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Red Sox to re-evalute Koji Uehara Sunday

04.12.14 at 1:59 pm ET
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Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

NEW YORK — John Farrell said prior to his team’s game Saturday that the Red Sox‘ plan to see how Koji Uehara comes out of a throwing program Sunday before making any further decisions on the closer.

Uehara reported stiffness in his throwing shoulder prior to Friday night’s game. It’s an issue he experienced during the 2012 season while with the Rangers, having it linger for more than two months after a setback while on the 15-day disabled list.

“Anytime you’ve got a pitcher unavailable, there’s immediate concern,” Farrell said. “We’re also getting to know — this is the first time we’ve had to deal with him being unavailable. We’ve got to respect how he reacts to the discomfort that’s there, the tightness that’s there. We also know that when he was in Texas, there was a setback during the time that he was on the DL, so to say this is a direct comparison to two years ago, it’s probably a little bit too early, but we’ll take every precaution to get him back fully when he’s able to return.”

Farrell noted that the plan continues to be having Edward Mujica fill in as the Red Sox’ closer until Uehara is cleared. Mujica threw a perfect ninth inning in picking up his first save as a member of the Sox, Friday night.

“One of the main reasons we signed [Mujica] in the offseason is history last year showed us the need for multiple guys that could close games out in the event of a situation that arose [Friday] night,” said Farrell, who said the set-up situation leading up to the ninth will still be somewhat dependent on match-ups. “A guy that saved 30-plus games. He walks to the mound in the ninth inning very comfortable. We have got complete confidence in him.”

 

Read More: Koji Uehara; Edward Mujica, Red Sox,

Source: Red Sox’ most recent offer to Jon Lester for four years, $70 million

04.12.14 at 1:34 pm ET
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NEW YORK — According to a major league source, the Red Sox‘ most recent offer to Jon Lester was for an extension of four years, $70 million. FoxSports.com was first to report the offer, suggesting the money would be between $70-80 million.

Per the source, at this point there are no plans to rekindle talks regarding a new deal during the current season.

Lester is in the option year of what had been a five-year, $30 million deal. He is being paid $13 million for the 2014 season.

Here is what Lester had to say to reporters after the Red Sox‘ loss to the Yankees Saturday afternoon:

ON NOT TALKING DURING SEASON: “I don’t think that’s news. I think that’s something that was pretty well stated on both sides. We’re going to pause it for now. I took that as the season. I know how this stuff can be not only as an individual but as a team it can be a distraction, like this, questions, teammates getting questions. I feel like just wait and see, see where we’re at.”

SURPRISED OFFER BECAME PUBLIC?: “Not really. We all know that eventually things like this get out there. I knew that one day we’d probably be standing here doing this. That’s the nature of the beast, playing in a market like this. It’s hard to keep things under wraps. … Like I said, when things ended at the beginning of the season, no hard feelings. I think both sides walked away in good places. Like I said, we’ll pick it up when the time comes.”

HOPEFUL OF GETTING A DEAL DONE?: “We’re all hopeful, absolutely. Like I’ve stated before, I would like to think what they’ve said is true as well. I want to be here. They said they want me here. So just at that particular time, things didn’t really pan out, didn’t work out. When the time comes, we’ll sit down again and see where we’re at then.”

Red Sox minor league roundup: Manuel Margot keeps putting on a show; Deven Marrero doubling up; Pat Light dominating; Joe Gunkel nasty

04.12.14 at 11:39 am ET
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Sean Coyle is off to a strong start in Double-A. (Salem Red Sox)

Sean Coyle is off to a strong start in Double-A. (Salem Red Sox)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Friday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 7-4 LOSS AT BUFFALO (BLUE JAYS)

(BOX)

Brock Holt, who started at shortstop, continued is torrid start to the season, going 4-for-5 with a double and a homer. He’s hitting .481 (second in the International League) with a .548 OBP (third) and .704 slugging mark (7th), with three walks and just one strikeout thus far.

– Though he went 0-for-2 with a strikeout, outfielder Bryce Brentz also walked twice — the first time in his Triple-A career that he’s accepted multiple walks in a game. Though he’s hitting just .179, Brentz has shown an uncharacteristically patient approach in the early stages of the season, with five walks and six strikeouts in his first 33 plate appearances.

