|06.13.16 at 2:47 pm ET|
With the scarcity of high-end arms seemingly available as the non-waiver trade deadline drawing closer, the Yahoo! Sports report that multiple executives from around Major League Baseball confirmed the Royals had been willing to include Ventura in deals raised eyebrows.
But then an MLB.com story came out, with a source calling the Yahoo! Sports report “complete and utter nonsense.”
So, which is it? Because if Ventura is available, the Red Sox should certainly be a team that might have interest considering their need for high-end starter.
Well, Monday a source close to the situation told WEEI.com that the Royals are not currently shopping Ventura. The reason given for a reluctance to deal the inability for the Royals to replace the 25-year-old both in their current rotation, and as one of a starter under team control at manageable money for the next few years.
After signing five-year, $23 million extension, with two club options, Ventura is under team control through the 2021 season, not making more than $12 million per year.
And as for replacing Ventura, the Royals No. 1 starter right now is converted reliever Danny Duffy, with the rest of the starting pitchers (Ian Kennedy, Edinson Volquez) all boasting ERAs of 4.06 or greater.
It is no secret Ventura’s biggest downfall is his immaturity and temper. This was put on display recently when getting suspended for hitting Baltimore’s Manny Machado. But for a reminder why Kansas City might be hesitant to give up on the righty, all anybody had to do was watch his outing against the White Sox Sunday afternoon.
Throwing his fastball 100 mph, while integrating a lethal curveball, Ventura allowed one run on five hits over seven innings, striking out 10.
|06.13.16 at 9:48 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (33-30): W, 1-0, vs. Louisville (Reds)
— Pawtucket relied on strong pitching to defeat Louisville on Sunday, as Aaron Wilkerson, Robby Scott and Noe Ramirez allowed only four hits in a combined shutout. Wilkerson got the start, throwing six innings while striking out seven and walking only one. He also did not give up any extra-base hits. Sunday’s win wraps up a seven-game homestand in which the pitching staff let up only 10 total runs.
“Our pitching has been terrific and it all starts with the length we’ve gotten out of our starters,” manager Kevin Boles told PawSox.com after the game. “The whole staff has been effective commanding the zone, and I thought our defense also really took care of the baseball this homestand.”
Since being activated from the temporarily inactive list on June 2, Wilkerson, 27, has 16 strikeouts and has allowed only two earned runs in three appearances. On the year, the right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.98 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in the minors. Opponents are hitting only .195 against him.
— After Wilkerson was pulled, Scott came in and held Louisville hitless in the seventh and eighth innings. He started the ninth, but allowed a single on the first at-bat. Scott, 26, is 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP this season. He has allowed just one run in his last four appearances.
— Ramirez came in after Scott allowed a hit in the ninth to earn his second save of the season. The 26-year-old right-hander forced a double play and another ground out to end the game. Ramirez is 1-3 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP in 10 games with Pawtucket.
— The Pawtucket bats were held to three hits, which proved to be just enough to secure the team’s ninth win in 12 games. Two of those hits came from catcher Ali Solis. His second-inning, two-out single brought home Bryce Brentz and would prove to be the only run the Pawtucket pitching staff needed.
Solis was called up to Pawtucket on June 5 after playing 20 games with the Portland Sea Dogs. The 28-year-old is batting .162/.224/.221 in 22 total minor league games.
|06.12.16 at 5:48 pm ET|
This can be absolutely classified as one that got away for the Red Sox.
After coming back from a three-run deficit, the Sox succumbed to the Twins in the 10th inning Sunday, dropping a 7-4 decision to the worst team in the American League.
The game was punctuated when Max Kepler took Matt Barnes over the center field wall with two on and one out in the 10th. It came after the Sox brought in Mookie Betts for a five-man infield with runners on second and third.
“I was trying to locate a heater up and away, and I just kind of yanked it,” Barnes told reporters. “He didn’t miss it.” The reliever added, “Situation like that, I’m going for a strikeout. You know, if I get weak contact, popup maybe to shallow outfield when we’re looking for a ground ball there. But a situation like that, I’m 100 percent looking for a strikeout.”
