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Dave Dombrowski on OM&F: ‘Really tough’ to move Joe Kelly to bullpen

05.25.16 at 1:19 pm ET
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Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday to talk the latest with the Red Sox, including the bullpen with Carson Smith being lost for the season. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

With Eduardo Rodriguez nearing a return, the Red Sox will be faced with six starters for five spots. Both Dombrowski and manager John Farrell have said a six-man rotation is not an option so it seems like one pitcher will have to shift to the bullpen.

While no specific conversations have been had, as the team waits for everything to come into place, it seems like Dombrowski would be hesitant to move Joe Kelly, who naturally felt like one of the top options, to the bullpen.

“Well, for me first of all you look at performance,” Dombrowski said. “It is a situation the way he pitched the other day was outstanding and he has outstanding stuff. He’s a guy that can shutdown good hitting clubs with not only his fastball velocity when he commands it, it’s also a situation with his breaking ball, his changeup. I saw him pitch just when I came in over the last 6-7 weeks of the season (last year) and he was outstanding at that point. I think he won eight straight starts and he pitched very similarly to the other day.

“When you look at a Joe Kelly — I know a lot of people talk about maybe throwing him into the bullpen, but the way he’s throwing the ball at this point and the way he’s been in the situation in the past, over that last 6-7 weeks, I think it’s really tough to take him out of the rotation. He’s pitched so well that I think he’s earned a spot.”

The Red Sox will be looking internally at options to fill Smith’s role and Dombrowski specifically mentioned Matt Barnes, noting his recent uptick in velocity as a potential player to do that before they looked outside at a trade.

Also with Smith going down, the usage of Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa comes into play and Dombrowski said as he’s done all season, Farrell will keep a close eye on those two pitchers.

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Read More: Carson Smith, Dave Dombrowski, eduardo rodriguez, Joe Kelly

Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Chris Marrero hits deciding 2-run HR for PawSox; Salem RHP Lakins has first strong outing in May

05.25.16 at 12:22 pm ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (22-23): W, 2-1, vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies)

— Eduardo Rodriguez made his fifth rehab start for Pawtucket. In Rodriguez’s first four starts for the PawSox he did not last longer than six innings, striking out no more than three batters and allowing three runs in each of those starts. Tuesday was a different story for the 23-year-old left-hander. After waiting through a 29-minute rain delay, Rodriguez went seven strong innings, giving up just four hits and one run while striking out seven and walking none. Rodriquez retired the Lehigh Valley batters in order in three of the first four innings.

“Today was a step forward,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said. “He looks more comfortable, the delivery has better pace and rhythm to it, and it looked like he was more athletic on the mound.”

In Pawtucket this season Rodriquez is 0-3 with a 3.54 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP. Rodriquez was fitted for a knee brace after dealing with soreness in his right knee after his last start on May 14. He hadn’t pitched since that start. Rodriquez originally hurt his knee during spring training this year. He has yet to make a start for the big league club. In 21 starts with the Sox last season, Rodriguez was 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

— In the bottom of eighth inning Chris Marrero stepped up to the plate with nobody out, Sam Travis on first base and Pawtucket down 1-0. On a 2-1 count, Marrero crushed a home run into to the PawSox bullpen past left field to put Pawtucket ahead to stay.

“[Frank Herrmann] left a pitch up, I put a good swing on it, and I’m glad I was able to help the team receive a win,” Marrero said.

The home run was Marrero’s ninth of the season and his seventh in the month of May, which leads the leads the International League. As DH on Tuesday, Marrero went 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a strikeout. He’s now hitting .293/.346/.544 on the season.

— Anthony Varvaro picked up the win after pitching a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two. Varvaro is 2-1 in 17 2/3 innings pitched with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Pat Light came on in the ninth to get his third save in as many appearances.

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Read More: Chris Marrero, eduardo rodriguez, Keith Couch, Travis Lakins

Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘I’m saying right now Cubs-Red Sox World Series, with Theo [Epstein] breaking the Cubs’ curse’

05.25.16 at 11:41 am ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning and said he is buying into the Red Sox offense, predicting it will carry Boston to a World Series appearance against the Cubs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“It is legit,” Schilling said of the Sox bats. “I don’t see a large regression to the mean. Jackie Bradley Jr. is good. I think all the things everyone talked about him when he first came up are the reasons he came to be now. I don’t see a reason he can’t win a batting championship. You look at [Xander Bogaerts] and Mookie [Betts] and you start wondering where is the hole, because Travis Shaw can hit. Is it Christian Vazquez? Because he can pick his spots. This is a lineup with no letup. You are going to see a lot of middle relievers facing the Red Sox this year.

