|08.19.15 at 10:09 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (48-77): L, 6-2, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)
— Starting right-hander Shawn Haviland suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits and two walks in a six-inning effort. He also recorded six strikeouts. Haviland fell to 4-8 on the season and now has a 4.42 ERA.
— Right-hander Dayan Diaz relieved Haviland and pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk with one strikeout. Diaz is 2-1 with two saves and a 2.04 ERA in 24 relief appearances for Pawtucket this season.
— Righty Noe Ramirez tossed a scoreless ninth inning, giving up just one walk. Ramirez is 4-1 with one save and a 2.61 ERA after appearing in 26 games.
— Third baseman Carlos Rivero drove in both Pawtucket runs — one in the first inning and one in the third — and finished the day 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Rivero has played in nine games for Pawtucket since he came over from Triple-A Tacoma and is hitting .300 with one double, one home run and six RBIs.
|08.19.15 at 8:18 am ET|
In the rubber match of two last-place AL teams, the Red Sox will send Joe Kelly to the mound against 2014 Cy Young Award recipient Corey Kluber.
Surprisingly enough for Red Sox fans, Joe Kelly has proven quite capable of late. The oft-bemoaned right-hander has won his last three starts, posting a 4.41 ERA primarily because of a five-run outing vs. the Rays on Aug. 1. In his two latest outings combined, he has allowed just three earned runs.
Facing the Tigers on Aug. 7, Kelly was absolutely dominant, recording his first six outs via the punchout. He finished the game with a line of: 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 7 K. Most encouragingly, perhaps, were Kelly’s 17 swinging strikes generated, five more than his previous season high. After the game, Kelly was pleased with his offspeed stuff.
“I had a good mix of pitches going on early,” Kelly said. “The changeup’s always felt good, but the slider definitely felt better today. Curveball, when I threw it, it felt pretty good.”
Kelly shone last Friday against the Mariners, going six innings while giving up just four hits and a run and striking out six. He lasted 106 pitches and generated 13 fly balls. Though he was outpaced by his offense, which put up 15 runs, Kelly is starting to display some of the improvements he made in Triple-A throughout the month of July.
For the season, Kelly is 5-6 and still owns a 5.69 ERA. But his FIP sits at 4.29, better than the marks of teammates Eduardo Rodriguez (4.30) and Steven Wright (4.98), indicating he’s due for some luck on batted balls.
Kelly and the Red Sox draw the unfortunate task of matching up with Kluber, one of the most underrated pitchers in the game this season.
|08.19.15 at 12:20 am ET|
Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo put it best when speaking following Tuesday’s game after it was announced the team has hired Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations and general manager Ben Cherington will not stick around.
“It’s been an awkward week to say the least starting with John [Farrell‘s] news — we just got through that, we’re moving forward from that and then today’s news,” Lovullo said.
Farrell announced he has stage 1 lymphoma Friday and that Lovullo would take over as interim manager, as he began chemotherapy Tuesday. After the team had a few days to digest that news, it learned their general manager wouldn’t be returning and a new president of baseball operations and subsequent new general manager would be brought in.
New club president Sam Kennedy spoke to the team and coaching staff following the game to deliver the news. Right after, Lovullo walked up the stairs for his usual postgame press conference, although this one much different than his other three as interim manager.
“You know, this all all such fresh news to me,” he started when first asked of the announced moves. “I basically just found out exactly what happened a short time ago. At this point I really don’t know any of the details. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what’s going on, what the process is.
“I will say that my personal relationship with Ben Cherington was very special. He was a great leader, a great man and we’re sorry to see him moving in a different direction.”
|08.18.15 at 11:47 pm ET|
With the Red Sox headed towards their second last place finish in the AL East in as many years and third in the last four, it’s not surprising a shakeup took place with the team hiring long-time executive Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations Tuesday night.
Current general manager Ben Cherington will not return after the transition process.
“Like I said, you see this happening in baseball over and over and over,” Ortiz said following Tuesday’s game. “When organizations struggle or whatever they just shake it up. I’m not saying that this is the best way to go and do things because like I said even in a couple of years, the way we had been, Ben won a World Series as a GM. So you don’t forget about that that quick.”
Playing for an organization like the Red Sox, winning is what is most important, so although the move was surprising, it isn’t all that surprising at the same time.
“Like I said, it’s always moves in an organization like this one,” Ortiz said. “We weren’t expecting it to happen, but it happened. Now we have to move on and continue trying to be an organization, team that can compete next year and I guess that’s what they’re looking for.”
A few of the players who spoke in the clubhouse following the game said it wasn’t Cherington’s fault for the poor performances in recent years and ultimately it came down to them as players on the field.
Ortiz was posed the same question and after a bit of hesitation said the same thing.
|08.18.15 at 11:46 pm ET|
Ben Cherington’s time with the Red Sox long predates the arrivals of recent championships (2004, 2007 and 2013) and the team’s veteran leaders.
His four-year stint as Boston’s general manager will be remembered for the World Series championship he delivered in 2013 and the treacherous teams the Sox fielded in the other three, yet his time with the Sox goes all the way back to 1999.
