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Red Sox teammates will miss Shane Victorino: ‘It will be tough seeing him go, selfishly’

07.28.15 at 12:48 am ET
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Shane Victorino had a vital presence in the Red Sox clubhouse all for three seasons he spent with Boston, even during the last two he saw minimal playing time in due to nagging injuries — that was the well-respected type of leader he was.

Although his Red Sox teammates know being traded is part of the business, it’s still hard seeing a player they like so much leave.

“He was a great guy,” pitcher Justin Masterson said. “Gave us some great stuff. Brought a lot of energy, from Hawaii. It was just fun to have him around. It will be tough seeing him go, selfishly. But in one sense for him, we’re kind of struggling here and he’s going to a place that is in first place.”

“Shane is a guy I played against for a long time with the Phillies, with the Red Sox. A valuable clubhouse guy,” catcher Ryan Hanigan added. “One of the best right fielders in the game. A good friend of mine and it’s tough. It’s part of this business obviously, but he’s going to missed I’m sure by the city of Boston. Anaheim is getting a good guy, for sure.”

Even though the right fielder was hitting .245 playing in 33 of 100 games due to injury this season, he was still a player most in the clubhouse looked up to.

Victorino will now play for his fourth career team. He spent his rookie season with the Padres, the next eight with the Phillies, before 53 games with the Dodgers in 2012 after being traded, followed by his last three years in Boston.

Masterson has been traded at the deadline a few times, so he knows what it’s like. The pitcher said it can be tough at first, but as a player you love being traded to a contender.

“It feels great,” Masterson said of being traded to a first-place team. “Once everything is set and done, you get to your spot, it feels great. But, it’s also hard because you have a lot of good things going on. He’d been here for a few years, have some nice things, [you’re] comfortable. Things that no matter where you go it’s hard to build those back up. That will be tough and hard on him. I love him so I wish him the best.”

Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline, justin masterson, Ryan Hanigan, Shane Victorino

Joe Kelly’s struggles continue in Red Sox’ loss to White Sox

07.28.15 at 12:42 am ET
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Joe Kelly allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings taking a no-decision in the Red Sox' loss Monday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings, taking a no-decision in the Red Sox‘ loss Monday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly’s reentry into the Red Sox rotation has been met with unrelenting difficulties. After a month at Triple-A Pawtucket, Kelly’s major league troubles have persisted, and Monday’s game against the White Sox saw that trend continue.

The right-hander lasted just 3 1/3 innings in a 10-8 loss to the White Sox, allowing seven hits and five runs (four of them earned). He struck out two and did not walk a batter.

“Rough outing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his starter’s performance. “A lot of elevated pitches in the strike zone. There were strikes, but the command within the strike zone was lacking. A lot of hard contact early.”

Kelly’s struggles started just as soon as the game did; he allowed a leadoff triple to Adam Eaton on his second pitch of the day. The very next pitch was another triple, this off the bat off Tyler Saladino. Two pitches after that, Melky Cabrera doubled to left and the White Sox quickly staked a 2-0 lead.

Kelly noted the aggressiveness of the White Sox hitters in pouncing on pitches to hit early in the count.

“Those guys came out swinging the bat right away, obviously that was their game plan, so I tried to make adjustments from there,” Kelly said.

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Read More: Joe Kelly, John Farrell, Ryan Hanigan,

Shane Victorino breaks down, thanks Boston for giving him chance to win World Series: ‘Let’s not forget the good things’

07.28.15 at 12:28 am ET
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Shane Victorino breaks down in tears in his final press conference before the Boston media Monday night. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Shane Victorino breaks down in tears in his final press conference before the Boston media Monday night. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Boston will always be a part of Shane Victorino.

The veteran outfielder traded from the Red Sox to the Angels Monday afternoon for minor league infielder Josh Rutledge broke down several times in his final appearance in Boston after the Red Sox‘ 10-8 loss to the White Sox Monday night at Fenway Park.

“People doubted me in 2012 and the Red Sox gave me a chance,” Victorino said. “And to win a World Series, it’s one of those things where I have utmost respect for John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Tom [Werner], Ben and John. And more importantly, my teammates, I’m going to miss them. I think that’s the toughest part is understanding, coming to wits now, at the end of this [press] conference, is that I’m going to miss these guys. But I get to go to a place to watch some pretty good players. I got that opportunity to play against them a week ago in Anaheim and I look forward to watching a guy like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols after getting to play against them all these years. More importantly, I thank the Red Sox for giving me that opportunity.”

