|06.29.16 at 11:31 am ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz was tempted, but has decided against it.
The Red Sox designated hitter isn’t going to participated in the Home Run Derby during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game celebration in San Diego.
“No. No, because I have so many things going on over there when I go,” said Ortiz of the event, which is scheduled to take place July 11. “It’s going to be crazy. The Home Run Derby wears you out. I would like to, but I’ve got so many things lined up. It’s too much.”
Ortiz hasn’t done the Home Run Derby since winning the event in 2010 in Anaheim, beating current teammate Hanley Ramirez in the final round. The designated hitter has participated in the Derby four times.
This being his final season, Ortiz was tempted to dive into the Derby one more time, especially considering he has 18 homers (four shy of the American League lead) heading into Wednesday’s game.
“I probably would, but I’m not. My time is going to be very limited,” he said. “It’s good for the younger guys to do it. It puts you on the map for a minute. Energy is a big part of it. When was the last time you saw a guy my age do it. It takes everything out of you, because you don’t take any cheap swings. Everything has to be powerful. You definitely have to be in your 20’s to do it.”
He also understands that the Derby isn’t for everybody, particularly with the chance that an altered approach may mess up second-half swings.
“Not me because that’s what I do. Batting practice I work on my opposite field swing and after that I start launching balls. Some guys, they aren’t legitimate power hitters,” Ortiz said. “They go to the Home Run Derby and I watch them and I can see it effecting their swing, because that’s not what they normally do.”
The other Red Sox hitter who might be a candidate to participate in the Derby is Mookie Betts, who has 16 home runs and is currently trending toward being voted in as an All-Star starter.
“I don’t think so,” he said when asked if it might be an option. “I’m not a home run hitter.” Betts said the last time he was part of a Home Run Derby was as a 10-year-old, finishing second in a Little League competition.
|06.29.16 at 10:17 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (40-39): L, 3-0, at Rochester (Twins)
— Starting pitcher Justin Haley allowed three runs on six hits in five innings while fanning three and walking three in his third start with Pawtucket. He gave up two runs in the second inning after a 1-2-3 opening frame. The right-hander is 6-6 with a 2.82 ERA in 15 starts this season between both Portland and Pawtucket.
— It was a quiet night offensively for Pawtucket, who were held to a season-low one hit. The one hit was a double from Jantzen Witte in the seventh inning, his 17th of the season. He has now hit safely in six of his last seven games and is slashing .272/.356/.415 in 62 games with both Pawtucket and Portland.
— Robby Scott relieved Haley and tossed two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. The 26-year old now has a 3.17 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 19 appearances and has stuck out 48 batters in 48 1/3 innings. Opponents are averaging .207 at the plate against him.
|06.29.16 at 10:04 am ET|
The Red Sox get little time to celebrate Tuesday’s 8-2 victory over the Rays, because they’re right back at it at noon in Wednesday’s finale.
Xander Bogaerts returns to the lineup after getting Tuesday off with what he has described as tired legs. The rest of the lineup remains unchanged, with Christian Vazquez catching David Price as the Red Sox look to finish an eventful road trip with a 3-3 record before returning to Fenway Park for a long homestand that kicks off Fourth of July weekend.
Bradley Jr. CF
|06.29.16 at 8:43 am ET|
The Red Sox will close out their three-game series with the Rays on Wednesday afternoon when David Price takes the mound opposite fellow southpaw Matt Moore.
Price, a former Cy Young winner, is 8-4 with a 4.68 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in his first season with the Red Sox. The American League leader in strikeouts (110) will look to bounce back against the lowly Rays after his worst outing this year. The 30-year-old survived only 2 1/3 innings in an 8-7 come-from-behind victory at Texas on Friday, allowing six runs on 12 hits while striking out only one. It was the fifth time in his eight-year career that Price failed to go longer than 2 1/3 innings.