Dustin Pedroia, the second-longest tenured Red Sox player behind David Ortiz, was a second-round pick of the Sox in 2004, when Cherington was working in player development. With the news that Cherington will step down as Dave Dombrowski takes over as president of baseball operations, current players will experience a Cherington-less Boston organization for the first time.
“I’ve known Ben my whole time with the Red Sox,” Pedroia said after Tuesday’s game. “He’s been a big part of a lot of things in my career. We’ve had a lot of memories. Obviously, this is new. We’re going to miss him. I’m going to miss him. He has a lot of special relationships with guys. It’s tough.”
The Red Sox sit in last place in the AL East after finishing last both last season and in 2012, Cherington’s first season as GM. Pedroia, who is on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, said that he as a player feels responsibility for the shakeup that led to Cherington’s impending exit.
“It’s on us. They don’t play,” Pedroia said of executives. “That’s frustrating, but we win as a team and we lose as a team. That’s the tough part; it doesn’t usually go down like that in the end. That’s how we all feel. We’re out there playing.”
As for Dombrowski, Pedroia, clearly still a bit stunned to lose Cherington, expressed measured enthusiasm for the addition of the former Marlins and Tigers boss. He also noted that Mike Lowell, whom Dombrowski traded for with the Marlins in 1999, has long sung the praises of the 59-year-old.
“I know that wherever he’s been, he’s won,” Pedroia said of Dombrowski. “Obviously that speaks for itself. I remember Mike Lowell used to talk about him and couldn’t say enough great things. Obviously I don’t think they would put somebody in that position that they don’t believe in. He’s pretty special at what he does. He’s done a great job for a long time.”
Pedroia, 32, is in the second season of an eight-year, $110 million contract.
|08.18.15 at 11:19 pm ET|
As one of the longest tenured members of the Red Sox, Clay Buchholz was one of the players that has known former general manager Ben Cherington the longest.
After all, it was the last year of Cherington being the team’s director of player development when Buchholz was drafted in the first-round of the 2005 draft.
The starter said it wasn’t Cherington’s fault for the struggles of the team the past few seasons, as the team announced Thursday former Tigers executive Dave Dombrowski will immediately join the team as president of baseball operations and Cherington did not accept Dombrowski’s invitation to stick around as general manager.
“I’ve known Ben my whole career since I got drafted he was the minor league coordinator at the time,” Buchholz said after the game. “I guess it’s along the lines of a player if you’re in this organization if you don’t fulfill your role for an extended period of time, they find somebody else that will. I don’t think Ben, honestly never had a hand in on the way we played or the level that we played at or if we didn’t do good enough. Obviously you’d have to be stupid not to understand that it wasn’t his fault. It’s the players in here.
“Little bit of a shock I guess that it happened tonight. As long as I’ve been here, the Red Sox, we have a meeting in spring training every year and the ownership comes in and says that they built teams to win baseball games and win championships, and obviously when it’s going like it is or has gone this year they felt like there’s needed to be a change and that’s what they went with.”
Buchholz said he found out the news in the eighth inning — about the time the news was announced — from Dustin Pedroia, another long-tenured member of the team.
|08.18.15 at 11:01 pm ET|
Dave Dombrowski has already traded Rick Porcello once. Thanks to the contract Porcello signed after that trade which sent him to the Red Sox this past offseason, Dombrowski probably won’t be able to do it again any time soon.
Porcello is something of a symbolic figure regarding the entrance of Dombrowksi and the exit of Ben Cherington.
The 26-year-old right-hander was the guy Dombrowski sold high on, moving him to Boston following a career-best 3.43 ERA last season in Detroit. He was the guy Cherington bought high on, and, in keeping with the Sox’ philosophy to not spend big money on pitchers in their 30s, overpaid in the form of a four-year, $82.5 million contract that will begin next season.
Now, Dombrowski inherits a player who was once his chip (a player on whom he spent a first-round pick in 2007) and is now his team’s problem. Dombrowski was named Boston’s president of baseball operations Tuesday night, with the team also announcing that Cherington had declined to stay on as general manager. It’s Dombrowski’s show, and Porcello will be a part of it.
Following Tuesday night’s game, the injured Porcello declined to discuss Boston’s front office shakeup.
“I really don’t have any comment right now,” Porcello said. “This just kind of broke to us, so I kind of need a day to digest everything and go from there, but I will say that I had a great time playing for Dave in Detroit and am looking forward to that opportunity again.”
In 20 starts for the Red Sox this season, Porcello has a 5.81 ERA, which is worst in the American League among pitchers who have thrown at least 100 innings. He is currently on the disabled list with a right triceps strain.
|08.18.15 at 10:08 pm ET|
After getting crushed in his last outing, Eduardo Rodriguez spent his time between eight strong innings Tuesday watching his teammates rough up Cleveland’s various pitchers.
Rodriguez, who allowed eight earned runs on nine hits last week against the Marlins, was dominant on Tuesday in a 9-1 win over the Indians. The rookie left-hander gave up six hits and struck out five batters, walking none over 114 pitches. His eight innings pitched were a career high.