Victorino, who held it together for the first five minutes of his presser, was asked about being prepared for the eventuality of trade deadline week. But before he could gather himself, he broke down again in tears, pausing 15 seconds before offering up his response.

“You try to deny it,” Victorino said. “You try to overlook it. I had a discussion with my agent because things were being said and I wanted to get an update and I told him I want to stay here. I wanted to stay here. Not knowing where things were going to go, less than four hours later, you get called in in the middle of your BP session. Funny thing was before that, I saw Ben walk by on the field. I saw our assistant GM walk by. You sense something. You sense kind of that thing that I guess being around the game long enough, I walk by and less than two minutes later, getting called out of BP. As you’re on the walk in, you say to yourself what could be the situation. You hope that you get traded to a contender or a place where you can make a playoff run.

“For me, going to Anaheim, going back to the West Coast, being close to home, that’s the kind of things that remain positive in my mind. It’s not that simple. I am what I am and I am who I am. I’m bred one way. I want to win and I wanted to win another one here. I wanted to win, period, and be with these guys. But the last couple of years has been tough. Obviously, for us as players but fans, ownership and the city.

“But let’s not forget the good things. What I witnessed in my time here is they don’t want to stay in the doldrums for long. And that’s the thing that’s I’ve always respect for the Red Sox, even from afar. Every year, they try to produce great teams and try to go out there produce teams that this fan base loves. Having that opportunity to be a part of it. Obviously, these are two years that we didn’t expect and never hopes of being where we are and what happened. But, hey, we’re all part of growing up through the process.

“One of my teammates said, ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ That’s the kind of stuff I try to take in and soak in and understand that moment.”

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Shane Victorino,

John Farrell: Shane Victorino felt special bond with Boston, gave ‘heart and soul’ on field

07.28.15 at 12:17 am ET
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Shane Victorino was a vital part of the 2013 World Series. (WEEI.com photo)

Shane Victorino was a vital part of the 2013 World Series winning Red Sox. (WEEI.com photo)

For Shane Victorino, the right fielder was traded to the first-place Angels on Monday from the last-place Red Sox in exchange for Triple-A infielder Josh Rutledge.

Normally that would be looked at as all positives, but not for Victorino, who even with the struggles of the 2015 Red Sox was “disappointed” to be traded away.

The gritty right fielder felt a special bond with the city of Boston, especially after winning the 2013 World Series in his first year in a Red Sox uniform where his “Three Little Birds” walkup song became so famous.

“He was disappointed,” manager John Farrell said. “He didn’t want to leave in general and yet leaving — the one thing about Vic whether in Philadelphia he became very attached to Philadelphia. In similar ways he felt very attached to Boston. He’s a unique player in that sense in that he feels a bond in which the city he plays. He gives his heart and soul when he walks on the field. He takes a lot of pride in the uniform he wears for a particular city and that was the case here in a Red Sox uniform.”

Just like general manager Ben Cherington said earlier in the night, Farrell said he didn’t think the 2013 World Series win would have happened without Victorino.

“No and I think you’d say that probably about a number of players,” Farrell said. “Shane was a vital cog in our offense, certainly a Gold Glove defender in right field. Arguably played right field as well as anyone who wore a uniform. He brought energy every day. A very instinctual player. He was a main reason we won that World Series.”

The right fielder had a slash line of .294/.351/.451 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs in that 2013 season. In the playoffs he was most known for his World Series in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Tigers.

For Farrell and the Red Sox, moving on from a player like Victorino signifies the team has turned its attention towards the future as Rusney Castillo will now get regular at-bats in right field.

“Unfortunately the trade signifies a player that helped us win a World Series two years ago and when you take one of those players off this roster, you’re kind of building towards the future and that’s disappointing,” Farrell said. “We’ll miss Vic. Vic went through a lot of physical challenges here and yet every time he was on the field he gave everything he had. I’ll miss him personally, but he’s got a chance to go to a contender.”

Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline, John Farrell, Shane Victorino,

Closing Time: Joe Kelly, Red Sox relievers roughed up in loss to White Sox

07.27.15 at 11:06 pm ET
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Joe Kelly allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings taking a no-decision in the Red Sox' loss Monday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings taking a no-decision in the Red Sox‘ loss Monday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

It certainly wasn’t the best played game, but at least it provided some mild entertainment.

After three lead changes and three ties, the White Sox outlasted the Red Sox, 10-8 Monday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox now haven’t won two straight games since their seven-game win streak ended July 8.

With the game tied at seven in the seventh, the White Sox scored two runs off Red Sox reliever Robbie Ross Jr. He had allowed a run in the sixth as well, as he finished allowing three runs over two innings of work to take the loss.

