|07.20.15 at 6:42 pm ET|
For the second game of the Red Sox‘ doubleheader with the Angels on Monday evening, Steven Wright will make his first start since June 4 and his first appearance with the big club since June 20, facing off against sophomore pitcher Andrew Heaney.
Boston’s knuckleballer was most recently optioned to Pawtucket on July 5, making two starts in Triple-A and losing both. After giving up nine earned runs over 13 innings in that time, Wright came away with a 6.23 ERA before being called back up and getting assigned Monday’s night game. In the majors this year, the 30-year-old has a 3-2 record with a 4.15 ERA, though as a starter alone he has a 1-2 mark and a slightly better 3.91 ERA. Additionally, batters are slashing .269/.348/.449 against Wright when he’s pitched in relief but are posting a weaker .225/.250/.404 line when he’s on the mound to begin the game.
Before his latest stint with the PawSox, Wright had allowed at least one earned run in each of his past three showings for Boston, recording a 12.27 ERA through his most recent 3 2/3 major league innings. As a member of the rotation for the Red Sox this season, though, the righty has yet to surrender more than three earned runs and averages a little more than 5 2/3 innings per start.
“Even at the time he was optioned out, he was throwing the ball well,” manager John Farrell said. “The choice was to go to Joe Kelly last time, but with our approach to keep Justin Masterson in the bullpen, Steven was the next guy to come to us.”
One of Wright’s four starts this season happened to be vs. the Angels, his first time seeing them in his big league career. He was able to toss 6 1/3 innings — his longest outing of 2015 — and gave up just two earned runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts, granting the Sox the opportunity to take an 8-3 win over the Halos. With that victory in the books, Wright has a 2.84 ERA against the Angels with a 0.789 WHIP and an opponent slash line of .274/.208/.261.
|07.20.15 at 5:14 pm ET|
Even though the trade deadline isn’t for another 11 days, the rumors are just getting started.
According to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, the Red Sox still have an interest in pitchers Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto.
The top priority for the Sox is a young pitcher under team-control, but the issue remains the lack of teams that are willing to start prioritizing beyond this season, which leaves Hamels and Cueto as the two top coveted pitchers at this year’s deadline.
Hamels, 31, has struggled of late, but for the season he’s 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA. Executives from two organizations who have had conversations with the Phillies in regards to Hamels tell Bradford that even with the lefty’s recent downturn, Philly hasn’t come off what has been an aggressive asking price.
The left-hander is signed through 2018 with a team-option for 2019 and hasn’t pitched for another team besides the Phillies in his 10-year pro career.
As for Cueto, his situation is a little different. According to Bradford, Cueto would most likely enter into serious Red Sox consideration if the price was right, but because his contract is up at the end of the year and the 29-year-old is due for a big pay day, the price likely won’t be.
But, if the Red Sox were willing to part ways with top prospects in order to make a late season run at the postseason, Cueto would be an interesting name. If the Red Sox believe they have a minor league surplus and a chance to win this season, Cueto is certainly in play.
Cueto is 6-6 with a 2.79 ERA this season and he too has only pitched for the Reds in his eight-year pro career.
For more on Hamels and Cueto, check out Bradford’s column from earlier today.
|07.20.15 at 3:18 pm ET|
“I’ll be nervous, excited, everything. I’m happy,” Vazquez said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve thrown a ball. The last time I threw it wasn’t right so I don’t know how it’s going to feel the first time after surgery. I just hope I don’t spike the ball.”
Vazquez is scheduled to throw 15-20 times from approximately 40 feet.
The 24-year-old is on target to be ready for full participation when spring training begins next February.
The Red Sox have used three catchers this season, with Blake Swihart having appeared in a team-high 40 games, followed by Sandy Leon (31 games) and Ryan Hanigan (28). Leon was designated for assignment Monday, with Swihart being activated from the 15-day disabled list.
|07.20.15 at 2:50 pm ET|
ANAHEIM — The Red Sox have a familiar player back on their roster.
Catcher Blake Swihart (foot) was activated from the disabled list Monday and in turn catcher Sandy Leon was designated for assignment.
Swihart was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left foot on July 3 and after four rehab games he’s back with the major league club. In 40 games this season, the switch-hitting catcher is batting .241.
Leon, who the Red Sox traded for at the end of spring training coming from the Nationals, was designated for assignment after playing in 33 games this season. He batted just .180 and was the personal catcher for Clay Buchholz, but with Ryan Hanigan already on the roster, the team has no need for three catchers.
|07.20.15 at 2:31 pm ET|
The Red Sox and Angels will face off twice on Monday, making up Sunday’s rain out and then play Monday’s originally scheduled contest. The Red Sox will need to take both games to split the four-game series.