It was a nightmarish inning for Barnes, who walked Joe Mauer to lead off the frame, and then gave up a D.J. Dozier single after a sacrifice bunt from Trevor Plouffe. That led to John Farrell’s decision to bring Betts in to man the third base spot.
The Red Sox remained in a first-place tie with the Orioles in the American League East, with Baltimore losing once again to the Blue Jays.
|06.12.16 at 3:12 pm ET|
In the wake of this weekend’s shooting in Orlando, Curt Schilling took to Twitter on Sunday to offer his views on gun control and the root causes behind what happened.
Before idiots start screaming dumb stuff, law abiding citizens NOT permitted CC on the property. Even those with a license
— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) June 12, 2016
scary part? I just read the story, but I bet I can nail some facts. 1) Follower of Islam from birth OR converted 2) Has some history of
— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) June 12, 2016
terrorist acts and/or talk 3) Was in possession of firearms illegally obtained 4) Liberals will turn this into another "need more guns laws"
— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) June 12, 2016
AND "Please don't jump to conclusions about terrorists". While little to no mention of the 20+ deceased and their families. #RIP
— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) June 12, 2016
|06.12.16 at 1:46 pm ET|
John Farrell isn’t ready to call it a platoon, but he had to do something about Travis Shaw’s slump against left-handed pitching.
With Shaw hitting just .146 (6-for-41) against southpaws and the Red Sox facing Minnesota’s Pat Dean on Sunday, Farrell benched his starting third baseman in favor of Josh Rutledge.
“I don’t know about a platoon,” Farrell told reporters in Minnesota. “For the time being, with what Travis is going through, just trying to get him on track. He’s been pitched to here. Left-handers have given him something to contend with. It keeps Rut involved. That’s what we’re going to today.”
Rutledge is hitting .385 in limited exposure to lefties this year (5-for-13). Rutledge is a .258 lifetime hitter vs. lefties with a .728 OPS.
Rutledge will bat ninth. Otherwise the lineup remains the same.
In other news, Farrell isn’t ready to name a fifth starter when the Red Sox need one later this week. Clay Buchholz, Roenis Elias, and Henry Owens remain candidates with Joe Kelly injured. The Red Sox host the division-leading Orioles and Mariners this week.
“The main thing is you go into those series, and we’re going to get two teams back-to-back that are extremely tough, offensive lineups,” Farrell told reporters. “You’re hopeful that your starter goes in and controls the game to a certain point. That’s going to include having to pitch to both sides of the plate rather than stay in one area. That’s what allows a bullpen to come in and be successful, is that the starter has established the use of both sides and they don’t lock in on one attack plan. It’s on the starters to allow that bullpen to be a little bit more effective.”
Here’s Sunday’s lineup, with Rick Porcello starting against the last-place Twins:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Chris Young LF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C
|06.12.16 at 11:17 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (32-30): L, 3-1, vs. Louisville (Reds)
— Left-hander Henry Owens delivered his second straight strong start, allowing one run in 5 2/3 innings on six hits and two walks (to his final two batters) while striking out five. The only run came on a homer in the first inning.
“Overall, we’re starting to see some progress with his last three outings,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles said. “I liked how he was able to go cross corner with his fastball into righthanded hitters and it looked like he was more aggressive attacking the zone.”
— Right-hander Anthony Varvaro relieved Owens and got out of the bases-loaded jam he inherited in the sixth by inducing a force out at second. Varvaro has not allowed any of his 15 inherited runner to score this season. However, Varvaro ended up taking the loss after giving up a run in the seventh on two walks, an error and an RBI groundout. The 31-year-old is 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 17 games this season. Opponents are hitting just .186 against him.
— Wesley Wright pitched the final two innings and gave up one run in the ninth on two singles and a sacrifice fly. The 31-year-old left-hander is 0-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 14 appearances this season.
|06.12.16 at 8:29 am ET|
The Red Sox and Twins will conclude their three-game series Sunday afternoon, with Sox righty Rick Porcello facing off against Boston College product Pat Dean, a 27-year-old rookie left-hander.
