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Ryan Fitzgerald’s Opportunities

In 2022, Ryan Fitzgerald had a great Spring Training and should have made the Boston Red Sox  40-Man roster. However, he did not make that roster. Just over a year later, Fitzgerald is still with the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate. Despite multiple injuries at various positions, the Boston Red Sox still have yet to give Fitzgerald an opportunity.

Ryan Fitzgerald’s Opportunities

Worcester 2022

Fitzgerald spent all of the 2022 season with Worcester where he batted .219, including 99 hits (26 doubles, 4 triples, and 16 home runs). He played in 127 games while seeing time at every position except pitcher, and catcher. While his batting average was low, consider the Red Sox signing of Adam Duvall, this past off-season.

Adam Duvall Vs. Ryan Fitzgerald

The Red Sox signed Duvall to a one-year, $7 million contract. This after a 2022 season where Duvall hit .213, with 61 hits (16 doubles, one triple, and 12 home runs), in 86 games for the Atlanta Braves. One may argue, Fitzgerald’s numbers were achieved at a lower level of competition. Duvall’s numbers were against top-tier competition at the Major League level. There is however some flawed reasoning in that logic.

Overlooked, Yet Again

On April 25, 2023, the Red Sox placed infielder, Yu Chang on the 10-day IL. Ryan Fitzgerald had experience playing both shortstop and second base. Logically, one would think that the best player, with the best numbers, would be called up to the big club; that should have been Fitzgerald.

The Enmanuel Valdez Effect

The Red Sox called up Enmanuel Valdez instead. Valdez was batting .184, with a home run and seven RBIs at Triple-A Worcester. To the astonishment of many, Valdez is hitting .278 at the Major League level, with two home runs, and seven RBIs. The point here is, the argument that Fitzgerald performed worse than Duvall in 2022, does not add up. Valdez showed despite poor numbers against inferior competition, he can perform better against the best of the best. If that is the case, why was Duvall signed, when a player who has the potential to perform similarly, at a large discount, in Fitzgerald,  not given a chance to be that player, this season? For the record, Duvall is currently on the 60-day IL with a fractured wrist.

Reyes Who

Yu Chang, Enmanuel Valdez, Bobby Dalbec, Kike’ Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, and Justin Turner have all seen time at middle infield this season. Watching a game the other day, the name Reyes was mentioned. Despite very good numbers at Worcester this season (.311, 26 RBIs, 7 home runs, two stolen bases) Fitzgerald was passed over, for Pablo Reyes. Reyes has played parts of five major league seasons.  He has played for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and now the Red Sox. He is a career .247 hitter, with 61 hits, 29 RBIs, and six home runs in 151 Major League games. Reyes was acquired by the Sox from the Oakland A’s Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas Aviators, for cash.

The X-Factor

Why is a player who is performing poorly at the minor league level called up to the big league club, over a player who is performing well at the same level of competition?  Are there things managers and front office personnel look for, other than numbers (an X Factor)? This conundrum is highlighted by Enmanuel Valdez being called up to the Majors despite batting below .200 with Worcester. It is frustrating to see a player, deserving of an opportunity to show what they can do at the Major League level, not get that opportunity. Ryan Fitzgerald has done more than enough to earn a chance to show what he can do in the Majors. However, the Red Sox have decided to acquire and promote Reyes instead.


If the Sox have no intention of giving Fitzgerald an opportunity, they should do the right thing and send him to an organization that will. The Red Sox are in need of starting pitching (both Nick Pivetta and Corey Kluber, are not performing consistently). They could also use another reliever. The Sox may also want an “insurance” closer, given the recent struggles of Kenley Jansen. The Sox need to send Fitzgerald to a team that will give him an opportunity like the Kansas City Royals or the Colorado Rockies. Ryan Fitzgerald should not have to toil in the minors waiting to become Drew Maggi, 2.0. Fitzgerald has performed and shown statistically, that he at least deserves a chance in the Majors, even if it is not with the Red Sox.

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