The Angels will go with left-hander Hector Santiago for the first game, like was the case Sunday night, so the Red Sox will go with the exact same righty-heavy lineup for Game 1 as they had posted Sunday night.
Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
|07.20.15 at 1:36 pm ET|
ANAHEIM — It has certainly been a unique few days at Angel Stadium.
Saturday, the tarp came out prior to the game for the first time in years. Sunday, there as actually a rain-out at the home of the Angels for the first time in more than 20 years. And then, Monday, the players were greeted with the sight of a helicopter drying the outfield prior to the Red Sox/Angels doubleheader.
The great game of baseball, ladies and gentlemen …
(Also, listen to how the use of the helicopter translated into actually playing on the field by listening to the Red Sox Radio broadcast, with the pregame show kicking off at 4:20 p.m.)
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) July 20, 2015
There is a helicopter in the outfield https://t.co/eou1zwSBls
— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) July 20, 2015
|07.20.15 at 9:53 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-54): L, 3-0, at Durham (Rays)
— Zeke Spruill suffered the loss, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts over five innings. The right-hander fell to 4-5 but lowered his ERA to 5.16. Spruill has appeared in 26 games for Pawtucket this season and has made 10 starts. His last win came on June 10 in a three-inning relief appearance.
— Left-hander Edwin Escobar came out of the bullpen in the sixth inning in relief of Spruill and allowed one earned run on a solo home run off the bat of J.P. Arencibia. Escobar finished with two hits, no walks and no strikeouts. Escobar has an 0-1 record and a 9.69 ERA after nine relief appearances for the PawSox this season.
— Pawtucket batters recorded just four hits Sunday and did not draw a walk. The hits, all singles, came off the bats of Quintin Berry, Rusney Castillo, Travis Shaw and Allen Craig.
|07.20.15 at 9:31 am ET|
Following Sunday night’s rare rainout in Anaheim — the first in 20 years — the Red Sox and Angels will play a doubleheader Monday to wrap up their four-game series. Sunday’s scheduled starters, Eduardo Rodriguez and Hector Santiago, will take the mound for the opener.
Rodriguez has had an up-and-down rookie season to date. He came on strong with a 0.44 ERA through three career starts, but in the three starts following, he sported more earned runs than innings pitched.
One of the issues that has troubled Rodriguez through his rough patch is pitch-tipping. From the stretch, Rodriguez would hold his head differently depending on whether he was throwing a fastball or an off-speed pitch. His veteran teammates and coaches alerted him to the problem and he has since taken measures to prevent it.
“Working on all those four days before today. I tried to work on not tipping pitches to the hitters,” Rodriguez said after his June 30 start against the Blue Jays, a six-inning, one-run performance. “Working in my bullpen, every time I threw the ball, I worked at that, so that’s what I did better today.”
Since correcting his pitch-tipping issue, Rodriguez has gone 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three outings. He’s improved his season record to 5-2 and has brought his ERA down from 4.33 to 3.59. During his last start before the All-Star break on July 11, Rodriguez held the Yankees to just two runs over 6 1/3 innings pitched en route to a 5-3 victory.
“One of the things that really stood out, a couple times he gives up solo home runs and he executes a first-pitch strike to the next hitter,” Farrell said. “He didn’t fear the strike zone. He attacked the strike zone with quality stuff. A lot of stuff and for the most part was in command of the count.”
|07.19.15 at 10:37 pm ET|
ANAHEIM — Sunday night’s game between the Red Sox and Angels was postponed due to rain, resulting in a doubleheader scheduled for Monday.
The third game of a four-game series between the teams was delayed from its 8 p.m. start time before being called just before 10:30 p.m. The Sox and Angels will play Monday at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST.
The Red Sox‘ scheduled starter for Sunday night’s game, Eduardo Rodriguez, will pitch the first game, with Steven Wright going in the nightcap.
Sunday’s rainout marks the first time the Angels have been rained out at home in over 20 years, with the last occurrence on June 16, 1995.
“I’m serious man. Wherever we go, we bring rain,” said David Ortiz. “Every series we go there’s some rain going on. So I’m not surprised about that.”
The doubleheader makes an already challenging schedule a bit more uncomfortable for the Red Sox, who are traveling to Houston Tuesday morning. The team is expected to go straight from the airport to Minute Maid Park, where the Sox are slated to arrive about 2:30 p.m.
“We have a stupid schedule were we have to travel on the day we fly that we play,” Ortiz said. “I don’t know how it’s going to work out, but we’ll see.”
|07.19.15 at 4:21 pm ET|
Here is the Red Sox batting order with Eduardo Rodriguez going for the visitors:
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