Right-hander Enrique Gonzalez, one day after being promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket, was designated for assignment Sunday. In his place, the Red Sox purchased the contract of right-hander Fernando Cabrera.
Nineteen roster spots have stayed unchanged since July 31. But the other six spots have been filled by a total of 15 players, capped by Cabrera. This, due to a combination of trades, injuries and performance drop-offs.
"I think it's been out of necessity. As we get to the trading deadline every year, there's always some uncertainty," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "When the trading deadline comes and goes, we added new players -- good players in Victor [Martinez] and [Casey Kotchman]. And we're trying to become a team, and working at that, because it doesn't just happen overnight.
"Then all of a sudden we're hit with some inconsistent play, some injuries, and we have kind of a revolving door going right now. And that creates some uncertainty. So we're dealing with that. We haven't necessarily dealt with it with wins, which makes it a heck of a lot easier [to make roster changes]. That's all part of it. It's been out of necessity."
The spot that has had the most turnover is the 12th spot on the pitching staff, which Justin Masterson filled ably until being traded to the Indians as part of the package for Martinez.
"For the very most part, it's to not overwhelm our bullpen," Francona said. "Because that's been a pretty strong suit of our team this whole year. You don't want that to go away."
Cabrera has 125 games of Major League experience, going 8-7 with a 5.02 ERA for the Indians and Orioles. At Triple-A Pawtucket this season, he went 0-3 with a 1.69 ERA in 38 games.
"It's good. You know, that's what I was working for, to get another opportunity again," Cabrera said. "I want to keep doing what I was doing in Triple-A and help in any way I can."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.