Tommy Layne allowed another White Sox run in the ninth. The Red Sox scored one run in the ninth — a Pablo Sandoval single — to make it a two-run game, but that was all they could get as they had the tying run on first base.

Chicago jumped out to a 4-0 lead before the Red Sox even stepped into the batters box. Joe Kelly allowed four first inning runs, as the first six batters of the reach reached base, including three extra-base hits (back-to-back triples) to open the game.

The Red Sox battled back and tied the game at four after two innings. David Ortiz hit another home run in the first inning, a two-run shot (his third in two games) and then Jemile Weeks and Mookie Betts each had RBI singles in the second.

Kelly allowed another run in the third inning, which would ultimately be his last, as the right-hander went 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits, while striking out two. It was the second time in his last three starts where he failed to make it out of the fourth inning.

“Rough outing,” manager John Farrell said. “A lot of elevated pitches in the strike zone. There were strikes, but the command within the strike zone was lacking. A lot of hard contact early. We come right back after a couple of innings and tie things up. We’re going through the third time and it was time to make a move to the bullpen. Bottom line in this game, we couldn’t put up enough zeros.”

But once again the Red Sox fought back, taking the lead in the fourth inning. Betts had an infield single and they scored another when third baseman Tyler Saladino booted a Hanley Ramirez grounder.

Craig Breslow allowed a run in his only inning of relief of Kelly, which allowed the White Sox to tie the game at six at the time. The teams then traded runs, as the Red Sox scored an unearned run in the fifth and the White Sox scored a run off Ross Jr. in the sixth making it a 7-7 game until Ross allowed the two seventh inning runs.

The two teams also combined for three errors.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Ortiz, Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., xander bogaerts

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington explains thinking on Josh Rutledge, Rusney Castillo, and Jackie Bradley Jr.

07.27.15 at 8:44 pm ET
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Josh Rutledge

Josh Rutledge

Red Sox fans had two questions after Shane Victorino was traded to the Angels on Monday: who did the team receive in return, and why did Rusney Castillo get the call to play right field instead of Jackie Bradley Jr.?

General manager Ben Cherington answered both queries in a conference call.

First, he provided a scouting report on infielder Josh Rutledge, a former Rockies middle infielder who didn’t make the Angels out of spring training and has spent the year at Triple-A Salt Lake City, where he’s hitting .274.
Cherington said Rutledge would probably join the big league roster and described him in terms somewhat similar to utilityman Brock Holt.

“Josh is a guy we’€™ve had interest in back to his Colorado days,” Cherington said. “He got to the big leagues really quickly with Colorado and then fell behind some other infielders they had. . . . He’€™s an offensive infielder with some defensive versatility.”

Rutledge hit .259 from 2012-14 with the Rockies after being drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft out of Alabama.

“With Pedroia out for a little bit, there should be some playing time in the infield with us,” Cherington said. “We’€™ll get to know him better. He’€™s a guy who’€™s now in his third organization, but has had some offensive success, he has some defensive versatility. He’€™s a guy we can envision as a part of the team going forward, but we’€™ll get to know here the rest of the year.”

As for Castillo vs. Bradley, Cherington said the club wants to give the former an extended look in the majors.

“We just want to see him continue to get comfortable and get acclimated at the big league level,” Cherington said. “This is a guy we believe in and believe will be a good major league player. Hopefully there’s an opportunity to get him a good amount of playing time between now and the end of the season.”

The Red Sox aren’t giving up on the $72.5 million man, who has appeared overmatched at times early in his big league career.

“What we see is a guy who’s got great bat speed, strength,” Cherington said. “He’s still just adjusting to North American, major-league style of pitching, in terms of what pitchers are trying to do, and learning how to use his style and strengths in a way that works at the major-league level. We’ve seen flashes of really good stuff, but he’s still a guy that’s making adjustments.”

So where does that leave Bradley, a Triple-A All-Star this year with Gold Glove abilities in center and an improving bat?

“Jackie is doing well,” Cherington said. “He’s made a real adjustment. There is still merit, and certainly there’s consideration to try and create opportunity for him, too. Today, it’s Castillo, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline,

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington on outfielder Shane Victorino after trade to Angels: ‘We wouldn’t have won the World Series without him’

07.27.15 at 8:28 pm ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

Trading Shane Victorino wasn’t easy for Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. But it was the right move.

With the Red Sox out of contention and Victorino’s contract expiring at the end of the year, the Red Sox wanted to get something for the Flyin’ Hawaiian before he departed in free agency, so they shipped him to the Angels on Monday for former Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge.

