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Pedey on his return: ‘I’m just one guy’

08.17.10 at 4:48 pm ET
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Dustin Pedroia said he is healthy enough to help the Red Sox battle for a playoff spot but admitted hours before his return from a broken foot that he’ll have to see how much he can play day-by-day.

“We’ll figure it out on the fly,” Pedroia said prior to Tuesday’s game.

Pedroia will be facing Jered Weaver, the American League leader in strikeouts as the Red Sox open a three-game series with the Angels at Fenway.

“I’m just one of the guys,” Pedroia added. “I don’t think anybody’s thinking, ‘Dustin’s back. We’re going to win every game.’

“I’m real excited. I haven’t played in a while so I can’t wait to get out there and play. I’m going to try and do everything. We’ll see. It’s 3:45. I’ll find out at 7:10 or when we start.”

[Click here to listen to Dustin Pedroia talk about his return and the Red Sox’ playoff chances.]

As for his three days with Triple-A Pawtucket, Pedroia said it served its purpose but that can only do so much to get him prepared to face live bullets.

“I saw some pitches,” Pedroia said. “I only faced a right-hander once. It’s a little bit different facing one right-hander in two months and then facing Jered Weaver. He’s leading the league in strikeouts. So I’ll get in there and do the best I can.”

His manager almost felt for Pedroia having to come back against the ace this season of the Angels staff.

“Sometimes you see a guy comeback and they hit the first pitch for a double and they go 4-for-4 and you can’t figure it out,” manager Terry Francona said. “There’s not a formula for that. If I had to pick one guy to face my first game back I’m not sure it would be Weaver. But the way he said that, I believe that. He’ll figure out a way to help us win games. I believe that.”

[Click here to listen to Francona explain why now was the right time for Pedroia to return.]

Then Pedroia turned into Wes Welker, at least in terms of trying to keep expectations somewhat reasonable after not playing in a big league game in nearly two months.

“I don’t think I’m going to be 100 percent the rest of the way but I don’t think it really matters,” Pedroia said. “It’s good enough to the point where that bone won’t break off, knock on wood, so here we are.

Keeping an eye on exactly how Pedroia looks and making a decision on how much he plays will be Francona’s job.

“As much as we can,” Francona said of monitoring Pedroia. “We’ll keep an eye on him. That in itself won’t be the easiest thing. I would hope he would lie. Good players do, that’s what they do. But we’ll keep an eye on him.”

Pedroia left when the team was 44-31 when he went down, three games out of first in the AL East. The Sox went 23-21 in his absence and stand 5 1/2 back of Tampa Bay and the Yankees.

“Everyone wants to get back,” Pedroia said. “No one likes to get hurt. We’ve had some weird injuries. All we can do now is get as many guys back and win games. It’s tough. We were playing good ball. I got hurt, Victor, we all got hurt kind of at the same time. That part was tough but you see how Victor impacted the lineup right away so hopefully I can do that.”

No doubt the Red Sox will appreciate having Pedroia’s energy back. Does Pedroia think he’s returning to a team capable of making up six games in the loss column and make the playoffs?

“Yeah, heck yeah,” he said without hesitation. “We play the people in front of us a lot more times so if we play well, we’re going to get in. If we win games, we’ll be fine.”

Francona knows that Pedroia feels he can help lead the Red Sox back to the playoffs but agrees with Pedroia’s cautious approach.

“I think that that’s how he feels,” Francona said. “I think I agree with him. He’ll figure it out. Everybody else is in the middle of August and he missed seven weeks. He’ll figure out a way to help us win. I think we all believe that.”

Read More: Angels, Dustin Pedroia, Jered Hoyer, MLB

Red Sox vs. Angels matchups, 8/17

08.17.10 at 2:37 pm ET
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The Red Sox begin a nine-game homestand on Tuesday against the Angels. Clay Buchholz will be on the mound, sporting a 13-5 record and 2.49 ERA. Against the Angels this season, Buchholz has recorded two wins with a 3.55 ERA. At Fenway in 2010, he is 5-3 with a 2.81 ERA. In his last start against the Blue Jays on Aug. 11, he held the divisional foe to one run and struck out four batters.

Jered Weaver will get the nod for the Angels with a record of 11-7 and a 2.87 ERA. Weaver leads the team in ERA, and he leads the majors in strikeouts (182). In his last start, Weaver pitched eight strong innings against the Royals, allowing one earned run with two walks and 11 strikeouts.

David Ortiz has hit well against the Angels pitcher, batting .304 in 27 plate appearances with one double and two home runs.

