|06.01.16 at 1:59 pm ET|
Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen called in to Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday to discuss Clay Buchholz’s pitching struggles and the development of the team’s younger players. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
Buchholz is 2-5 as a starter,and has a 6.24 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. He was moved out of the rotation and to the bullpen last weekend to make room for Eduardo Rodriguez.
“I think it’s probably the best place for him right now, given where the team’s at,” Hazen said. “Not an easy decision, I don’t know if that’s something that’s permanent, the way we look at it, certainly I think from a results standpoint. They talked to Clay, I didn’t happen to be there at the time, but I think it’s something [where] he can make a positive impact as he did in Toronto already, in the short run.”
Added Hazen: “I don’t think his days of starting are over. Clay Buchholz is too talented, we’ve seen him go through the American League East too many times on some runs where he’s really one of the few guys that can walk up into Toronto and pitch in that environment and dominate that lineup, and he has done that pretty consistently over the last few years. We’re going to need Clay Buchholz, and I don’t know in what form or fashion. I think in the short run he’s going to make an impact in the bullpen, in the long run we’ll see where it goes. But as long as there’s the 12 guys that we have right now we’re going to need him, just like we need everybody.”
Hazen also addressed concerns that Buchholz may not get enough innings in the bullpen to work on his pitching.
“I certainly understand that as you move through a period of time, if he gets shortened up too much that you’re going to have to stretch him back out again,” Hazen said. “We’re not really thinking a month down the road right now, we’re not really afforded that luxury. So many things have happened already over the course of the first half of the season in our starting rotation and in our bullpen. Things in this game happen all the time, I don’t know where we’re going to be from point in time, but we’re not going to deal with that until later.
Added Hazen: “As of right now, in the short run, we still have the ability to put him back in there. I still think he’ll be able to maintain some length, we have not gone through the rotation on a consistent basis where we’re going seven or eight innings every night, and hopefully we get to that point because then we’re really clicking. But in those moments, you’ve seen other relievers, [Heath] Hembree, [Matt] Barnes, those guys have gotten three-inning stints fairly regularly I think, even if we’ve played so well on those off nights. Whether it’s rain-induced or whether somebody gets hurt early, I think there’s going to be enough of those opportunities, and if there’s not, we’ll figure that out at the time.”
|06.01.16 at 12:49 pm ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (25-27): W, 6-4, at Gwinnett (Braves)
— Chris Marrero had a good day at the plate for Pawtucket, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run. His two-run home run in the third inning was his 10th blast of the season, tying him for the lead in the International League. He also hit his 13th double on the year later in the game.
Drafted by the Nationals in 2006, Marrero, 27, is batting .279/.335/.529 in 47 games. Marrero leads the team in hits (48) and doubles (13) and is second in RBIs (28).
— Pawtucket gave the start to Henry Owens, who allowed four runs and three hits in six innings pitched. Owens, who was demoted from Boston after struggling with his control, walked three and struck out four on 99 pitches. He let up four runs in the first three frames before settling down and retiring the last 10 batters he faced.
On the year, Owens, 23, is 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. Since returning to Pawtucket on May 6, the left-hander is 3-1 in five starts. Despite spending time in Boston’s rotation this year, Owens still ranks second on the team in strikeouts (42).
— Right fielder Justin Maxwell had another strong game at the plate, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run after having a four-hit game on Monday. He is batting .255/.354/.390 this year. Maxwell hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, immediately after Ryan LaMarre crushed a solo homer to center field to put the PawSox ahead 5-4.
|06.01.16 at 12:14 pm ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning and discussed how good Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts have been, as well as possible starting pitchers the Sox might want to acquire to shore up the rotation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Betts and Bogaerts continue to swing hot bats, with Betts slamming three home runs Tuesday and Bogaerts extending his hitting streak to 24 games.
“They are both playing elite, high-leverage positions. … You are looking at two potential MVPs, two potential batting champions,” Schilling said. “Here’s the thing: People want to keep waiting for this and waiting for that, the downside — it’s the same thing they are doing with Travis Shaw. [But] these guys can play.”
