|07.01.16 at 9:37 am ET|
The slumping Red Sox will send knuckleballer Steven Wright to the hill Friday night to open a three-game series against the visiting Angels, who will counter with 28-year-old right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.
Wright heads into the Los Angeles series with an 8-5 record, 2.18 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. The 31-year-old All-Star candidate ranks near the top in the American League in numerous pitching categories, including first in ERA, 10th in innings pitched (103) and tied for first in complete games (3). Wright has been the strongest arm for the Red Sox this season, but he will look to bounce back from a tough outing Saturday vs. the Rangers. The right-hander let up eight runs (three earned) on seven hits in only 4 1/3 innings in a 10-3 defeat at Texas. It was his first loss since a 3-2 setback vs. the Royals on May 18.
“I had a tough time throwing the knuckleball for a strike,” Wright said afterward. “I felt like I couldn’t throw a good one over the plate. I had to rely a lot on my fastball. When I do that, it’s usually not going to be a good day for me.”
Wright has faced the Angels just twice in his four-year career, going 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. His ERA against Los Angeles is his highest against any team. His last game vs. the Angels was on July 20 of last season, when he surrendered six runs on six hits through five innings in a 7-3 Red Sox loss.
|06.30.16 at 10:16 pm ET|
According to Baseball America, the Red Sox could be penalized over their 2015 international signings.
Major League Baseball has been investigating the Red Sox on whether they signed several Venezuelan players from the same training programs last year in “package deals.” The Red Sox were limited to signings of no more than $300,000 last year and they signed top ranked outfielders Albert Guaimaro and Simon Muzziotti.
The report says the penalties against the Red Sox could be imposing signing restrictions for the upcoming international signing period and possibly making several of the team’s top 2015 international signings free agents — which would include Guaimaro and Muzziotto.
This is significant because the 2016 international signing period begins on July 2 and the Red Sox were already said to have several deals in place.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|06.30.16 at 12:02 pm ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis and Callahan with Minihane on Thursday to chat about the current state of the Red Sox and what the future should hold for manager John Farrell. To hear the full conversation, visit Dennis and Callahan’s audio on demand page.
“Here’s the thing: a team is never — especially this team right now— it’s never as bad as it looks when it’s going bad, and usually it’s not as good, they’re not as good as they are when it’s going really well,” Schilling said.
Schilling confirmed that there is a “sixth sense” players have around the clubhouse when there is suspicion that the manager is about to be fired.
“They absolutely do [recognize it],” he said. “For me it was always very personal in the sense that if someone got fired as a manager, than part of my job I wasn’t supposed to do as a player. Again your manager can’t play. So when a manager gets fired it’s because the players don’t execute and I always felt personally responsible for things like that.”
Schilling said the biggest thing with the Red Sox now, is a lack of confidence.
“These guys need a significantly large dose of confidence because none of them have it,” Schilling said. “I’ve been in a situation when a staff has gone out seven days in a row and given up runs in the first inning, it’s contagious just like hitting. And then you’ve got guys going out on the mound and going ‘Oh no’ instead of being aggressive.”
Schilling added that it would be too much to ask Farrell — who’s expertise is in pitching — to circumvent pitching coach Carl Willis and attempt to help the pitchers.
He did touch on the trouble the conflicting comments between David Price and John Farrell in which Price said he had his worst stuff while Farrell said it was his best.
“When you look at what he did yesterday, he didn’t have anything,” Schilling said. “Except maybe velocity. I don’t know. Sometimes from the side he can look better than it does, but I think what you’re seeing from John [Farrell] is one of the things he took from Tito and that’s to protect your players at all cost.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|06.30.16 at 10:48 am ET|
1. One of the biggest questions between now and July 15 for the Red Sox may be off the field as that is the deadline they have to sign No. 12 overall pick Jason Groome.
As has been well-documented, the high school left-hander was expected to be the No. 1 overall pick at one point in time, but slid all the way down to No. 12, as there were reported concerns with his character as well as questions of whether or not he could be signed once he got out of the top five since he reportedly was and still is seeking top five money.