Angels vs. Clay Buchholz

Hideki Matsui (14 career plate appearances): .417 AVG/.500 OBP/ .500 SLG, 1 double, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Alberto Callaspo (12): .250/.250/.250, 1 RBI

Torii Hunter (12): .111/.333/.111, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Maicer Izturis (12): .400/.500/.600, 2 doubles, 4 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Bobby Abreu (11): .182/.182/.727, 2 home runs, 3 RBI

Juan Rivera (11): .200/.273/.200, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Erick Aybar (10): .000/.000/.000

Jeff Mathis (10): .143/.300/.143, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Howie Kendrick (9): .125/.111/.125, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout

Mike Napoli (6): .200/.333/.200, 3 strikeouts

Reggie Willits (3): .000/.000/.000 2 strikeouts

Cory Aldridge, Peter Bourjos, Kevin Frandsen, Paul McAnulty, Bobby Wilson and Brandon Wood have not faced the Red Sox starter.

Red Sox vs. Jered Weaver

Adrian Beltre (42 career plate appearances): .205 AVG/.238 OBP/.282 SLG, 3 doubles, 2 RBI, 8 strikeouts

David Ortiz (27): .304/.370/.609, 1 double, 2 home runs, 9 RBI, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Marco Scutaro (27): .269/.296/.346, 2 doubles, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Kevin Youkilis (26): .261/.346/.522, 2 home runs, 4 RBI, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts

J.D. Drew (18): .353/.389/.529, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Mike Lowell (17): .313/.353/.313, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Victor Martinez (15): .273/.467/.273, 1 RBI, 4 walks

Eric Patterson (13): .250/.308/.250, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (12): .222/.333/.222, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (11): .273/.273/.545, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 strkeout

Jed Lowrie (9): .333/.333/.667, 3 doubles, 3 RBI, 1 strikeout

Darnell McDonald (6): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Mike Cameron (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Bill Hall (3): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts

Jeremy Hermida (3): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts

Kevin Cash (2): .500/.500/.500, 1 strikeout

Dusty Brown, Ryan Kalish, Gustavo Molina, Daniel Nava and Ryan Shealy have not faced the Angels starter.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz, jered weaver,

The final draft tally

08.17.10 at 1:36 am ET
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Here’s the official Red Sox release detailing the seven draftees whom the Red Sox signed on Monday:

The Boston Red Sox announced that the club has signed seven players selected in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, including right-handed pitchers Anthony Ranaudo (supplemental 1st round), Brandon Workman (2nd round) and Matthew Price (8th round), shortstops Sean Coyle (3rd round) and Garin Cecchini (4th round), left-handed pitcher Chris Hernandez (7th round), and outfielder Lucas LeBlanc (11th round). Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye made the announcements.

Ranaudo, 20, went 5-2 with a 7.32 ERA (42 ER/51.2 IP) and 54 strikeouts in 15 appearances (11 starts) for Louisiana State University as a junior in 2010. The right-hander pitched for Brewster of the Cape Cod League this summer and did not allow an earned run over five starts, compiling a 3-0 record with 10 hits allowed and 31 strikeouts in 29.2 innings. In 2009, Ranaudo went 12-3 with a 3.04 ERA (42 ER/124.1 IP) in 19 starts for the Tigers as a sophomore and earned the victory in the clinching game of the 2009 College World Series.

The 22-year-old Workman compiled a 12-1 record for the University of Texas in 17 games (15 starts) in his junior campaign this year. He led the Big 12 Conference in wins while finishing fifth in the circuit with 101 strikeouts and ninth with a 3.35 ERA (39 ER/104.2 IP).

Coyle, 18, set a Germantown Academy (PA) record with 13 home runs this season and hit .562 (50-for-89) with 55 RBI, 45 runs scored and 22 stolen bases for the Patriots in 2010.

Cecchini, 19, was selected out of Barbe High School (LA) but did not play in 2010 due to injury. The left-handed batter hit .402 (45-for-112) with six home runs and 43 RBI for the Buccaneers as a junior in 2009.

Hernandez went 10-3 with a 2.64 ERA (31 ER/105.2 IP) and 110 strikeouts in 19 appearances (18 starts) as a junior for the University of Miami in 2010. The 21-year-old left-hander led the Hurricanes and ranked among Atlantic Coast Conference leaders in ERA (1st), wins (2nd) and strikeouts (3rd).

Drafted out of Virginia Tech, the 21-year-old Price compiled a 7-4 record with a 4.95 ERA (50 ER/91.0 IP) in 17 appearances (15 starts) this season in his sophomore campaign and owns 138 strikeouts in 149.2 innings over two seasons with the Hokies.