“I’m definitely comfortable here, I just haven’t thrown the baseball [good],” Price said. “I’ve just got to come out and throw the baseball better against these guys.”
Having played for the Rays from 2008 to 2013, Price has faced his former team only four times. He is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP against the Rays. He last faced Tampa Bay on April 21 of this season in a 12-8 Red Sox loss, as Price allowed eight runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings in a no-decision effort.
|06.29.16 at 1:34 am ET|
It seemed logical at the time, anyway.
Now, 77 games into the 2016 season, Shaw has participated in every single game, doing so while even getting to go into, and seemingly come out of, his first major league slump.
“I didn’t know about it until somebody pointed that out, but I take pride in durability,” Shaw said. “I think I still have the longest streak since Pedey in 2010 or 2011. It means a lot to me, especially for their trust to put me out there every single day, one way or the other. Being able to play every single day this year means a lot.
“For me, it’s more durability and showing I’m an everyday player and can do multiple things, not just one spot. I do take pride in that.”
As gratifying as hitting his first home run in 100 plate appearances was during the Red Sox’ 8-2 win over the Rays Tuesday night, the opportunity to show that he had emerged from his recent struggles offered the greatest sense of satisfaction.
After Tuesday night’s three-hit performance, Shaw has now become the first player in the majors with three games of five RBI or more, and is hitting .273 with a .792 OPS and eight home runs. This after hitting .219 with a .590 OPS and not a single homer in his previous 28 games.
After Tuesday night’s win, in 553 plate big league plate appearances, Shaw is hitting .271 with an .802 OPS and 21 home runs.
“I was sitting there, thinking about it the other night. If you look at it, I hadn’t swung the bat well in a month and was still hitting .270. I’ll take that,” Shaw said. “You weather a whole month – three and a half, four weeks – and you’re still treading water at .270, .275, it could have been way worse.”
|06.28.16 at 10:50 pm ET|
It seems the Red Sox won’t just be in the market for a starting pitcher at the trade deadline, as they will likely be seeking a reliever or two to bolster the bullpen leading to closer Craig Kimbrel.
Fortunately, the bullpen market appears to be bigger than the starting pitching market, giving the Red Sox more options. It also won’t take as much to acquire a reliever — likely a mid-level prospect or two.
On Monday we listed five potential starters the Red Sox could acquire prior to the July 31 deadline and now here are five relievers the Red Sox could target.
Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Braves
The 25-year-old right-hander is having a solid season with a 1-2 record and a 1.93 ERA to go along with 10 saves. He also has 45 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings. Vizcaino may demand more than just a mid-level prospect with him being arbitration eligible after this season and not a free agent until 2020. With the Braves being sellers, they could make a big splash by combining both Vizcaino and starter Julio Teheran in the same deal, which likely would yield a big return and in the Red Sox’ case one of Yoan Moncada or Andrew Benintendi.
Sean Doolittle, LHP, Athletics
With Robbie Ross Jr. and Tommy Layne as the only lefties in the bullpen, the team could certainly look to improve that area of the bullpen and the A’s seem willing to deal Doolittle. In 35 games this season, he is 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA and has 35 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings. He has been dominant against left-handers, holding them to a .152 batting average. He is signed through 2018 with team options for 2019 and 2020, so he may too take more than just a mid-level prospect to get.
Fernando Abad, LHP, Twins
Minnesota will certainly be sellers and Abad is the best reliever they have to offer. The left-hander is 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA in 30 games. He may just be a lefty specialist as they are batting just .143 with two extra-base hits against him this year, but right-handers are batting .269. The Red Sox could certainly use another lefty in their bullpen, but they would need to add more than just Abad.
|06.28.16 at 10:21 pm ET|
It took nearly 30 days, but the Red Sox finally have their 10th win of June.
The Sox claimed an 8-2 victory over the Rays in the penultimate game of what has been an abysmal month.
