|06.08.15 at 4:30 pm ET|
The All-Star Game doesn’t belong to the Red Sox anymore.
Voting totals were released on Monday, and only two Red Sox rank in the top five at their positions. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz are fourth at second base and designated hitter, respectively, but neither is close to the lead.
That’s partly because the Red Sox have underachieved all season, but also because Royals fans have voted en masse to turn the Mid-Summer Classic into a game between the best players in the National League and Kansas City’s starting nine.
The Royals lead in the voting ‘ and mostly by insurmountable margins ‘ at every position except second base and Mike Trout.
Houston’s Jose Altuve is the leader at second, holding a slim lead of 150,000 votes on Kansas City’s Omar Infante. Altuve’s 2.8 million votes dwarf Pedroia’s total of 726,000.
The story is similar at DH, where Kansas City’s Kendrys Morales holds a small lead on Mariners masher Nelson Cruz, with nearly five times as many votes as Ortiz’s 690,000.
The only other Red Sox player on the list is outfielder Hanley Ramirez, who ranks 11th.
If the game, which will be played in Cincinnati, were held today, the starters would be Kansas City’s Salvador Perez (C), Eric Hosmer (1B), Mike Moustakas (3B), Alcides Escobar (SS), Lorenzo Cain (OF), and Alex Gordon (OF), along with Morales, Altuve, and Trout.
|06.08.15 at 4:04 pm ET|
Tonya Carpenter, the 44-year-old woman who was struck by a broken bat at Fenway Park Friday night, has been upgraded to fair condition, according to a statement released by her family.
Initial reports indicated that Carpenter had suffered life-threatening injuries, and her family said she was in a serious condition in a statement released Saturday. Fortunately, her condition has since improved.
“Tonya is responsive, and her condition has been upgraded from serious to fair,” her family said in a statement, according to NECN. “We would like to thank everyone for their continued support, especially the fans at Fenway Park, first responders, Boston EMS, Boston Police and her care team at Beth Israel Deaconess.”
The incident occurred in the second inning of Friday night’s game when Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie‘s bat shattered, sending a piece flying into the stands. The game was delayed for several minutes as Carpenter was carried off the field on a stretcher.
|06.08.15 at 2:00 pm ET|
With the MLB draft kicking off Monday night and the Red Sox holding the No. 7 overall pick, there is a great deal of buzz with who the team will select.
Taking a general consensus from the national draft experts, there is no one specific player connected to the Red Sox, although it appears they will take a college player for the first time in two years with their first pick.
Here is a look at who the national pundits have the Red Sox taking:
Jim Callis (MLB.com): Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt University
Jonathan Mayo (MLB.com): Andrew Benintendi, OF, University of Arkansas
Keith Law (ESPN.com, Insider Only): Ian Happ, INF/OF, University of Cincinnati
Baseball America: Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt University
Bleacher Report: Daz Cameron, OF, Eagle Landing Christian School (Ga.)
Sports Illustrated: Andrew Benintendi, OF, University of Arkansas
For more draft and Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|06.08.15 at 11:48 am ET|
No matter where a team selects in the first round of the MLB draft, more often than not the organization says it will take the best player available.
But, what exactly does that mean, especially when you are selecting from such a wide range of players — varying from 18-year-old high school pitchers who haven’t fully developed to 22-year-old college position players who may have already reached their full potential?
With the Red Sox picking No. 7 overall in Monday’s MLB draft, how do they determine the best available player? Director of amateur scouting Mike Rikard was asked that question on last Friday’s pre-draft conference call.
“One of the things we really try and do is be very considerate of all the variables that go into weighing where you stack a positional player, or how you stack up your board,” he said. “As you can imagine when you’re considering, for example a high school pitcher, the overall synopsis for that type of player is going to be much different for say a college position player. Sometimes you end up getting into conversations where you’re making comparisons in what seems to be apples and oranges and that can be different. We try and find the best ways to systematically weigh the risk, weigh the upside, consider the track record of each player, health, make up. So there’s a number of things that can go into how you consider each player and ultimately how you stack up your draft board.”
For the most part the Red Sox have taken a variety of players with their first overall pick in recent drafts — selecting college pitchers, high school pitchers, college position players and high school position players all in the last 10 years.
Here is a list of the Red Sox’ top overall picks in the last 10 years:
2005: Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Oregon State
2006: Jason Place, INF, Wren High School (S.C.)
2007: Nick Hagadone, LHP, University of Washington
2008: Casey Kelly, RHP, Sarasota High School (Fla.)
2009: Reymond Fuentes, OF, Fernando Callejo High School (P.R.)