Schilling continued to stress the importance of the Red Sox getting another starting pitcher.
“At the deadline [the Sox] need to go back and grab a starter, and not James Shields. You need to grab somebody that can actually pitch in October,” Schilling said. “I love Julio Teheran in Atlanta. The only reason I say that is because I’ve heard that [the Braves are] very interested in making moves. I love the age, I like the potential. I don’t know how coachable, I don’t know what kind of guy he is. … Somebody on Periscope mentioned Rich Hill, which is ironic, but yeah, that could be another one. I think their bullpen will find its way. I like their bullpen. Carson Smith being gone doesn’t help, but I think they’re good enough. I want to see a starter. I want to see a starter because, listen, if David Price goes 22-4 this year and loses and gets his butt kicked in October, a lot of people are going to be saying, ‘What was that for?’ You need another guy.”
When examining the mental makeup of a pitcher, Schilling said it’s good to note which opposing hurlers step up against the Red Sox’ potent bats.
“I always relished the chance to pitch against this [type of] lineup because I knew nobody else liked it,” Schilling said. “You make your reputation on shutting teams down like this. … When you’re looking for potential pitchers, watch the guys that step up against this team. Because those are the guys that are saying, ‘Listen, I’ve got to do this to be somebody.’ And that to me is kind of a little insight into their postseason mentality and their postseason makeup.”
With the Rays struggling, Schilling speculated that Tampa Bay might consider parting ways with ace Chris Archer.
“I think there might be two teams in the league that would have the minor league talent to get Chris Archer,” Schilling said. “You would have to give up [Yoan] Moncada and somebody else probably. But I think that that might be a potential. Listen, they have him, he’s under a team-friendly contract, so there’s no doubt in my mind from a price prospective [the Rays] can maximize leverage. That would be the kind of guy I would go out and get. … I don’t think [Rays] will [send him to the Red Sox], you usually don’t trade inside the division, and I get that. But like I said, if you offer a package of players — Moncada and [Andrew] Benintendi and another guy — does that work? I don’t care what division you’re in, if I’m getting three potential impact players, I go there.”
|06.01.16 at 11:21 am ET|
The first All-Star voting update was released on Wednesday, and the Red Sox are well-represented.
Designated hitter David Ortiz and shortstop Xander Bogaerts lead their respective positions, while Ortiz is the second-leading vote-getter overall, with his 963,076 votes trailing only Royals catcher Salvador Perez (1.09 million).
Other Red Sox making the rankings include first baseman Hanley Ramirez (4th; 296,276) second baseman Dustin Pedroia (4th; 339,139), third baseman Travis Shaw (5th; 240,730), and outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr. (4th; 554, 887) and Mookie Betts (7th, 400,700).
As was the case last year, the Royals are well-represented, ranking in the top two at every position, and leading at catcher and first base (Eric Hosmer).
Ortiz and Bogaerts have earned their respective leads. At age 40, the former leads the league in doubles (23), RBIs (47), slugging percentage (.716), OPS (1.132), and total bases (126). Meanwhile, Bogaerts leads the AL in hits (76) and batting average (.350) and is currently in the midst of a 24-game hitting streak.
The Red Sox should be well-represented offensively, since they lead the AL in runs (308) by more than 50 over their nearest competitors (the Mariners have 256).
|06.01.16 at 9:48 am ET|
The Red Sox look to take their third consecutive game from the Orioles as they send out Joe Kelly to square off against Orioles right-hander Mike Wright on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.
Kelly is 2-0 with a 6.30 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. Since the right-hander returned from the DL (right shoulder impingement) on May 21, the Sox have seen both the good and bad side of Kelly. In his first start back on May 21 against the Indians, Kelly flirted with a no-hitter. However, in his ensuing start on May 27 against the Blue Jays, Kelly lasted just 4 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on nine hits (two home runs) and three walks while recording eight strikeouts in Boston’s 7-5 loss.
Kelly did not factor into the decision, extending his league-high streak of games started without a loss to 14 dating back to Aug. 1 of last season. Kelly is 10-0 in that time.