This one didn’t fall any of the recent patterns. The Red Sox scored first. Starter Rick Porcello pitched well. Travis Shaw homered as part of a five-RBI night. The bullpen wasn’t overtaxed.
It was a refreshingly easy victory in a month when everything has been hard.
David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Shaw each recorded multiple hits. Shaw smacked his first homer in exactly 100 plate appearances. The Red Sox went 5-for-14 with runners on base.
They finally got on the board first, too, improving to 8-1 all-time against Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer.
“We need it. We need it,” Ortiz said. :We haven’t been able to dominate much this road trip, but a win is a win.”
Shaw hit his first home run in a month to put the Red Sox on the board in the second. He later added a two-run double and two-run single for his third five-RBI game of the season. The middle of the lineup each added RBIs of their own, with Ortiz, Ramirez and Bradley plating runs.
Porcello’s quietly impressive 2016 campaign continued, albeit against an unimpressive Rays lineup. The righty went six innings, allowing five hits and one run with eight strikeouts and three walks, improving to 9-2 with a 3.78 ERA. The righty remained unbeaten over his last eight starts, improving to 3-0 in that span.
“We take a lot of pride as a starting rotation in being effective and setting the tone for our team,” Porcello said. “But more important is for our team as a whole. We need to get wins, need to get back on the right page, and that’s the biggest thing, just getting wins however we can get them right now until we start rolling.”
The biggest threat for the Rays came in the fourth, when Porcello allowed the first four batters to reach base, three via walks. Nick Franklin’s free pass forced in a run to put the Rays on the board.
But, with Matt Barnes warming up, Porcello escaped the jam by sandwiching strikeouts of Hank Conger and Brad Miller around Logan Forsythe’s fly out to center field.
While Junichi Tazawa allowed a seventh-inning homer to Brad Miller, he combined with Koji Uehara and Matt Barnes to close out the final three innings. Uehara pitched a perfect frame one game after giving up a two-run homer.
The top six batters in the Red Sox lineup went 11-for-24 with four doubles, a home run and eight RBIs, while the bottom three went 0-for-13 with seven strikeouts.
The Red Sox hadn’t won by more than a run since a 6-2 victory over the Mariners on June 18.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Bryce Brentz made a great sliding grab in left field to end the sixth inning, completing a 1-2-3 inning.
— Shaw’s home run wasn’t a cheap one, flying 449 feet into the edge of the seats in right-center field. He recorded multiple hits for just the fifth time this month. His last three-hit game came on May 17 in Kansas City.
— Porcello allowed no more than one run for the first time since blanking the Yankees over seven innings on April 30. He recorded eight strikeouts, one off his season high.
— DH David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI and his league-leading 31st double.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— The Red Sox struggled to see pitches on occasion, striking out 11 times. A third of the lineup had at least two strikeouts, with Brentz striking out three times.
— The fourth inning was a frightening one for Porcello, throwing 39 pitches and walking three batters. He got out of it with moderate trouble, however, allowing just one run.
“I couldn’t tell you,” said Porcello regarding his bout of wildness. “I was a little off mechanically. It was really tough for me to regain my focus. I was doing everything I could to slow the game down and step off the mound, think about executing a pitch, and for whatever reason I struggled with a couple of hitters throwing strikes. That was it. Once I could get back into it and get that one strikeout, I was able to regain some confidence and be a little bit more effective.”
— Miller blasted a home run in the seventh off of Junichi Tazawa.
Rob Bradford contributed to this report from St. Petersburg, Fla.
|06.28.16 at 8:32 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It’s a longshot, but it’s worth a conversation, nonetheless.
Could Pat Light actually ultimately be the kind of relief pitcher the Red Sox are looking for to help in the seventh and eighth innings?
For previous Red Sox’ runs toward the postseason, some of their best non-waiver trade deadline additions have come from their own system. Jonathan Papelbon (2005), Justin Masterson (2008) and Daniel Bard (2009) all proved to be the kind of high-leverage arms those teams desperately needed straight through their playoffs existence.
