|06.10.15 at 3:40 pm ET|
BALTIMORE — With the Red Sox going up against Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, David Ortiz will be out of the Red Sox lineup Wednesday night. Ortiz is hitting .114 against lefties this year.
After fouling a pitch off his knee Tuesday night and leaving the game, Hanley Ramirez is in the lineup, as he will serve as the DH.
The Red Sox’ outfield will have Brock Holt in left, Mookie Betts in center and Rusney Castillo in right.
Blake Swiwart will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|06.10.15 at 3:05 pm ET|
Three years ago, in the 2012 draft, the Sox had three first-rounders: shortstop Deven Marrero, left-hander Brian Johnson and right-hander Pat Light. With Monday’s promotion of Light from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Pawtucket, all three now are just a step away from the majors.
Light, a 2012 supplemental first-round pick at 37 overall, was converted from a starter early this year and hasn’t looked back: 29.2 IP, 11 R, 8 ER, 11 B, 32 K. Light has held opposing hitters to a .168 average, and the 24-year-old has allowed just one earned run in his last 17 1/3 innings, with 17 of his 20 appearances on the season producing zeroes in the earned run column.
And perhaps most interestingly, Light’s velocity has continued to rise, with his fastball in the upper 90s.
Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles has gotten the sparkling scouting report on Light.
“Oh, yeah,” Boles said. “From what we hear, fastball anywhere from 96 to 98, sitting in that range, with a good split[-finger fastball]. I guess the transition has gone very well for him. Looking forward to seeing him.”
Light says he has hit triple digits a few times on the radar gun.
“A few times in Portland this year,” Light said. “My first time [throwing 100] was back in Salem at the end of last year. It’s obviously fun to throw hard, every kid wanted to throw hard. I was a late bloomer. I threw maybe mid-80s in high school. I don’t even think they had radar guns. Then in college my sophomore and junior years I started ticking up a little bit. The past couple of years, I’ve been able to go up maybe one or two every year. Hopefully I’m not going to stop and it keeps going.”
|06.10.15 at 2:00 pm ET|
Wednesday is Day 3 and the last day of the MLB draft, which will be rounds 11-40. Here is a look at who the Red Sox selected in rounds 11-20:
Round 11: Nicholos Hamilton, CF, Lockport High School (N.Y.)
Round 12: Kevin Kelleher, RHP, University of New Orleans
Round 13: Matt Kent, LHP, Texas A&M
Round 14: Bobby Poyner, LHP, Florida
Round 15: Jerry Downs, OF, St. Thomas University
Round 16: Marc Brakeman, RHP, Stanford
Round 17: Chad De La Guerra, 2B, Grand Canyon University
Round 18: James Nelson, SS, Redan High School (Ga.)
Round 19: Logan Boyd, LHP, Sam Houston State
Round 20: Yomar Valentin, 2B, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
|06.10.15 at 1:43 pm ET|
ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Wednesday afternoon to offer his take on Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz and why the Red Sox still have a shot to make the postseason. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.
No matter how far along in the season it is, there still are questions as to whether Ramirez is best suited for left field or not. It’s been mentioned that maybe switching him to a different position could be the best way to fix the problem and still have him hit. Olney said that while Ramirez might be willing to put the time in during the offseason, having him switch over in the midst of the summer isn’t ideal.
“I just saw the Dodgers over the weekend, and I was talking with some guys there about Hanley and about what was going on with the Red Sox,” he said. “And that conversation actually came up about do you put him at first base, do you do something else, and the Dodgers people that I talked with said one thing to keep in mind about Hanley, he does not like to be embarrassed, and that is a big issue for him.
“With an offseason to prepare something like that, they sense he might be more open to [it],” Olney added, “but the idea that you would do it in season, that’s not something Hanley would feel comfortable with at all because it would certainly leave him in a position at a place he’s never played before where he would be embarrassed, and they say for Hanley that’s a big deal.”
Manager John Farrell called Ramirez into his office with some of the other Red Sox leaders in Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli, David Ortiz and Pablo Sandoval about a week and a half ago for a meeting while they were in Texas. And though Ramirez was included with the other veterans, Olney said last year that he wasn’t filling a leadership role as much as he had been in years prior.
“In 2013, the Dodgers front office and people in the coaching staff respected Hanley’s toughness, and they felt that Hanley, his at-bats and grinding out and staying in the lineup every day, that year, I heard that about him that they viewed him as a leader,” he said. “Last year, when he was struggling after the contract stuff didn’t work out with the Dodgers and they weren’t re-signing him, I mean let’s face it, they couldn’t wait for him to get out the door.