LeBlanc, 21, was named a National Junior College Athletic Association First Team All-American in 2010 after leading Delgado Community College in batting (.420), doubles (17), triples (7), home runs (11), RBI (67), runs (72), total bases (153), slugging (.722) and stolen bases (23).

Boston signed 23 of their 52 draft picks overall, including each of its first 10 selections and 14 of their top 15.

Read More: anthony ranaudo, Brandon Workman, chris hernandez, garin cecchini

Sox sign lefty Chris Hernandez

08.17.10 at 12:51 am ET
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Anthony Ranaudo was not the only college pitcher with whom the Red Sox reached an agreement just prior to Monday’s 11:59 p.m. deadline to get 2010 draftees under contract. The Sox also signed left-hander Chris Hernandez, a seventh-round selection out of the University of Miami, for $375,000. (News of the Hernandez signing was first reported (via Twitter) by Keith Law of ESPN. The bonus was first reported (via Twitter) by Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports.)

When the Sox drafted Hernandez, they were hopeful that he would sign quickly. But the left-hander’s initial asking price of $800,000 — an amount in line with a player taken in the supplemental first round — led team officials to be pessimistic about the likelihood of a deal. While some headway was made over the summer, the two sides were far enough apart that a deal with Hernandez was characterized as unlikely on Monday night. But apparently, compromise was achieved in the moments leading up to the deadline, allowing the left-hander to join the Sox and start his professional career.

Hernandez spent all three of his seasons at Miami as a Friday night starter, an honor bestowed upon the top starter on a staff. While he is not a power pitcher by any stretch of the imagination, he enjoyed tremendous success against elite college competition. Though Hernandez will sometimes feature a mid-80s fastball, the Sox scouted him as more consistently operating at 88-89 mph, touching up to 91.

“He’s a super competitor. He’€™s got different stuff,” Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye said shortly after the draft. “None of his pitches are straight. Everything moves. He’€™s just a guy who has a really good chance to get to the big leagues because of his repertoire from the left side. He can cut it, sink it, do different things with the baseball.”

Hernandez went 10-3 with a 2.64 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 19 appearances (18 starts) as a junior for Miami in 2010. The 21-year-old left-hander led the Hurricanes and ranked among Atlantic Coast Conference leaders in ERA (1st), wins (2nd) and strikeouts (3rd).

Read More: chris hernandez, mlb draft 2010,

Red Sox reach agreement with Ranaudo

08.17.10 at 12:00 am ET
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The Red Sox signed supplemental first-round pick (No. 39 overall) Anthony Ranaudo to a $2.55 million deal just before the midnight deadline to strike deals with 2010 selections. Until the last moment, Ranaudo had been prepared to return to Louisiana State University.

According to one source, the Sox had ‘€œno clue’€ about whether they would be able to convince Ranaudo to turn pro until the final minutes before midnight. But in the end, the team did just that with a pitcher who entered the 2010 season viewed as potentially the top available college pitcher, but whose stock slipped due to injury and poor performance.

But Ranaudo proved that he was healthy again with a dominant performance in the summer Cape League, thus convincing the Sox that he was worthy of a bonus in line with one of the top players in the draft, as indicated by the bonus (the largest ever given by the Sox to a college player not on a major league deal). Ranaudo, who is advised by Scott Boras, received a deal for roughly three times the MLB slot recommendation for a player taken at his spot in the draft. The bonus figure is roughly in line with the MLB slot recommendation for the No. 5 overall pick.

Read More: anthony ranaudo, mlb draft 2010,

Red Sox, Hernandez far apart

08.16.10 at 8:11 pm ET
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According to a baseball source, there is growing pessimism about whether the Red Sox will be able to sign 7th rounder Chris Hernandez, a left-hander out of Miami. The Sox and the junior remain far apart at this point. While a deal has not been ruled out (in the same way that the Sox were able to find middle ground with Brandon Workman), the Sox are considering reallocating the money they’d earmarked for the Hurricanes’ Friday night starter on other draftees with whom they are still in talks.

Read More: chris hernandez, mlb draft 2010,

Bill Lee to pitch for Brockton Rox

08.16.10 at 7:45 pm ET
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Bill Lee, 63, signed a deal with the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am League Monday and will pitch in the teams’ final game of its schedule, Sept. 5 against the Worcester Tornadoes in Brockton.

According the Associated Press, Lee, who still owns the Red Sox franchise record for games pitched by a left-hander (321), pitches more than 200 innings per year in over-40 men’s leagues in New England and Atlantic Canada. Lee pitched for the Red Sox from 1969-78 before being traded to Montreal in ’79. He last pitched in 1982, at the age of 35, appearing in seven games for the Expos.

