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Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada continues hot stretch with 8th home run; Allen Craig hits 1st homer in over 2 months

08.27.15 at 9:18 am ET
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Jonathan Roof

Jonathan Roof

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (52-80): W, 4-3 in 10 innings, vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

— Centerfielder Jonathan Roof lined a two-out single to right-center field in the bottom of the 10th inning to bring home first baseman Allen Craig and gave Pawtucket a walkoff win and a three-game sweep of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Roof, 26, finished 2-for-3 with a double and two walks for his fourth multi-hit game in his last nine contests, as he’€™s raised his average from .189 to .215 over that span. In 36 games in Triple-A this year, Roof is slashing .215/.260/.273 after starting the year with Double-A Portland where he slashed .234/.333/.313 over 47 games.

It was the first sweep of any series in more than three months for the PawSox, since winning all three games in Toledo from May 5-7 and only their third sweep on the year. It is also the first three-game winning streak for Pawtucket since winning four straight from June 10-13.

— Craig, 31, hit the ball hard all night as he finished 2-for-5 with a home run, two lineouts to center and a leadoff single in the 10th inning that was blistered back up the middle. Craig’€™s homer, his fourth of the year in Triple-A and first since June 17, came in the fifth inning on a 3-1 pitch, pulled deep to left to tie the game at three. Through 89 games in Triple-A, Craig is slashing .272/.369/.349 with 30 RBIs and 28 runs scored. He is now hitting .290 in August with 12 RBIs in 25 games this month.

— Pawtucket’€™s offense had 11 hits on the night with other multi-hit games from shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston’€™s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com, 2-for-4, walk, RBI) and second baseman Mike Miller (2-for-4, RBI).

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Closing Time: Rick Porcello makes triumphant return in Red Sox win

08.26.15 at 10:41 pm ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

CHICAGO — Whatever Rick Porcello did during his time away, it worked.

Making his first start since July 29 — when he allowed six runs on 10 hits in just two innings to the White Sox — the righty befuddled Chicago for seven innings Wednesday night on the way to leading the Red Sox to a 3-0 win at U.S. Cellular Field.

Porcello, who was coming off the 15-day disabled list after a battle with triceps soreness, didn’t allow a run or walk while giving up five hits and striking out five. It was the second time in the pitcher’s Red Sox career he got through his start without giving up a run, having pitched seven shutout innings against Tampa Bay May 5.

The effort lowered Porcello’s ERA to 5.47, having come into the game at 5.81. It was also just the starter’s second win since May 16.

As it turned out, what Porcello did do during his hiatus was make a commitment to resurfacing the pitcher he had been prior to this season — relying heavily on his two-seam fastball and staying down in the zone.

“I thought about it a lot and the more and more I thought about it, the more and more frustrated I’€™d get with myself for getting away from what I’€™ve done,” Porcello said. “Just had some success with it and kind of got carried away, that’€™s the best way you can describe it. But I learned from it and it’€™s over with now and I know where I need to be and just stay disciplined with that.”

The time of reflection, and revamped strategy, paid off.

“Pinpointed inconsistencies that led to inconsistently locating the fastball,” he said. “My delivery, kind of going back and forth with the four seamer and sinker, found it hard to get a groove with one pitch. It wasn’€™t anything that I could foresee happening. I was throwing some pretty good four-seam fastballs early on in the year and it was a viable weapon for me and in turn it kind of led to me getting away from doing what I do well, which is sink the ball. I kind of came to the realization that I need to throw sinkers primarily and then occasionally throw a four-seamer. Not 50-50 or anything like that. That’€™s what we talked about a lot and just trying to get back to keeping the ball down and then have timely, elevated fastballs.”

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Torey Lovullo on D&H: Discussion to move Hanley Ramirez to first ‘had been taking place for a period of time’

08.26.15 at 4:44 pm ET
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Torey Lovullo

Torey Lovullo

Interim manager Torey Lovullo made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show on Wednesday afternoon before the third game of the Red Sox‘ series with the White Sox. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Though Hanley Ramirez only began taking ground balls at first base Tuesday, Lovullo said that the discussion to move him there “had been taking place for a period of time.” It wasn’t until Dave Dombrowski joined the organization that those discussions actually came to fruition.