Schilling said the Sox’ hot start is no fluke, and he’s ready to place the Sox in the World Series.

“I’m saying right now Cubs-Red Sox World Series, with Theo [Epstein] breaking the Cubs’ curse,” Schilling said.

The Sox may be in the market for another reliever after losing Carson Smith for the year following Tommy John surgery. Schilling, however, said the Sox should add another dependable starter before they try to add a reliever.

“I think if you want to win a World Series [you need a starter],” Schilling said. “Do you think on any day they can outpitch the Mets? Those are the teams you are going to see in October. I think the back of their bullpen is wonderful, but that is not a matchup you worry about before you worry about starters. … There is probably no team other than the Cubs better positioned to get that guy at the deadline.”

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Read More: Buck Showalter, Curt Schilling, jackie bradley jr., Mike Trout

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Rockies matchups: Steven Wright vs. Chad Bettis

05.25.16 at 8:30 am ET
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Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright will take the mound Wednesday night opposite Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis in the second game of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

Wright heads into the game with a 3-4 record, 2.52 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in eight starts. Despite the losing record, the knuckleballer ranks fifth in the American League in ERA and has two complete games. His last start last Wednesday resulted in a 3-2 loss at Kansas City. The right-hander went eight innings, allowing three earned runs and five hits while striking out six.

“He was outstanding once again,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He settles in after the first inning. … He retired a number of guys consecutively. He’s been very steady for us all year long, very good.”

Wednesday’s game will be Wright’s first start against the Rockies in his four-year career.

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Read More: Chad Bettis, steven wright,

Eduardo Rodriguez tosses 7 effective innings in 5th rehab start

05.25.16 at 12:31 am ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Good news out of Pawtucket, where left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez delivered the best start of his rehab stint.

After failing to top six innings or allow fewer than three runs in any of his first four rehab starts, Rodriguez went seven innings and allowed four hits and a run on a solo homer. He struck out seven and walked none with a low-90s fastball in a 2-1 victory over Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. He did not figure in the decision.

It was his first start since a minor setback in his injured knee caused him to skip his last scheduled rehab start last week.

“Today was a step forward,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles told reporters, including from MiLB.com. “He looks more comfortable, the delivery has better pace and rhythm to it, and it looked like he was more athletic on the mound.”

Rodriguez took the mound after a 29-minute rain delay and retired the side in order in three of his first four innings. His night ended with a strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out in the seventh.

Rodriguez threw 102 pitches and 69 strikes. He still has 10 days remaining on his rehab clock, so the Red Sox don’t have to rush him back to the big leagues. He started the year on the disabled list with an injured right knee.

Read More: eduardo rodriguez, Red Sox, rehab start,

Closing Time: Jackie Bradley extends streak, David Price wins 7th as Red Sox cruise past Rockies

05.24.16 at 10:08 pm ET
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David Price and the Red Sox cruised on Tuesday. (Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports)

David Price and the Red Sox cruised on Tuesday. (Greg M. Cooper-USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox have made it look easy for a while now, and Tuesday night was no exception.

Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts extended their respective hitting streaks, ageless wonder David Ortiz drove in four more runs, and David Price delivered his third straight solid start to pace an 8-3 rout of the Rockies.

“The offense has been there right from pretty much the first week of the season,” said manager John Farrell. “The way we get out to early leads, if our starters throw strikes, they can manage some big innings and they’re going to have a pretty good chance to be right in the mix if they get into the middle-to-late innings of a game. It’s fun to watch. Our guys are confident and we’re never giving at-bats away.”

Wasting no time getting on the board, the Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead after four batters, with Ortiz driving in Dustin Pedroia (3 hits) and Bogaerts with one out in the first inning.

The haste did not just come with the scoring, either. Both Bradley (28) and Bogaerts (17) extended their hitting streaks in their first at-bats, while Price struck out four of the first 12 batters he faced.

Price climbed to 7-1 and dropped his ERA from 5.53 to 5.34, giving up three runs and five hits while striking out six over seven innings. Once again, he was the beneficiary of huge run support.

“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s something I’ve gotten I think every start. We’ve done a tremendous job of scoring a lot of runs early, especially in the first inning. To go out there and know you don’t have to be perfect every pitch, it definitely takes a lot of stress off the starting pitcher. It’s huge.”

