|06.21.16 at 10:52 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (37-33): W, 4-1, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)
— Brock Holt began his rehab assignment the going 2-for-3 with two doubles in the win. Holt, who working his way back from a concussion he suffered on May 18, played five innings in left field before being replaced by Bryce Brentz. This was part of the playing time progression the team has planned for him this week. Holt was batting .239/.310/.354 with the Red Sox before the injury.
— In his first game with Pawtucket after being promoted from Double-A Portland, infielder Ryan Court went 3-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored. He also hit RBI singles in his first two at-bats.
Signed to a minor league contract on May 2, Court joined Pawtucket after hitting .319/.409/.420 in 40 games with Portland. The Illinois State product is hitting .385 in his last 10 games.
— Sean O’Sullivan got the start for Pawtucket, allowing just one run over eight innings. He also struck out four and did not walk a batter in his second eight-inning start in three outings. He’s thrown at least seven innings in five of his last seven starts.
“He had a great mix of pitches and attacked the zone,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles told MiLB.com after the game. “He was very efficient and kept our defense involved.”
Besides a brief stint with the Red Sox in May, O’Sullivan has been solid for the PawSox this season. The 28-year-old is 5-2 with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in ten minor league starts. Drafted by the Angels in 2005, O’Sullivan ranks second on the team in innings pitched (64) and fourth in strikeouts (45).
|06.21.16 at 9:32 am ET|
Clay Buchholz returns to the Red Sox starting rotation on Tuesday when he takes the mound opposite White Sox ace Chris Sale in the second game of a four-game series.
The 2016 season hasn’t been kind to Buchholz, who is 3-6 with a 5.86 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Tuesday’s game will be his first start since May 26 after he was banished to the bullpen, where he was able to string together some decent outings. In his last appearance on Thursday, the right-hander tossed three scoreless frames in a 5-1 loss to the Orioles.
“If Clay can build on the three innings, and the majority of appearances coming out of the bullpen,” Sox manager John Farrell said after the Baltimore game, “we’re moving closer to what typically [has] been Clay’s performance level.”
In his nine-year career, Buchholz is 3-3 vs. Chicago with a 4.04 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in nine starts. He’s defeated the White Sox once already this year in arguably his best start. He allowed two runs on three hits in seven hits while striking out seven.
|06.20.16 at 11:56 pm ET|
The Red Sox fell to the White Sox 3-1 in 10 innings Monday night, in a game that flew by until the ninth inning and then had a number of situations unfold where manager John Farrell had to make split-second decisions.
The manager defended them after the game.
In the ninth inning with the game tied at one, starter Steven Wright was just over 100 pitches and after retiring the first batter, he allowed an infield single to Melky Cabrera and then walked Todd Frazier.
With Junichi Tazawa and Robbie Ross Jr. up in the bullpen, Farrell stuck with Wright and it paid off as he retired Brett Lawrie and Alex Avila to end the half inning.
“Even in the ninth, he gets what looked like a routine ground ball with Cabrera that Marco [Hernandez] double-pumped a little bit, but I thought he was in complete control of the game,” Farrell said.
Then things got interesting in the bottom half of the ninth as the Red Sox loaded the bases with three straight walks — Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Chris Young — against Zach Putnam. The White Sox then called on lefty Zach Duke and with Travis Shaw due up, Farrell pinch-hit Dustin Pedroia who had been given the day off.
With the White Sox having a five-man infield, all Pedroia needed to do was put the ball in play, but he struck out. Then, Christian Vazquez grounded out on a force out at home and finally, Ryan LaMarre, pinch-hitting for Hernandez, struck out in an ugly at-bat.
Farrell could have allowed Shaw to hit and saved Pedroia for another batter, but Shaw came into the game batting .156 against left-handers this year, which was the reason for pinch-hitting Pedroia.
“In the bases loaded situation against a left-hander, which obviously is a better matchup for him, that was the choice there,” Farrell said.
