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Examining Red Sox plan for 3B with Yoan Moncada in mix

09.02.16 at 9:13 pm ET
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OAKLAND — Yoan Moncada walked out to the Oakland Coliseum field with instructors Laz Gutierrez and Brian Butterfield at 3:15 local time, accompanying the Red Sox’ new third baseman to various spots on the infield. This was all about getting the rookie’s feet wet.

“There was a little bit more addressed in terms of a walk-through, particularly with over shifts and the responsibility of the third baseman,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “So we spent some time with Butter walking through placement on the field, some of the terminology he will become more accustomed to the first time here. Then it will be a day to sit and watch a game, but we fully expect him to be in the lineup [Saturday].

This is what it looks like: Moncada will be the go-to guy more times than not against right-handed pitching, with Aaron Hill being the option vs. southpaws. Friday night’s starter Travis Shaw? That remains to be seen.

“I’m just going to roll with it and see how it is,” Shaw said. “I can’t control that so I’ll just try and stay ready for whenever that time comes.”

“Aaron will get the left-handed starters, and it’s likely he will get some late-inning defensively replacement, as well,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Where that puts Travis? He’s not a forgotten guy, I can tell you that. It’s going to be important for Travis to make sure the work pre game is there. I outlined to him to never be caught off guard in terms of either in the starting role or coming off the bench in certain spots. We’ve also used him at first. The fact is that Yoan is going to get more at-bats against some right-handed starters at third base.”

For the time being, it appears as though the Red Sox might not take any chances in close games with the lead late in games, opting for defensive replacements until there is a better gauge on Moncada’s acumen at third base. This will likely be involving Hill, although recently-promoted Deven Marrero could also be an option.

“I think it’s something we’re going to take the temperature as we go along,” Farrell said. “But we also have a very good third baseman defensively at our disposal. If we’re in a game if we have a lead late, I think it’s reasonable to use everyone on our roster.”

Red Sox lineup: Yoan Moncada starts big league game on bench

09.02.16 at 6:22 pm ET
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OAKLAND — Yoan Moncada is going to have to wait for his first big start.

Red Sox manager John Farrell is giving the recently promoted top prospect a day to acclimate himself in the majors, with Travis Shaw starting at third.

Moncada did join infield coach Brian Butterfield and instructor Laz Gutierrez out in the infield at 3:15 local time for some pregame coaching.

Here is the Red Sox lineup with David Price on the mound in the series opener against the A’s:

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

David Ortiz DH

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez 1B

Travis Shaw 3B

Brock Holt LF

Sandy Leon C

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Mookie Betts, son of Vietnam veteran, weighs in on Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest: ‘I’m always going to stand because I have that connection’

09.02.16 at 1:38 pm ET
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Willie Betts, father of Red Sox star Mookie Betts, is honored as part of "Hats off to Heroes" during a June game against the White Sox. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Willie Betts, father of Red Sox star Mookie Betts, was honored as part of “Hats off to Heroes” during a June game against the White Sox. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

With 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a stand during the national anthem by refusing to stand, athletes from across sports have weighed in on the appropriateness of Kaepernick’s protest against police violence.

For Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, the issue is personal.

Betts’ father, Willie, served in Vietnam as a member of the Air Force. During a game in June against the White Sox, the elder Betts was honored at Fenway Park for his military service.

So while Betts does not begrudge Kaepernick his right to sit or kneel — as he did on Thursday night in a preseason tilt against the Chargers — he also knows what the song means to him personally.

“I mean, it’s his right. Nobody can control him,” Betts said. “I’m always going to stand because I have that connection. For me, it’s different. He may not have that connection, so he may view it differently. It’s just your views. However you want to look at it, no one can control what he does.

“My dad fought for this country. We may be in a completely different spot if we don’t have those people to go out and protect us. So I’ll always make sure [to stand.]”

Betts sees the anthem as a way to honor those who risked or gave their lives for the country.

“It’s been more than my dad that has fought,” he said. “It’s been a lot of family members and whatnot that have gone and fought. I have to pay my respects to them and all the families with loved ones they have lost, for protecting our country. That’s just my view of it.”

Betts is in the midst of an MVP-caliber season. The Red Sox open a series in Oakland on Friday with Betts hitting .320 with 30 homers and 96 RBIs. He also leads the league in total bases.

He may play a game for a living, but he never forgets where he came from when the strains of the anthem start each night.

“Two minutes, three minutes,” he said. “Pay your respects for those three minutes and say thank you for your service.”

Read More: Colin Kaepernick, mookie betts, Willie Betts,

Friday Red Sox Farm Report: LHP Brian Johnson solid in PawSox loss; Portland RHP Teddy Stankiewicz tosses 6 shutout innings

09.02.16 at 8:49 am ET
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Here’s a look a the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (71-67): L, 2-1, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)

— Left-hander Brian Johnson pitched well in his final start of the season, allowing one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old, a first-round draft pick in 2012, walked three and struck out three. After allowing two of the first three batters to reach base, he retired 16 of the next 18.

