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Rubby De La Rosa to start Wednesday; Brandon Workman optioned to Pawtucket

07.08.14 at 10:54 pm ET
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Rubby De La Rosa

Rubby De La Rosa

The Red Sox will call up Rubby De La Rosa to start Wednesday, John Farrell announced after Tuesday’s game. In a corresponding move, Brandon Workman has been optioned to Pawtucket.

In five starts in Boston this season, De La Rosa has posted a 2-2 record with a 2.51 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. In his last two starts on June 16 and June 21, he surrendered just five hits and one run over 14 innings.

Workman went seven innings in Tuesday’s loss to the White Sox, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out five and walking two. After conceding just 10 earned runs over his first five starts of the season, Workman has now given up 12 over his last three.

“It’s not ideal,” Workman said about getting sent down. “It’s not what I was hoping to hear after the game. It’s part of it. I just have to keep getting my work in, keep getting better.”

Closing Time: Slide at 4 as last-place Red Sox fall again to White Sox

07.08.14 at 10:22 pm ET
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Brandon Workman appears to be in the first rough patch of his major league career.

Brandon Workman lost his third straight start. (AP)

Brandon Workman lost his third straight start. (AP)

Workman, who had been lauded by manager John Farrell for his consistency earlier in the season, gave up four or more runs for the third straight game Tuesday night. And with this Red Sox offense, that’s a near-death sentence.

Workman gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits over seven innings to take an 8-3 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday. He has a 6.49 ERA in his last three starts after allowing three runs or fewer in his first eight major league outings. Workman now is 1-3 on the season after three straight defeats.

Aside from a three-run fifth inning, the Sox once again were punchless at the plate against mediocre pitching. The Red Sox ran their scoreless streak to 18 innings after four frames on Tuesday against Chicago starter John Danks and came up empty on a pair of bases-loaded situations.

Conor Gillaspie drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-run homer off Workman in the top of the six innings to put the White Sox up 5-3. For a Red Sox team that is now 5-31 when the opponent scores at least five runs, the outcome thus became all but inevitable.

At 39-51, the last-place Sox have lost four straight, seven of their last eight and 13 of their last 18.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– At 25 years old, Workman had already appeared to be a model of consistency for the Red Sox after his first eight major league starts. But since returning from his six-game suspension June 27, the righty has been unable to build upon that promising start. Workman made it three straight outings giving up four or more runs after not doing so through the first six months of his big league career. On Tuesday, he gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits, including a deflating two-run home run to Gillaspie in the sixth to break a 3-3 tie. He’s allowed seven homers in 52 1/3 innings in the big leagues this year.

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Red Sox pregame notes: Mookie Betts adapting to major league outfield; Wednesday starter to be announced after Tuesday’s game

07.08.14 at 8:18 pm ET
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At 21 years old and just five games into his major league career, Mookie Betts has plenty to learn about being a big league baseball player.

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

But maybe the most notable difference for a rookie is the adjustment to be made in the field, especially for someone like Betts who has yet to establish a full-time position.

Betts spent almost all of his first two full pro seasons in the minor leagues as a second baseman. But with Dustin Pedroia locked up at second and the Red Sox thin in terms of outfield production, he was forced to make the switch to the outfield.

Betts has seen time in both right and center field for the Sox so far. On Tuesday, he’ll play center and bat ninth against the White Sox.

Betts has had the challenge of not only adapting to relatively new and different positions, but also doing so at the highest level of baseball.

“There’s, I think, drastic differences between here and Pawtucket, particularly in Mookie’s case where he’s changing positions,” manager John Farrell said Tuesday. “He’s not facing the strength of hitters that he sees here in defending them that he’s seen in the minor league level. That’s a world apart if you ask me.

“The reads off the bat, how quick he gets to the spot prevent runners from taking an extra base. Rather than drifting back he’s got to get to the spot and come through to make the transfer on a throw. Read the rest of this entry »

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With Red Sox looking to free roster spot, could Jake Peavy be dealt?

07.08.14 at 7:37 pm ET
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Jake Peavy is in the middle of trade rumors with the Red Sox preparing to make a roster move to add a starter on Wednesday. (AP)

Jake Peavy is in the middle of trade rumors with the Red Sox preparing to make a roster move to add a starter on Wednesday. (AP)

The Red Sox need to make a roster move in order to add a starting pitcher — expected to be right-hander Rubby De La Rosa — from Triple-A Pawtucket by Wednesday, and so the possibility looms that there could be a roster-changing trade in the coming hours. Two Red Sox officials cautioned that it was premature to assume that a trade would occur to create the roster spot for the pitcher, but the rumor mill is churning.

Multiple reports suggest that the Red Sox and Cardinals have discussed the possibility of a trade that would send right-hander Jake Peavy to St. Louis, with ESPN.com reporting that the Cardinals had a pro scout at just one game between the Sox and Orioles over the weekend — the start made by Peavy. At a time when the Red Sox have shown considerable interest in having De La Rosa get more opportunities to pitch in the big league rotation, Peavy represents perhaps the most obvious trade candidate to open a spot for the 25-year-old De La Rosa.