“My stuff was good,” Kelly said after the start. “I just missed too many spots. When you fall behind these hitters with a good lineup like this, they make you pay for it. Obviously there were some borderline calls that could have went either way, and from there, falling behind or not getting your pitch, these guys are a good hitting team, and if you don’t get ahead of these guys and throw strike one, it’s tough to pitch to them.”
The 27-year-old is 2-2 in six career starts against the Orioles. In those starts he has posted a 5.10 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Kelly’s last start against the Orioles was on April 13. In that start Kelly picked up his first win of the season after going five innings and giving up two runs on seven hits and five walks while striking out six. Kelly threw a season-high 116 pitches in that outing, a 4-2 Boston win.
|06.01.16 at 6:00 am ET|
The 2016 MLB draft is eight days away and the Red Sox will have the No. 12 overall pick, so the chance is there for them to snag one of the best overall players in the draft.
Here is a look at who three national experts have the Red Sox selecting:
Keith Law, ESPN: Nolan Jones, SS, Holy Ghost Prep
Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com: Zack Collins, C, Miami
John Manuel, Baseball America: Zack Burdi, RHP, Louisville
Analysis: The Red Sox generally go with the “best player available” philosophy and this year should be no different. Burdi would be an interesting selection as many feel the reliever could be ready to join a major league club this season. Going on their past history, it would seem unlikely the team would draft a player just because he could potentially help the major league club right away. Another pitcher that could be in their plans is right down the road at Boston College in starting pitcher Justin Dunn, who is a name to watch. When it comes to selecting a college player or high school player with their first overall pick, the Red Sox have gone more college than high school as in the last six years, four have been college players. Keep in mind, it’s very difficult to predict how the MLB draft will go compared to other sports drafts, but the biggest thing is the Red Sox generally will take the best overall talent available when they are selecting.
|05.31.16 at 11:24 pm ET|
BALTIMORE — The praise for Mookie Betts wasn’t hard to find in the Red Sox’ clubhouse after their 6-2 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards.
That’s what happens when you hit three home runs — all to different parts of the ballpark — while making the defensive play of the game.
But when you manager suggests babies should be named after you, that’s when you know an impression has been left.
“The three home runs speak for themselves, one to each part of the ballpark,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “He makes an outstanding diving catch off of [Baltimore’s Paul] Janish’s ball that looks like it’s destined for a base-hit. Jackie [Bradley Jr.] leaves us today because of the pending birth of his child, and if he has a boy he ought to name him Mookie after tonight’s outing. Just an impressive night by Mookie.”
The three-home run game — which was the first by a member of the Red Sox since Will Middlebrooks did it on April 7, 2013 in Toronto — was just a reminder of the kind of talent the Sox have in Betts.
Betts, who had never hit three home runs in a game before Tuesday night, is hitting .380 with a 1.278 OPS with 17 runs scored over his last 12 games. The three hits raised his batting average to .283, with his 40 RBIs far and away tops among leadoff hitters.
Here was some more of the kind words sent Betts way from the Red Sox clubhouse after their latest win:
Xander Bogaerts: “He’s probably one of the few guys every time I see him hit I think he’s going to hit a home run. It’s just the presence he has in the batter’s box, especially from the right side. I just feel like anything you leave over there he’s going to hit it out. He hit balls to three different parts of the field today which is pretty good. It’s really good, actually.”
David Ortiz: Mookie? Oh, man, I mean, got five tools, man, and he’s smart. He’s smart. It’s all on him, but I really believe that he’s getting to that point to understand where what he needs to do now. He works extremely hard.
“He’s got great hands. He knows about the strike zone real well. He knows the minute that he gets out of it, like we always talk, he can get in trouble. So he tries to stick with the plan. He’s so young, man. It’s so impressive how he handles his business.”
Farrell: “He generates tremendous bat speed and that’s what it boils down to. We’ve seen it so many times and for multiple years he led the organization in extra base hits, slugging and for someone of his stature you wouldn’t expect it just from the eye test. But he’s an explosive athlete and it continues to show up.”
|05.31.16 at 9:55 pm ET|
BALTIMORE — Eduardo Rodriguez is back, but what really matters is Mookie Betts never left.