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Read More: David Price, jackie bradley jr., Red Sox, Rockies

Jackie Bradley Jr. extends hitting streak to 28 games on first pitch he sees

05.24.16 at 7:58 pm ET
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Halfway to Joltin’ Joe.

Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 28 games on Tuesday night with a second-inning double off Jorge De La Rosa of the Rockies on the first pitch he saw.

Bradley tied Wade Boggs, who hit in 28 straight in 1985, and moved within a game of Johnny Damon’s 29-gamer in 2005. Nomar Garciaparra (1997) and Hall of Famer Tris Speaker (1912) recorded 30-game streaks, while Dom DiMaggio holds the franchise record of 34, set in 1949.

Bradley came around to score on a triple by catcher Christian Vazquez as the Red Sox built a 4-1 lead after two innings.

The longest streak in baseball history belongs to Joe DiMaggio (Dom’s brother), who hit in 56 straight games for the Yankees in 1941.

Bradley, who boosted his average to .346, wasn’t the only Red Sox player to extend a hitting streak. Xander Bogaerts ran his streak to 17 games with a double in the first.

Read More: 28 games, Dom DiMaggio, jackie bradley, Jackie Bradley Jr. hitting streak

Dave Dombrowksi cites ‘significant difference’ in Carson Smith’s MRI’s

05.24.16 at 5:44 pm ET
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Carson Smith

Carson Smith

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski commented on reliever Carson Smith’s season-ending Tommy John surgery prior to Tuesday night’s game, most notably stating that the MRI from March 21 looked noticeably different than the one that sent him back to the disabled list on Friday.

“I admit that even in that MRI I can see the difference between the one’s taken in March and the one’s taken on Friday,” said Dombrowski after stating he is ordinarily not great at reading MRI’s. “I couldn’t tell you what it meant, but I could tell you that there was a significant difference.”

The average time for recovering from such surgery — which took place Tuesday afternoon — is 11-14 months.

“After the surgery, as I said, his elbow will come back stronger than ever, so hopefully he’ll be in a position where we have many years with him back pitching for the Red Sox,” Dombrowski said.

Concern was not raised in the acquisition of Smith — which involved trading away starter Wade Miley — in his unorthodox delivery, and if that appeared to be an accident waiting to happen.

“I think when you look at his delivery you say it’s an unusual delivery and it’s probably more apt to have injury. He pitched a lot of games last year and we had the medical information and we thought he’d be fine,” said Dombrowski. “I remember when we traded for Max Scherzer they said the same thing about Max Scherzer. His arm action, he’s not going to hold up, he’s never been on the disabled list since that time period.”

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Red Sox lineup: Travis Shaw sits with minor hand injury

05.24.16 at 3:27 pm ET
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Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw is not in the starting lineup for the first time this season, with the third baseman sitting with a minor left hand injury. (WEEI.com’s John Tomase reported the ailment Sunday.)

Shaw had played in all 44 of the Red Sox games, hitting .305 with a .904 OPS. Starting in his place will be Josh Rutledge. Red Sox manager John Farrell said before the game that the third baseman is expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday.

Also getting a start against Colorado lefty Jorge De La Rosa will be Chris Young, with Christian Vazquez teaming up with Red Sox starter David Price.

Here is the Red Sox lineup in their series-opener against the Rockies:

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C

For all the matchups, click here.

What now for Red Sox with no Carson Smith?

05.24.16 at 12:41 pm ET
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Carson Smith

Carson Smith

This shouldn’t have been a surprise. Once you say “second opinion,” it automatically is safe to assume the first opinion wasn’t good. That was the case with Carson Smith.

Smith is undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Tuesday, having first had an issue with the area during a March 21 spring training game. And while he came back May 3, the fact he couldn’t bounce back — making just three appearances before going back on the 15-day disabled list — was not a good sign.

(It was a concern he actually voiced to WEEI.com’s John Tomase last week.)

Smith said in spring training that he hadn’t experienced any elbow discomfort last season in Seattle. That being the case, it was still noteworthy that the reliever’s velocity dipped somewhat the final month of last season.

Yet while the velocity was down in September, it was hard to argue with Smith’s results, with the reliever not allowing a run over his 11 appearances, striking out 19 and walking just two.

It was enough for the Red Sox to allocate a fairly significant trade chip — Wade Miley — to acquire Smith this offseason, with the Mariners’ medical reports on the reliever seemingly offering peace of mind.

But now, it hasn’t worked out. And the Red Sox are left with the same hole they thought they had filled heading into this year — a proven, lock-down, seventh- or eighth-inning reliever who can dominate right-handed hitters.

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