The Red Sox took a chance and selected the New Jersey high school product when it was their turn at No. 12 and now have until July 15 to sign him.
Negotiations between the Red Sox and Groome’s agent Jeff Randazzo didn’t really start to occur until the last week or so, as Groome couldn’t sign a deal until he graduated high school, which was on June 22. According to a source, the two sides are working towards a deal, but it would appear as of now they aren’t close to an agreement.
Groome is said to want a deal well above the slotted value of $3.2 million for the No. 12 overall pick. The Red Sox are doing what they can to free up some of their top 10 bonus pool money for Groome, which is $6,997,400, as they signed two college seniors — Ryan Scott and Matt McLean — to bonuses of $10,000 each. They also signed three more players in second rounder CJ Chatham, sixth rounder Steve Nogosek and eighth rounder Alan Marrero to below slot value deals.
They still have to sign third rounder Shaun Anderson and fourth rounder Bobby Dalbec, who each played in the College World Series, and both are expected to sign for at or just below slot value. Then, 10th rounder Santiago Espinal is close to signing for below slot value as well. Finally, fifth rounder Mike Shawaryn reportedly is seeking an over slot deal, but after him all that is left to sign is Groome. When all is set and done, the Red Sox should have at or just above $4 million to offer Groome.
Looking at the top five picks in this year’s draft, the No. 3 and No. 4 picks were both high school pitchers as the Braves took Ian Anderson out of Shenendehowa High School in New York and the Rockies took Riley Pint out of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Kansas. They both agreed to below slot value deals of $4 million in Anderson’s case and $4.8 million in Pint’s case.
Somewhere between $4 and $4.5 million seems appropriate to offer Groome and while he does have the option to not sign and enroll at Chipola Junior College before re-entering the draft next year, there is no guarantee he would go in the top three where he would be likely to get more than the $4.5 million he could potentially get now, especially with how good the 2017 draft class is said to be. He also runs the risk of potentially getting injured, or just not putting up the numbers like he’s been doing to this point in his career.
Not signing would certainly be a risky move for Groome, especially if it is over a couple hundred-thousand dollars. The two sides have until July 15 to come to an agreement and it could come down to the final hours as it appears both sides would like to get a deal done, but just at a price they both can agree on.
|06.30.16 at 10:25 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-39): W, 3-2, vs. Rochester (Twins)
— A pair of semi-familiar faces in Boston, Roenis Elias and Rusney Castillo carried the PawSox to a series win over Rochester in the rubber match of the series.
— Castillo drilled a home run in the second inning to put the PawSox on the board first, and later scored the go-ahead run in the sixth after being driven in by Chris Dominguez. The Cuban was 2-for-4 on the night and is now hitting .242 this season.
— Roenis Elias was solid in the win, climbing to 5-3 on the season with a 3.73 ERA. He went six innings allowing three hits and two runs (one of which was earned) while striking out and walking two.
— Brock Holt went 0-for-3 in his rehab assignment and was replaced by Henry Ramos in the sixth inning. Also on a rehab assignment was Ryan Hanigan, who went 1-for-2 with a walk before being replaced by Ali Solis.
|06.29.16 at 7:27 pm ET|
David Price didn’t make any excuses following the Red Sox’ 4-0 loss to the Rays in which he allowed four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings to take his fifth loss of the season.
“It’s frustrating,” Price said to reporters. “It’s been my worst year. It’s unacceptable. I don’t care if I’m a rookie. It’s unacceptable. I’ve got to get better, and I will.”
As it stands now, the left-hander is 8-5 on the year with a 4.74 ERA. Price is currently No. 73 among 98 MLB starters who qualify in terms of ERA, which isn’t even close to what the Red Sox expected when they signed him this offseason.
“I’m so much better than this,” Price said. “I’ve just got to get better. It’s crushing me right now, but I’ll get there.”
Price gave up a solo homer to lead off the second inning then allowed two singles and two doubles in the third that plated three more runs.
“Bad. Again,” Price said. “I’m just putting us being the eight-ball early on in games. I’m not setting the tone the way that I need to. It’s tough.”
