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Who experts are predicting Red Sox to select with No. 12 pick in MLB draft

06.09.16 at 11:35 am ET
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The MLB draft is less than eight hours away and the Red Sox will pick No. 12 overall. There should be some intriguing names available when the Red Sox pick, but no one knows exactly who will be available when the Red Sox are on the clock given the uncertainty of the first 10 picks.

Last year the Red Sox selected Andrew Benintendi out of Arkansas with their first pick, No. 7 overall.

Here are who the national draft experts are predicting the Red Sox will take with their first pick this year.

Baseball America: Taylor Trammell, OF, Mt Paran Christian HS
ESPN (Keith Law): Zack Collins, C, Miami
MLB.com (Jim Callis): Ian Anderson, RHP, Shenendehowa HS
MLB.com (Jonathan Mayo): Matt Thaiss, C, Virginia
CBS Sports: Braxton Garrett, LHP, Florence HS
Sports Illustrated: Braxton Garrett, LHP, Florence HS
Sporting News: Zack Collins, C, Miami

For more Red Sox and draft coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: 2016 MLB Draft,

Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: RHP William Cuevas solid again as PawSox win on walk-off error

06.09.16 at 11:10 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (30-29): W, 2-1, vs. Toledo (Tigers)

— The Pawtucket bats were quiet, but the Sox still managed to win as they walked off on an error in the ninth. Starter William Cuevas made up for the offense’s lackluster performance, tossing eight innings of one-run ball on four hits while striking out five and walking two. The right-hander retired the final seven batters he faced.

“[Cuevas] throws strikes, so you know what you’re going to get from him, and tonight he had fastball command on both sides of the plate,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com).

Cuevas is 4-2 with a 2.74 ERA over 10 starts this season with Pawtucket. The 25-year-old Venezuelan has not allowed more than three runs in any of his last nine starts, and in his eight starts since being optioned from Boston on April 22, he has a 1.95 ERA.

“When you get an outing like that, everything feels good, but my command of the fastball was great today and it helped me a lot,” Cuevas said.

— Noe Ramirez got the win as he gave the PawSox the opportunity to walk off in the ninth, tossing a scoreless inning of relief.

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, henry ramos, noe ramirez, teddy stankiewicz

Red Sox DH David Ortiz looking forward to final visit to Minnesota, where his career began

06.09.16 at 9:59 am ET
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David Ortiz has crushed the Twins over the years. (Bob DeChiara-USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz has crushed the Twins over the years. (Bob DeChiara-USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz is about to come full circle.

The 40-year-old slugger returns to Minnesota on Friday for the final time as a player, 19 years after he made his big league debut for the Twins, as the Red Sox open a three-game series.

“Just going to go over there and have fun,” Ortiz told reporters in San Francisco after the Red Sox dropped a 2-1 decision to the Giants on Wednesday. “Try to win some games, get back into the mojo, see some of my boys. I hear some of my boys are going to be there, that will be fun, see some of my boys.”

Ortiz believes former Twin Torii Hunter, who retired before this season, might be there. The two came up together as 21-year-olds in 1997. Reliever LaTroy Hawkins, another member of that team, did some coaching for the Twins in spring training after hanging up his cleats this winter, as well. And of course, Twins manager Paul Molitor, now 59, was finishing up his career when Ortiz started, too.

Ortiz, who will retire at the end of the season, is still going strong at age 40, though he has no idea why the Red Sox were forced to fly to San Francisco for two games.

“It is what it is, you just have to get used to this [BS], coming here across the country to play two games,” he told reporters. “I don’t see the point. But it is what it is. Ever thought about that, coming this far to play two games? I feel like I played five games here.”

Ortiz didn’t have the best experience in Minnesota, getting buried on Tom Kelly’s bench. His best season came in 2002, when he hit .272 with 20 homers and 75 RBIs, his season curtailed by a broken wrist. The Twins released him that offseason and the rest is history.

Ortiz hit 58 of his 519 (and counting) lifetime homers in a Twins uniform, so the city will always hold a special place for him. He hopes to leave it with one final reminder of what might have been. He’s a lifetime .323 hitter with a 1.042 OPS against them.

“I just try to do something and I have good success in Minnesota through the years,” he told reporters. “Hopefully that will continue through the last game that I play.”

Read More: David Ortiz, David Ortiz final visit to Minnesota, David Ortiz Twins, Minnesota Twins

Closing Time: David Price outlasts Madison Bumgarner in battle of aces, but doesn’t outduel him in loss to Giants

06.09.16 at 1:02 am ET
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Giants first baseman Brandon Belt rounds the bases in front of Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts after homering in the fourth on Wednesday. (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports)

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt rounds the bases in front of Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts after homering in the fourth on Wednesday. (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports)

It was billed as a pitcher’s duel and it lived up to the hype.

For six innings, Red Sox left-hander David Price and Giants counterpart Madison Bumgarner traded punches. The battle of a former Cy Young Award winner vs. a former World Series MVP stayed tied into the late innings, each pitcher only touched by a solo homer in the fourth.