On a night when Rodriguez should’ve been the story, Betts stole the spotlight by blasting three homers for the first time in his career.
Those shots gave Rodriguez all the offense he’d need in a 6-2 victory over the Orioles in his first start of the season, three months after suffering a spring training knee injury.
Rodriguez went six solid innings, allowing six hits and two runs. He struck out three and walked none, featuring a fastball that sat in the 91-93 mph range and a changeup that kept the Orioles off balance.
“It’s good,” Rodriguez said. “It was just like the first time on the mound. It was just like, don’t force it too much and just try to locate the heater and that’s it.”
He got all the offense he’d need from Betts, who led off the game with his 10th homer of the year, and then followed with a three-run shot in the second and the first opposite-field blast of his career in the seventh, leading manager John Farrell to suggest “Mookie” as a good name for Jackie Bradley’s Jr. soon-t0-be-born child.
All of that power gave Rodriguez some breathing room in his first start since last season. He entered the game with some concerns over the stability of his right knee, as well as his velocity. On the first count, he certainly looked comfortable while pitching with a brace on his right knee. On the latter count, he spent the first inning at 92 mph, the second at 93, and the rest in the low-90s. That’s down from the 94-95 he averaged last year, but he compensated by commanding his changeup.
|05.31.16 at 9:19 pm ET|
The Red Sox shortstop blooped a single into left field during his fourth at-bat, with Baltimore reliever Dylan Bundy on the mound. It marked the 24th straight game Bogaerts has notched at least one hit.
The righty hitter slapped his hands together as the ball fell in front of Baltimore left fielder Nolan Reimold, with the hit putting Bogaerts’ American League-leading batting average at .352.
“For sure. Are you kidding? I know I had that. Live another day,” said Bogaerts when asked if he was thinking about the streak during his final at-bat. “I know I hit it and it might fall in, but I didn’t know how deep the left fielder was playing. It was a lucky one and I definitely will take it.”
Bogaerts went hitless against Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, grounding out to second base in his first at-bat, grounding out to shortstop his second time up, and getting called on strikes in at-bat No. 3.
Bogaerts is now hitting .393 with a 1.007 OPS during the streak, which began on May 6. He has now hit safely in 36 of his last 38 games.
After the game, Bogaerts continued to make it clear that this hitting streak is on his mind.
“I know each day that I got it,” he said. “I wake up, I know that I have it. I come to the field, I know I have it. The first couple of at-bats, you’re not really putting pressure on yourself, but as the game goes on you know your time is running out so you try and focus a little bit more, try and put up a good at-bat and see what happens. I definitely know I have it.
“It’s a good pressure. You have a lot of people pulling for you, wanting you to get that hit. Obviously, in the big leagues it’s not easy to get any type of hit. You take anything like that, an infield it, anything, when you have a streak like that.”
|05.31.16 at 8:37 pm ET|
“You never want to rule it out,” Farrell said before his team’s game against the Orioles Tuesday night. “An advanced hitter … So unfortunate for Sam in this case.”
Travis has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2016 season after suffering the injury to his left knee during a rundown Sunday in Pawtucket.
The first baseman had already left quite an impression on the major league staff after hitting .469 with a 1.147 OPS in spring training. He went on to hit .272 with a .756 OPS with Triple-A Pawtucket before his injury.
If he didn’t emerge on the big league roster at some point this year, Travis certainly was putting himself in a spot to compete for a major league job in 2017. The scenario of playing first base for the Red Sox, with Hanley Ramirez moving to designated hitter, had been floated.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Farrell said. “I had a chance to speak with him last night at length. And in the face of a lengthy rehab and surgery that’s pending I thought he was able to handle it in as positive a manner as he could. It’s disappointing for him and for us, but we’re here to support him and get him through it and by all accounts. It looks like spring training is the goal as far as a timeframe is concerned.”
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