2010: Kolbrin Vitek, INF, Ball State University
2011: Matt Barnes, RHP, University of Connecticut
2012: Deven Marrero, INF, Arizona State
2013: Trey Ball, LHP, New Castle High School (Ind.)
2014: Michael Chavis, INF, Sprayberry High School (Ga.)
It is anyone’s best guess who the Red Sox will take at No. 7 Monday night, but the organization will have done its background work and factored in everything imaginable before making the selection.
For more draft coverage and Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|06.08.15 at 10:09 am ET|
Reports of David Ortiz’s demise are a little premature — at least according to David Ortiz.
A few days after Ortiz failed to show his usual spark when asked by Steve Burton of WBZ-TV if he was washed up, the designated hitter was far more firm in his response Saturday.
“I’m not washed up,” he said. “I guarantee you that. I can wake up and hit, bro. That’s my nature. I’m not washed up.”
Ortiz, who is hitting just .219/.298/.375 with six home runs and 21 RBIs, said Burton’s question was insulting, although it apparently took a few days to sink in.
“I was asked on camera the other day if I was washed up. And I pretty much didn’t react to it, but I thought that was very disrespectful,” Ortiz said before Saturday’s 4-2 victory over the A’s. “You don’t disrespect people like that, you know what I’m saying? I’ve come a long way, and everyone knows my status, and to come and wipe it in my face just because things are not going well right now, I don’t think the question was fair. That tells tells me how things are around here. People forget too fast, and I don’t think it’s right.”
Added Ortiz: “The reason why I didn’t get mad is because every time I get mad, I’m the bad guy. If I blow up, I’m the bad guy.
“And my [expletive] is not going to finish like this, I’ll tell you that right now. I’m not going to end up like this. But you know what? Every time Papi makes some noise, it’s, ‘Papi’s greedy, Papi’s this, Papi’s that.’ That [question] was messed up, and because I know it was messed up, I didn’t react to it. But I’m not washed up. I’m not. You know why? Because they pitch me very carefully. If they don’t, I make them pay. All of them [expletive] who say I’m washed up, tell them to sit down and watch the game.”
|06.08.15 at 9:47 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (28-29): W, 7-2, at Syracuse (Nationals)
— After a single off the bat of Allen Craig and a pair of walks by Travis Shaw and Deven Marrero loaded the bases in the fifth inning, first baseman Garin Cecchini hit a grand slam to right to break open a one-run game. The 24-year-old finished the day 2-for-5, raising his average to .192. Cecchini’s grand slam was the first of the year for Pawtucket.
– Marrero also had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a leadoff home run to center in the second, a walk and two runs scored. Marrero, a 24-year-old who was a first-round pick in 2012, improved his average to .243 and now has four home runs and 17 RBIs on the season.
– In addition to Cecchini, Jackie Bradley Jr., Quintin Berry, Humberto Quintero and Craig all posted two-hit games.
— Keith Couch earned the win, allowing one earned run on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts over seven innings of work. The 25-year-old righty improved to 3-6 on the season and lowered his ERA to 4.73.
– Right-hander Doug Fister started for Syracuse, making his first rehab appearance since landing on the DL with a strained flexor tendon in his throwing arm. Fister took the loss Sunday, allowing two runs and seven hits – including Marrero’s solo shot — with six strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings of work.
|06.07.15 at 7:27 pm ET|
Not to be forgotten because of the seven-run eighth inning in the Red Sox‘ 7-4 comeback win over the A’s, is arguably the unsung hero of the game, Steven Wright.
And when Farrell said today, he actually meant today.
After throwing 92 pitches Thursday against the Twins, Wright was called on Sunday following Clay Buchholz going just 4 2/3 innings and allowing four runs. Wright gave the Red Sox 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, to pick up the win.
Even though he was on just two days rest, Wright said he knew there was a chance he could get called upon.
“Once they put you in the pen, there’s always a chance you’re going to go in,” Wright said.
Wright said it was the fastest turnaround he’s ever experienced between starting and relieving, but said it wasn’t a big deal mentally and didn’t need to do anything different physically.
“No. I throw knuckleballs, man,” he said with a chuckle.
|06.07.15 at 6:49 pm ET|
With one swing of the bat Sunday, Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo changed the entire game.
Castillo crushed a solo home run over the Green Monster in the eighth inning, making it a 4-1 game at the time, but more importantly the home run chased A’s starter Kendall Graveman from the game and set the stage for the Red Sox‘ 7-4 come-from-behind win.
Graveman had shutout the Red Sox to that point in the game, retiring 13 straight batters before the hit in his 7 1/3 innings, which were a career-high. He was removed from the game following the homer, going 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits, while walking two and striking out six.
