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Red Sox pregame notes: Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo being exposed to other OF spots; Allen Craig’s new role

09.01.15 at 5:32 pm ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

With the news that Hanley Ramirez won’t play the outfield again in 2015, it opens the door for the younger Red Sox outfielders to get exposure at other outfield positions as the team looks to find the best alignment possible for 2016.

Mookie Betts has just played center field, so he will get some work at left and right field. Rusney Castillo has played center and right field so he will get some work in left field, while Jackie Bradley Jr. has already played all three.

After sitting down with all three, it was determined the work will take place pregame until outfield coach Arnie Beyeler feels they are ready for game action.

“We’re going to mix and match those moving parts and until that time where we put them in the game they need to get out there with Arnie to get some work done,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “So you’re going to see Mookie getting some reps in left and right in pregame. You’re going to see Rusney gets some reps in left field. Jackie obviously is very good at all three so we’re going to wait for the go sign from Arnie that he feels comfortable with these guys moved in game situations into different positions.

“We’re going to explore that. We haven’t yet clearly defined who is playing where, but once we make that decision we’re going to leave those guys there. We’re not going to mix and match for their entire career. We’re going to try and piece together the best outfield for the Boston Red Sox in 2016.”

While the experimenting will take place during the final month of the year, a final determination on those players’ positions likely won’t come until next spring.

“I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to get a look, put it in our minds, let us see what it looks like to make those conversations go in a good direction,” Lovullo said. “Then you’ll see a little bit more of it in spring training. That’s the initial thought — see a little but more of it in spring training and then once we get moving towards April of 2016 we’re going to try and have that firm up and have it stay put.”

As for if this move means the three players won’t be traded this offeason, Lovullo said that decision is above him.

“That is not in my department,” he said. “I do know I love those three kids out there. I feel very comfortable when they are in the outfield playing the way they are now. That’s above my level determining of they available for a trade or not.”


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Read More: Allen Craig, jackie bradley jr., mookie betts, Rusney Castillo

Yoan Moncada named South Atlantic League’s Most Outstanding MLB prospect

09.01.15 at 10:48 am ET
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Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada is capping a tremendous second half of the season for Single-A Greenville and with his performance he’s been named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team and was also selected as the league’s Most Outstanding MLB prospect.

“In this, his first year in professional baseball, Yoan has had an outstanding debut with us here in Greenville and is very much deserving of this recognition as one of the South Atlantic League’s best players,” said Drive manager Darren Fenster via a press release.

“For him to join our organization under such a big spotlight and to perform at the level that he has over the course of the season is a testament to his work ethic and desire to become a Major Leaguer. We are very proud of the success Yoan has enjoyed this season, and couldn’t be more excited to watch his continued development over the course of his career, as this is only the beginning for him.”

In 73 games through Monday, Moncada has 45 stolen bases, good for third in the South Atlantic League. He has also posted a .291 average with 59 runs, 80 hits, eight homers, 36 RBI, 37 walks and a .391 on-base percentage. In 48 games out of the leadoff spot, he’s swiped 41 bases in 44 tries and boasts a .335 average with seven home runs.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Rafael Devers extends hit streak to 6 games; Gulf Coast Red Sox 1 win away from title

09.01.15 at 8:41 am ET
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday:

Jonathan Aro

Jonathan Aro

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (54-83): L, 4-2, at Rochester (Twins)

— Left fielder Chris Marrero went 2-for-4 for Pawtucket in the loss on Monday, driving in both of the team’€™s runs including one via a fourth inning home run that got the PawSox on the board. Turning on a high fastball, Marrero sent the ball deep to left, a line drive shot that cut the deficit to 3-1 and gave him his second homer in his last four games. Then, in the eighth, Marrero singled to bring home shortstop Marco Hernandez (Boston’€™s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) and make it a 4-2 game.

Marrero was released by Triple-A Charlotte on August 5 and joined the PawSox on August 15. He is now hitting .226 (14-for-62) in 15 games since joining the squad.

— RHP Jonathan Aro pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Zeke Spruill (4-10, 4.19 ERA), with Aro striking out one over the two perfect frames. The 24-year-old Aro has a 2.92 ERA over 25 outings in Triple-A this year with 52 strikeouts and 10 walks in 49 1/3 innings of work. Aro has also had three stints in Boston this year, appearing in three major league games with six earned runs allowed over 4 2/3 innings.

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Read More: Allen Craig, jonathan aro, manuel margot, nick longhi

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Michael Pineda

09.01.15 at 8:25 am ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

The second game of the penultimate Red Sox-Yankees series of 2015 will showcase disabled list returners Rick Porcello and Michael Pineda.

In his first game back after hitting the inactive list with triceps issues, Porcello looked better than he has all season. Facing the White Sox last Wednesday, the right-hander made it through seven shutout innings, giving up five hits and striking out five for his sixth win of the season. Following the game, Porcello indicated he went back to his basic mechanics and that will be the key to continuing his success.