Bumgarner blinked first, lifted after six innings because Red Sox hitters wore him down over the course of 101 pitches. He allowed four hits and just one run on a Chris Young homer, striking out five and walking one.

Price, meanwhile, worked at a more efficient pace, which allowed him to come back out for the eighth inning. To that point, the only run he had allowed came on a mammoth Brandon Belt homer into McCovey Cove over everything in right field just a few batters after Young had given him the lead.

Returning for the eighth proved Price’s undoing, however. He hung a changeup to Mac Williamson with his first pitch of the frame, and the former Red Sox draftee (46th round, 2011) didn’t miss, lofting it into the left field seats for the winning run in San Francisco’s 2-1 victory.

“It’s a loss. You know, it happens. We’re fine,” Price told reporters in San Francisco. “We still have a ton of confidence in this locker room. You’ve got to take the good with the bad. Madison threw the ball extremely well and the bullpen came in and threw the ball well as well. We’ve just got to move on, go into Minnesota and win some ballgames.”

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Read More: Bumgarner vs. Price, David Price, Giants, madison bumgarner

John Farrell on D&H: Travis Shaw to start on bench against Madison Bumgarner; Christian Vazquez in ‘learning phase’ regarding pitch-calling

06.08.16 at 2:52 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Speaking during his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Travis Shaw will start Wednesday night’s game on the bench, with Josh Rutledge getting the start at third base against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Shaw has played in all 58 Red Sox games this season. Besides the fact that the lefty Bumgarner will be on the mound, the Sox third baseman has struggled of late, hitting just .182 with a .521 OPS over his last 19 games.

Farrell noted that he had no news on Joe Kelly’s injured groin, pointing out that the pitcher was being evaluated at Fenway Park Wednesday.

Kelly left his start in Pawtucket Tuesday night with two outs in the fifth inning, favoring his right leg while backing up home plate on a sacrifice fly. The starter had given up three runs over 4 2/3 innings.

He also relayed that no decision had been made in regard to who might make the start on June 18, which is thought to be the next time the Red Sox need a No. 5 starter.

“We’re looking at internal candidates, all of them,” Farrell said. “If you look at the matchup against Seattle, you see some strengths against the right-handers, you see maybe some advantages you can take if it’s a left-handed starter. We’re looking at every internal candidate to make that start.”

Asked about Christian Vazquez’s pitch-calling, Farrell noted how that the catcher still is in a “learning phase” when it comes to such execution, particularly with runners on base.

“There’s been times where its been a learning curve for him,” Farrell said. “One of the things that we’ve looked at and looked at internally is the number that he’s caught by bigger innings that we surrendered. That is something that we’ve got to continue to manage a little better and that comes down to maybe at times going less than more. What I mean by that is if you go offspeed vs. just your power, where hitters are maybe geared up a little bit more, try to use that aggressiveness to our advantage. Again, as we talked about with Eddy [Rodriguez], Christian is in that learning phase, and that’s on all of us to continue to work to improve upon.”

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Read More: christian vazquez, Joe Kelly, John Farrell, travis shaw

Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: RHP Joe Kelly injured in Pawtucket; Yoan Moncada hits 21st double of season for Salem

06.08.16 at 12:15 pm ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (29-29): L, 3-2, vs. Toledo (Tigers)

— Joe Kelly made his first start for Pawtucket since being demoted from the Red Sox last week. Before Kelly could take the hill he had to wait through a 27-minute rain delay. Kelly lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, six hits and one walk while striking out five. Kelly exited the game in the fifth inning because of tightness in his right groin.

“His command of the fastball was good, he was getting guys off the plate a little bit,” manager Kevin Boles said.

— Robby Scott pitched 3 1/3 innings of relief after Kelly departed  and sat down all 10 batters he faced, striking out one. The 26-year-old left-hander is 3-0 in 14 appearances this year with a 2.65 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.

“He has been terrific this year,” Boles said. “He’s efficient and he did a great job creating a little length.”

— Jantzen Witte put the PawSox on the scoreboard in the second inning with a solo home run, his second long ball of the year. The 26-year-old third baseman went 2-for-4 and now is hitting .265/.328/.419 in 34 games with Pawtucket this season.

— Dan Butler started the seventh inning with a double. One batter later Jose Vinicio drove Butler home with a single to left field. Vinicio has six RBIs in his last six games. In that stretch the 22-year-old Dominican Republic native also has three multi-hit games. Vinicio was promoted to Pawtucket from Portland on May 24. In eight games with Pawtucket, Vinicio is hitting .333/.357/.333. With Portland he was hitting .230/.262/.279 in 22 games.

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Read More: cole sturgeon, Joe Kelly, Kyri Washington, yoan moncada

Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘There’s no ceiling to the numbers if [Joe Kelly] had a baseball IQ’

06.08.16 at 10:13 am ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, making his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning, heaped praise upon the Red Sox offense while questioning the mental makeup of recently demoted (and now injured) pitcher Joe Kelly. To hear the interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page.

Kelly, who suffered a groin injury during his start Tuesday night in Pawtucket, was sent down to Triple-A last week after his last start for Boston, another disappointing development in the talented right-hander’s career with the Red Sox.

