BOSTON (CBS) — Collin McHugh will not be playing the 2020 season for the Red Sox, but the pitcher is not opting out of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The righty, who signed with Boston over the offseason, is electing not to play because his right elbow has not recovered from offseason surgery.
McHugh told the team he was going to skip out on the 2020 season over the weekend.
“His arm is not coming around like he had hoped,” Boston manager Ron Roenicke said Sunday. “He knew that probably he was going to have to spend some time on the IL, and if he was going to do that, with what’s going on, and with the pandemic, he would feel better if he was at home with his family during that time. That’s the decision that he has made.
“We support it,” Roenicke added. “We know it was a tough decision for him, and he did tell me he felt bad. But this is what he felt was best for he and his family.”
McHugh was a valuable reliever for the Houston Astros in 2018, finishing the season with a 1.99 ERA over 58 games. The 33-year-old likely would have done a little bit of everything for Boston in 2020, giving the team a versatile member of the staff with the ability to start or come out of the bullpen.
McHugh, 33, signed a one-year, $600,000 deal with Boston in March, and at the time, was eyeing a July return from his surgery. Based on his decision, McHugh will not receive Major League service time for the 2020 season.
With McHugh opting out, Boston now has an open spot on its 40-man roster. The Red Sox open the 60-game season on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.