For his career, Pedroia is a .298 hitter with the bases loaded and doesn’t strike out very much, but couldn’t get the job done Monday.
|06.20.16 at 10:42 pm ET|
When it mattered most, the Red Sox could not cash in.
A two-run 10th inning for the White Sox off closer Craig Kimbrel sealed the Red Sox’ fate, as they fell 3-1 in the first game of a four-game set against the White Sox on Monday night at Fenway Park.
Multiple elements of the Red Sox’ performance rested on both ends of the good vs. bad spectrum at some point during the game.
Starter Steven Wright was slightly erratic the first two innings, but ultimately turned in a great performance. The defense committed a pair of errors in the first, but was stout the rest of the night. The offense had its moment but ultimately could not produce when needed.
The Red Sox looked most threatening in the ninth inning, starting off with patience at the plate. Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr. worked the count full and walked to put runners on first and second base with no outs. Then Chris Young loaded up the bases on a five-pitch walk of his own.
But after a strikeout from pinch-hitter Dustin Pedroia and fielder’s choice from Christian Vazquez that got Ramirez at the plate with Chicago playing a five-man infield, Ryan LaMarre stepped in to pinch hit for Marco Hernandez. After quickly digging himself an 0-2 hole in his first at-bat in a Red Sox uniform, he struck out against Zach Duke to send the game into extras.
“We created a golden opportunity for ourselves,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Bases loaded via the three walks, you think that where we are with the guys coming up, particularly we get some matchups that are in our favor. Duke, give him credit. He made a couple of pitches to get a couple of key strikeouts.”
|06.20.16 at 5:40 pm ET|
Prior to Monday’s game, Red Sox manager John Farrell provided updates on the injuries to Brock Holt and Ryan Hanigan, as well as addressing the work being done to prepare pitcher Clay Buchholz for his start Tuesday — his first since being relegated to the bullpen in late May.
Holt is scheduled to make his first rehab start with the PawSox Monday in left field. The start will be his first game action following a concussion suffered while diving for a ball on May 10.
“He’ll go on a couple of days and then off a day then go back on for a couple of days with some innings progression building up to nine innings,” said Farrell. “That third game, we’ll get some left side of the infield work involving both short and third base. So we’ll reexamine things at the end of the week and see where he’s at.”
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Holt would play five innings Monday, seven innings Tuesday, nine innings Thursday and then be reevaluated.
With Holt’s imminent return, Farrell commented on how he will be reinstated in the lineup—especially with the success Chris Young has had in left field.
“Chris Young has done an excellent job in left. We’ll match up somewhat in left field, but I can’t say it’s going to be a strict platoon because it also gives us some flexibility to move Brock around the field,” said Farrell. “I think first and foremost getting Brock back would be a boost.”
In Hanigan’s case, a rehab stint could be due in the coming days after being placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 5 due to a neck strain that caused a bulging disk.
|06.20.16 at 5:18 pm ET|
Although the MLB trade deadline is just over a month away, it doesn’t mean the Red Sox aren’t already starting to formulate their plans.
Generally, once the MLB draft wraps up, the baseball world shifts its focus towards the trade deadline.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said it’s starting to happen, but noted the talks between teams aren’t very serious for a number of reasons, including not knowing exactly which teams will be buyers or sellers.
“It’s a natural tendency. I think there’s an uptick on conversations that take place,” Dombrowski said. “A lot of times the conversations now are just informational, feeling out and I think it’s also a situation where a lot of clubs really haven’t decided what they are going to do yet. There’s that situation where there’s a handful of clubs that almost from Day 1 of the season are already looking towards 2017 and some of those clubs have already traded some of their players. Those handful of clubs really haven’t changed a great deal. I have a sense that even if you look at the standings and say this club could probably look towards next year, there’s not a great number of those at this time. Of course you get to the All-Star break and you’re almost forced to make decisions. Clubs like to as much as they can put that off as far as possible. I think it’s really show the fan base they can win as many games as they can and focus on this year more so.
