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Tuesday’s Red Sox Farm Report: RHP Aaron Wilkerson has another strong outing for Pawtucket

06.28.16 at 10:33 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.

Aaron Wilkerson

Aaron Wilkerson

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (40-38): W, 6-2, at Rochester (Twins)

— In another solid outing, Aaron Wilkerson surrendered two runs on four hits over seven innings, while striking out eight and walking none. Of his 97 pitches 75 were strikes and he retired the first 10 batters he faced. The 27-year-old right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA since his return to Pawtucket from Portland on May 28. For the season, Wilkerson is 6-2 with a 2.00 ERA, and opponents are hitting just .198 against him.

— The PawSox could have won with Henry Ramos’s bat alone. The 24-year-old outfielder went 2-for-5 with a triple and four RBIs. It’s the second game that Ramos has collected four RBIs in his last three games. In the third inning, Ramos hit a two-run triple, his fifth of the season. Then in his next at bat in the fifth, Ramos brought home two more with a single to right field.

Boston’s No. 22 prospect at MLB.com, Ramos has hit safely in nine of his last ten games and is hitting .368 in that span. In 61 total games with Pawtucket and Portland this year, Ramos is slashing .296/.335/.443 with 26 runs scored and 25 RBIs.

— Jantzen Witte went 2-for-5 with two doubles, a run, and an RBI. He plated Pawtucket’s sixth run in the seventh inning on his second double. Witte, 26, is averaging .346 in his last seven games, and his 26 runs tie him for second-best on the team.

— Reliever Kyle Martin threw two hitless frames to end the game, walking one and fanning one in the outing. Drafted by the Red Sox in 2013, the righty is 2-3 with a 3.89 ERA in 22 appearances. Boston’s No.27 prospect at MLB.com is also 4-for-4 in save opportunities.

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Read More: aaron wilkerson, daniel gonzalez, dedgar jimenez, henry ramos

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Chris Archer

06.28.16 at 8:44 am ET
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The struggling Red Sox will have Rick Porcello take the mound Tuesday against the Rays, who will send out 27-year-old right-hander Chris Archer.

Porcello starts with an 8-2 record, a 3.93 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He is just 1-0 in his last six starts, despite throwing at least six innings in five of those outings. Most recently, the veteran righty let up four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings in an 8-7 win Thursday over the White Sox.

In 12 career games against the Rays, Porcello is 6-4 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He last faced Tampa Bay on April 20 of this season, when he allowed three runs on six hits and struck out a season-high nine in seven innings pitched in a 7-3 Red Sox win.

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Read More: Chris Archer, rick porcello,

John Farrell explains bullpen usage at end of blowout

06.28.16 at 12:13 am ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — According to Red Sox manager John Farrell, he was out of options.

With the bullpen having to pitch 18 of the Red Sox’ hurlers 33 innings on the current road trip, with Monday night’s starter Eduardo Rodriguez going just 2 2/3 innings in the what turned into a 12-7 loss to the Rays, the relieving situation got a bit uncomfortable for the Sox’ manager.

Farrell was forced to bring in each of his high-leverage relievers — Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel — for an inning each. Tazawa ended up throwing 17 pitches, while Uehara and Kimbrel each finished tossing 26.

Prior to the trio, Robbie Ross Jr. went 1 1/3 innings, while Tommy Layne also pitched an inning.

“We had five innings, max, out of the bullpen tonight,” Farrell explained. “That’s a game typically when we’re not going to see those guys come to the mound. On a night when [Matt] Barnes was still a little sore, Heath Hembree, there was no way he was able to get to the mound, guys who have been giving us multiple innings, that’s why Eddie [Rodriguez] was still on the mound when he was, trying to get as many innings as possible, even in a situation where we’re down. Unfortunately, we had to turn to everyone to get through the eighth inning.

Farrell added, “Koji and obviously Craig had not pitched since Friday. Three days down, or hadn’t pitched in three days, it was a chance to get him to the mound. Yeah, you don’t like to see him throw 20-plus pitches.”

While Tazawa didn’t allow a run, Uehara surrendered a two-run blast off the bat of Nick Franklin. Kimbrel also gave up a run on three hits.

After the game the Red Sox optioned Rodriguez, who allowed nine runs on 11 hits, to Triple-A Pawtucket, most likely opening the door for the promotion of another reliever for Tuesday.