“When you’re around the Dodgers this year, they believe it’s a better atmosphere, and it isn’t because people are saying ‘Boy, Hanley’s a bad guy,’ ” Olney continued. “It’s just that their sense was last year he wasn’t that happy, and maybe because he knew it wasn’t going to work out there and they felt like that they a) had to solve the issue with a logjam and b) they had to get somebody other than Hanley to play shortstop. I mean it was telling that this guy who they traded for and had some success for them, they made no attempt to keep him, and they absolutely slammed the door behind him.”
|06.10.15 at 10:03 am ET|
ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the Red Sox and the talent of Eduardo Rodriguez. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Rodriguez has three impressive starts under his belt following the six scoreless innings of work he put in Tuesday night against the Orioles. Schilling has been very impressed with what he has seen from the young left-hander.
“You’re looking at a guy who, for me, I thought he was by far the most talented player swapped at the deadline last year. He’s just something special,” Schilling said.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 loss and Rodriguez got a no-decision despite his continued success on the hill. According to Schilling, Rodriguez should not be concerned with the lack of run support he received.
“If you’re focused and you’re trying to win a game, you’re pitching to the score as a young player,” Schilling said. “These are the games you need to pitch when you’re young. You need to learn how to pitch in the 1-0 games or the 2-1 games. Then you start to understand, you take the ball, you go out there and realize the leadoff hitter could be the winning run.”
“You can’t let players manage themselves. … The thing that makes him John Farrell and the thing that makes him respected around the league is communication. That’s a conversation. If you don’t want to put him up there and you feel like he’s overmatched, you have to have that conversation,” Schilling said.
Injuries to catchers Christian Vazquez and Ryan Hanigan early in the season forced the hand of the Red Sox and made it necessary to bring Blake Swihart to the big leagues sooner than expected. Schilling stressed the peril of bringing young catchers to the major league level too early because of the multitude of responsibility placed on that position.
“As a pitcher, I was always very selfish from the standpoint of, ‘I don’t care if you go 0-for-4 and punch out four times on 12 pitches, I need you focused behind the plate.’ And that’s hard. Short of probably relief pitchers, I think that is the most dangerous position in the game to have a player in the big leagues prematurely,” Schilling said.
|06.10.15 at 8:41 am ET|
It’s been a long season for Porcello. Signed in order to stabilize the Red Sox rotation, he has done anything but. In 11 starts this season, Porcello is 4-5 with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He has given up 11 homers and opponents have slugged .434 off him.
After two straight starts of six or more earned runs, Porcello settled down in his most recent outing against the Twins last Wednesday. The former Tiger tossed eight innings on 101 pitches, giving up just five hits and two earned runs. He earned a season-high game score of 69 and he also tied his season-high for swinging strikes with 12. However, Porcello still got the loss as the Red Sox offense was shut out by Trevor May.
“He got better as the night went along,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Porcello following the 2-0 defeat. “Eight quality innings of work. In the second inning he left a couple of pitches up that they were able bunch together with a walk for their two runs and then, like I said, became much more efficient as he went. The most encouraging thing I thought was in the middle innings and later inning his two-seamer was in the right part of the zone down. Put the ball on the ground a number of times.
“We just couldn’t get anything going offensively, but Rick certainly gave us an opportunity.”
Coming off of a strong start back home, Porcello will be wary of hitter-friendly Camden Yards. In five career starts there, he owns a 1-3 record and a 4.60 ERA to go along with a 1.43 WHIP.
|06.10.15 at 8:29 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:
— Henry Owens (Boston’s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) fell to 2-5 on the year (3.64 ERA), struggling with control yet again as he walked four and was charged with a wild pitch, in addition to giving up a three-run home run and allowing four stolen bases. Owens threw 98 pitches over just five innings, allowing four runs, three of them earned. Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said Owens’ lower-half “seemed a little out of sync” throughout the night. On the year, Owens has walked 42 batters in 64 1/3 innings, six more walks than anyone else in the International League.
— Righty reliever Jonathan Aro pitched three scoreless innings, extending his streak to 12 straight scoreless innings of relief over his last five appearances to go with 16 strikeouts. Aro, a 24-year-old Dominican, was promoted to Pawtucket from Double-A Portland on May 14. “He’s got some deception to him,” Boles said after the game. “Fastball is sneaky with a good feel for the slider, and he attacks the zone.” Aro’s fastball peaked at 96 on the McCoy Stadium radar gun.