The left-hander walked one and struck out 10, to increase his strikeout total to 120, which tops in the American League. Of his 58 runs allowed this season, 24 (41 percent) have came via home run.
“I didn’t feel any different,” Price said. “Changeup, that’s probably the worst changeup I’ve had in probably a month. Curveball was awful. Can’t get my cutter or my slider where I want to. I’m just bad right now.”
Being 5 1/2 games out of first place, the Red Sox need Price to be better and be better soon.
|06.29.16 at 3:01 pm ET|
The PawSox had two members of their team be named to the International League All-Star team — Chris Marrero and Sean O’Sullivan.
The 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game will be played on Wednesday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m. in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Marrero, a first baseman, is the PawSox’ leader in both home runs (12) and RBIs (34) this season. His 12 homers are tied for fifth in the International League. He is batting .278 in 73 games this season.
Right-hander O’Sullivan is 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 starts for the PawSox this season. He leads the club in victories and his ERA is eighth-best in the International League.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|06.29.16 at 3:00 pm ET|
Here we go again.
The momentum the Red Sox hoped to build after Tuesday’s 8-2 victory in Tampa lasted about 12 hours before the Rays sent the Sox crawling back to Boston with a 4-0 shutout that completed a disappointing 2-4 road trip.
David Price couldn’t stop the bleeding, allowing four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out 10, but that was hardly what the Red Sox were looking for against the worst offense in the American League, which entered the series having lost 11 straight before taking two of three from the Red Sox.
“Bad. Again,” Price told reporters in Florida. “I’m just putting us behind the eight-ball early on in games. I’m not setting the tone the way that I need to. It’s tough. I’m so much better than this. I’ve just got to get better. It’s crushing me right now, but I’ll get there.”
Price wasted little time surrendering runs, starting with a Brandon Guyer 366-foot homer in the second inning in his first at-bat off the disabled list. In the third, the Rays went on a base hit spree, driving in three runs via singles and doubles.
With the home run to Guyer, Price has now allowed a homer in nine consecutive starts.
Price allowed a worrisome amount of hard contact, starting with Logan Forsythe’s ground-rule double leading off the first, though Price at least stranded him at third. From there, the Rays continued to tee off, with five of their nine hits going for extra bases.
Price (8-5) dropped to 1-4 this month.
“It’s been my worst year. It’s unacceptable,” Price told reporters. “I don’t care if I’m a rookie. It’s unacceptable. I’ve got to get better, and I will.” Read the rest of this entry »
|06.29.16 at 12:35 pm ET|
Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday to discuss recent roster moves and other team news. To hear the full interview, check out the OM&F audio on demand page.
On Monday, the Red Sox recalled infielder Mike Miller from Triple-A Pawtucket. Many thought he would play in Monday’s game with Xander Bogaerts and manager John Farrell saying the day before he needed a down day, but Bogaerts got the start and the Red Sox ended up needing almost six innings from their bullpen.
Some questioned the move of calling up Miller and not a reliever with some even speculating there was some disconnect between the team and the front office regarding the 25-man roster. Hazen, however, strongly denied that notion.
“There’s absolutely no miscommunication whatsoever,” Hazen said. “You alluded to it, it’s what’s going on right now, the roster changes [are] happening minute-by-minute. We’re constantly discussing those things. … When you get your roster into a state of transition due to the amount of injuries that we’ve had, and we’re trying to shuttle guys up and back from Pawtucket, you end up in situations where your roster is not going to be perfect on a nightly basis. You have to get into this situation because it doesn’t add to the cohesion of the clubhouse, nobody wants to see this happen. The manager doesn’t want to see it happen, the front office doesn’t want to see it happen. We want to keep 25 guys in that clubhouse so they can build that comradery together, that trust, the tendency of knowing what they’re going to get. When we have to keep bringing guys up everyday, it takes away from that. You have to do it because you have to put your team in a position to be successful, but that shuffle isn’t ideal for anybody.”
There was also some questions surrounding Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara being used in Monday’s blowout loss.
|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.
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