– Third baseman Garin Cecchini went 2-for-4 on a day when all of his plate appearances came against right-handed pitchers. He’s hitting righties at a .455/.520/.500 clip, but he’s 0-for-7 with three strikeouts and no walks against lefties.

– Left-hander Rich Hill had his best outing of the season, tossing a pair of scoreless innings in which the lone baserunner he permitted (on a single) was quickly erased by a caught stealing (with catcher Christian Vazquez doing the honors on the throw to second). Hill struck out two.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 11-2 WIN VS. NEW BRITAIN (TWINS) Read the rest of this entry »

Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia in leadoff spot against Hiroki Kuroda

04.12.14 at 10:08 am ET
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NEW YORK — Red Sox manager John Farrell has inserted Dustin Pedroia into the leadoff spot for his team’s game against righty starter Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees Saturday afternoon.

It is the first time this season Pedroia will be hitting leadoff, a spot he manned 11 times in 2013. While hitting in the top spot last season, the second baseman hit .327 with an .835 OPS. Pedroia has gone hitless in back-to-back games for the first time this season, going 0-for-4 Friday.

Here is the Red Sox’ lineup:

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Daniel Nava RF

David Ortiz DH

Mike Napoli 1B

Mike Carp LF

Xander Bogaerts SS

A.J. Pierzynski C

Jonathan Herrera 3B

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

John Lackey P

For all the matchups, click here.

Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: John Lackey vs. Hiroki Kuroda

04.12.14 at 9:08 am ET
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The Red Sox will head into the second half of their four-game series with the Yankees on Saturday when John Lackey takes the mound against Hiroki Kuroda in the Bronx.

In the very early goings of the 2014 season, Lackey has had the most success of any of the Red Sox starters. Lackey comes into Saturday’€™s start after giving up one unearned run on five hits over seven innings against the Rangers on April 7. Boston went on to win the game 5-1.

“It’€™s been a lot of fastball action early on,” Lackey, who is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA, said after his outing against Texas. “So far, my arm has been feeling pretty good. I’ve been challenging guys and trying to get ahead in the count, and A.J. [Pierzynski] called a great game again for me tonight. I was able to get ahead and dictate some at-bats and it makes things go a little bit faster.

“I definitely want to pound the strike zone. I want them to know that I’€™m going to throw strikes. If you’€™re going to get me, you better get me quick [in the count] because I’€™m coming after you, for sure. It can work both ways, if you’€™re not locating well, you can give it up pretty quick, too, that way. Just have to continue to locate and hopefully keep pitch counts down and get deep into games.”

Lackey last faced off against the Yankees and Kuroda on Sept. 13, 2013, when he did not factor into the decision after he gave up four runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He also gave up a solo home run to Brendan Ryan during the third. Kuroda eventually earned the loss after he gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings.

Kuroda also comes into Saturday’€™s game after picking up a win in his most recent outing. The 39-year-old righty gave up two runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings on April 7 during the Yankees‘ 4-2 victory over the Orioles. Kuroda is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA and a WHIP of 0.97 in two starts this season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Hiroki Kuroda, john lackey,

Koji Uehara sits out Red Sox win after experiencing shoulder stiffness

04.11.14 at 11:16 pm ET
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Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

NEW YORK —  The injuries keep coming for the Red Sox.

Just moments before what turned out to be a 4-2 Red Sox win over the Yankees Friday night, it was determined that Koji Uehara wouldn’€™t be available for duty after experiencing right shoulder stiffness during pregame.

“We felt it was best to stay away from him,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Just precautionary. This will be a day to day type of things and we’€™ll check on him tomorrow and his availability.”

Farrell noted Uehara€“ hadn’€™t been dealing with any sort of stiffness prior to Friday.

“Based on what Koji’s expressed as far as the stiffness, this doesn’t seem to be a one-pitch injury type thing,” Farrell said. “He just felt some stiffness and we wanted to stay away from him.”