— Former first-round draft pick Pat Light (37th overall in 2012) joined the PawSox bullpen as he was promoted from Double-A Portland, where he allowed just one earned run in his last 17 1/3 innings. Making his conversion from starter to reliever this year, Light consistently throws in the high 90s, saying he’s touched triple digits “a few times.” Boles said he doesn’t name a closer in Pawtucket due to frequent changes of personnel, but that the decision on how many high-leverage situations Light will get will “come from up top.”
— Light’s fellow 2012 first-round draft pick Deven Marrero was held out for the second straight game due to illness. Mike Miller started at shortstop in Marrero’s place and cracked two doubles from the No. 9 spot in the batting order.
|06.10.15 at 12:57 am ET|
BALTIMORE — Those in the Red Sox clubhouse have said just about all there is to say about Eduardo Rodriguez.
And while the rookie pitcher’s performance in the Red Sox‘ 1-0 loss to the Orioles on Tuesday night was undeniably the bright spot for John Farrell‘s team, there wasn’t a whole lot of high-fiving going on in the Camden Yards visiting clubhouse after the game.
Perhaps the most telling reaction would come from Rodriguez’s old team, the hitters he held to no runs on three hits while striking out seven of them.
“I really didn’t see too much of him, but he’s got good [expletive],” said outfielder Adam Jones when asked about his recollection of the lefty during the 22-year-old’s time with the Orioles prior to being deal to the Red Sox for Andrew Miller at last year’s non-waiver trade deadline. “He was in a big trade, so he had to be pretty good.”
“He’s got special stuff, there’s no doubt about it,” said Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who fanned twice against Rodriguez. “We loved him when he was over here. He’s got a great arm, and for a young kid he has a great idea what he’s doing out there on the mound.”
The results for Rodriguez thus far have been eye-popping. In his first three starts, he has allowed just one earned run in 20 1/3 innings, striking out seven in each of the outings.
And while this was the first time his team came out on the losing end following one of his starts, Tuesday night’s showdown did offer what was perhaps Rodriguez’ signature moment to date.
|06.10.15 at 12:16 am ET|
BALTIMORE — There have been plenty of attempts to find a solution to what some perceive as the Red Sox‘ positional problem. One of them has been to place Hanley Ramirez in a spot other than left field, where he remains a work in progress.
But when asked prior to the Red Sox‘ 1-0 loss to the Orioles if he envisioned making a return to the infield any time in the future (near or far), Ramirez was definitive in his response.
“Hell, no,” he said.
Even a place such as first base, where there wouldn’t be the need for the kind of mobility warranted at his old positions, shortstop and third base?
“Me? Hell, no,” Ramirez once again responded. “I’m just an employee here so I just want to win. It’s just like where I hit in the lineup. Wherever they think I should be to win, that’s what I’m here for.
“But I consider myself an outfielder.”
Ramirez has routinely cited the need to use his time as an outfielder to save his body, thereby potentially avoiding injury. When asked to elaborate, he said, “I don’t have to bend that much. None of this. None of this. None of this. You have to stay down. It makes a big difference.”
(Note: Ramirez left Tuesday night’s game early due to a contusion of his left knee after fouling a pitch off his leg in the third inning.)
And if he ever did get that urge to abandon the outfield for his old life in the infield, he says the reminder he received when playing third base for four innings on April 16 was enough to not go down that road again.
“It feels a long time ago,” he said of his time as an infielder. “But after those three outs working in the infield, you’re kind of like, ‘Wow!’ You remember what it’s like. But now I consider myself an outfielder.”
|06.09.15 at 10:24 pm ET|
BALTIMORE — Eduardo Rodriguez did his part, once again. The same couldn’t be said for the rest of the Red Sox.
Despite the rookie’s six innings of shutout ball — lowering his ERA to 0.44 (20 1/3 innings, 1 ER) — the Sox couldn’t manage anything against the Orioles hurlers. The end result of the Tuesday night tilt at Camden Yards was a 1-0 defeat for John Farrell‘s group.
Rodriguez was exactly has he had been for his previous two big league outings, giving up just three hits while striking out seven for a third straight start.
The problem came in the seventh inning, when reliever Matt Barnes allowed a leadoff double to Steve Pearce. After J.J. Hardy’s single, Barnes uncorked a wild pitch to plate the game’s only run.
The Red Sox had their chances, including in the eighth inning when they put runners on first and second with nobody out. But a failed sacrifice bunt by Rusney Castillo — resulting in Dustin Pedroia being gunned down at third — and back-to-back strikeouts by David Ortiz and Mike Napoli ended the visitors’ threat.
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