|06.16.16 at 11:55 am ET|
1. After three years apart, CJ Chatham and Shaun Anderson will be teammates again.
The Red Sox selected the former American Heritage (Plantation, Florida) stars in Rounds 2 and 3 of last week’s MLB draft. Chatham went in Round 2 after playing his college ball at Florida Atlantic and Anderson went in Round 3, but his college career is still going as his Florida Gators are still playing in the College World Series.
These two weren’t the only two American Heritage players selected in this year’s draft as catcher Zack Collins was selected No. 10 overall by the White Sox. It’s no surprise the team was ranked No. 1 in the entire country by some polls in those players’ senior year. Also, the Red Sox are no stranger to the school as 2012 first-round pick Deven Marrero starred there before going to Arizona State.
Chatham isn’t the typical shortstop as he stands 6-foot-4, but he’s proven everyone he can play the position ever since high school. It’s worth noting the Red Sox view him as a shortstop long-term.
“I wasn’t quite sure he was going to be a shortstop,” American Heritage coach Bruce Aven said. “He came up to the mound in high school and pitched 12 innings and struck out 24 guys and was popping out at 94-95 mph. Everyone knew him as a pitcher, but I looked at him and I said, ‘Man, you’ve got to be kidding me.’ We’ve had some good shortstops go through our program and CJ matched everyone one of them. His range of motion, his arm strength.”
Aven noted Chatham is quite the athlete as besides pitching, he’s played third base, as well as some outfield. The versatility could come in handy down the road if the Red Sox ever wanted him to change positions. Chatham is just a natural athlete.
“If he played football, he would be my quarterback in a heartbeat,” Aven said. “He is very athletic. He threw the football all the time. Every time I turned around he was throwing a football to someone running a route. He could have played quarterback and been very successful. Very, very athletic for that body and build, which is kind of rare.”
Chatham led his Florida Atlantic team to its first Conference USA regular-season championship. He led the team with a .357 average, .554 slugging percentage and a .422 on-base percentage, while tallying 89 hits, 50 RBI, 48 runs, 17 doubles, four triples and eight home runs. At No. 51 overall, he was the highest player drafted in Florida Atlantic history.
According to a source, he signed a $1.1 million deal, just below the slotted amount of $1,232,800. He will report to short-season, Single-A Lowell.
|06.16.16 at 10:49 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Wednesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (33-32): L, 10-6, vs. Indianapolis (Pirates)
— Things looked promising for Pawtucket following the first frame after putting three runs to start the game, but things quickly went downhill after surrendering four runs in the second. At that point it was clear it was going to be a battle of the bats, with the Indians finishing the game with 16 hits to the PawSox’ 12.
Bryce Brentz hit his second home run of the season to center to put the PawSox back up 6-5, but they would go out in the bottom half of the inning and surrender three more runs, followed by two more an inning later.
— Starter Sean O’Sullivan had one of his worst outings of the season, allowing a season-high five runs and ten hits over four innings. He’s now 4-2 on the season with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
— Five Pawtucket hitters had multi-hit games, including Ryan LaMarre, Jantzen Witte, Brentz and Henry Ramos, who each had a pair of hits, while Chris Marerro had three. Ramos is currently on a six-game hitting streak, with four hits in his last two games and is now hitting .348 in Pawtucket. LaMarre’s single in the first inning extended his on-base streak to 18 games.
— After allowing just eight runs over an 11-game stretch, the PawSox have allowed 16 runs in just two games to start the series against Indianapolis.
|06.16.16 at 8:39 am ET|
The Red Sox and Orioles conclude their three-game series Thursday night. It is the last time the two top teams in the AL East will play each other until August. To finish out the series the Sox will send Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound and the Orioles will dispatch rookie right-hander Tyler Wilson.
Rodriguez is 1-1 in three starts with a 6.06 ERA and 1.408 WHIP. Last Saturday in Minnesota the southpaw stepped on the mound with a four-run lead, and in the first two innings he allowed just one Twins baserunner, but after that Rodriguez struggled. He ended up pitching just 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts in the Sox’ 15-4 victory.
“[Rodriguez is] coming off an unusual break in time, and it’s almost like he’s getting back into pitching shape at this level,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the start. “You can’t replicate this setting. He’s got a few games under his belt, but he’s still working toward refining it all.”
