following day with a right shoulder subluxation. On June 13, he underwent successful shoulder surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, with Dr. David Altchek performing the procedure. Smith made Boston’s 2018 Opening Day roster and appeared in 18 games with the club, 14 of which were scoreless. He posted a 3.77 ERA (6 ER/14.1 IP) and averaged 11.30 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, and did not issue a walk in his final 11 outings of the season. Originally selected by Seattle in the eighth round of the 2011 June Draft, Smith was acquired by Boston on December 7, 2015. In 29 games with the Red Sox, he has posted a 2.66 ERA (7 ER/23.2 IP) with 27 strikeouts and nine walks.
Josh Smith, RHP – Smith, 31, split the 2018 season between the Mariners and Red Sox organizations, signing with Boston as a minor league free agent on May 15 after being released by Seattle. Each of his 22 appearances (11 starts) came at the Triple-A level with Tacoma and Pawtucket, as he went 5-8 with a 4.38 ERA (41 ER/84.1 IP), 90 strikeouts, and 19 walks. Smith allowed 13 earned runs in 7.1 innings over his first three outings with the PawSox, but in his final 15 games he posted a 2.84 ERA (21 ER/66.2 IP). With Pawtucket, he surrendered only one home run to the 143 right-handed hitters he faced. Selected by Cincinnati in the 21st round of the 2010 June Draft, Smith has appeared in 67 major league games (nine starts) for the Reds (2015-16) and Oakland A’s (2017), going 5-8 with a 5.30 ERA (75 ER/127.1 IP) and 103 strikeouts.
Domingo Tapia, RHP – Tapia, 27, made 48 appearances (four starts) in the Cincinnati Reds minor league system in 2018, including 47 for Triple-A Louisville. He went 4-5 with a 3.60 ERA (26 ER/65.0 IP), 45 strikeouts, 29 walks, and four home runs allowed. In 16 outings from July 19 through the end of the season, the right-hander allowed only two earned runs in 16.1 innings (1.10 ERA) while holding opponents to a .186 batting average (11-for-59). Against Tapia in 2018, right-handed Triple-A hitters batted .209 (29-for-139) and slugged .288. Following the season, he pitched for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League and made 15 appearances, 14 of which were scoreless. Between the Mets and Reds organizations, the Dominican native has made 198 appearances (101 starts) at the minor league level and posted a 4.03 ERA (277 ER/619.0 IP).
Ryan Weber, RHP – Weber, 28, has appeared in 24 major league games (eight starts) with the Braves (2015-16), Mariners (2017), and Rays (2018), posting a 5.01 ERA (41 ER/73.2 IP) with only 1.59 walks per 9.0 innings. He spent most of 2018 with Triple-A Durham, going 9-6 with a 2.73 ERA (35 ER/115.1 IP) in 25 appearances (18 starts). In his seven relief outings, Weber allowed only three earned runs in 22.2 innings (1.19 ERA) while holding opponents to a .167 batting average (14-for-84). He threw at least 4.0 innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer in 14 of his 18 starts, tossing more than 5.0 innings in nine of those games. Selected by Atlanta in the 22nd round of the 2009 June Draft, the Florida native has made 100 starts and 134 relief appearances in the minor leagues, going 44-42 with 12 saves and a 3.51 ERA (306 ER/785.1 IP).