|05.03.16 at 4:37 pm ET|
The Red Sox will face the first of three White Sox left-handed starters, going up against nemesis Jose Quintana in the series opener, Tuesday night.
Quintana has owned the Red Sox in the past, having no-hit them through the first five innings three times, while allowing just one hit another. In five total appearances against Boston, the southpaw has totaled a 2.14 ERA.
With the lefty on the mound, the Red Sox start Chris Young in left in the place of Brock holt. Steven Wright gets the call for the visitors. Here is Boston’s lineup:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
|05.03.16 at 4:22 pm ET|
The Sox also stated in a press release that Sandoval should be recovered prior to the 2017 season after the procedure, which was performed by Dr. James Andrews.
Sandoval was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 11, having appeared in just three games this season. He revealed that he had previously experienced discomfort in the shoulder dating back to 2011.
According to a team source, the Red Sox were aware of Sandoval’s history with his shoulder issue, but, after their own physical and looking at previous medical reports, didn’t deem it significant enough to take out insurance on. (For more on that, click here.)
|05.03.16 at 12:23 pm ET|
As expected, the Red Sox have activated reliever Carson Smith for Tuesday’s game in Chicago against the White Sox.
Smith started the year on the disabled list with a flexor strain. The right-hander made two rehab appearances with Portland, recording two strikeouts and retiring all five batters faced in 1 2/3 innings.
The reliever came over to the Red Sox in the Wade Miley trade this past offseason with the Mariners. In 79 major league games from 2014-15, Smith went 3-5 with 13 saves, a 2.07 ERA and 102 strikeouts in only 78 1/3 innings pitched. He will be a huge boost to the bullpen, likely sliding into the setup role.
The corresponding move for Smith was sending infielder Marco Hernandez back to Pawtucket. The Red Sox have 13 pitchers now on the active roster and 12 position players.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|05.03.16 at 9:23 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (12-12): W, 8-3, at Lehigh Valley (Phillies)
— The PawSox ended a four-game losing streak by pounding out 15 hits to back a strong outing from William Cuevas. The right-hander went 7 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on six hits and three walks with five strikeouts as he improved to 3-1 with a 376 ERA. Robby Scott and Pat Light each pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief without surrendering a run.
— Shortstop Marco Hernandez led the offense, going 4-for-5 with one RBI, upping his average to .377. Right fielder Justin Maxwell went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Second baseman Mike Miller went 2-for-3 with a double. First baseman Sam Travis went 2-for-4.
— All nine PawSox batters recorded a hit, and five of those hits were doubles. The PawSox trailed 2-0 before scoring twice in the fifth, three times in the sixth, once in the seventh and twice in the ninth.
|05.03.16 at 8:41 am ET|
Coming off a sweep of the AL East cellar-dwelling Yankees, the first-place Red Sox send Steven Wright to the hill Tuesday as they open a three-game series against the AL Central-leading White Sox in the Windy City. The opener sets up to be a pitchers’ duel, as both Wright and Chicago starter Jose Quintana are ranked in the top four in the American League in ERA, and Quintana has stellar numbers in his career against Boston.
Wright is just 2-2 despite carrying a 1.37 ERA (second best in the AL) and 1.14 WHIP. He had his fourth straight quality outing in his most recent appearance, which resulted in a 9-4 victory over the Braves last Wednesday. Wright pitched seven innings and allowed two runs (one unearned) on three hits, three walks and a hit batsman. He recorded a season-high eight strikeouts.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was impressed by the knuckleballer’s performance.
“I thought we had a pretty good approach early in the game against Wright,” Gonzalez said after the game. “But I’ve never seen a knuckleball go sideways.”
Wright has faced the White Sox just once in his career, recording a win at Fenway Park last July 30 after allowing two runs in seven innings.
One thing to watch defensively is catcher Ryan Hanigan, who has seven passed balls in Wright’s last two outings.
Quintana, 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA (fourth best in the AL) and 1.11 WHIP, is on a streak of 16 consecutive scoreless innings. The 27-year-old left-hander faced the Blue Jays last Wednesday and went six innings, allowing no runs on five hits and three walks while striking out a season-high 10 batters. The White Sox won the game 4-0.
“He was throwing a lot of strikes,” White Sox catcher Dioner Navarro said after the game. “He was getting ahead of hitters with all of his pitches, fastballs, breaking balls, everything.”
Quintana, a native of Colombia, is in his fifth season in the majors, all spent with the White Sox. He has a career record of 36-35 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He has started against the Red Sox five times, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.14 ERA and 0.832 WHIP. In 33 2/3 innings he’s allowed just 23 hits and five walks while recording 23 strikeouts. He went 1-0 in two starts against Boston last season.
This marks just the third time this season the Red Sox will face a lefty starter.
|05.02.16 at 7:40 pm ET|
The Red Sox announced that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo left shoulder surgery in the coming days.
The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist who examined Sandoval in Florida on Monday. Sandoval, 29, had complained of shoulder soreness in early April and was placed on the disabled list on April 13.
The Red Sox did not provide an update on how long Sandoval will be out or what kind of rehab his surgery will entail, noting in a press release that more information will be made available after surgery.
This has been a lost season for Sandoval from the start. He arrived at spring training out of shape and lost his job to youngster Travis Shaw, who has emerged as one of the team’s best hitters. Sandoval opened the season on the bench and ended up going 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in a reserve role.
Last week, he said that he wasn’t sure if he’d need surgery to fix an injury that first cropped up in 2011.