“Dave came on board and thought a little bit more of it and gave his perspective and we just thought once we could move forward and try and figure out what’s best for the Boston Red Sox,” Lovullo said. “We wanted to have this option. We wanted to see what it looks like, we want to get him over there and just get him familiar with the position and see where it leads.

“Part of the equation was to bring Hanley in on that. True to form, Hanley’s on board. He said he’ll do anything to help the ball club move in a good position, and we’ll see where we’re at. Nothing is imminent, there’s no time frame, we just want to get him familiar with it. It also would allow us to get a good look at three of the young outfielders that are very exciting and on the rise, so a lot of reasons for it, what direction it goes has not been determined, but it’s an option that we’d like to have.”

That decision wasn’t Dombrowski’s alone, but Lovullo said he brought it up almost immediately upon his arrival and brought it to the foreground.

“It was one of the first things that he talked about,” he said. “He presented to us, and he wanted to know what we thought about, and he comes into these conversations brand new with an experienced set of eyes. The one thing that he stated was that, from the other side of the dugout, Hanley Ramirez is a very potent offensive force. When he’s swinging the bat well, he’s a middle-of-the-lineup run-producer, and Dave brought that to our attention and said that we have that guy right now, so he kind of threw it on us that he felt strongly that we should take a look over there. And like I said, before Dave came on board, it was a discussion that we would have internally and something that we were kicking around, but with his expertise and new set of eyes, it made it a little bit clearer for all of us.”

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Read More: hanley ramirez, John Farrell, Rusney Castillo, torey lovullo

Buster Olney on M&F: Red Sox ‘need to choose between’ Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval

08.26.15 at 1:52 pm ET
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Buster Olney

Buster Olney

ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday afternoon to talk about Dave Dombrowski and how the Red Sox can approach the coming offseason. To hear the interview, go to the Merloni & Fauria audio on demand page.

When Olney first heard that the Red Sox were hiring Dave Dombrowski as their president of baseball operations, he said he was surprised because of the “signals we had gotten from John Henry about Ben Cherington” and how Henry had believed in his general manager’s vision. But Dombrowski allows the Sox to make changes quickly, according to Olney, because he can say that the decisions made prior to his arrival were not his own and so he has legitimate reason to undo or advance them.

One of those alterations could involve Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez‘s roles on the team going forward. Ramirez started taking ground balls at first base before Tuesday’s game against the White Sox, signifying a possible transition to the corner for the former shortstop. Olney said he doesn’t think the Sox can have both Sandoval and Ramirez on the team for next year.

“I think ultimately they need to choose between one of the two guys, and whoever they decide to keep, that should be the first baseman, whether it’s Pablo or whether it’s Hanley,” he said. “I can’t imagine, after what they say this year, that they go into next season knowing that Ortiz is locked in as the DH with both those guys. That would really surprise me based on what I’ve heard from evaluators from other teams.”

It wouldn’t be necessarily easy to move either of them given their contracts, but Olney said the possibility is definitely there.

“There’s always something to do,” he said, “and I’m just riffing off the top of my head here. For example, you’ve got James Shields owed $65 million with the Padres, maybe you call the Padres and say, ‘Look, that’s not working out for you. How about we give you Pablo for him? the money’s close, and we’ll both try to make the best of a bad situation.’ ”

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With Hanley Ramirez at first, Jackie Bradley Jr. getting his big chance

08.26.15 at 12:38 pm ET
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Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

CHICAGO — The sight of Hanley Ramirez working out at first base Tuesday made it official: Jackie Bradley Jr. has found his way back.

Just a few years ago, the outfielder had made such an impression that the entirety of the 2013 spring training seemed to revolve around controlling Bradley’s service time. He was perceived as a no-doubt piece of the Red Sox‘ future.

Flash forward to the end of the 2014 season and the narrative had moved 180 degrees.

Bradley ventured into last offseason riding a 1-for-36 clip with the Red Sox, officially leaving him out of the conversation for part of the solution for ’15.

