|08.02.15 at 5:37 pm ET|
It’s one of the biggest stages in all of baseball and Tuesday night it will be the site of Henry Owens’ major league debut, as the 23-year-old will take to the mound for the first time in a big league uniform against the Yankees.
With Rick Porcello scheduled to start Tuesday and going on the disabled list Sunday, that opened a spot for Owens.
“Well, one we wanted to insert another starter and not move guys up. We wanted to provide an extra day of rest, so Tuesday is Henry’s day,” manager John Farrell said. “It’s going to be probably the biggest stage he’s going to make his debut on as schedule has it. Ideally having another left-hander going against that lineup in that ballpark. We’ll see him on Tuesday.”
Owens was the selected in the first-round of the 2011 draft by the Red Sox.
Over 21 starts with Pawtucket this season, Owens is 3-8 with a 3.16 ERA. The biggest issue for Owens has been the number of walks he’s allowed, but he’s cut them down of late, which is the primary reason for him getting the promotion.
In April and May the 6-foot-6 left-hander had 35 walks in 54 1/3 innings. At one point in early June he had the most walks in all of baseball — both Triple-A and the majors. Recently, Owens has commanded his pitches much better as over his last two starts (12 innings) he has a total of two walks and in the month of July he has issued just eight walks in 31 2/3 innings.
“A lot more strikes, repeating his delivery,” Farrell said of what has changed for him. “I think coming out of spring training there was some work needed just commanding his body as well as the baseball and that has been the case over the last four weeks or more. In a nut shell, it’s more quality strikes throughout the entire time he’s on the mound.”
|08.02.15 at 4:45 pm ET|
Junichi Tazawa has been the Red Sox‘ most dependable reliever this season, but even he can have a bad day once in a while.
Unfortunately for the Red Sox and Wade Miley, Tazawa allowed two eighth-inning runs in the their 4-3 loss to the Rays, spoiling a good start from Miley.
With the Red Sox leading 3-2 in the eighth, Evan Longoria doubled to lead off the inning and scored on Asdrubal Cabrera’s ground-rule double. Cabrera scored on a single by James Loney for the game-winning run. Tazawa picked up his fourth loss of the season.
“Today you have five consecutive fastballs to Asdrubal [Cabrera], which is a little bit uncommon for him and the last one leaked over the plate,” manager John Farrell said. “Even against Longoria to lead off the inning — tried to go down and away, ball ends up back arm side and close to Evan on that particular pitch. It’s been fastball location that hasn’t been as sharp in those moments.”
Koji Uehara tossed a scoreless ninth inning.
Things didn’t get off to the best of starts for Miley. After allowing five first inning runs his last time out, Miley allowed a leadoff home run to Brandon Guyer to open the game, but quickly settled down.
The left-hander retired the next seven hitters, getting into a good groove. Miley finished going 6 2/3 innings allowing two runs on five hits, while walking a batter and striking out four. Robbie Ross entered with a runner on third and two outs and after hitting a batter and a walk, he struck out Joey Butler to get out of the jam.
“A very good assortment of all his pitches,” Farrell said of Miley. “I thought he blended his offspeed pitches in well against the heavy right-handed hitting lineup. The 3-2 fastball that Guyer runs into to get things started, but other than that he was in command for the time he was on the mound today.”
|08.02.15 at 12:31 pm ET|
Many where wondering how the Red Sox were going to approach Rick Porcello’s scheduled start Tuesday, with the righty suffering through a two-inning, 10-hit, six-run outing in his last appearance. Sunday there was an answer.
The Red Sox placed Porcello on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 30) with a right triceps strain. Taking the place on the Sox’ 25-man roster is newly-acquired reliever Ryan Cook.
“He came out of his last start with soreness and inflammation in his triceps,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “The best way could have done would have been to push him back to Saturday to give him ample time, but we felt like that was going to be too much of a risk. We feel like it’s a short-term thing, but at the same time, we need to be able to back him out of there. He wasn’t going to be able to throw a bullpen today. While the symptoms are improving, there’s still soreness there, so he goes on the disabled list.”
Farrell noted that the Red Sox still hadn’t determined who would make the Tuesday start against the Yankees in New York. Candidates from Triple-A Pawtucket would be Brian Johnson and Henry Owens, although Johnson was scheduled to pitch Sunday, with Owens slated for Monday.