For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Iglesias returning to Portland Tuesday

08.16.10 at 7:35 pm ET
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Red Sox shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias will be returned to Double A Portland after spending his last 13 games with Single A Lowell, rehabbing from an occult fracture of his right index finger. During his time with the short-season Spinners, Iglesias hit .350 with a .458 on-base percentage. Prior to his injury, the 20-year-old was hitting .306 while with the Sea Dogs. While he spent some of his time serving as Lowell’s designated hitter, Iglesias is scheduled to play shortstop Tuesday, at Hadlock Field against Altoona. For more Red Sox coverage see the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Cecchini signs, donates chunk of bonus to Jimmy Fund

08.16.10 at 6:21 pm ET
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Garin Cecchini has told WEEI.com that he will be signing with the Red Sox for $1.31 million, a step down from his initial signing bonus demands that scared other teams away, but still a sizable investment. A fourth-round pick, Cecchini was considered a top player in the draft before tearing his ACL in March. Cecchini played shortstop in high school but is expected to be a third baseman in the Red Sox organization.

Cecchini is considered a toolsy infielder with what Garye LaFevers, his Team USA coach calls a “selectively aggressive” approach at the plate. The 19-year-old is also considered to be capable of having an impact on the basepaths, as he’s run a 6.73 60-yard dash and stole 55 bases as a high school junior at Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La.

Upon reaching the agreement with the Red Sox, Cecchini decided to donate $20,000 to the Jimmy Fund.

“I’ve been blessed and need to give back,” Cecchini told WEEI.com in a text message Monday.

A dedicated student with educational goals and hopes of becoming a lawyer after college, Cecchini was verbally committed to LSU but was willing to entertain going pro if he received a sizable offer. As a result, he wrote to each team asking them to bypass him in the draft unless they felt they could meet his contractual demands, which at the time consisted of a $1.75 million signing bonus.

Cecchini recently was in town to take a physical with the Red Sox, but flew in and out without getting a deal done. Things progressed in negotiations, however, to the point where Cecchini expressed confidence earlier Monday that an agreement could be reached.

One knock on Cecchini is his injury history, which began when he first saw Dr. James Andrews as a youngster. A quarterback, Cecchini required rotator cuff surgery when he was 12. He quit football to focus on baseball and playing for one of Louisiana’s most popular coaches — his father.

‘€œIt’€™s been a way of life,’€ Glenn Cecchini told WEEI.com earlier in the summer. ‘€œWhen they were old enough — I’€™m talking about when they could walk — we would bring them to the field because both of us were coaching. They would just hang out and we’€™d have people drop them off from school at the baseball field. They would do their homework at the field.’€

The lefty hitting Cecchini outshone first overall pick Bryce Harper for Team USA in an under-18 tournament last summer. In the eight-game tournament that yielded a gold medal for Team USA, Cecchini hit .333 with an impressive .529 OBP and .708 slugging mark while hitting sixth and seventh and playing left field. By comparison, Harper hit .294 with a .375 OBP.

With Cecchini in the fold, 39th overall pick Anthony Ranaudo remains the biggest piece of the Red Sox 2010 draft haul to still be unsigned. The team has until midnight to agree with the right-hander before they lose his rights and he returns to LSU as a draft-elgible senior.

Read More: garin cecchini, mlb draft 2010,

Red Sox come to terms with Workman, Coyle

08.16.10 at 4:58 pm ET
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According to sources familiar with the situation, the Red Sox have come to terms with both second-round selection Brandon Workman, and Sean Coyle, their third-round pick.

Workman, a right-handed pitcher out of the University of Texas (the draft’s 57th round overall pick), will sign a deal that includes an $800,000 signing bonus. The agreement was finalized after a call between the Red Sox and Workman’s representatives on a 2 p.m. call, with the player coming down from his asking price of $1.25 million and the Sox coming up from the MLB’s suggested slot of approximately $634,000. He will begin his professional career in the coming days, reporting to Fort Myers.

Coyle the 110th overall selection in this year’s amateur draft, has agreed to a signing bonus of $1.3 million, WEEI.com has confirmed (the bonus amount was first reported by Baseball America’s Jim Callis). The Pennsylvania high school star flew into Boston with his father for a physical on Monday, and to see if the final details of a contract could be arranged. The finalized terms were well above MLB’s recommended slot of $300,000.

For more coverage of the Red Sox signings, and all other Sox coverage, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Brandon Workman, mlb draft 2010, sean coyle,
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