Dustin Pedroia on conversation with Eduardo Rodriguez: ‘I was talking to him about baseball’

06.27.16 at 11:52 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The conversation was there for everyone to see, and seemingly offered a microcosm of the Red Sox’ frustrations.

During a third-inning mound visit Monday night, Dustin Pedroia could be seen having a pointed conversation with struggling starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

After the game, the second baseman predictably downplayed the exchange.

“What did I say to Eddie? Do you honestly think I’m going to tell you that? I was talking to him about baseball,” Pedroia said after the 13-7 loss to the Rays. “I talk to all my teammates, every day. That’s about it.”

When asked about Pedroia’s message to Rodriguez, Red Sox manager John Farrell said, “Well, not getting into the mentality of it, the bottom line is he’s capable of more, we’re capable of more, we need to get better, and we had a chance to share that here after the game tonight. You know what, we collectively have to get better. To continue to fall behind as much as we are of late, we’re more talented than that. We have the capability of executing pitches at a higher rate. We can’t continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes, as we’ve been. We’ve got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are.”

Pedroia was also asked about the team meeting conducted by manager John Farrell after the game. The message, according to Farrell, that the Sox needed to be better. When asked if he agreed, the second baseman said, “Yeah, absolutely. I can’t really elaborate on that. Yeah, I do think we’re better than this.”

The Red Sox are now 12-18 wince May 26, falling 4 1/2 games out of first-place in the American League East. Their starters have combined for a 13.20 ERA on the current road trip.

Rodriguez lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up nine runs on 11 hits. He was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after the game.

“It’s part of the game. I knew going into the season, you go into every season it’s not going to be an easy,” Pedroia said. “It was you wouldn’t play all the games, you just show up at the end and it would be fun. It’s a grind. That’s part of it. You have to show up every single day prepared and ready to work and that’s how you get through it. You’re going to have good days. You’re going to lose by 10 runs and you’re going to win by 10 runs. You’re going to have days like that. You play a lot of games so the main thing that we’ve always gone about here is that it shouldn’t change how you act day to day. You should pride yourself on showing up and trying to win every single day. Sometimes you’re going to get your ass kicked, but then you’re going to show up the next day and try and give it right back. That’s it.”

He then added, “I think guys are playing hard. Hell, our shortstop ran a 3.9 down the line in the ninth inning down seven runs and then went first to third. So, yeah, that was pretty cool.”

Eduardo Rodriguez optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after tough start

06.27.16 at 11:39 pm ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to start putting changes in motion after their 13-7 loss to the Rays Monday night.

Following an outing in which Eduardo Rodriguez gave up nine runs on 11 hits over 2 2/3 innings, a team source confirmed the starting pitcher Eduardo would be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Rodriguez saw his ERA climb to 8.59 after the outing, having started the night at 6.41. His “Game Score” (a metric devised by Bill James to evaluate a starting pitcher) was the lowest by a Red Sox starter since Doug Bird on May 24, 1983.

It was the sixth start for Rodriguez since coming back from a right knee injury, with three of the outings going 4 2/3 innings or less. Rodriguez’s batting average against also proved problematic, sitting at .315, with opposing hitter totaling a .993 OPS.

“Very surprising,” said Farrell of the Rodriguez outing. “On a night, again, as we’ve been going to that bullpen so extensively, we needed to get some innings. Felt like he was back to a place after his start five days ago that would carry him through. They bunched a number of hits together. They squared up a number of baseballs, a number of pitches tonight. It was disappointing.”

Closing Time: Eduardo Rodriguez implodes, Dustin Pedroia gives him an earful in brutal loss to Rays

06.27.16 at 10:39 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia (2nd from right) lays into pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (2nd from left) on Monday. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Dustin Pedroia (2nd from right) lays into pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (2nd from left) on Monday. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

The state of the Red Sox pitching staff has reached DEFCON 1 status.

One night after Clay Buchholz put the Red Sox in an immediate hole in a loss to the Rangers, Eduardo Rodriguez did him one better with a five-run first against the lowly Rays.

The Red Sox never had a chance thereafter against one of the worst offenses in baseball, dropping a 13-7 decision that will be remembered for Dustin Pedroia’s animated mound visit with Rodriguez in the second that saw the former MVP share a number of choice words with his floundering teammate, who was optioned to Triple-A after the game.

(For Pedroia’s explanation of the mound visit, click here.)