Porcello, who has never previously been on the disabled list, said he first felt the tightness during the second inning of his previous start.
“In the Chicago start, after the second inning, it started to feel a little tight, nothing, I didn’t think it was a big deal, thought it was something I could work through,” said Porcello, who threw prior to Sunday’s game. “Next day when I woke up the range of motion was locked to right there ‘ been working it out, playing catch and stuff, been getting progressively better each day. They want it to be something that’s completely gone, and not be anything that I need to worry about in my next start. I feel like I can ready in a couple days but we’ll take the time and get it completely out of there and get ready to finish strong.”
The righty added, “I’ve never felt anything like this in my triceps before. Usually you feel elbow soreness or stiffness or stuff like that but I never felt anything right here in my triceps. I don’t know.”
Porcello has the highest ERA (5.81) of any qualifying starter in the American League, and third-highest in the majors. Colorado’s Kyle Kendrick is the highest at 6.43, with Milwaukee’s Kyle Lohse sitting at 6.24.
– A positive development for the Red Sox was news that Mookie Betts, who has been on the seven-day concussion disabled list after tumbling over the right fence July 28, is closer to returning.
“Mookie turned a corner yesterday,” said Farrell. “His headache has disappeared. He’s going to be rechecked here in Boston. He won’t travel to New York. He’ll be rechecked here by midweek. He’ll begin exertion testing today, and we’ll continue to go through the MLB protocol for concussions. A much improved state with Mookie.”
Betts is expected to join the Red Sox for their weekend series in Detroit, at which time the outfielder will most likely resume baseball activities.
|08.02.15 at 12:27 pm ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (43-64): W, 8-7, at Buffalo (Blue Jays)
— Pawtucket, coming off its worst winning percentage month in team history (4-22 in July, .154) and without a home run in nine straight games, entered the eighth inning on Saturday trailing 6-1 but scored two in the eighth and five in the ninth on the strength of two-out homers from shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston’s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com) and third baseman Marco Hernandez (Boston’s No. 23 prospect at MLB.com) to win 8-7.
In the eighth, an RBI ground out from Garin Cecchini (Boston’s No. 14 prospect at MLB.com) and a sacrifice fly from Hernandez drove home Marrero and catcher Sandy Leon to make it a 6-3 game.
In the ninth, Marrero hit a solo home run with two outs, and Cecchini’s RBI single scorched through the left side scored Leon to make it a 6-5 game to set the stage for Hernandez. On a 1-2 pitch, Hernandez turned on a fastball and lined it over the right field wall near the foul pole for his second Triple-A homer to give the PawSox an 8-6 lead.
RHP Jonathan Aro came on for the bottom of the ninth and picked up his second save, but with some drama. With a man aboard, Buffalo’s Matt Hague, leading the International League with a .346 average, was called out on strikes and then ejected along with Buffalo’s manager after arguing the call. Then, after a single and a sacrifice fly scored a run to cut the lead to 8-7, second baseman Mike Miller made a great diving stop of a grounder behind the second base bag and flipped to to Marrero covering second to nab the lead runner who had rounded the bag too far, ending the game.
— Hernandez, who finished with four RBIs, improved his Triple-A slash line to .286/.305/.482 with two homers and five doubles in 15 games played with the PawSox since his promotion on July 16. The 22-year-old has played second and third base in consecutive days after spending most of the season at shortstop.
— Cecchini finished with three RBIs and Marrero was 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored to go with his long ball, Marrero’s fifth of the season and first since June 7. Marrero had his first stint in the majors this season from June 25 through July 21 with Boston, playing in just five games and going 1-for-7.
— RHP Pat Light (Boston’s No. 22 prospect at MLB.com) saw his control problems re-emerge, as he pitched two innings and allowed one run on a single and four walks while striking out three. Light, 24, had not walked a batter in four appearances since the All-Star break after issuing eight free passes in a three-game span in early July. Selected by Boston in the first round of the 2012 draft (37th overall) out of Monmouth University, Light has allowed runs in seven of his last 13 appearances after racking up 17 out of 21 scoreless outings to start the year with Double-A Portland. The 6-foot-5 flamethrower has struck out 19 batters in 19 Triple-A innings pitched.