“I thought about it a lot and the more and more I thought about it, the more and more frustrated I’d get with myself for getting away from what I’ve done,” Porcello said. “Just had some success with it and kind of got carried away, that’s the best way you can describe it. But I learned from it and it’s over with now and I know where I need to be and just stay disciplined with that.”

It hasn’t been a cakewalk by any means for Porcello this season. The $82 million man has gone 6-11 with the second worst ERA in the AL at 5.47 and a 1.40 WHIP. He’s served up long balls at a career-high rate (1.5 HR/9) and has allowed his most hits since 2012 (10.6 H/9). Opponents have batted .293/.338/.469 against him, good for an .807 OPS, well above the league average of .718.

Porcello has not faced the Yankees this season, but in nine career starts against them he’s found a decent amount of success. He sports a 4-3 record and a 3.90 ERA against the Bronx Bombers, having held them to four home runs in 55 1/3 innings pitched.

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Allen Craig among those promoted by Red Sox

09.01.15 at 1:34 am ET
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Allen Craig

Allen Craig

With the roster expanding for the final month of the regular season, the Red Sox will add four players to their clubhouse prior to Tuesday’s game against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Included in the group who will promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket are first baseman Allen Craig, pitchers Ryan Cook and Noe Ramirez, and catcher Sandy Leon.

For Craig, it will be his first trip back to the major leagues since he played in a May 9 loss to Toronto. In 24 games with the Red Sox, the 31-year-old hit just .135 with a .430 OPS.

While with Triple-A Pawtucket, Craig was hitting .274 with a .718 OPS. He managed four home runs and 14 doubles in 93 games.

Both Ramirez and Cook figure to get semi-regular action of the Red Sox bullpen, with interim manager Torey Lovullo suggesting before Monday night’s win over the Yankees that any player called up would be relied on to contribute for the final month.

Leon returns the Red Sox after playing in 26 games with the PawSox, having been sent down to Triple-A after clearing waivers. The backstop had been designated for assignment by the Sox on July 20.

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Red Sox trade Alejandro De Aza to Giants for lefty pitcher Luis Ysla

09.01.15 at 1:20 am ET
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Alejandro De Aza

Alejandro De Aza

Alejandro De Aza will have his shot at playing in the postseason.

The Red Sox and Giants narrowly beat Monday night’s midnight waiver trade deadline, with the Sox dealing De Aza, along with cash considerations, to San Francisco for minor league lefty pitcher Luis Ysla.

The Red Sox will pay the Giants $650,000 in the deal, with De Aza owed $930,000 the rest of the season. When the Sox dealt for the outfielder from the Orioles June 4, however, they only took on $1 million of De Aza’s $5 million for the 2015 season, meaning San Francisco’s financial commitment in acquiring the 31-year-old is virtually nothing.

The Giants are 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers in the National League West, and five games out of the final wild card spot.

De Aza, who is eligible for free agency after this season, proved a valuable player for the Red Sox. The lefty hitter finished his stint with the Sox hitting .292 with an .831 OPS in 60 games.

In return the Red Sox are getting an intriguing prospect.

The numbers for the 23-year-old Ysla while playing for San Jose of the California League (Single A) haven’t been encouraging, with the southpaw totaling a 6.33 in 33 outings (9 starts). He has, however, struck out 95 batters in 79 1/3 innings, walking 41.

Ysla finished 2014 as the Giants’ 21st-ranked prospect, having turned 6-7 mark with a 2.45 ERA in 23 starts for Single-A Augusta in the South Atlantic League. That season he also managed an impressive strikeout rate, fanning 115 in 121 1/3 innings.

The Venezuela native was identified by Baseball America as having the SAL’s best changeup after his ’14 campaign. At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, he also has a fastball that can tough 97 mph.

He signed relatively late for an international prospect, signing with the Giants for just $7,500 at the age of 20.

Read More: Alejandro De Aza,

Red Sox spokesman says no directive to confiscate signs supporting NESN broadcaster

09.01.15 at 1:01 am ET
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A Red Sox spokesman said on Monday night that the team issued no directive to confiscate signs supporting popular NESN broadcaster Don Orsillo, a point seconded by multiple sources in stadium operations.

“Our gameday staff was advised to treat any signs about Don just like any others that come into the ballpark, provided they didn’t include offensive language, weren’t displayed during play, or wouldn’t obstruct any fan’€™s enjoyment of the game,” spokesman Kevin Gregg wrote in an e-mail.

A Boston Globe report citing two ballpark sources said workers at the turnstiles were instructed to confiscate signs supporting Orsillo as fans entered the park, but the paragraph in question was subsequently edited out of the story.

Multiple team sources vehemently denied any such directive had been ordered, and there were a smattering of pro-Orsillo signs spotted throughout the park.

