|09.17.16 at 12:16 pm ET|
Not only has Ramirez proved himself as a viable first baseman, but the offensive production he had displayed while with the Marlins and Dodgers has once again been put on display.
Heading into Saturday, Ramirez was hitting .286 with an .858 OPS, 26 home runs and 102 RBI. Of American League first basemen, the Sox righty hitter has the third-best OPS, only trailing Miguel Cabrera (.946) and Mike Napoli (.858).
Asked prior to Saturday’s game when he first started seeing the evolution of Ramirez, who only played 105 games in 2015, Red Sox manager John Farrell pinpointed a moment in the offseason.
“I think there was a noticeable change in the couple days spent with (Ramirez) back in January down in south Florida,” Farrell said.
“Going through a 2-1/2 hour workout with him and watching all that was being done with him at that time from a physical standpoint, the commitment that was being made, the workout environment – there were probably 12 big-leaguers in there so that competitive element was there in that workout environment in January so the foundation he laid back then is to me one of the prime reasons he’s been able to be on the field as frequently as he’s been this year, he got himself in much better shape, the athleticism returned. He was big and bulky and it didn’t play well for him. On his part, the understanding and maybe the recognition that he needed to be more approachable, a little bit more engaging as a person. And you know what, to his credit, he’s doing all that.”
This month, Ramirez has seven home runs, while hitting .327 with a 1.121 OPS.
|09.17.16 at 8:49 am ET|
It looks like the Rays have changed their minds.
On Friday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported the Rays weren’t planning any special ceremony for David Ortiz’s last game there next weekend, rather just a short video tribute to be shown prior to the second inning in next Sunday’s series finale.
Now, it looks like that won’t be the case.
“We have the outline of a plan for next Sunday, and we’re waiting for the players to come home so that we can get their input before finalizing the details,” team president Brian Auld said to Topkin later on Friday.
Evan Longoria seems to be one player who would like there to be more than just a small video tribute, as every other team has had a small pregame ceremony and presented him with gifts, or donations to his charity.
“Obviously we would like to do something for (Ortiz),” Longoria said. “I have no answer if that means something monetarily as a donation to his foundation, if that means a gift, I don’t know yet.
“I guess we will get together with Brian and see what makes the most sense. The players want to do something for him. We’ll figure out the best way to accomplish that so we feel like we’ve done it the right way.”
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|09.17.16 at 8:12 am ET|
Saturday afternoon’s Red Sox-Yankees matchup will feature the streaking David Price opposite right-hander Bryan Mitchell.
Price is 16-8 with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.167 WHIP in 31 starts. Over his last seven starts Price has been dominant, going 7-0 with a 2.16 ERA.
“He’s thrown much more consistent quality starts,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said (via MLB.com). “He’s on a run right now that might be the best run of his career inside not only these seven consecutive wins he’s recorded, but the second half of the season. He continues to increase his power, he’s maintained his direction through the lane in which he’s intending to execute pitches.”
On Monday, Price went eight solid innings, giving up just two runs, two hits (both home runs) and no walks with nine strikeouts in a 12-2 win over the Orioles.
“A guy like David is pitching as well as anybody in baseball is right now,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s why he can command those type of commitments they made to him. That’s a great example of how important those guys are.”
Against the Yankees, the southpaw is 14-9 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.340 WHIP in 34 games (33 starts). This season against New York, Price is 1-2 with a 7.79 ERA and a 1.788 WHIP in three starts. His last outing against the Yankees came in July when he pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, 11 hits and one walk with one strikeout in a 3-1 Yankees win.
|09.16.16 at 11:56 pm ET|
It’s been a roller coaster of a season for Clay Buchholz.
His past three outings have been his fourth stint in the starting rotation as because of performance and injuries, Buchholz has gone back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen.
As the Red Sox continue to search for a dependable No. 3 starter, Buchholz is the only pitcher pitching like he wants it.
Buchholz was solid on Friday night to earn the win in the Red Sox’ 7-4 victory over the Yankees. He went six innings, allowed two runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out two. He picked up his first win at Fenway Park since May 9.
“Not as many walks – the two walks that I did have, found a way to minimize them, had a couple of double plays that helped out,” Buchholz said. “Defense played really good behind me again tonight. It was a grind.i felt like they put up some really tough at-bats together. With that win, its a big win given the situation that we’re in.”
Although he didn’t have a clean inning all night, his ability to pitch out of jams was what made him so effective.
“I thought he did a very good job with men on base,” manager John Farrell said. “He created a couple of jams for himself, but to the left-handers he was able to go to a couple of changeups to get some soft contact. I thought he made a couple of really good fastball pitches in to [Gary] Sanchez for a couple of groundball double plays early on. He’d bend a little bit, but stayed away from the big inning.”
Besides his rough outing in Toronto last Sunday, Buchholz allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings against the Padres on Sept. 6 and then was good again Friday. Prior to the Padres start, he allowed one earned run in each of his prior two starts, so he’s been solid as a starter for well over a month.