Porcello, 27, is 7-2 with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.084 WHIP in 12 starts. Porcello surprised many with a strong start this season. However, in his last four starts he has a 5.79 ERA with five home runs. Porcello’s strikeouts per nine innings has dropped from 8.9 in his first seven starts to 6.2 in his last four. The righty last pitched on Tuesday in a 5-3, 10-inning Red Sox win over the Giants. Porcello didn’t get a decision after pitching six innings and allowing three runs, five hits and three walks with six strikeouts.
In his career Porcello has started more games against the Twins than any other team. In 25 starts he is 8-9 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.387 WHIP. Porcello last faced the Twins on June 3 of last season. In that outing he pitched eight innings, giving up two runs, five hits and no walks with five strikeouts in a 2-0 Red Sox loss.
|06.11.16 at 11:01 pm ET|
The Red Sox closed out the MLB draft Saturday by selecting five pitchers in their final 10 picks. Among their final selections was Georgia Southern outfielder Jordan Wren, the son of Red Sox senior vice president of baseball operations Frank Wren. A junior, Wren hit .285 with a .3350 on-base percent this season.
Of the 40 players the Sox selected over the three-day draft, 18 are pitchers (14 right-handed), 10 are infielders, nine are outfielders and three are catchers. Twenty-four are collegians and 16 are high schoolers.
Here are Boston’s final 10 picks.
Round 31: Christian Jones, LHP, Federal Way (Wash.) HS
Round 32: Jeff Belge, LHP, Henninger HS (Syracuse, N.Y.)
Round 33: Chad Hardy, CF, Paris (Texas) JC
Round 34: Aaron McGarity, RHP, Virginia Tech
Round 35: John Rave, CF, Central Catholic HS (Bloomington, Ill.)
Round 36: Jordan Wren, OF, Georgia Southern
Round 37: Carter Aldrete, SS, Monterey (Calif.) HS
Round 38: Austin Bergner, RHP, Windermere (Fla.) Prep
Round 39: Jake Wilson, CF, Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School (Angus, Ontario, Canada)
Round 40: Carter Henry, RHP, Port Neches-Groves HS (Port Neches, Texas)
For more draft and Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
|06.11.16 at 9:22 pm ET|
Chili Davis had some interesting comments regarding Xander Bogaerts Saturday afternoon after the shortstop revamped his American League MVP resume once again.
“Ceiling? There is no ceiling,” Davis told the Boston Herald. “Ted Williams hit .400. Why not Bogaerts?
“He’s a great kid. Every pitch, every at-bat, he’s not thinking of all that. He’s just playing. That’s the beautiful thing to watch. He’s not about numbers or average. He’s just out there playing every day.”
Bogaerts is leading the American League in hitting with a .358 batting average after back-to-back four-hit games. He once again put his baserunning acumen on display, with one of the wiliest maneuvers seen in some time. (For more on that, click here.) And he remains certainly an above-average defender at one of the Top 3 most important positions on the diamond.
So, about that ceiling, and, more specifically, that notion that Bogaerts could approach .400.
Coincidentally, Ted Williams was relatively the same age as Bogaerts when he became the last player to hit .400 in 1941. At this point in the season (June 11), Williams was hitting .416 with 182 plate appearances. The lowest he would get was .393 on July 19.
|06.11.16 at 5:55 pm ET|
Xander Bogaerts is playing like an MVP. Want proof? Rewind the last two Red Sox wins.
After notching four hits (including a key three-run home run) Friday night, Bogaerts repeated his offensive output, while making the play of the game in the Sox’ 15-4 win over the Twins on Saturday afternoon.
And even though Bogaerts came away with four hits for a second straight day, his most memorable moment at Target Field had nothing to do with his bat.
With the score tied at 4, nobody out and Bogaerts standing at first base, David Ortiz hit what appeared to a double-play ball into the second base spot. But the Red Sox shortstop saw that he would be able to beat the throw to second, and that nobody would be covering third due to a shift. So without breaking stride, Bogaerts raced around second and got to third on the fielder’s choice.
The head’s up execution was magnified a batter later when Hanley Ramirez’s fly ball to left proved deep enough to score Bogaerts with the go-ahead run.
And just for good measure, Bogaerts sealed the win thanks to an eighth-inning, two run homer just over the left field wall. It was third hit of the day for the American League’s leading hitter, who is now batting .358. He has lifted his average 18 points during the two games in Minnesota.
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