“Obviously, especially when you know what you’re capable of doing as a ballplayer,” he said when asked about his frustration. “And as a young ballplayer you want to make that impression right away. Sometimes everybody has a different path, and this is just the way my path has gone.”

Now, Bradley Jr. is back in the Red Sox’ outfield of the near future, and the guy they paid $88 million for is forced to find a new position (and seems OK with it).

“I think with me at first, we’re going to have a better team on the field, competing every day,” Ramirez said.

“We’ve got a guy [new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski] out there, he’s trying to put the best pieces on the field,” Ramirez added. “He was like, ‘If you put this guy over here and put this guy in left field, how would the team look?’ And I was thinking about that, too. I was thinking, ‘Yeah, we’re a way better team with me on first and with Jackie and Mookie [Betts] and Casty [Rusney Castillo] on the field.’ Hopefully, we can do it and they can keep doing what they’re doing — playing great outfield and keep hitting, because we’re going to need that.”

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Read More: hanley ramirez, jackie bradley jr., mookie betts, Rusney Castillo

Poll: Should Don Orsillo be replaced on Red Sox broadcasts?

08.26.15 at 12:29 pm ET
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After 15 years as NESN’s play-by-play caller for Red Sox broadcasts, Don Orsillo will not return next season.

Tuesday’s news inspired a wave of support for — but also some criticism of — Orsillo, a New England native who attended Northeastern.

What do you think of the move?

Do you agree with the decision to replace Don Orsillo on NESN Red Sox broadcasts?

  • No (96%, 5,683 Votes)
  • Yes (2%, 135 Votes)
  • Don't care (1%, 86 Votes)


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Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Shawn Haviland tosses 6 scoreless innings in PawSox win; Portland shut out for 15th time this season

08.26.15 at 10:28 am ET
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:

Shawn Haviland

Shawn Haviland

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (51-80): W, 2-0, vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

— Starter Shawn Haviland earned the win with a six-inning performance. The right-hander allowed five hits and no walks and struck out four. Haviland’€™s last win came on July 4, but he improved to 5-8 with Tuesday’€™s decision and lowered his ERA to 4.16.

— Right-hander Jorge Marban came out of the bullpen in the seventh and tossed two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk with one strikeout. Righty Noe Ramirez picked up his second save of the year with a perfect ninth inning.

— Pawtucket scored both of its runs in the fourth inning. Catcher Sandy Leon led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second when first baseman Allen Craig also drew a free pass. Leon came around to score on a single by right fielder Chris Marrero, and Craig crossed the plate later in the inning on a single by designated hitter Humberto Quintero.

— The PawSox offense collected just five hits. Third baseman Carlos Rivero went 2-for-4, Marrero finished the day 2-for-4 and Quintero went 1-for-3.

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Read More: Danny Rosenbaum, Kuehl McEachern, Shawn Haviland, Trey Ball

Wednesday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Chris Sale

08.26.15 at 8:03 am ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello will duel with former AL Central foe Chris Sale and the White Sox on Wednesday when the Red Sox close out their three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.

Porcello will make his first start since hitting the DL on Aug. 2 with a triceps strain. Certainly, he and the Red Sox hope that his time away helped his psyche.

The right-hander has had anything but a smooth season in the wake of signing a four-year, $82.5 million contract extension. He’s gone 5-11 with a 5.81 ERA, the worst mark among AL starters with more than 100 innings pitched. He’s giving up home runs at the worst rate of his career (1.6 HR/9) and he’s accumulated a -0.6 WAR.

In his last start before heading to the DL on July 29, Porcello was roughed up by the White Sox. He lasted just two innings, giving up 10 hits and six runs before getting the pull from manager John Farrell. Porcello gave up two long balls in the game, his eighth multi-homer start of the season. After the game, he did not have a glowing review of his performance.

“Some of the mechanical issues that I’ve had in the past this year kind of came back tonight,” Porcello said. “You get out there in the heat of the moment and all you’€™re thinking about is competing and doing whatever you can do to get out of that situation.”

“I had a bad game,” Porcello added. “I elevated some pitches, fell behind some guys, [had] a couple walks, put some runners on base [which] put me in some tough spots and I didn’t recover.”

