|Ryan Dempster on D&C: ‘I don’t think [hit batter] was on purpose’ from John Lackey||06.11.13 at 11:12 am ET|
Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to talk about the team’s success, the Stanley Cup finals and the bench-clearing brawl started by John Lackey hitting Matt Joyce with a pitch Monday.
While Rays manager Joe Maddon claimed Lackey hit Joyce on purpose because of a home run Joyce hit earlier in the game, Dempster said he doesn’t know whether or not the pitch was intentional.
“I wasn’t there. That was crazy. I was using the commode,” Dempster explained, adding: “I honestly have never had a manager tell me I needed to hit someone. And I don’t think yesterday was on purpose. Although, I didn’t see it, so I don’t know.”
In Sunday’s win over the Angels, Dempster hit Albert Pujols with a pitch in the third inning in a situation similar to the one involving Lackey and Joyce. Pujols, who had homered in the first inning, glared at Dempster after the pitch, but there was no altercation between the two players.
Dempster said that if a batter is looking too comfortable at the plate, he is not afraid to throw inside to brush the batter back.
“That is our plate,” Dempster said. “If you throw a pitch that is on the black and away and the guy smokes it, that tells me that he is leaning out over the plate. If I make a mistake over the plate and you hit it, that’s your job. Of course, man, take it. Do some cartwheels around the bases, that’s yours. But if I throw a pitch where I want to throw it and you go out there and you drive it the other way it tells me that you’re a little comfortable.
“Sometimes you’ve got to put the ball inside to just get your plate back, and when you do that, sometimes you’re going to miss a little bit and it’s going to hit somebody. Have I ever thrown at anybody on purpose? Not necessarily thrown at them, but just with a purpose of not being afraid to miss and have it hit him.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Source: RHP Jose De La Torre set to join Red Sox||06.11.13 at 10:13 am ET|
Following Monday night’s 14-inning victory over the Rays in which they used seven relief pitchers, the Red Sox have put in a call to Triple-A reliever Jose De La Torre to join them in St. Petersburg, Fla., according to a league source.
De La Torre, acquired from the Indians last July, had no major league experience until he was called up last month. The 27-year-old right-hander pitched two innings over two games. He allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits and a walk in a 12-4 loss to the Blue Jays on May 14, then he closed out a 9-2 win over the Rays on May 15 with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out the last two batters.
In 16 games with the PawSox this year, De La Torre has a 2.17 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 29 innings.
De La Torre pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic this spring, appearing in six games and striking out 12 while walking only one in 5 2/3 innings.
|Difficult decisions await Red Sox as they search for arms; Clay Buchholz status uncertain||06.11.13 at 4:41 am ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – After the adrenaline of a 10-8, 14-inning win over the Rays wore off, the Red Sox were faced with reality.
“We’ve got to get some arms in here,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Obviously with Wednesday’s start, that will take care of itself when we get to Wednesday. Given how we’ve had to push everybody in that bullpen, we’ve got some decisions to make in here tonight.”
Throwing a monkey wrench into the Red Sox’ pitching plans was Monday night’s appearance by Franklin Morales, who was slated to start against the Rays Wednesday night.
Morales, who had already thrown a 30-pitch side session earlier in the day, jumped in and secured the win for the Red Sox. The lefty threw 35 pitches over two innings.
“I pitched pretty good. I didn’t feel tired,” he said. “When the pitching coach [Juan Nieves] asked me, I told him, I can do it. I can help the team. If you need me, use me. I tried to do the best I could.”
Another inconvenience for the Red Sox came when they were forced to use Koji Uehara for a second straight day, with the reliever now having thrown 47 pitches during the two-game stretch.
Other relievers used by the Red Sox Monday night included Craig Breslow (5 pitches), Andrew Miller (6 pitches), Junichi Tazawa (20 pitches), Clayton Mortensen (15 pitches), and Andrew Bailey (32 pitches).
Breslow, Uehara, Miller and Bailey all were pitching for a second straight game.
One possible scenario would be to place starter Clay Buchholz on the 15-day disabled list. While the righty wasn’t aware of any roster moves following the Sox’ win, he understands such a move is a possibility.
Buchholz felt improvement in his wore right trap muscle (which he explained was a result of his previous AC joint ailment). But the progress wasn’t enough to map out any sort of plan for when he might be able to throw again.