Rodriguez, 22, has started four games against the Orioles in his career. In those games he is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.286 WHIP. After coming off the DL with a knee injury, Rodriguez made his first and strongest start of the year against the Orioles. The Venezuela native went six innings and gave up two runs on six hits and no walks with three strikeouts. Rodriguez has struggled since that start, and both his velocity and command have been questioned.
|06.16.16 at 8:30 am ET|
After the Red Sox’ 6-4 win, Buchholz reiterated the call was, indeed, somewhat of a bitter pill.
“They went in a different direction with it,” he told WEEI.com “It’s part of it. I’m the one that put myself in this position. They went another direction and I have to deal with it. That’s where I’m at.”
Buchholz, who hasn’t been in the rotation since May 26 after posting a 6.35 ERA in 10 starts, was passed over for the appearance against Seattle in favor of lefty Roenis Elias.
Part of the thinking in giving Elias the start was that Seattle’s top hitters — Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, Dae-Ho Lee and Kyle Seager — all are less effective against left-handed pitching.
And while Farrell hasn’t committed to Elias beyond this one start, leaving the door open for a Buchholz return, the righty still finds himself craving some certainty going forward.
Since becoming a reliever, Buchholz has pitched in four games in which he has allowed four runs over 6 1/3 innings. He hasn’t allowed a hit or run in either of his last two outings, both one-inning stints.
“Right now I’m throwing an inning every six or seven days so it’s hard to get the work and the reps in by doing that because I don’t know when I’m pitching,” Buchholz said. “So to go out and throw a 35-40-pitch bullpen and then maybe have to pitch that night, I don’t think that works. That’s a little tough to schedule what you need to do every day. Just as soon as they know what’s going moving forward then they’ll let me know and I can try and get back on a routine.
“I’ve been throwing. It wouldn’t be anything for me to go out and throw 100 pitches right now. I could go out there and throw 100 pitches without being bothered by it.”
So, until he find out if a return to the rotation is imminent, Buchholz said he continues trying to acclimate himself to his new surroundings.
“It’s part of being in the bullpen, you can’t really map it out,” he said. Craig [Kimbrel] knows when he’s going to pitch the majority of time, as do Koji [Uehara] and Taz [Junichi Tazawa]. But everybody else is freelance out there with matchups and everything else. It’s just the way it is. It’s what I expected with this. You have to find a way to get the work in and whenever I do get the call to come in the game I have to make sure I’m focused on what I need to do.
“I’m just trying to do what they tell me to do and what they need me to do.”
|06.16.16 at 7:37 am ET|
According to a major league source, the Red Sox have agreed to terms with veteran relief pitcher Casey Janssen on a minor league deal.
The 34-year-old will throw a few bullpens before reporting to Single-A Lowell. After a two-week with the Spinners, he will join Triple-A Pawtucket.
Janssen pitched for the Washington Nationals in 2015, totaling a 4.95 ERA in 48 games, while going 0-for-3 in save opportunities. He had been signed by San Diego in the offseason but was released by the Padres at the end of spring training.
Prior to his stint with Nationals, Janssen spent his entire career with the Blue Jays, where he worked three seasons as Toronto’s closer (including on John Farrell’s 2012 team). From 2012-14, the righty went 81-for-91 in save opportunities, with a 2.94 ERA.
A former starter, Janssen experienced his breakout year in 2011 when he managed a 6-0 record with a 2.26 ERA in 55 appearances.
The Boston Globe was first to report the agreement.
|06.15.16 at 11:25 pm ET|
After hitting just .171 in the last two weeks, Hanley Ramirez had a feeling things would turn around.
Wednesday night showed he might be right.
Ramirez went 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs, including a mammoth three-run home run in the third inning well over the Green Monster seats to give the Red Sox a 6-0 lead in their 6-4 win over the Orioles on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
For Ramirez it was his first home run since May 10, which spanned 111 at-bats and is a sign for him that maybe things are turning around.
“Get ready,” Ramirez said. “Get your ticket. First class, whatever coach, it’s about to get hot.”
The homer certainly got the attention of his teammates, particularly David Ortiz who was waiting for him at home plate.
“Did you see where that ball landed? That’s what got me excited,” Ortiz said.
Despite struggling of late — batting just .150 in June — Ramirez hasn’t lost faith.
“No, just I needed a couple of hits for confidence,” he said. “In my mind I knew I was getting close.”
|06.15.16 at 10:09 pm ET|
After a night of not being able to generate much offense until late in the game, the Red Sox found their offense and they found it quickly en route to a 6-4 win over the Orioles on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
It took just three innings for the Red Sox to put six runs on the board, thanks largely in part of a five-spot put on Orioles starter Kevin Gausman in the third inning.