Porcello has had limited success against the White Sox in the past, as he owns a 9-8 record and a 4.32 ERA against Chicago. White Sox hitters have had his number, posting a .357/.390/.593 slash line in his 20 starts against them.

Porcello draws one of the toughest matchups in the game in Sale, who’s picked up right where he left off in 2014, when he went 12-4 with a 2.17 ERA.

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Dave O’Brien talks new role with NESN: ‘I’m kind of in a state of shock’

08.26.15 at 2:38 am ET
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Dave O'Brien

Dave O’Brien

CHICAGO — With the announcement that he would be joining Jerry Remy in the NESN broadcast booth for the 2016 season — leaving the Red Sox radio broadcast — Dave O’Brien revealed the most difficult part of his decision to move back to television.

It was parting ways with his radio partner, Joe Castiglione.

“Well, he’s the best guy I know. He’s the best guy you know,” O’Brien said following the Red Sox‘ 5-4 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday night. “We know that he’s a great announcer and he’s a better human being, which I don’t say about everything. I wouldn’t say that about me, but I’ll say it about Joe Castiglione because he’s a Hall of Famer in every sense. It’s been the single most difficult part of this for me, knowing I’m not going to sit next to Joe anymore. Now, I get to sit next to Jerry Remy and he’s a Hall of Famer, too. So I don’t lose out in that sense. I’ll just tell you my relationship with Joe the last nine years has been a privilege for me.”

O’Brien detailed his new job, confirming that he would still be calling basketball games for ESPN during the offseason, along with occasional MLB games for the network during Red Sox off days.

The New Hampshire native, who replaces Don Orsillo as Remy’s partner, will also call some spring training games for NESN.

“It’s very exciting for me personally because in this situation to be able to continue to do the Red Sox, which has been a dream of mine,” O’Brien said. “I’m just so fortunate that both sides of this equation, it worked out as well as it did. And so many things had to happen. From my great folks at ESPN, to my new employers at NESN and the Red Sox were all involved in this. It’s kind of amazing how it all turned out. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t anticipate that happening at all, so I’m kind of in a state of shock.”

O’Brien has been calling games on the WEEI Red Sox Radio Network for the last nine seasons, having also done play-by-play for the Braves, Marlins and Mets.

Jerry Remy offers thoughts regarding Don Orsillo moving on

08.26.15 at 12:06 am ET
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Jerry Remy

Jerry Remy

CHICAGO — Following the Red Sox‘ 5-4 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Jerry Remy took a few minutes to reflect on the news that his longtime NESN Red Sox broadcast partner, Don Orsillo, would not be brought back for the 2016 season.

“For the last 15 years it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Don,” an emotional Remy told a small group of reporters immediately after the broadcast. “I can remember him sitting in the booth when the job became available. He was asking me if there was any chance he could probably get it. I said a few things to a few people and he did get it. He’s been an outstanding partner for 15 years and I’m truly going to miss him — on a work-related side, and I’m going to miss him on a personal side because he’s also become a very, very close friend of mine. I know that he’s going to land on his feet and he’s going to be in great shape. I’m sure they’re going to be lining up for his services, I really mean that. He’s terrific at what he does. He’s been absolutely fabulous to work with. I love him. He’s going to do just fine. I’m not worried about that part of it.”

Remy said he was surprised when he first heard the news that Orsillo might be moving on, adding, “I’ve gone through a lot of different people. It’s never easy. You get close to people. You just feel for them.”

Just prior to Remy’s statement, Orsillo politely declined comment before leaving premises.

The day was clearly an emotional one for both broadcast partners, with news of Orsillo’s dismissal first surfacing on the Dennis and Callahan Show Tuesday morning.

“It’s been awfully difficult on him. It really has,” said Remy, who is slated to work with newly hired Dave O’Brien, a current member of the Red Sox radio broadcast team. “It’s difficult on everybody. You get used to somebody and you’re friends and you work together for such a long time, you have such a good time doing your job and it’s over. I’ve been very fortunate because I’ve worked with a lot of good people and he’s right at the top of the list.”

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