“Again, I told them that I’d rather take care of this now,” Buchholz said. “If that’s pushing a start and mixing and matching a little bit, then we’ll go with it that way. I still haven’t really talked to the medical guys and John [Farrell] about what we’re going to do moving forward. I think these three days here in Tampa are going to be the feeling out process, and we’ll go from there.”
As for who might start Wednesday, a likely candidate is Alfredo Aceves. The righty saw his scheduled start rained out Monday, and is slated to pitch for Triple-A Pawtucket Tuesday.
Other 40-man-roster starting options include Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Steven Wright. De La Rosa hasn’t been stretched out more than five innings, while Webster is battling command issues. Wright hasn’t pitched particularly well, carrying a 4.99 ERA over 10 starts.
Relief options leading into Wednesday include Alex Wilson and Jose De La Torre, both of whom showed value during their stints with the Red Sox.
|Closing Time: Red Sox survive to beat Rays in 14 innings||06.11.13 at 12:37 am ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — What once was shaping up to be a ho-hum Red Sox runaway Monday night evolved into yet another Tropicana Field brouhaha.
The end result was 10-8, 14-inning win for the Red Sox, completing a night of unexpected uneasiness for the visitors.
Ultimately, the key blow for the Sox came with one out in the 14th. With Shane Victorino at second base (having singled and tagged up on Dustin Pedroia‘s fly ball to right), and David Ortiz at first (walk), Daniel Nava hit a broken-bat single to center. The base hit plated Victorino, serving as the game-winning run in a five-hour, 24-minute affair
“We did a lot of good things well tonight,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Most importantly, scoring one more run than they did.”
Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s base hit added an insurance run, scoring pinch-runner Jose Iglesias.
An hour earlier, what appeared to be trending toward the final piece of drama came after the Red Sox had claimed a two-run lead in the 10th.
Jose Lobaton led off the bottom frame with a solo homer against Sox closer Andrew Bailey to cut the visitors’ lead to one. Bailey proceeded to walk both Yunel Escobar and Matt Joyce before loading the bases with nobody out on a Ben Zobrist single and allowing a bases-loaded walk to Kelly Johnson, knotting the game at 8-8.
But with the bases loaded and nobody out, the Red Sox reliever induced a 5-2-3 double play off the bat of Evan Longoria. Bailey was able to close out the threat when Pedroia scooped up Sam Fuld‘s drag bunt in time to get the pinch-hitter.
“The bunt? That saves the game, especially against a guy that fast,” Saltalamacchia said. “It’s almost like he expected that to happen. I thought he was going to just from knowing him, playing against him. That kind of what he does so well, so why not go with it. He made an unbelievable play.
“That’s the big thing, we’re all on the same page. [Coach Brian Butterfield] does a great job with the infielders, and me and [David Ross] are in every meeting. Opening day is a rough day for us because we’re in three or four meetings. But it works. We knew what was going on. We kind of expected the bunt, so we were on the same page, which helps me what to call.”
|Red Sox, Rays clear benches in sixth inning; Joe Maddon takes issue with John Lackey||06.10.13 at 9:52 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox and Rays cleared their benches in the bottom of the sixth inning after Sox’ starter John Lackey hit Tampa Bay’s Matt Joyce with an 0-1 fastball in the back.
Joyce, who led off the home half of the first with a homer off Lackey, was restrained by Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia as he walked down the first base line, yelling toward the Red Sox pitcher. Lackey could be seen shouting back, insisting to the Rays’ hitter the pitch wasn’t intentional.
“I was trying to come in there and get him off the plate a little bit. They were swinging quite a bit, at pretty much everything I threw up there, so I was trying to maybe get a little bit of plate for me,” explained Lackey.
While the two players exchanged words, both benches and bullpens spilled out onto the field. There didn’t appear to be any further confrontations, with the umpires managing to get both teams back to their side without anymore incident.
“He hit a homer early, spit on some pitches in his second at-bat, so you have to go in,” said former Rays outfielder Jonny Gomes. “Stuff like that you might think it’s intentional because he just hit a homer, but it’s more like you’re overcautious. If you go in, you have to go in-in. It was definitely justified if anybody thought it was intentional, but I don’t think it was, truly.”
The Red Sox carried a 6-4 lead at the time of the hit-by-pitch. Lackey would face one more batter after surrendering a Ben Zobrist double. Reliever Craig Breslow came on to strikeout Kelly Johnson for the inning’s final out.
Lackey, who finished his outing allowing four runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings (throwing 93 pitches), could be seen yelling into the Rays’ dugout earlier in the game after finishing off the third inning.