The reliever did mention after the game that he had similar tightness two years ago while pitching with Texas, an issue that he said took two months to overcome after it resurfaced.

“It’s not something I feel all the time,” he said. “It’s not pain. It’s tightness when I throw. I feel it.”

Replacing Uehara in the closers role Friday night was Edward Mujica, who set the Yankees down in order in the ninth inning to pick up his first save as a member of the Red Sox. Mujica had served as the Cardinals’€™ closer for much of the 2013 season, having made the National League All-Star team after picking up 26 first-half saves.

“He’s got a lot of success in that closer’s role,” Farrell said. “He pitches with a lot of confidence in that ninth inning.”

“When I signed with this team they told me ‘We’re going to have a lot of opportunities in the bullpen,’”Mujica said. ‘€œThe job I did last year they said, ‘Mujica can do the job if Koji goes down.’ But everybody is ready to go to do whatever role.”

There were no plans at this time for Uehara to return to Boston for a further examination.

Read More: Edward Mujica, Koji Uehara, Red Sox, Yankees

Closing Time: Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore makes sure Jon Lester finally gets support as Red Sox win

04.11.14 at 10:08 pm ET
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NEW YORK — Grady Sizemore and Jonny Gomes were going to make sure Jon Lester was finally going to get some runs to work with. And once they did, the Red Sox lefty took advantage.

Gomes and Sizemore both homered in the Sox’ pivotal four-run sixth inning against Yankees starter CC Sabathia, handing the visitors enough offense to claim a 4-2 win over New York, at Yankee Stadium.

(Lester had entered the game having gotten just one run of support in his first two starts.)

“I felt all right,” Lester said. “I had some grinds in there throughout the game. That’s the Yankees. They’re going to grind away at you and make you throw a bunch of pitches. Overall, none of that really matters. We won the game, at the end, that’s all that matters.”

While Gomes’ solo homer and Sizemore’s three-run job highlighted the offense for the Red Sox, perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the night for John Farrell‘s team was the continued excellence of Lester. The starter went 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, two runs, and two walks while striking out six. Lester finished his outing throwing 113 pitches.

Sabathia continued his struggles against the Red Sox, having come in the night totaling a 4-6 mark and 6.48 ERA against the Sox since the beginning of 2011. (The Yankees‘ record in those 12 starts was 4-8.) The lefty went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits, striking out nine and walking two.

“CC is such a competitor and bulldog out there,” Gomes said. “Once he gets the lead you have to do what you can to jump him. So coming out in the sixth he’s going to be pounding the strike zone so I want to try and be aggressive in the count. We did a great job. You really have to congratulate Jon Lester, keeping us off our feet on defense. We couldn’t get much going early on and he kept running out there with those quick inning. He pitched his heart out tonight and I’m glad we were able to give him some runs.”

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:

WHAT WENT RIGHT

- Gomes’ homer — clearing the left field fence — was his first of the season. The outfielder finished with two hits, marking his first multi-hit game of the season.

- Sizemore also came away with a pair of hits, including the blast over the right field fence with David Ortiz and Mike Napoli having gotten aboard via singles. The Sox left fielder also is now 4-for-10 against left-handers this season.

- Junichi Tazawa came on and ended the Yankees‘ threat in the seventh inning, getting Derek Jeter to fly out to right on the reliever’s second pitch of the night. Tazawa came on for Lester with runners on first and second with the Sox leading by a pair. The righty finished his night allowing just one hit over 1 1/3 innings.

- Edward Mujica came on for the ninth to pick up his first save as a member of the Red Sox.

WHAT WENT WRONG 

- Dustin Pedroia went hitless in back-to-back games for the first time this season, going 0-for-4 to lower his batting average to .240. Pedroia still hasn’t walked this season.

- Lester could have escaped his outing having surrendered just one run (an Alfonso Soriano homer) if home plate umpire Brian Hays had given the lefty a two-strike cutter against Brian Roberts in the seventh. But Roberts would ultimately walk (to Lester’s dismay), leading to a Kelly Johnson RBI single.

- Koji Uehara was sidelined after experiencing shoulder stiffness. (See details by clicking here.)

Read More: grady sizemore, Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes, Red Sox
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