“I think he was pounding the strike zone with an aggressive fastball, getting ahead of hitters,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said after the game. “There’s no secret to having success on a given night from a pitching standpoint. It’s getting ahead of the batter and staying in the strike zone. He got in a great run for several innings. He was comfortable, free and easy. His worst inning he threw 19 pitches prior to the eighth inning. We wanted to send him back out there and get the last inning he really deserved. A great effort by him tonight.”
(Rodriguez’ performance proved to be overshadowed by the news of Boston’s hiring of Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations. For more on that and Ben Cherington’s decision to step down as Red Sox general manager, click here.)
Cleveland’s lone run off Rodriguez came on solo homer from Michael Brantley in the top of the seventh inning. That was followed by a single from Carlos Santana, though Rodriguez escaped further damage by inducing a Ryan Raburn double play and an inning-ending groundout from Abraham Almonte.
While the strong performance proved to be a bounce-back effort, it also continued a nice run of success for Rodriguez when pitching at home. Tuesday’s game made it five straight starts at Fenway in which Rodriguez has allowed three earned runs or fewer (3-0).
|08.18.15 at 9:59 pm ET|
Shocking news from Fenway Park on Tuesday night, where the Red Sox announced that Dave Dombrowski has been hired as president of baseball operations and that general manager Ben Cherington will step down.
Dombrowski, who worked for Red Sox owner John Henry with the Marlins, was recently let go by the Tigers after 14 years as their president. Henry lauded Dombrowski’s arrival in a press release.
“I have known Dave very well for a long time,” Henry said. “Tom [Werner} and I have no doubts that Dave is the right person to strengthen our baseball operations group going forward. He is one of the most highly regarded executives in all of baseball, and had options to go with other clubs. We feel very fortunate that he wanted to come to Boston, and wanted to further his career’now with the Red Sox’as one of the great architects of winning baseball clubs.”
Dombrowski, 59, built the 1997 World Series champion Marlins, and also played a large role in their 2003 championship. He led the Tigers to five playoff appearances, including World Series losses in 2006 and 2012. Now he comes to one of the game’s most storied franchises.
“Although I did have other potential options within baseball, there was no option that stood out as clearly as the chance to come to Boston and win with the Red Sox,” Dombrowski said in the release. “Boston is a baseball city like no other and its history and traditions are unique in our game. I expressed to John and Tom that Boston would be my absolute top choice.”
He added that he’s excited to start the job immediately. Cherington will assist with the transition.
“One of the advantages of joining the club now is that I get the opportunity to get a head start on the important job of roster construction for 2016,” Dombrowski said. ” The Red Sox baseball operations group and Ben Cherington deserve extraordinary credit for the young, talented players that have broken through at the major league level, and I see outstanding potential in the talent still developing in our minor leagues.”
|08.18.15 at 5:35 pm ET|
With the season Hanley Ramirez is having in left field and another misplay on Monday night, there’s been more talk of potentially moving him to another position like first base.
Despite the criticism, interim manager Torey Lovullo was very strong the team’s commitment to Ramirez in left field.
“We’re not hiding anything and we want to be as transparent as possible. No, he’s not getting any type of work at first base at this point. Hanley Ramirez is our left fielder and I think we’re going to stay with that,” Lovullo said. “We’re going to try and get him the necessary work and necessary reps and necessary innings out there to get him to the point he feels comfortable and we become a championship defense in the outfield. It takes time. He’s a converted infielder and it’s a tough process. He’s further from the ball and moving and traveling at different angles and I feel comfortable saying Hanley is doing the right thing, working as hard as he can to make it happen as fast as he can.”
Lovullo pointed to some of the struggles he’s had in left field to being an infielder for all of his 10 seasons prior to this one.
“I think maybe he has some infield instincts in the outfield still,” he said. “I know he wants to come in on balls. I think we’re trying to get him to sit down as long as possible. I think he’s becoming a little bit more comfortable with the spacing around the wall. I just think there’s a general feel that he needs to develop here at Fenway Park. I think on the road he does OK defensively. I think at Fenway Park it’s a very confined area and he’s still adjusting. It’s going to take a little bit of time.”
Despite all the issues, Lovullo feels Ramirez is making promising strides since the beginning of the season.
“I think he’s on a good path right now,” he said. “I think there has been improvement since April. I think there has been improvement each and every day. He’s making some nice plays. We want to see everybody improve to a certain standard and make sure that we go out there and help him as a collective group to win baseball games.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Weekly Notes: Season end awards & front office changes
- SoxProspects.com 2015 season-end award winners
- Travis, Moncada highlight Red Sox minor league awards
- Podcast Ep. 86: Season in Review, Pt. 1
- Weekly Notes: Moncada to play winter ball in Puerto Rico
- 2015 SoxProspects.com All-Stars
- Weekly Notes: Front office moves, Fall Instructs rosters announced
- Podcast Ep. 85: Final Notes from the Field, Sept. Rankings, Wendell Rijo
- 2015 Fall Instructional League rosters and schedule take shape
- Red Sox announce trio of front office moves