Rodriguez looked lost. The Rays sent nine men to the plate in the first en route to five runs. They added four more against him before they were done, chasing him with a pair of homers in the third, ending an 11-game losing streak and sending the reeling Red Sox to their 10th loss in 15 games.

The loss resulted in Red Sox manager John Farrell calling a team meeting following the game, during which even the clubhouse attendants were asked to wait outside.

“The bottom line is he’s capable of more, we’re capable of more, we need to get better, and we had a chance to share that here after the game tonight,” Farrell said. “You know what, we collectively have to get better. To continue to fall behind as much as we are of late, we’re more talented than that. We have the capability of executing pitches at a higher rate. We can’t continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes, as we’ve been. We’ve got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are.”

This one got ugly in a hurry. Logan Forsythe led off the first with a single and the Rays recorded five more hits from there, including RBI doubles from Taylor Motter and Nick Franklin. Forsythe, Desmond Jennings, and Nick Franklin all homered for the Rays, who entered the game last in the AL in runs (295), but smacked a season-high 18 hits.

Things got interesting in the second when Rodriguez hung his head after allowing an infield single. Pitching coach Carl Willis jogged out to the mound, but Pedroia took control of the meeting, waving his hands in Rodriguez’s face to make his point before yelling what looked like, “Let’s go!” as he left the mound.

The Red Sox tried to rally, but it wasn’t happening. They now sit a season-high 4 1/2 games behind the Orioles in the AL East.

Closing Time note

Red Sox pitchers have allowed the opponent to score first in 11 of their last 13 games, including eight times in the first inning. The Sox starters have also combined for a 13.20 ERA on the current road trip.


— You’re kidding, right? OK, fine — catcher Sandy Leon stayed hot by blasting his first homer of the season.


— Start with Rodriguez. He allowed 11 hits and nine runs in just 2 2/3 innings, lacking confidence in his fastball and allowing the Rays to sit on his offspeed offerings. Just ugly all around. His ERA now stands at 8.59. His minus-five “Game Score” was the lowest by a Red Sox starter since Doug Bird on May 24, 1983.

— Left fielder Bryce Brentz stroked a two-run double in the fourth as part of a three-hit night, but was thrown out trying to take third, ending the frame.

— The Red Sox fell to three games under .500 against the American League East. The Orioles are 22-13, in contrast.

— The Rays entered the game ranked last in the AL in runs (295). They reached 15 hits for just the third time this season.

— Reliever Koji Uehara continues to struggle with his splitter, allowing a mammoth two-run homer in the eighth while getting some work as his ERA climbed to 5.08.

(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, Dustin Pedroia yells at Eduardo Rodriguez, eduardo rodriguez, Rays

5 starting pitchers Red Sox could potentially trade for before MLB trade deadline

06.27.16 at 9:34 pm ET
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Could Red Sox potentially acquire Braves ace Julio Teheran? (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

Could Red Sox potentially acquire Braves ace Julio Teheran? (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

Even before Eduardo Rodriguez allowed nine runs in 2 2/3 innings Monday night against the Rays, it was clear the Red Sox would need to add at least another starter to the rotation by next month’s trade deadline.

They have a loaded farm system with plenty of prospects to trade away, including top prospects Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada. It seems unlikely the organization would be willing to part ways with either player, but they will surely have their names come up in negotiations with other teams.

“The thing you have to remember is that you have two clubs to make a deal, and most clubs, as I’ve said all along and it hasn’t changed whatsoever, really are not prepared to move towards 2017 and be in a position where they’re willing to move,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said to reporters over the weekend. “There are probably five clubs that have been looking at that all year long, and I think those five clubs are the ones that remain.”

It’s likely those five teams are the Twins, Braves, Padres, Phillies and Reds, as those teams had their eyes set on 2017 even when 2016 got started and then the Athletics are now likely added to the mix given their start to the year.

Even though the trade deadline is just over a month away, here are five players the Red Sox could potentially trade for before the July 31 deadline.

Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves

The right-hander’s name has come up more than any other player of late. Despite a 3-7 record, he has a 2.46 ERA and in his last 11 starts has an ERA of just 1.71. He’s 25 years old and under team control until the end of the 2020 season. He’s arguably the best pitcher who will be made available across the league, which means the Braves will certainly get more than they should in return for him. For the Red Sox, it becomes a question of whether or not they would be willing to give up Moncada or Benintendi to get him.

