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Brandon Workman’s latest struggle raises questions about rotation future

08.23.14 at 11:43 pm ET
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Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman

Although his time in the majors has been brief, Red Sox starter Brandon Workman already has seen his career marked by two vastly different stretches of play.

Through his first eight big league starts, Workman looked like he belonged in the Red Sox rotation, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.91 ERA. He became the first Red Sox pitcher to make eight straight starts of five or more innings and three or fewer runs allowed since World War II.

Unfortunately for the 6-foot-5 righty, the last eight outings have been a far cry from his stellar debut, with an 0-8 record and a 6.75 ERA bloating his career numbers during the second half of the 2014 season. He now has achieved history of another sort, becoming the first Sox pitcher since Red Ruffing in 1929 to absorb a loss in eight or more consecutive appearances.

Workman’s latest outing fit his current trend of ineffectiveness, as the 26-year-old was torched for 10 hits and seven earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings against the Mariners on Saturday in what eventually resulted in a 7-3 Red Sox defeat.

Despite his discouraging box score, Workman began the game on a good foot, holding Seattle scoreless through the first three innings, including a 1-2-3 inning in the third.

“It was a quick inning,”Workman said. “I threw strikes, made some good pitches, got ground balls. … I didn’t execute like that in the fourth.”

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Read More: Brandon Workman, John Farrell, Mariners, Red Sox

Rusney Castillo on joining Red Sox: ‘I’m just ecstatic to be here’

08.23.14 at 10:49 pm ET
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Rusney Castillo still is learning his way around Boston.

But the 27-year-old Cuba native knows enough that playing in Boston is unlike any other city in the majors.

“It really means a lot for me to be a part of such a historic organization. I’m just ecstatic to be here,” Castillo said through Red Sox translator Adrian Lorenzo, answering the first question he was asked during his introductory news conference at Fenway Park after Saturday’s 7-3 loss to the Mariners.

Castillo said there was no debate about coming to America once he talked it over with his family.

“It really wasn’t that difficult of decision to make because I had a lot of support from my family back home,” Castillo said.

Castillo left immediately after the press conference to head back to Miami, where Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said the player will stay while the team works on his work visa in the States. Once the paperwork is finished and cleared, Castillo is expected to make the trek across Florida to Fort Myers, where he will report to the player development complex for work, something that is crucial at this point since he hasn’t played competitively in some 18 months.

Castillo said he has spoken to fellow countryman Yoenis Cespedes about what it will take to adjust to playing in the majors, especially in Boston.

“So actually, I’ve spoken to Cespedes a little bit about this,” Castillo said. “He made me aware that it’s the same game we’ve played in Cuba. Success here will come down to working and grinding on a day-to-day level.”

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Read More: aroldis chapman, ben cherington, Boston Red Sox, Cuba

Ben Cherington on Rusney Castillo: ‘We think he’s going to be a core part of our team’

08.23.14 at 7:14 pm ET
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The search for the center fielder of the future in the Red Sox organization is over.

With this week’s seven-year, $72.5 million commitment to Cuban star Rusney Castillo, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is making it clear that the organization feels Castillo, along with help from others, will be the answer to replacing the dynamic Jacoby Ellbsury for the rest of the decade.

“We’ve always felt like in order for us to be good, we need two center fielders on the team [and] he’s a center fielder,” Cherington said at the press conference after Saturday’s 7-3 loss to the Mariners at Fenway. “We have to secure a work visa for him. That process will start here this week, and assuming we can get through that, we’ll get him into workouts and try to get him into games this season — 2014 season — and that would be in center field.

“Obviously, given the commitment, we think he can be a really good player for us for a long time.”

Cherington feels Castillo, along with the likes of Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts, can fill the void left with Ellsbury’s departure.

“From our perspective, it just means we’re trying to get better,” Cherington said. “We know we need 25 guys on the roster to win games. We feel Rusney can be one of them. That’s all it means. I think we knew going forward, we feel good about the talent that’s here, and we feel good about adding Rusney to that talent. We want a talented, deep roster and we want a competitive atmosphere and competitive environment moving forward. So hopefully, we’re closer to that with Rusney on board.