Over his last five starts he has an ERA of 3.94, which includes the six runs over three innings against the Blue Jays.
|09.16.16 at 11:50 pm ET|
Hanley Ramirez is the hottest hitter in the Red Sox lineup and also one of the hottest in all of baseball at the moment.
Except don’t tell him that.
“I haven’t got hot yet,” Ramirez said Friday. “I think we’ve got to keep forward. We’ve got to keep forward and push it to the limit. Grinding every day, give everything we’ve got as a team, and keep playing how we’ve been playing.”
This came after going 2-for-3 with a home run in the Red Sox’ 7-4 win over the Yankees.
After his walk-off homer on Thursday, he’s homered on back-to-back days and has hit homers in six of his last nine games, nine in his last 16 and 10 in his last 19. Ramirez leads the majors with 40 RBIs since Aug. 11 and is batting at a .417 clip over that span with runners in scoring position.
“We’ve just got to keep rolling,” Ramirez said. “You cannot be really comfortable with yourself. You got to keep pushing to the limit and see how far you can go.”
It’s no surprise that the Red Sox are playing some of their best baseball of the season at the same time Ramirez is on such a hot streak. The team has won the last 10 games Ramirez has recorded a RBI in and 20 of its last 26.
Ramirez’s homer on Friday went to just about the same spot in dead-center field as his walk-off the night before did and the first baseman had a definitive answer when asked which ball he hit harder.
“Both of them,” he said with a smile.
|09.16.16 at 10:24 pm ET|
The Red Sox appear to be in a good position for the final 15 games of the season.
Led by Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley Jr. at the plate, and Clay Buchholz on the mound, the Red Sox beat Yankees 7-4 Friday night at Fenway Park.
They now lead the Yankees by six games in the AL East and Orioles by two games as they came from behind to beat the Rays. The Blue Jays are playing the Angels late on the West Coast.
The Red Sox carried over their momentum from Thursday night into the first inning on Friday as they scored two runs. David Ortiz had an RBI single off the Green Monster, but was thrown out at second base and then Ramirez singled up the middle to make it a 2-0 game.
Ramirez kept his hot streak going as he crushed a solo homer in the fourth inning to almost the exact same spot as his walk-off on Thursday to put the Red Sox in front 3-0 at the time. Travis Shaw and Sandy Leon each added RBIs before Bradley Jr. hit a solo homer in the seventh.
Buchholz wasn’t perfect by any means, but was able to make key pitches when he needed to as he escaped a few jams. The right-hander went six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out two. It was his seventh win of the year.
He’s given the team two outstanding starts in his last three outings with Steven Wright down and possibly out for the year.
The Yankees went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Robbie Ross Jr. (2/3 of an inning), Brad Zieger (1/3 of an inning), Koji Uehara (one inning) were excellent in relief as they didn’t allow a run in two innings of work, but Fernando Abad had issues in the ninth as he allowed a two-run homer to Billy Butler forcing Craig Kimbrel to come on for the final two outs.
Ramirez has six home runs in his last nine games, nine in his last 16, and 10 in his last 19.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win.
|09.16.16 at 9:27 pm ET|
The Red Sox are not happy with Major League Baseball.
On Thursday, Major League Baseball announced that Padres general manager A.J. Preller would be suspended for submitting false medical records to the Red Sox while completing the trade of Drew Pomeranz for top prospect Anderson Espinoza.
The Red Sox filed a complaint, but did not ask to have the deal reversed. Preller was suspended for 30 games, while the Red Sox did not get anything to make up for what happened. This is what appears to have irked the Red Sox.
“I think it’s fair to say that we were extremely disappointed in the decision,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said on the NESN pregame show Friday. “We feel that some wrong was committed and it’s important to have a level playing field, and the Padres didn’t play on it.”
According to ESPN, the Padres maintained two separate databases on injured players, updating the one provided to rival teams only when a player went on the disabled list.
For Pomeranz’s reaction to what happened, click here.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|09.16.16 at 8:10 pm ET|
Drew Pomeranz said he has no idea what information the San Diego Padres could’ve hidden from the Red Sox before completing their July 31 trade, which resulted in Major League Baseball suspending Padres G.M. A.J. Preller for a month.
“I’ve been asked about this before,” Pomeranz told WEEI.com before the Red Sox played the Yankees on Friday. “I don’t really know anything about that. That part’s above my head. I’m just the guy who got traded. I don’t know any of this stuff that’s going on, any of the back and forth. I don’t really know how the whole thing went down at all.”
MLB announced on Thursday that Preller would be suspended for submitting false medical records to the Red Sox while completing the trade for top prospect Anderson Espinoza. The Red Sox filed a complaint, but did not ask to have the deal reversed.
According to ESPN, the Padres maintained two separate databases on injured players, updating the one provided to rival teams only when a player went on the disabled list. Preventative treatment like ice or anti-inflammatories, which is logged by most teams to be shared in the event of a trade, was withheld. According to ESPN, this was the level of information the Padres did not disclose to the Red Sox.
Asked if he had received minor treatment, Pomeranz did not disclose specifics.