“I’m not a doctor,” he said. “I’m going to let them make the decisions. I don’t know if I’m going to get surgery or not. At least I can move it around. The inflammation went down. I hope they can look at it and see what’s going on.”
It turns out what Andrews saw was bad.
Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million deal that runs through 2019, with a team option for 2020. With Shaw playing well, it’s safe to say we’ve seen the last of the Panda for a while.
|05.02.16 at 3:20 pm ET|
The question put before Hanley Ramirez was simple.
“Would you rather hit .330 or hit 35 home runs?”
The answer was quick.
“No question, .330.”
The Red Sox first baseman then elaborated.
“I don’t want to think about homers,” Ramirez said. “I’m not a home run hitter. I hit homers. That’s the difference.”
It has been a big difference. Last year at this time, Ramirez had 10 home runs. This season’s first month? Just one.
“I forgot for a couple of years. I was trying to launch everything,” he said of his previous all-or-nothing approach. “But now I just want to hit for average, and the homers will come.”
The change has been noticeable, with Ramirez limiting his leg kick while executing a much more compact swing. Gone are the enormous one-hand follow-throughs, and in their place are opposite-field-focused cuts. (It’s interesting to note Ramirez’s average launch angle — the vertical angle the ball leaves a player’s bat — is half the major league average, suggesting more line drives and ground balls.)
It was a change in philosophy he made in the offseason after listening to “the hitting guy that I have inside me.”
“It’s better for my shoulders,” Ramirez said. “It feels a lot shorter. I want a shorter swing. It’s more compact. It’s two different hitters, using the bottom hand and top hand. I went from top hand my first couple of years in the big leagues to the bottom hand after the first three or four years, when I hit 30-plus homers. But now I want to go back to top hand.”
|05.02.16 at 11:26 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-13): L, 5-4, at Syracuse (Nationals)
— The PawSox fell to Syracuse in 10 innings Sunday as they were swept over the weekend. Trea Turner and Scott Sizemore both singled with one out, setting up the two-out, walk-off single for Jason Martinson. Turner beat leftfielder Rusney Castillo’s throw to the plate, delivering the Chiefs’ second walk-off win in 48 hours.
— Starter Sean O’Sullivan had a good outing as he went seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out five. His ERA is now 3.00 on the year.
— Castillo had a good day at the plate going 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. His average is now .246 on the year.
— Blake Swihart caught all 10 innings and at the plate went 1-for-5 with a double.
— Center fielder Ryan LaMarre paced the offense as he went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI to raise his season average to .362.
|05.02.16 at 1:19 am ET|
As Jackie Bradley Jr. said after witnessing the event from a few feet away, while waiting in the on-deck circle, “One pitch in, one pitch out.”
It seemed simple. And maybe that’s why Christian Vazquez was able to hit Dellin Betances’ 97 mph fastball onto Landsowne Street to propel the Red Sox to an 8-7 win over the Yankees on Sunday night. It was a ball the catcher proclaimed was the longest home run of his young life.
For Red Sox hitting instructor Chili Davis, it certainly didn’t seem complicated. And that’s why he offered Vazquez some important advice before the youngster went up to face Betances with two outs in the seventh inning and the game tied.
“Just trying to get him aggressive,” Davis said. “Just basically said, ‘Hey, I don’t think this guy is going to respect you. He’s going to come right at you early. Let it go. Let it fire.’ Just trying to get him aggressive early in the at-bat, which he was. He got the first-pitch heater and he jumped on it.”
Two nights before, Ortiz had launched a two-run homer over the left field wall on the first pitch he saw from Betances. But that came on a curveball. This one was the very pitch the reliever threw Sunday night, and wasn’t going to be the same approach with the light-hitting catcher up.
“He’s not going to fool around,” Davis said. “David knew curveball was coming because that’s how he’s pitches David. But for someone like Christian, or someone he doesn’t really know or hasn’t done what David has done, what is he going to do? He’s going to try and get ahead.”
Said Ortiz: “There’s not guessing in this game. Every time I try to guess, I guess wrong. You pick what you think you can hit. If you don’t hit breaking balls you don’t pick breaking balls. If you don’t hit fastballs you don’t pick fastballs. … Let me tell you, whenever you step up to the plate with a bat, you have a chance. That was a 98 mph fastball. That [expletive] ended up on the moon.”
|05.02.16 at 12:51 am ET|
It was the moment David Price would want to remember on a night he probably would prefer to forget.
With the game tied, 6-6, and two outs in the seventh inning, Alex Rodriguez strode the plate for the Yankees. This was the batter who had already torched the Red Sox starter for a two-run homer and two-RBI double (both coming on fastballs) earlier in the Sunday night tilt.
So with Price sitting at 94 pitches, Red Sox manager John Farrell went to the mound to check on his starter. When the conversation was over, Farrell left in the southpaw.
It was a maneuver usually not executed by Farrell, who makes a point to only go to the mound if he is taking out the pitcher. The exceptions during the manager’s tenure are limited to Ryan Dempster and John Lackey, both coming in 2013.
“He asked me if I was going make three good pitches in that situation, and I told him, ‘Absolutely,’ ” Price said. “I appreciate him leaving me out there in that situation against a guy who’s hit the ball against me well twice that night, so it’s good.”
“I just wanted to check with him,” Farrell said. “We had [Junichi Tazawa] ready, but for a starting pitcher to work for those days in between each start, we’re in a tie ball game, he had every right to go out for that seventh. And like I said, his pitch count was still well in check. If there was a runner on, we’re probably making a move there against Rodriguez. In that spot, wanted to give him an opportunity to win and you know what, it worked out.”
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