— Leon went 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored in his first game with Pawtucket since clearing waivers. The 26-year-old backstop played in 33 games with Boston in the majors this year, hitting .180 (16-for-89).
|08.02.15 at 12:10 pm ET|
Following the reports of Larry Lucchino stepping down as president as CEO of the Red Sox, Lucchino released a statement Sunday morning.
The statement reads:
As far back as 2004, the year of our first world championship, I started to plan for the day when I would want to cut back a little. I even inserted a clause to that effect in my contract.
Then, after the 2013 season, I had further conversations with John Henry, Tom Werner, and Mike Gordon regarding a time in the future when I might transition to a new role and reduce my responsibilities. After all, it’s a wonderful job, but it’s a demanding job.
I believe the end of this year is a good time for this change. We would have preferred to announce all of our transition plans at once, including my new role, but I can tell you we all feel strongly that Sam Kennedy, who has been with me for 20 years, should be the next President of the Boston Red Sox. Sam will do a terrific job. He is able, well-prepared, and fiercely dedicated to the Red Sox and to Boston.
I have been blessed to have outstanding partners, and I plan to continue working with John, Tom, Mike, Sam, and all of our partners in meeting the challenges that lie ahead for the Red Sox. I am also deeply proud of our extraordinary front office. They work together harmoniously and effectively, and each member has my gratitude, admiration, and respect.
I have now been President/CEO of the Red Sox for 14 years. I love the Red Sox, I love Fenway Park, and I love Boston. It’s my home. It’s never easy to leave a job you love, but I look forward to the next chapters.
|08.02.15 at 12:05 pm ET|
Although he’s ready to play after taking a fastball off the wrist Thursday night, the Red Sox will give third baseman Pablo Sandoval another day down in the series finale against the Rays.
Travis Shaw, coming off his four-hit, two homer day Saturday, will get another start at third base.
The Red Sox outfield will have Hanley Ramirez in left field, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field and Rusney Castillo in right field against Rays righty Jake Odorizzi.
Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox starter Wade Miley.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
|08.02.15 at 11:58 am ET|
While this wasn’t a surprise to many in the organization, it presented a chance to reflect back on what he’s meant to the organization as president and CEO for three World Series titles.
“The announcement of Larry stepping down, that’s been the succession plan probably in place and talked about for quite some time,” manager John Farrell said. “But just personally, someone who is obviously deeply involved in not only the roster constriction, but with everything that has gone on around Fenway here. I can tell you, someone who is demanding, but yet willing to invest the best available for resources available to players to get the most and highest production out of guys.
“While he’s demanding, there’s some things that Larry was always willing to go above and beyond to make available to all of us here.”
Some have said the near 70-year-old has already begun to take a step back this year, but Farrell said that isn’t the case, although he’s been heavily involved with new group who has bought the Pawtucket Red Sox.
“No, I wouldn’t say that,” Farrell said of Luchhino’s possible diminished role this year. “I wouldn’t say he was less involved. There’s a number of people who are involved when it comes to selecting players — whether it’s about how we go about our daily work. With the addition of the Pawtucket situation there was probably more involvement with that on his end there, but I can’t say he was less involved here.”
Despite the team’s struggles each of the last two seasons, Lucchino left his mark in Boston, not only with the three titles, but the improvements made in and around Fenway Park.
“He’s clearly been a main player in an unprecedented run of success here in Boston,” Farrell said. “That will carry on not just in World Series trophies, but tangible things here with additions to Fenway and the renovation plans and programs that this ballpark went through. Still, the thing that will stand out most is the interactions that you had with him frequently whether it’s here at home, during spring training and just a driving force behind being the best that we could be.”
|08.02.15 at 7:23 am ET|
The Red Sox will look to solidify their first series sweep since July 8 when they send Wade Miley to the bump Sunday to face Jake Odorizzi and the plummeting Rays.
Miley had been one of the Red Sox‘ most consistent starters before his most recent outing against the White Sox last Tuesday. In the 9-4 loss, he gave up seven runs, including five in the first inning, on 10 hits and three walks. Miley did not have the command he’d had in starts previous as White Sox hitters squared him up for a season-high eight line drives. After the game, Miley cited control as the underlying issue behind his worst start since June 11.