“It came together this weekend,” Cherington said on a conference call. “We talked to Shane this afternoon during batting practice, before it became official. It was tough for everyone. John and I were in there with Shane and he’s meant a lot. It’s stating the obvious that he was a part of something very special in 2013, and a part of a lot of great moments that October. As you guys know, he’s always, not just with the Red Sox, but throughout his career, played with incredible passion. He’s a passionate person who cares a lot. It was a difficult conversation.

“I think on the one hand, he’s happy to have an opportunity to go to a contender and hopefully have a chance to play meaningful games down the stretch. On the other hand, this is an important part of his career, being in Boston. We expressed to him how grateful we are for everything he’s done. We wish him the best. He leaves a mark on the Red Sox and the people still in that clubhouse.”

Cherington praised Victorino’s fearlessness in right field, as well as the aggressiveness he brought to the field on a daily basis after signing a three-year, $39 million deal before the 2013 season.

Victorino supplied no shortage of highlights, chief among them the grand slam against the Tigers in the ALCS that sent the Red Sox to the World Series.

“My opinion is that we wouldn’€™t have won the World Series without him in 2013,” Cherington said.

The issue for Victorino thereafter was health. He missed most of last season with an assortment of injuries to his back and legs, appearing in only 30 games. He has played in just 33 games this year.

“Obviously the DL time got in the way of making the same kind of contribution in the last two years, unfortunately,” Cherington said. “I think just what he did in 2013, I think makes us feel anyway like it was a worthwhile deal. We can dice up the contract, values, and all that, but what I think about is a guy who may be one of the more passionate baseball players I’€™ve ever been around. He played with incredible grit, a tough, smart player, and we wish him well.”

Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline,

Mike Napoli ejected in 1st inning after striking out

07.27.15 at 7:45 pm ET
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Mike Napoli‘s games as a Red Sox are likely numbered and one of his last few will only last one inning.

The first baseman was ejected after striking out looking in the first inning by home plate umpire Toby Basner.

Napoli dropped his bat and helmet and the helmet bounced and hit Basner, likely unintentionally, and it was then Basner ejected the Red Sox first baseman.

Prior to Monday, he had reached base in nine straight games, while hitting .367 in those contests.

Napoli has been rumored in trade talks as Friday’s deadline nears.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: mike napoli,

Red Sox pregame notes: Brock Holt (hyperextended knee) expected back in lineup Tuesday

07.27.15 at 6:25 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

With Dustin Pedroia back on the disabled list and Brock Holt leaving Sunday night’s game with a hyperextended knee, the Red Sox are pressed for infield depth.

Holt’s injury isn’t serious and the utilityman will likely return to the lineup Tuesday, according to manager John Farrell.

“He’s improved today, yet at the recommendation of the medical staff, another day was needed,” Farrell said. “Everything is hopefully pointing to him returning to the lineup tomorrow, but felt like another day would do him well. In an emergency, we’d probably use him but we’d prefer to give him a day of rest if we could.”

After struggling mightily for much of the season, Mike Napoli has begun to heat up since the All-Star break. Farrell has been impressed with his first baseman’s improvement.

“What’s been most encouraging is that pitches in the strike zone he’s squaring up that he’s not missing,” Farrell said. “He’s still taking his walks but I think he’s more confident, he shows more confidence at the plate. There’s at-bats where he’s offering at the first pitch and putting good swings on some pitches that’s, I think, putting some doubt in a pitcher’s mind.”

David Ortiz had one of the best night’s of his career on Sunday, going 4-for-5 with two homers and a career-high seven RBIs. Farrell liked what he saw, especially Ortiz’s second home run, which was launched into the Monster seats.

“The most encouraging swing last night, to me, obviously, is the home run he hits to left-center field,” Farrell said. “That allows him to lock in on left-handers as well. … Home runs come by virtue of a good swing, not by virtue of trying to hit home runs. I think those were two situations last night that reflect that.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brock Holt, John Farrell,

Updated Red Sox lineup: Rusney Castillo playing right field

07.27.15 at 6:21 pm ET
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Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

Following the late-breaking news of Shane Victorino‘s trade to the Angels, outfielder Rusney Castillo was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. Castillo will play right field and bat seventh in the Red Sox lineup on Monday.

Castillo has hit .230 with one home run and six RBIs in 26 games this season with the Red Sox. In 40 games with Pawtucket, he has hit .282 with three homers and 17 RBIs.

Here is an updated look at the Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, CF
Hanley Ramirez, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Rusney Castillo, RF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Jemile Weeks, 2B
Joe Kelly, RHP

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