Sonny Gray, RHP, Athletics

With the way the Athletics are playing, it’s likely they are now shifting their focus towards the future and if they really wanted to make a big impact on that, they would deal Gray as that would yield them the most in return. Gray did miss some time this year with a strained right trapezius, but has seemed to turn things around after a rough start as he has a 3.23 ERA in his last five starts. Overall, for the year the 26-year-old is 3-6 with a 5.03 ERA. He too is under contract until the end of the 2020 season.

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Read More: chris sale, Jeremy Hellickson, julio teheran, rich hill

Dustin Pedroia chews out Eduardo Rodriguez on mound in midst of miserable start as Red Sox dig hole against Rays

06.27.16 at 8:29 pm ET
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The time for niceties is over and it looks like Dustin Pedroia has seen enough.

With Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez imploding vs. the Rays — he allowed five runs in the first inning alone on Monday night — Pedroia decided it was time for some tough love. As the following Vine illustrates, Pedroia did not mince words with Rodriguez during a mound visit in the second.

The second baseman’s final words after the animated discussion appeared to be, “Let’s go!”

The speech didn’t have its desired effect. Rodriguez came back out for the third and allowed nine runs before being lifted. His entire evening was a disaster against one of the worst offenses in baseball. The Rays scored five in the first by sending nine men to the plate.

They then knocked Rodriguez out in the third with homers by Desmond Jennings and Logan Forsythe. Rodriguez’s line: 2 2/3 innings, 11 hits, nine earned runs, and one tongue-lashing from his All-Star second baseman.

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, Dustin Pedroia yells at Eduardo Rodriguez, eduardo rodriguez, Rays

Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. still trending toward All-Star starts

06.27.16 at 6:45 pm ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — They’re one week away.

For the last time before the final voting is announced, Major League Baseball released the leaders in All-Star balloting. And, as it stands, the Red Sox seem well-positioned to boast at least four position players as starters for the American League.

Both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts currently are in the top three in voting for outfielders, only trailing Mike Trout. Betts is just ahead of both Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain and Mark Trumbo of Baltimore.

“It’s definitely cool. You can’t say you never dreamed about,” Betts said. “It’s definitely something I would love to be a part of. We’re kind of struggling right now so my mind is kind of somewhere else right now. But I’m going to do the best I can and in doing that the All-Star voting will take care of itself. Just take care of business, and that business will take care of itself.”

Both shortstop Xander Bogaerts and designated hitter David Ortiz have comfortable leads at their respective positions.

Dustin Pedroia resides in third-place in the race for the second base spot, while Hanley Ramirez is the fifth-highest vote-getter at first base.

Here is the complete voting:


Red Sox notes: Brandon Workman eyeing return to majors; Brock Holt targeting weekend return; Clay Buchholz stays in rotation

06.27.16 at 6:23 pm ET
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Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — We have a Brandon Workman sighting.

The reliever, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, made an appearance at Tropicana Field Monday, throwing a bullpen session in front of Red Sox manager John Farrell. Workman has been participating in games in Fort Myers.

“I’ve been throwing about on a five-day schedule down there, but I just recently took some time off, and now I’m starting to ramp back up and start pushing forward through it,” said Workman, explaining that his time off was an opportunity to fix some mechanical issues.

“I’d just been working full steam ahead for a while there, so it was a breather to catch my breath and get everything back where it needs to be, and now I’m ramping back up again.”

“He threw the ball good,” said Farrell of the bullpen session. “Typical with a Tommy John recovery, there’s going to be some ups and downs with some arm strength as you go through those rehab outings. He’s been in games up to three games while in Fort Myers. We’re hopeful that soon he gets out on a rehab assignment to begin that 30-day clock. To do that, felt like there were some minor adjustments in his delivery work to get past some muscular soreness in the lat area that’s been taking place.”

Workman hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since Sept. 18. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list coming out of spring training in 2015, attempting to avoid surgery with a PRP injection in his right elbow. But after two months, it was determined surgery would be needed.

The 27-year-old is eyeing a rehab assignment in the coming weeks, most likely starting in Single-A Lowell. And if all goes well, Workman is hoping to contribute to the major league’s team run in the final month or two.

“That’s been my goal from the time I got surgery through today,” he said. “I’ve been working, trying to get myself in a position where I can come back sometime this year and be a contributing part.”

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