“He worked with a consistent tempo, his delivery was repeatable and he attacked the zone,” manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com).

In 15 games with the PawSox, Johnson is 5-6 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He has allowed one run or fewer in five of his last seven starts.

— Right-hander Williams Cuevas relieved and was charged with the loss after surrendering the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. He finished his night allowing five hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Righty Heath Hembree came on to record the final out of the ninth with runners on the corners.

— The PawSox had just four hits, with Rusney Castillo, Ryan LaMarre, Bryce Brent and Allen Craig recording one apiece. Chris Dominguez drove in Pawtucket’s lone run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

— Second baseman Mike Miller made a nice leaping catch in the ninth inning to keep the score close, snagging a soft liner with runners on the corners and two outs.

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Read More: brian johnson, Teddy Stankiewciz,

Friday’s Red Sox-Athletics matchups: David Price vs. Andrew Triggs

09.02.16 at 8:27 am ET
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After a day off, the Red Sox begin a four game series in Oakland Friday night by sending David Price to the hill to face 27-year-old rookie right-hander Andrew Triggs.

Price is 13-8 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.225 WHIP in 28 starts, which is among the most in the majors. The southpaw picked up his fourth win in as many starts with a win over the Royals on Saturday. In the outing, Price pitched six innings, allowing two runs, five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

“I thought tonight he was more powerful than the last time over in Tampa,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Price (via MLB.com). “They put up some good at-bats against him. A lot of foul balls, ran the pitch count up. Six innings was his night tonight. But still, it’s the offspeed stuff that’s really making a difference for him.”

After the stellar start, Price’s ERA dropped below 4.00 for the first time since April 5.

“I haven’t thought about my ERA in a long time,” Price said. “That ship has sailed. I want to go out and pitch as deep into the ballgame as I can and give up the least amount of runs. I don’t worry about my ERA. I don’t worry about my wins and losses. I want the Red Sox to win every day and especially the days that I’m out there.”

In eight career starts against the Athletics, the 31-year-old is 3-2 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.106 WHIP. The last time Price saw Oakland was in 2015 when he was a member of the Tigers. In that start, Price pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

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Read More: Andrew Triggs, David Price,

Red Sox add Joe Kelly, Ryan Hanigan, Deven Marrero, Yoan Moncada as September call-ups

09.01.16 at 11:07 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

The Red Sox plan to make four September call-ups while also activating catcher Ryan Hanigan from the disabled list.

The team announced that it will recall right-hander Joe Kelly and infielder Deven Marrero from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. The Red Sox will also select left-hander Robby Scott to the roster from Pawtucket, as well as make official news we’ve known for more than a day now, that top prospect Yoan Moncada will join the team from Double-A Portland.

Kelly went 2-0 with a 7.62 ERA in Boston. He experienced far more success in relief at Pawtucket after returning there on July 15, posting a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings and striking out 25 while walking just two.

Scott, who just turned 27 on Monday, will be making his big league debut after six years in the Red Sox system out of independent ball. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder went 4-3 with a 2.54 ERA at Pawtucket, striking out 73 in 78 innings. He has made six starts this year and 26 relief appearances.

Marrero is a standout defender at shortstop who has hit .210 in the big leagues since making his debut last season.

Hanigan is hitting .158 this season. He has been sidelined since Aug. 6 with left ankle tendinitis.

That leaves Moncada, whom WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford profiled here.

Read More: Joe Kelly, Red Sox, robby scott, September call-ups

Red Sox minor league notebook: Jason Groome ‘ecstatic’ to be with Lowell Spinners after eventful draft process

09.01.16 at 10:48 am ET
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No. 12 overall pick Jason Groome will start for the Lowell Spinners Friday night. (WEEI.com)

No. 12 overall pick Jason Groome will start for the Lowell Spinners Friday night. (WEEI.com)

Highly touted 18-year-old left-hander Jason Groome finally can breathe a sigh of relief.

Groome was drafted No. 12 overall by the Red Sox in June’s MLB draft, signed a professional contract, started two games in the Florida Gulf Coast League and now is preparing to start for the short-season Single-A Lowell Spinners on Friday night.

On the surface it sounds like a pretty seamless and exciting process, but it was anything but smooth for Groome.

“I’m ecstatic now. I am finally living out my career,” Groome said Wednesday.

It was evident as a high school sophomore that Groome was a special talent pitching for Barnegat High School in Barnegat, New Jersey. The lefty helped Barnegat to its first 20-win season when he went 6-2 with a 0.57 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings.

With Groome being so talented, it was thought IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, would be the best place for him as he could get some of the best instruction in the country and potentially get more exposure than he would pitching in New Jersey.

Groome transferred there for his junior season and went 5-0 with a 0.98 ERA and 77 strikeouts against nine walks in eight starts. From a baseball perspective Groome loved it, but from an off-the-field perspective, something was missing. So he transferred back home following just one season.