But it was not just the offense that surged, as starter Steven Wright put together a solid performance of his own to help bring the Red Sox back to a deadlock with the Orioles atop the American League East standings.
“He’s doing such a great job of establishing his release point. A lot of strikes, high percentage of strikes. Just a very commanding outing for the time he was on the mound tonight,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
The knuckleballer allowed six hits and three runs over 7 1/3 innings while striking out four and allowing just one walk. The win brought his record to 8-4 on the season, but did raise his ERA from 2.09 to 2.22, relinquishing his spot as the ERA leader in the American League.
Travis Shaw got the scoring started with an RBI double in the second inning that careened off the Green Monster and scored Hanley Ramirez. After a pair of RBI singles for Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz in the third, Ramirez drilled his fifth home run of the year beyond the Monster seats to put the Red Sox up 6-0.
“We’ve had some decent success against [Gausman]. He’s got a great arm, big time velocity, but we’ve been able to handle it in some of those occasions,” said Farrell. “We get a mistake in the middle of the plate with a breaking ball with Hanley, drives it out of the park for the three-run homer. But we were able to bunch some hits together. In combination with the first to third baserunning, it was a quality offensive night tonight.”
|06.15.16 at 5:32 pm ET|
Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Orioles, Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged that roster moves are on the horizon and updated the status of Clay Buchholz.
Between a lack of depth on the bench — especially from the left side of the plate — and pitcher Roenis Elias to be called up from Pawtucket on Friday, moves are expected to be made in the coming days that will shake up the look of the roster in Boston.
“We’re trying to get a left-handed compliment, and while Chris Young has done an outstanding job since taking over the everyday duties, we’re looking at how can we best match up if those needs arise late in games. And those alternatives are talked about internally,” said Farrell. “And with Roenis coming to us on Friday, we’ve got a little bit of roster — I don’t want to say shuffling — but some potential changes upcoming.”
Farrell added that while the team waits for the return of Brock Holt (concussion), they are looking at options in Pawtucket to fill their immediate needs on the bench.
He also commented on Buchholz as a reliever, and his progress to eventually find his way back into the starting rotation. Buchholz has appeared four times since being moved to the bullpen, pitching 6 1/3 innings for a 1-1 record with a 4.26 ERA. He has also held batters to a .174 average in that stretch, but did not get the nod for Friday’s start.
“I still view Clay as a starting pitcher, and yet performance is going to dictate that.” Farrell said. “He was disappointed by not being inserted in the rotation this turn through and I can respect that, but the reasons were given as to why. I will say this, since going to the bullpen, there’s every effort on his part being made to how to rectify the situations. … You see the physical abilities, the pitch mix, he’s got the tools to start, and yet the consistency was not there and that’s why he’s in the bullpen.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|06.15.16 at 4:10 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell had his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton on Wednesday to discuss the team’s fifth starter as well as provide injury updates. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
The Red Sox have been getting by with just four starters as of late thanks to a number of off days, but the time has come for a fifth starter to join the team for a matchup with the Mariners on Friday. Farrell has elected to go with Pawtucket pitcher Roenis Elias, who in 10 games in Triple-A this year is 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
“I think the one thing that we look at is that [choosing a fifth starter] goes directly into the decision for the starting matchup,” Farrell said. “If you look at the performance of left-handed vs. right-handed starters, there’s a decided difference in the performance and production when they’re facing right-handed starters. The fact that Elias has thrown the ball four out of the last five starts strong and gone deep in games, we felt like this was the right opportunity to get out here.”
The decision to have Elias start Friday was made easier with Joe Kelly suffering a groin injury a few weeks ago with Pawtucket. Kelly was demoted to the Triple-A affiliate after going 2-0 with an 8.46 ERA and 2.24 WHIP in six starts with the Red Sox. It has yet to be seen what Farrell will do with Kelly once the right-hander is healthy again.
“First of all, we got to get him back to the mound,” Farrell said. “There’s no time frame because of the right groin injury he sustained his last start there. … I would not rule out the potential of him being shifted to the bullpen at some point.”
|06.15.16 at 3:34 pm ET|
With Brock Holt sidelined with a concussion and Blake Swihart out with an ankle injury, the Red Sox don’t have many other options in left field against right-handers, which is why Chris Young gets the start again.
Young and the rest of the Sox hitters will be facing Orioles righty Kevin Gausman Wednesday night. It’s a standard Red Sox lineup with no changes from Tuesday.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Chris Young, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Steven Wright, RHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
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