Now, with Carson Smith’s injury leaving Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa perhaps a bit overexposed, the Red Sox find themselves looking for something similar.
Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree have put their hats in the ring, but have been met with somewhat uneven results.
Now it might be Light’s turn.
While it would seem a stretch that the Red Sox might lean so heavily on a pitcher that had such an uneven stretch in spring training and earlier this season, Light might actually represent something much more valuable than the first glance would suggest.
Before his promotion to the big leagues — the second for him this season — Light hadn’t allowed a run in any of his 10 outings with Triple-A Pawtucket. And with the fixing of his pitch-tipping problems, along with an alteration in mindset, the former first-rounder has harnessed his 100 mph to the tune of a 2.05 ERA and .161 batting average against.
“I came up with something in April that I started working on which was not trying to throw the ball as — every time I struggle, it’s my body that’s been leaking and my arm can’t catch up,” Light said. “Me and [Pawtucket pitching coach Bob Kipper] Kip sat down in Triple-A and tried to figure out what the issue was and tried to figure out a solution to it. We kind of figured out something mentally, a little click in my head that gets me going. I was able to work through that, got that started right before I debuted. Wasn’t quite there yet. And then after that, since then it’s gotten better and better and I’ve been able to get on a little bit of a roll down in Pawtucket.”
The performance, and the mindset, certainly seem a long way from when his first go-round with the Red Sox. During that brief sting, Light gave up two runs over an inning against the Braves.
“Last time when I got the call, it wasn’t quite as, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to the big leagues.’ It was more, ‘Let’s go do it, see if I can put together a few outings and start playing well up here,” he said.
“He’s commanding his fastball much better,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “At least he’s had the first adrenaline rush of the big leagues out of the way while in Atlanta. Rather than getting back into a count with his split, he’s been able to put hitters away with it. That’s been the biggest key for him. Looking forward to that being on display here.”
|06.28.16 at 3:13 pm ET|
Besides their major league All-Stars, the Red Sox will have other players representing them in San Diego during the All-Star week next month.
Second baseman Yoan Moncada has been selected to the Team World team and center fielder Andrew Benintendi has been selected to the Team USA team for the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
The game will be played Sunday, July 10 at Petco Park in San Diego — two days before MLB’s All-Star Game.
Both players are currently with Double-A Portland. Moncada is batting .296 in his six games since being promoted, while Benintendi is hitting .264 in his 36 Double-A games.
Last year the Red Sox were represented by Rafael Devers and Manuel Margot in the game.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|06.28.16 at 3:01 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell made his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton on Tuesday to discuss a number of things surrounding the team, including the team meeting that was held following Monday’s 13-7 loss to the Rays. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
The Red Sox have now lost three straight games and six of their last eight, which made Farrell feel the need to call a team meeting after Monday night’s game.
“I felt like there were some things that needed to be expressed to our team both things that have remained positive, which the way we’ve demonstrated the way to come back probably far too often,” Farrell said. “There were some things highlighted that we’re continuing to do well. I love the effort. I love the energy. I love the work our group is putting in and the way it is showing up offensively in between the lines in game.
“I think there were some obvious things that needed to be addressed and the one thing that we’ll continue to work towards is there is no divide, no split, no pointing of fingers, that we are a team that will win together and lose together. Yes, we have areas that we need to continue to sure up and continue to improve upon. Without getting more specific, those were the things that needed to be addressed.”
Farrell also said Xander Bogaerts will get Tuesday night off as they will go up against Rays right-hander Chris Archer. The manager pointed to facing lefties both Monday and Wednesday for the shortstop playing in those games and not Tuesday. Marco Hernandez will start at shortstop in his place.
The manager also said Steven Wright would not throw a bullpen prior to Tuesday’s game and be available out of the bullpen in relief if need be.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
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