The Red Sox would then go on to score six more runs against Oakland relievers in their comeback win, including another RBI single from Castillo for the final run.
“It kept building,” manager John Farrell said of the eighth inning. “Like I said, the solo home run from Rusney kind of jump starts us. Then Pedey [Pedroia] and Brock with back-to-back base hits and you could feel it happening there. Knowing that Hanley is swinging the bat as well as he has over the past 7-10 days, you’re always a swing away with Hanley at the plate. We continue to pass the baton and it was the beginning of a big inning.”
Added Castillo through a translator: “Obviously it’s very exciting and very rewarding to know that kind of sparks that kind of win. More than anything, just excited that we got the win as a result of that and second to have finally hit my first home run of the 2015 season.”
|06.07.15 at 6:33 pm ET|
All of a sudden, the Red Sox are carrying some optimism heading into Baltimore.
After punctuating their sweep of the A’s with a 7-4 win, the Red Sox finish off the seven-game homestand that began with a John Henry press conference having won five games.
Asked what it meant for the owner, general manager Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell to relay votes of confidence for the current roster, Ortiz was realistic.
“They better say that because we don’t have another team. What are you going to do? Are you going to bring Pawtucket to play up here?” he joked. “The reality is we have a good ball club. We just have to be patient. If you look at this division, everybody is playing the same way. Everybody is having some ups and downs. You don’t see this team in this division sweeping series or getting far ahead from everyone. Everyone is having those bumps in the road, ups and downs.”
Ortiz didn’t come away with a hit in the Red Sox’ latest win, but he did draw just his second walk in his last 15 games.
|06.07.15 at 6:13 pm ET|
Nothing symbolized Sunday’s dramatic rally from 4-0 down in the bottom of the eighth better than the at-bat Xander Bogaerts put up against Oakland closer Tyler Clippard.
Just like the Red Sox, who started the inning down four runs, Bogaerts found himself in a nasty 0-2 hole against the A’s righty when he, like his teammates, began to chip away.
Bogaerts fouled off two fastballs from Clippard to fall behind two strikes before he really went to work. He took two straight pitches out of the strike zone sandwiched around a throw to first to keep Mookie Betts close. After Betts stole second to put runners at second and third, Bogaerts fouled off another pitch.
All the while, Bogaerts didn’t change his strategy. A lot of batters would be defensive in this situation, down 4-3 with the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. Foul off pitches until you get a fastball you can drive. But Bogaerts, along with hitting coach Chili Davis had a better idea.
“I was not looking for a fastball that whole at-bat and he threw me a lot [of fastballs],” Bogaerts said. “I just fouled them off, stayed alive. I was looking for a changeup since pitch one and he threw me one right there.”
Why wasn’t Bogaerts looking fastball?
“He has a good changeup and he tends to throw at least one in every at-bat,” Bogaerts said. “On the 2-2, I fouled one off right next to the dugout. Chili looked at me like, ‘Yeah, that’s it.’ We always talk about it. It doesn’t matter if you foul off a ball, you’ve got to try to pull it the next time. Just stay on it and he threw me what I was looking for. It was actually a really good pitch by him. I was just waiting on it and put a good swing on it.”
Clippard tipped his cap to Bogaerts for hanging in and executing on a changeup that he couldn’t have put in a better place.
“Threw a changeup down and in. I got it there. It was probably four inches off [the plate] in,” Clippard said. “Normally, when guys get to that pitch, all they can do is hit it foul. He did a good job of staying inside that pitch running into him and kept it fair and hit it off the wall. I wasn’t mad about the execution.
“He took some poor swings on my fastball throughout that whole at-bat. I felt like I did a good job of reading his swing up until that last pitch. Probably should have thrown another fastball but in hindsight it’s always easy to say. It is what it is. I’m just trying to get him out any way I can. I’m trying to get him to chase my pitch and he put a good at-bat together after that and stayed inside the changeup.”
Bogaerts admitted afterward that while he got the pitch he wanted, he knows he just as easily could have headed back to the dugout with the third out of the inning and the Sox still down a run.
“[Usually] a strikeout. I went back and saw that [on video],” he said. “I can’t guarantee you that I would do that again if I got that pitch.”
Things seemed somewhat dim heading into the bottom of the eighth. The Sox had managed just five hits in seven scoreless innings against Oakland starter Kendall Graveman.
“I remember just looking at the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth, 4-0,” Bogaerts recalled. “Just trying to think how we can get some runs. That was probably the biggest win for us this year, for sure.”
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