“Not a lot of command in the first inning,” Miley said. “A lot of fastballs in the middle of the plate and not a good effort me making adjustments in that first inning. I probably had a couple opportunities to minimize the damage and didn’t do a very good job of it.”
Though his latest start is a huge red flag, Miley’s previous eight outings were quite encouraging. The southpaw hurled 48 2/3 innings, posting a 3.33 ERA and a more than manageable .228/.319/.356 opponents’ slash line. He still had his usual troubles with commanding the strike zone, tossing just 58 percent of his pitches for strikes, however he got hitters to bite on stuff outside the zone more often, generating a 1.09 ground ball rate.
For the season, Miley owns an 8-9 record and a 4.65 ERA as part of the AL’s worst starting rotation. In his fourth career outing against the Rays on June 27, Miley had one of the best games of his season, throwing 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball while striking out eight in a losing effort. During his career, Miley has logged stellar numbers against Tampa Bay, going 3-1 with a 1.07 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
|08.01.15 at 7:48 pm ET|
Lucchino reportedly will be replaced by current Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy. The 42-year-old Kennedy, a Brookline native, is not believed to have a role in player acquisition in the manner Lucchino did since joining the club in 2002.
According to the Boston Herald, which first reported the story, the transition from Lucchino to Kennedy has already begun. A source reports that the move has been in the works since 2012, with Lucchino on board with the decision.
“The truth is Sam is an important part of this puzzle,” Lucchino told the Boston Herald. “He’s been working for me for 20 years, right out of college. He’s certainly my choice, as well as that of [principal owner] John [Henry] and Tom [Werner], to be promoted the position of president.”
“I don’t believe at all that this is the end of Larry’s relationship with the club, but the beginning of a more diverse role — one in which he can begin to enjoy some of the fruits of his labor,” Henry told the Herald. “He almost certainly will continue to mentor and push for excellence internally over upcoming years.”
It has long been rumored that Lucchino would be stepping aside from his current post, with the longtime baseball executive — who will turn 70 next month — seemingly wanting to diminish his workload. The current president/CEO hasn’t been as visible this season, with much of his focus turned to the the purchase of the Pawtucket Red Sox and that organization’s quest to build a new stadium in Providence.
|08.01.15 at 6:51 pm ET|
Listening to Travis Shaw after Saturday’s game you’d never know he went 4-for-4, hitting the first two home runs of his major league career and falling a triple short of the cycle while scoring five runs in the Red Sox‘ 11-7 win over the Rays.
The 25-year-old barely cracked a smile during the roughly five minutes he spoke to the media after the game, but maybe there’s a reason for that.
Shaw’s dad, Jeff, was a reliever who played 12 seasons in the majors and was a two-time All-Star. Growing up, Travis was always at the park shagging fly balls during batting practice and even serving as bat boy during road games. He probably had seen many performances better than his own.
“Son of a major leaguer, maybe that’s why he keeps it in stride. He’s been around it his entire life,” said manager John Farrell, who played with Jeff on the Indians, Jeff’s first three years in the majors.
“Jeff never shut up, Travis is quiet. They both have the last name Shaw, but very different,” he added.
Shaw stepped to the plate a triple shy of the cycle in the eighth inning, but instead of the cycle he crushed a homer to dead center field for his second of the day. He became the first Red Sox player since at least 1914 to record four hits, five runs and 11 total bases in a game.
He admitted he was thinking about the cycle stepping to the plate.
“It’s in your head,” he said. “Everyone is talking about it. If you hit the ball in the gap, everyone is like, ‘Don’t stop running.’ I’ll take the homer.”
His first home run came in the third inning when he took Rays starter Matt Moore deep into the Rays bullpen for his first career home run.
The left-handed hitter who stands 6-foot-4 said he felt some sense of relief as he had played in eight games before recording his first major league hit in his ninth game (back in early July before being sent down) and then in his 10th he was able to hit his first home run.
“It’s about the same,” he said of more weight being off his shoulders after his first homer. “Everyone is looking at me to hit home runs, especially with the type of body that I have. Being able to go out there and do that it takes some weight off your shoulders.”
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