“It wouldn’t changed our evaluation of him. Certainly, I think you make decisions based on all the information you have at the time and I think we all know we’re trying to build a winning team as quickly as we can, and we’re confident we can do that. And we felt like Rusney could be an important part of that. But obviously, this is a long-term commitment. This is not a decision that’s being about next week or next April. This is someone we think is going to be a core part of our team for a long time and be part of what we hope is a very deep and talented roster in the short term and moving forward.”

“This is an exciting player,” Cherington said. “He’s got a great combination of skills, defensive ability, speed, solid power. He’s got a really strong track record in Cuba and we’re excited to add him to the organization. We feel like he can be a big part of winning Red Sox teams for a long time.

“He’s a center fielder. He’s got a lot of skills. We think he has the chance to impact the game in a number of different ways. He runs well, has a good solid throwing arm, solid power, good offensive track record in Cuba and international play. We see him as a very good major league player and part of a winning team here in Boston.”

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Read More: ben cherington, Boston Red Sox, Cuba, Cuba baseball

Agent Brodie Van Wagenen: Interest in Rusney Castillo ‘really extraordinary’

08.23.14 at 7:00 pm ET
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Brodie Van Wagenen, the agent who represented outfielder Rusney Castillo in the free agent process that resulted in his client signing a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox on Saturday, offered an outline of the trajectory that greeted his client’s arrival in Major League Baseball.

Rusney Castillo joins Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to sign his seven-year, $72.5 million contract. (Roc Nation)

Rusney Castillo joins Red Sox GM Ben Cherington to sign his seven-year, $72.5 million contract. (Roc Nation)

The free agent process began in earnest on July 26, when Castillo held a showcase for interested teams; 28 of the 30 clubs attended. Based on what Castillo showed that day, interest in his services did not abate.

“The interest coming out of that workout was really extraordinary — something we haven’t seen before in a typical free agent process,” said Van Wagenen. “As we started to narrow the field, we knew that we couldn’t have private, individual workouts for all 28 teams involved in that and still be able to keep a pace where we could sign and reach an agreement in a short period of time to still allow him to sign a 2014 contract. So, effectively we used economic interest as a narrowing scope to decide who got the private workouts and the private showcases. So we narrowed that list to about 13 teams, and then ultimately we narrowed that again to eight teams that received private workouts and extensive dialogue.”

From the beginning of the process, the Red Sox — under VP/player personnel Allard Baird — were among the most aggressive teams. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: allard baird, brodie van wagenen, Rusney Castillo,

Closing Time: Brandon Workman’s implosion extends Red Sox losing streak to seven games

08.23.14 at 5:03 pm ET
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082314_soxlose-web

Yoenis Cespedes takes stock of the Red Sox‘ seven-run yield in the fourth inning. (Getty Images)

For the second night in a row, the Red Sox squandered a three-run lead to the Mariners at Fenway Park.

However, this collapse came much earlier than the ninth inning.

The culprit Saturday was Red Sox starter Brandon Workman, who was tagged for 10 hits and seven earned runs in a nightmare of a fourth inning that proved to be the difference maker in a 7-3 Mariners win.

The Red Sox have now lost seven games in a row,€“ marking the second-longest losing streak for the club this year, behind only 10 straight contests from May 15 to May 25.

Boston got off to a promising start Saturday afternoon against Seattle, scoring a run off of Mariners southpaw starter Chris Young in each of the first three innings to build up a 3-0 cushion for Workman. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brandon Workman, Mariners, Red Sox, Yoenis Cespedes

Warnings issued after David Ortiz, Robinson Cano hit by pitches

08.23.14 at 4:19 pm ET
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Half an inning after Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was smoked on the inside of his left forearm by Mariners pitcher Charlie Furbush, Red Sox reliever Alex Wilson drilled Mariners star Robinson Cano on the backside with a 93 mph first pitch. Home plate umpire Angel Hernandez immediately issued warnings to both dugouts.

Ortiz stayed in the game after receiving a brief visit from a Red Sox team trainer while doubled over in pain behind the plate. Cano, likewise, stayed in the game, though he perambulated to first at a languorous pace.

Read More: alex wilson, Charlie Furbush, David Ortiz, Robinson Cano

Rusney Castillo: The video

08.23.14 at 2:54 pm ET
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For those intrigued by a glimpse of what Rusney Castillo looks like as a baseball player, JAY-Z’s Life+Times channel on Youtube produced the following look at the Red Sox‘ new outfielder:

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