Whether those signs appeared on NESN’s broadcast is another story, of course. The station and the Red Sox have been under fire since news broke that Orsillo wouldn’t return to the broadcast booth for a 16th season next year. He’ll instead by replaced by WEEI’s lauded play-by-play man Dave O’Brien.

A petition calling for Orsillo’s reinstatement has garnered over 50,000 signatures.

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Closing Time: David Ortiz hits career home run No. 495, Mookie Betts also goes deep to lift Red Sox past Yankees

08.31.15 at 10:55 pm ET
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Jackie Bradley (right) celebrates with interim manager Torey Lovullo after scoring Monday. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Jackie Bradley (right) celebrates with interim manager Torey Lovullo after scoring Monday. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

With the season over from a standings perspective, the Red Sox are left with three reasons to play out the schedule ‘€“ seeing how young players develop, determining who should be here in 2016, and watching David Ortiz‘s chase for 500 home runs.

Monday night’s 4-3 victory over the Yankees hit on all three categories.

Youngsters Mookie Betts (2-run homer), Jackie Bradley (3 hits, runner thrown out at plate), and even starter Eduardo Rodriguez (5-plus 2-run innings despite subpar command) gave the Red Sox something to feel good about for the present and future. Beleaguered reliever Junichi Tazawa started a beautiful 1-6-3 double play to end the eighth. And Ortiz blasted career homer No. 495.

Add it all together, and not a bad night for a team going nowhere.

Let’s actually start with Ortiz. Forget about 500. At this rate, three years from now we’re going to be talking about homer No. 600.

Continuing a second-half surge that has restored his place among the most feared sluggers in the game, Ortiz’s solo homer to left proved the winner and left him just five long balls shy of becoming the 27th player in history to reach 500. His 29th homer of 2015 also left him one shy of his ninth 30-homer season, which would break a tie with Ted Williams for most in Red Sox history.

“It’s exciting for every once of us,” said interim manager Torey Lovullo. “He’s downplaying it in his typical David humble way to not make a distraction. He doesn’t want to make it about himself. He wants to make it about the team and how we’re playing right now, but it’s exciting for all of us to walk in every day. It’s bigger than a lot of things that are happening right now, and it’ll be fun if he gets that 500th.”

Ortiz’s homer made a winner of Rodriguez, who was lifted after allowing a leadoff single in the sixth. He allowed seven hits and three walks in his five innings, but he continually managed to avoid massive innings.

It helps that he erased one run at the plate on a comebacker, and that Bradley cut down another with yet another tremendous throw, this time from left field on a would-be sacrifice fly to erase Greg Bird at home.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Red Sox, Yankees,

Video: Red Sox prospect Logan Allen allows 2 runs over 4 innings in Florida Gulf Coast League championship

08.31.15 at 6:29 pm ET
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Contributor Erin Lashley was at JetBlue Park for Game 1 of the best-of-three Florida Gulf Coast League championship between the Red Sox and Blue Jays with the Red Sox taking Game 1, 3-2. Red Sox 2015 eighth-round pick Logan Allen started the game and went four innings, allowing two runs to pick up a no-decision.

Below are videos from the start. To read more about Allen, check out last week’s Red Sox minor league notebook.

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Alex Rodriguez on shifting to first base: ‘This is a lot more challenging than people give it credit for’

08.31.15 at 6:04 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez isn’t the only former shortstop trying to transition to first base. Across the field in the Yankees dugout, Alex Rodriguez is doing the same thing, and he wants to make something abundantly clear: it’s not easy.

Rodriguez has played two games at first in his 21-year career and started exactly one — on April 11 this season against the Red Sox following a marathon 19-inning loss. Rodriguez booted a Mike Napoli grounder for an error and looked remarkably uncomfortable for a two-time Gold Glover at short.

“It felt uncomfortable,” Rodriguez said on Monday before the Sox and Yankees opened a three-game series. “I thought I was terrible at it. I had one of the ugliest games I’ve seen. Like I told some of you guys, this is a lot more challenging than people give it credit for.”

Rodriguez is in a different place in his career than Ramirez. He just turned 40, has spent the entire season at designated hitter, and is coming off a 2014 season that he missed to suspension. The risk of injury weighs more heavily on him.

“Honestly, your guess is as good as mine, because I’ve never had to do this before,” Rodriguez said when asked about getting hurt. “I wish I had some experience on it, but I don’t. My guess is as good as yours.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who has loaned Rodriguez a mitt, said Rodriguez might play first during this series. The Yankees are scrambling to fill the position with starter Mark Teixeira injured and rookie  Greg Bird inexperienced.

Rodriguez doesn’t want to cost the team a game in a pennant race.

“No question,” he said. “The stakes are much higher. The risk-reward ‘€¦ spring training is one thing. Even earlier in the season, you take April and May, it can be kind of a more trial-by-error kind of thing. It’s kind of a different story now.”

Read More: Alex Rodriguez, hanley ramirez,
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