“They’ve got a few guys that like to yell, yeah,” the pitcher said.
“I thought he was trying to throw the ball in off the plate, obviously,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “There was no intent to hit him. Their guys took some good swings at lackey tonight on his fastball and he’s just trying to create a little opennenss on the outside part of the palte. Obviously the pitch got away form him.”
After the Rays’ 10-8, 14-inning loss to the Red Sox, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon took issue with Lackey’s approach.
“He intentionally hit him when he did, there’s no question in my mind that he did,” Maddon told reporters. “And the sad part is that I’ve always considered Lackey a good teammate, but right there he can get one of his own players hurt. I really did sense among the group of Red Sox that they were totally not into that (confrontation) because they knew it was inappropriate to hit Matt on purpose, and furthermore because one of them can get hurt. So that’s being a bad teammate as far as I’m concerned. In the past, he was always a good teammate. That was really a bad moment for him tonight.”
This, obviously, is far from the first time the Red Sox and Rays have engaged in a bench-clearing scenario, as Gomes can attest. The Red Sox outfielder was part of a melee at Fenway Park in 2008, primarily involving then-Rays pitcher James Shields and then-Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp.
The latest to-do between the teams came last season at Fenway Park, when members of the Red Sox’ coaching staff (Tim Bogar, Bob McClure) were involved in heated on-field disputes with numerous Rays players.
“Not many guys are still over there when I was there,” Gomes said. ”I’m sure they knew what I was bringing.”
|Stephen Drew believes this might be his best defensive season||06.10.13 at 9:38 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — While Stephen Drew said before Monday’s game he hadn’t talked about any sort of change in playing time now that Jose Iglesias and Will Middlebrooks are both on the Red Sox roster, the shortstop didn’t express any concern regarding a change in role.
“No, we haven’t sat down and gone over that kind of stuff,” Drew said. “We’ll see what happens. [Iglesias] has done a great job since he’s been up here. He’s had a great year.”
Farrell made it clear that Iglesias’ playing time wouldn’t come strictly as a result of the Red Sox facing left-handed pitching, potentially leading to an off day for the lefty-hitting Drew.
The likelihood is that Iglesias’ playing time — which Farrell is planning on resulting in three or four appearances per week — comes more at third base, with Drew getting one or two days off every seven days.
“This isn’t going to be strictly a matchup,” Farrell said. “There may be a left-handed matchup when [Iglesias] plays shortstop on a given day, or if there’s a lefty on a day game following a night game and we give Stephen a day down. That would be part of it. Stephen has done a very good job for us at shortstop, defensively. He’s been streaky at the plate. We feel good about our infield depth.”
While Drew entered Monday hitting just .234 (.182 against lefties), his defense has been extremely solid at shortstop.
Drew, who has made just one error this season, believes that this actually might be his best defensive season in an eight-year big league career.
“I think so, at least in a long time,” he said when asked if 2013 might be his best defensive effort. “I had some good years in Arizona, but I think this year has been really good. It’s still early. Hopefully I can keep playing defense the way I’ve been playing.”
|Sources: Red Sox nearing $1.1 million deal with second-round pick Teddy Stankiewicz||06.10.13 at 4:23 pm ET|
According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox have reached an agreement with second-round pick Teddy Stankiewicz, a 19-year-old right-hander out of Seminole State College in Oklahoma. The deal has not yet been finalized pending a physical. Stankiewicz, taken by the Sox with the No. 45 overall pick, is expected to agree to a deal for a $1.1 million bonus, one source said.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander went 4-5 with a 2.52 ERA, 70 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 60 2/3 innings this year for Seminole State. He was taken with the No. 75 overall pick by the Mets in 2012, but enrolled in school after New York did not offer him a bonus for the slot recommendation of $680,400. According to one industry source, the Mets offered Stankiewicz $500,000 after they selected him, and upped the offer to $620,000 shortly before the deadline. But Stankiewicz — who would have accepted a bonus at the slot figure — turned down both offers.
The decision proved a financially rewarding one for the right-hander, whose stuff played up during his year in college. Meanwhile, with Stankiewicz accepting a deal for less than the $1.23 million allocated for the No. 45 slot in this draft, the Sox will have some extra money (approximately $130,000) to allocate to other picks while remaining within Major League Baseball’s “recommended” draft bonus pool allowance for the first 10 rounds. But, perhaps more significantly, the team added another live arm who has a pitch mix that suggests the potential to start in the big leagues. Read the rest of this entry »
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