“The baseball side of it and the strength part of it were 110 percent awesome,” Groome said. “You can’t get that training anywhere else. It’s second to none. Overall, I just felt like I needed to come back and be with my family for the last year before I was going off to pro ball or college. I just felt like I had to be around my family a little bit more. Down there we couldn’t compete for a state championship, so I figured why not come back and try and win the first one in Barnegat history.”

It wasn’t an easy transition returning home as the Barnegat team had to forfeit some of its games early in the season because of a transferring issue with Groome’s address. On the mound, he posted a 0.77 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 15 hits allowed in 39 2/3 innings. On April 11, he recorded 19 strikeouts in the first no-hitter in school history, facing the minimum number of batters over seven innings.

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Read More: Jason Groome, Red Sox Minor League Notebook, yoan moncada,

Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Michael Kopech doesn’t make it out of 1st inning; Aneury Tavarez goes 4-for-5

09.01.16 at 10:12 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.

Chris Marrero

Chris Marrero

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (71-66): L, 4-3, at Lehigh Valley (Phillies)

— A three-run sixth inning was not quite enough for the the PawSox, falling short to the IronPigs. Down 3-0, Chris Marrero drove in two with a double to right field, advancing to third on the throw. Jantzen Witte proceeded to drive in Marrero with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at three. The 28-year-old Marrero is hitting .286 for Pawtucket this season with a .842 OPS.

— The lead was immediately squandered in the bottom half of the inning, with Andrew Knapp leading off the inning with a solo home run off of Henry Owens. Owens was modest overall, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk.

The 24-year-old lefty is 9-7 this season with a 3.64 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and an opponents batting average of .220. He did find some form in August, putting together a 1.82 ERA in five starts during the month.

“He showed a lot of weapons and hitters were very uncomfortable against him tonight,” said manager Kevin Boles via MiLB.com.

— Joe Kelly and Roman Mendez were solid in relief, combining to allow no runs or hits over 2 1/3 innings of work, with Kelly striking out a pair.

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Read More: aneury tavarez, Chris Marrero, michael kopech,

What you should know about Yoan Moncada and his promotion

09.01.16 at 12:01 am ET
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Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Remember when Yoan Moncada stated at his introductory press conference he wanted to be in the major leagues within a year? Turns out he wasn’t that far off.

It took 537 days. Not bad. (The Red Sox announced they would be promoting Moncada Friday.)

Along the way, there was questions about his position, his switch-hitting, and even his cars. But here we are, getting ready to see Moncada in a Red Sox uniform when they begin their three-game series in Oakland against the A’s.

You know the Red Sox allocated $63 million to win the services of the infielder, and that Moncada has been deemed the organization’s top prospect. But there is so much more to soak in when it comes to one of the most anticipated promotions of this Major League Baseball season.

(To read about the Red Sox’ pursuit of Moncada, click here.)

Why now?

It was difficult to read between the lines in the last few weeks when trying to decipher the Red Sox’ intentions in terms of bringing up Moncada. The doubt about a Sept. promotion only grew when the infielder suffered a sprained ankle while playing for Double-A Portland.

But what became evident was the need on the major league club for a jolt, particularly at third base, where Travis Shaw and Aaron Hill had slumped badly in August. As Red Sox manager John Farrell stated Wednesday morning, one could draw a “direct comparison” to what Moncada might do for the 2016 season and the boost given to the ’07 club by Jacoby Ellsbury and Xander Bogaerts’ impact in ’13.

“The one thing for those who have been around this team for a number of years, teams that have had success have always had an injection of young players late in the season that have helped carry the team to the postseason,” Farrell said. “I think Yoan would be in a similar category for when Pedey [Dustin Pedroia] and Jake came to the big leagues. When Bogey came to the big leagues. And [Andrew] Benintendi is obviously already here. I wouldn’t separate him out from that comparison at all. In fact, he’s a direct comparison.”

(To read more of Farrell’s comments, click here.)

The Red Sox could have waited for the conclusion of the minor league season, which ends Monday, but then they would be risking injuring a player they suddenly have postseason plans for.

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Red Sox announce Yoan Moncada joining big league club

08.31.16 at 10:34 pm ET
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John Farrell hinted at it Wednesday morning. Eleven hours later, the Red Sox made it official.

The Sox announced that they will be adding Yoan Moncada to the active major league roster Friday, one day after rosters can expand. The infielder will still have to be added to the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 39.

Farrell said during his pregame media briefing Wednesday that Moncada’s role would not be strictly as a pinch-runner, with the 21-year-old slated to get regular time at third base. He has been manning the position with Double-A Portland for the past few weeks, having also played the spot for two years in Cuba.

(To read all of Farrell’s comments from Wednesday morning, click here.)

Moncada entered Wednesday hitting .295 with a .935 OPS in 44 games with Double-A Portland.

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