“I think it is important for us to stay on contact with those organizations so when we know they shift their focus and we do that. It’s not always me, but we have scouts out there all the time that are talking to various people. There is an uptick, but I haven’t really sensed a great deal of movement compared to a few weeks ago. I think a lot of clubs are in that spot of sensing where they are.”
Specifically to the Red Sox, will they look to improve their team? Judging by Dombrowski’s response, the answer is yes.
“Well, we’ll see,” he said. “Nobody has a perfect club. We have a good club. Nobody has a perfect club. You all have eyes on particular things you may look to do to improve your team and we’ll look to do that too.”
|06.20.16 at 5:03 pm ET|
Over the weekend the Red Sox placed outfielder Rusney Castillo and his $72.5 million salary on waivers. Predictably, he went unclaimed and has been outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Prior to Monday’s game, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski addressed the decision to put him on waivers.
“Well, in Rusney’s case, it was a situation where roster spots are valuable,” Dombrowski said. “You make decisions all the time on who you think will get claimed, or who will not get claimed at particular times. We felt this time based on particularly offensive performance that we’d be able to get him through waivers. That’s what we did. He went unclaimed of course. We can bring him up at any time if you so choose, but it’s a situation where 40-man roster spots are valuable so we thought it would be the right time to do that.”
Dombrowski said flat out releasing the soon to be 29-year-old was never a discussion.
“He’s under salary,” he said. “We’d rather have him down playing and hope that he turns it around because again, I have seen that happen and he does have ability so it’s a situation where you’re paying his salary so you’re better off playing him at Triple-A.”
Castillo has started just two games at the major league level this season and even in Triple-A he wasn’t able to hit on a consistent bases. In 38 games with the PawSox, Castillo hit .245 with just nine extra-base hits and 13 RBIs.
|06.20.16 at 3:21 pm ET|
It appears Dustin Pedroia will sit out the first game of a four-game series with the White Sox.
Pedroia is not in the starting lineup Monday night as the Red Sox go up against White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez. Marco Hernandez will get the start at second base.
Christian Vazquez will catch knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Chris Young, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Marco Hernandez, 2B
Steven Wright, RHP
|06.20.16 at 3:13 pm ET|
After being placed on waivers over the weekend, outfielder Rusney Castillo cleared waivers on Monday and was outrighted off the Red Sox’ major league roster and assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo has made only two starts for the Red Sox this season, as he’s spent most of his time with Pawtucket, but has only hit .245 with one homer in 38 games. The Red Sox signed him to a $72.5 million deal in August of 2014 without seeing him actually play in games, just showcases in Cuba.
With the 28-year-old clearing waivers it means the team has opened a spot on the 40-man roster.
In 99 major league games, he’s batting .262 with seven home runs and 35 RBIs.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|06.20.16 at 10:30 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (36-33): W, 5-4, at Louisville (Reds)
— Pawtucket earned a come-from-behind victory to sweep a three-game series for the first time this season. With the PawSox down 4-2 in the seventh inning, 29-year-old Chris Dominguez drilled an opposite field home run to cut the lead to one. Drafted in the third round by the Giants in 2009, Dominguez is hitting .216/.230/.319 this year and has hit safely in his last three games.
— In the eighth inning, Pawtucket took the lead for good on a two-out single by Justin Maxwell. With runners on second and third base, the 32-year-old drilled the first pitch of the at-bat into left field to bring home Jantzen Witte and Chris Marrero. Maxwell now has 24 RBIs, good for third on the team, and is batting .222/.316/.325 in 54 games.
— With the game on the line, Pat Light came on in the ninth to seal the victory. Boston’s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com, the right-hander pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the third and final batter. Light, 25, has not let up a run in the final frame of a game this season, earning saves in all five of his chances. He has a 2.31 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 18 appearances.
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