“I know I made all my starts,” he said. “I didn’t miss any time. I didn’t do anything. As far as I knew, when I got over here, everything went fine, but it’s above my pay grade, I guess you could say. Whatever they talked about — something, obviously — they worked it out now.”
Pomeranz is 2-5 with a 4.60 ERA since joining the Red Sox, allowing one or two earned runs in seven of his 11 starts. He went 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA in San Diego, earning his first All-Star berth.
“They wanted me here and I think I’ve pitched well,” Pomeranz said. “There’s room for improvement, but I think I’ve been doing my part. I’m happy to be here and we’re winning, in first place, and it’s great over here.”
Pomeranz has thrown 160 2/3 innings, blowing past his previous career-high of 96 2/3. He said he’s ready to make his final three starts of the season and then hopefully pitch in October.
“I’ve been asked that question about my innings limit,” he said. “I’ve thrown more than I ever have, but I feel great. I’ve got three more left in the regular season, so I’m ready to get after those.”
|09.16.16 at 7:36 pm ET|
For the first time since signing with the Red Sox, 2016 first-round pick Jason Groome was on the field at Fenway Park in full uniform.
Prior to Friday’s Red Sox-Yankees game, Groome shagged fly balls and played catch in the outfield, as well as getting to speak with members of the current team and coaches in the outfield.
This is something the Red Sox typically do after their top picks first sign, but since Groome signed close to the deadline, he headed right to Florida for the Gulf Coast League.
“It still feels like a dream,” Groome said in the Red Sox dugout after batting practice. “I never thought I would be playing for the Red Sox and having my family here, it’s their first time in Boston. It’s a great feeling.”
One of the players who Groome talked to the most was Rick Porcello, as both grew up in New Jersey. The 18-year-old also said he got to meet David Ortiz, which was a huge thrill for him as he grew up with the Red Sox being his favorite team.
“It kind of feels a little weird because like I just got drafted, I am at the end of the ladder and they are all the way at the top, but it’s just like another group of teammates,” he said. “You get to meet them now and hopefully I remember your face when I get up here.”
Groome made two starts in the Gulf Coast League before two more in short-season, Single-A Lowell. Over the four starts, he allowed three earned runs in 10 innings (one run in each of his final three appearances). He was kept on a pitch count with his longest start being 3 1/3 innings. Going from the Gulf Coast League to Lowell was a big adjustment.
“Mainly just how pro ball is structured,” Groome said. “Time management was a big thing for me, so I mean, I do what I needed to do and got where I needed to be on time. That was a big step and and just the transformation from the GCL to Lowell was it felt more like professional baseball because being in Lowell still in Massachusetts there’s ton of Boston fans so actually pitching in front of a crowd now is pretty surreal.”
|09.16.16 at 6:20 pm ET|
With there only being 16 games left in the regular season and the Red Sox with a good chance of making the postseason, it’s never too early to start thinking about a potential playoff roster and who will be on it.
The Red Sox bullpen has a 0.74 ERA in the month of September — the best in baseball — with a number of players stepping up to deliver strong performances.
Given the number of great individual outings and players performing better than earlier in the year, there will be a lot of competition for the final bullpen spots, but manager John Farrell said the remaining games will not be considered an audition.
“No, it’s about what to we need to do to win tonight,” Farrell said. “Not to short-circuit the answer, but I don’t anyone is looking beyond today. And honestly, that’s the mentally we have to maintain until the last out is made whenever and wherever that is.”
One of the pitchers who has made a name for himself is left-hander Robby Scott, who was added to the roster when rosters expanded on Sept. 1.
In two appearances, Scott hasn’t allowed an earned run over four innings, which included a three inning appearance Thursday night against the Yankees, which proved key to keep the Red Sox within striking distance prior to Hanley Ramirez’s walk-off home run.
Scott made his major league debut this month as the 27-year-old has had a long journey to the big leagues.
“It was, but yet the other day in that sim game we had him throw an inning just to tune him up, sharpen him up, just to get him on the mound,” Farrell said when asked if the team took an inning-by-inning approach on Thursday with him. “As he was going through that game last night — and even if you set aside the final outcome — those three innings were key just to preserve staying away from certain guys when you’re down on the scoreboard.
“Just an incredible personal story on his part from where he’s come from, the way he’s made adjustments this year to make himself even that much more unique — all credit to him for the work that he’s put in, but I think the thing that stands out is maybe that he’s starting in Yuma, Arizona and the Independent League trail that he’s followed, there’s no fear on his part. Just a good strike-thrower with maybe not the most overpowering stuff, but the change of angles and the fearlessness certainly plays out.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Castillo, Vazquez impress in PR finals
- Scouting Report Update: Groome, Shawaryn lead first Lowell updates
- Scouting Report Updates: GCL updates from Fall Instructs
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Castillo, Vazquez meet in PR finals
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Leon debuts, Elias strikes out seven
- SoxProspects.com's Top Posts of 2016
- December Notes: Sox deal key prospects for Sale, Thornburg
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Rodriguez tweaks knee, Castillo rakes
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Ramirez debuts, Vazquez homers
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Abad debuts, Hernandez goes deep again