“There’s a term that I think a lot of baseball players know and have used for a long time called baseball IQ,” Schilling said. “It’s just acumen for the sport. It’s the ability to learn, adapt. The analogy I use … if you’re ever put a puzzle together, you lay the pieces out on the table, and eventually you get to the place where you can see the pieces and where they’re going. I always looked at pitching as very much the same thing: Here’s my three, here’s my four pitches, here’s the lineup I’m facing, and here’s how the puzzle fits together for me to shut you down.

“I think Joe Kelly looks at the puzzle pieces and then chews gum and goes cross-eyed. I don’t think that there’s the baseball acumen, the baseball IQ. Somebody who has that good of stuff — and listen, he’s got three wipeout pitches. I’ll tell you right now, he’s got better stuff top to bottom than I ever had — 97 [mph fastball], he’s got a wipeout slider, a phenomenal changeup and a good curveball. Almost like Clay Buchholz at the beginning.”

Part of Kelly’s problem, Schilling explained, is his inability to be smart about his pitch usage.

“Joe Kelly goes out in the first inning and shows you all four of his pitches inside of the first five minutes of the game, as if he’s pitching with a life vest on and he feels like he’s going to drown if he doesn’t go to the well immediately,” Schilling said. “Whereas it’s just going out and getting a feel. For me, the first inning is, hey, my fastball needs to be the four pitches I want it to be, and if I’ve got the other two it’ll be great. You’re not going to see a lot until the fifth or sixth inning, the second time around. Kelly’s emptying the tool chest in the first inning, which a young pitcher will do. He’s not a young pitcher, though.

“At the end of the day, I keep going back to the fact that when the St. Louis Cardinals trade a person that you think is extremely talented, there’s issues. Shelby Miller. Joe Kelly. So, I haven’t seen him get smarter. I haven’t seen him get smarter. And that’s the frustrating thing, because he’s a guy that there’s no ceiling to the numbers if the guy had a baseball IQ.”

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Read More: Chris Archer, Curt Schilling, james shields, Joe Kelly

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Giants matchups: David Price vs. Madison Bumgarner

06.08.16 at 9:02 am ET
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Red Sox ace David Price will get the start on Wednesday to close out a two-game series in San Francisco. He will start opposite Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.

Despite the 7-2 record, Price, a former Cy Young winner, has been somewhat underperforming this season, as shown by his 4.88 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He is, however, third in the American League in strikeouts (84). Price will be looking for his first win since May 24 when he takes on the Giants. His last start on Friday resulted in a 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays, as the southpaw let up two earned runs and six hits in seven innings while striking out five and walking four.

In his eight-year career, Price is 0-1 in two games against the Giants with a 3.06 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP. He last faced San Francisco on Sept. 6 of 2014, when he took the loss after allowing five earned runs and nine hits in 8 2/3 innings.

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Read More: David Price, madison bumgarner,

Joe Kelly leaves start early with groin injury

06.08.16 at 1:40 am ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

The competition for that June 18 start might have thinned out a bit.

Pitching in his first game for Triple-A Pawtucket since his demotion from the Red Sox, Joe Kelly was forced from his start against Toledo with two outs in the fifth inning after experiencing what is believed to be a right groin injury.

Kelly’s last batter was JaCoby Jones, who lofted a sacrifice fly to right field. The righty would gingerly run to back up home plate on the play, leading to Pawtucket trainer Jon Jochim escorting Kelly off the field.

“He felt some discomfort in his right groin,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles told the Providence Journal. “We’re going to reevaluate him and see how he comes in tomorrow.”

According to the ProJo, Kelly showed no signs of the injury prior to the Jones at-bat, with the paper reporting 15 swings and misses (10 on offspeed pitches).

Kelly finished his outing giving up three runs over 4 2/3 innings, striking out five while allowing six hits and a walk in his 79-pitch start.

Coming into the start, Kelly was thought to be competing with Clay Buchholz, Roenis Elias and Henry Owens for the opportunity to pitch June 18, which is believed to be the next time the Red Sox will use a fifth starter.

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Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts comes through again, leading Red Sox to extra-inning win

06.08.16 at 1:21 am ET
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It was pure Xander Bogaerts.

Bases loaded in the 10th inning, with one out and the game tied. San Francisco closer Santiago Casilla, carrying a two-strike count on the Red Sox shortstop, fired off one of his trademark sliders just barely out of the strike zone. Bogaerts somehow let it go.

Then, on the very next pitch, Bogaerts delivered a simple bloop single into center field, scoring both Marco Hernandez and Mookie Betts to hand the Red Sox a 5-3 win over the Giants on Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

The sequence encapsulated why Bogaerts has more hits than any major league player over the past two seasons and leads the American League with a .346 batting average.

The pivotal 10th was started in a most unexpected manner, with Sandy Leon leading off with a double against Casilla, who was on for his second inning. After a walk to pinch-hitter Hernandez, Betts put down a perfect bunt single to load them up. After a forceout at home on Dustin Pedroia’s ground ball to third, Bogaerts did his thing.

Craig Kimbrel came on to close things out in the bottom of the 10th for his 14th save in 16 tries.

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