Peavy, 33, is 1-7 with a 4.64 ERA, 6.8 strikeouts and 3.4 walks per nine innings. He’ll be eligible for free agency after this year, and seems unlikely to receive a one-year qualifying offer as a free agent that would net a draft pick. Thus, perhaps the only avenue for the Sox to get some value back for a player whom they acquired from the White Sox at the 2013 trade deadline in a three-way deal that saw the Red Sox part with Jose Iglesias and three lower-level minor leaguers.

At that time, the White Sox had also been talking with the Cardinals about a deal involving Peavy. Peavy acknowledged as much before his Game 3 start in the 2013 World Series between the teams.

“I did know that St. Louis was in on it and were having some talks.  I was kept abreast of a lot of the talk through [White Sox GM] Rick Hahn there in Chicago letting me know.  And I know it was a pretty serious conversation I guess they were having in St. Louis,” said Peavy. “I was obviously excited about the opportunity to be moved simply because of the situation I was in in Chicago. Really all the teams that I felt I would be moved to were teams I was happy to go to because of the position their team was in.  St. Louis is a city, a team, an organization that I’ve always respected.  I love the National League style of game.  Nothing excites me any more than getting to be a part tomorrow night and trying to get a bunt down, maybe hitting and running, and feeling like a true baseball player, as opposed to how we are as a pitcher in the American League. I would have been excited to come to St. Louis.  It’s a place I dearly love and enjoyed playing in any time through here. But that being said, everything has a way of working itself out the way it should.  I found a home in Boston, that I couldn’t be anymore thankful to be.”

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Ben Cherington: Red Sox ‘have to be honest with ourselves,’ but not at point of looking beyond 2014

07.08.14 at 7:05 pm ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, in an appearance on NESN’s “Red Sox Gameday Live” pregame show, said that the Red Sox may reach a point, if they can’t start trimming into their 10-game deficit in the AL East, at which they would look to trade assets in an effort to bolster their chances for 2015. However, Cherington also said that if the Sox reach a point where they are forced to deal away assets for 2014 — something that the GM said the team has not yet decided to do — it would be with an eye towards putting the team in better position to contend in 2015, rather than a more distant future.

“If we can’€™t close that gap, we have to be honest with ourselves,” Cherington said on NESN. “At some point we may need to be realistic and focus on helping the 2015 team. We are not at that point yet. … We will never be a true ‘seller’ looking for the future. For us it would be about reloading for the very next year.”

Manager John Farrell said that the Sox’ lineup on a nightly basis is written with finding a way to win, rather than longer-term player development goals.

“No one has turned the page on this situation we’re in right now,” said Farrell.

Red Sox delay Shane Victorino’s rehab another day, won’t return before All-Star break

07.08.14 at 6:31 pm ET
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Shane Victorino‘s rehabilitation suffered yet another setback on Tuesday.

The Red Sox ailing right fielder had his rehab assignment, which was set to begin in Lowell Wednesday night, pushed back to no earlier than Thursday after he experienced increased symptoms in his back, manager John Farrell said Tuesday.

Farrell said Victorino, who has played in just 21 games for the Red Sox this season due to a right hamstring injury, won’t be back until some time after the All-Star break.

“There’s a tentative plan in place with five consecutive days of games played,” Farrell said. “That was going to include progression from the typical two, three at-bats to a full nine innings. We’re still following that guide.”

Victorino has already had multiple rehab assignments cut short due to recurring injury concerns. He’s hitting .242 a home run, 10 RBIs and a .276 on-base percentage in just 91 at-bats this season.

Given the Red Sox‘ offensive struggles and constant rotation in the outfield, Farrell said Victorino’s been missed both at the plate and in the field this season. The Sox could especially use his presence at the top of the batting order after hitting .294/.351/.451 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs in 2013.

“I don’t want to single out [Victorino's impact] offensively. He’s been missed. His energy, his defense, what he’s done at the plate for us,” Farrell said. “His vacancy has left a hole in our lineup, and that’s not to be critical of anyone who’s playing the outfield, that’s saying Shane Victorino was a heck of a player for us last year and we miss that player.”

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John Farrell on David Ortiz: ‘It’s unfortunate that innuendo continues to follow him’

07.08.14 at 5:06 pm ET
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As one may have expected, Red Sox manager John Farrell came to the defense of David Ortiz amidst another controversy surrounding the slugger and his link to performance-enhancing drugs.

Ortiz reacted strongly Monday to claims that he was given a “free pass” for appearing on a list of major leaguers to test positive for PEDs in a 2003 report, telling WEEI.com, “You don’€™t get no free pass here, especially a guy like me. I don’€™t get no free pass. That free pass B.S. that they want to talk about over there, they can shove it up their [expletive].”

Farrell backed his slugger.

“The 2003 test I think that’s being referred to, I don’t know how many times David has been tested since then, whatever that number is I’m sure it’s a very high one,” Farrell said Tuesday. “He’s tested clean every single time. It’s unfortunate that the innuendo continues to follow him. He’s a heck of a player, one hell of a hitter and there’s no reason other than hard work and talent that’s produced that.”

Ortiz was brought into a conversation that began with John Lackey expressing his issues with Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz following his PED suspension last season. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter responded to Lackey’s comments by saying, “We need to all make sure we check our own backyard before we start looking at someone else’s.” Those comments led to a conversation on MLB Network that sparked Ortiz’s protest.

When asked if there’s a way erase that innuendo following Ortiz, Farrell said, “It’s going to be dependent on who’s asked the question.”

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