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Curt Schilling on D&C: Key for Andrew Benintendi will be how he handles failure

08.03.16 at 12:05 pm ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

After getting promoted from Double-A, Andrew Benintendi made his major league debut on Tuesday night. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning to discuss Benintendi’s situation as well as David Price’s struggles. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Benintendi entered Tuesday’s game in the seventh inning and went 0-for-2, striking out for the final out of the game. Red Sox fans have high hopes for the 22-year-old after he jumped Triple-A.

“Here is the thing you worry about, and I’m not talking about [Benintendi] as a person, I don’t know him well to know this. The thing you worry about, I saw this happen to Gregg Jefferies, you get to a point where somebody, somewhere has a bad year and fails, and how do they handle it,” Schilling said. “This guy has hit everywhere he has ever been. He has been the best player everywhere he has ever been. That is not the case anymore. He is not the best player in the league. How does he handle going 0-for-12, ’cause he hasn’t probably ever done that.

“Kevin Youkilis was the same way in a sense that the season wasn’t 600 at-bats for those guys, it was like 1,800 at-bats because every out they made took a toll. I think it is one thing that makes a player really good, but also baseball is very very hard to not be able to take a loss, I guess is the way to put it, when you make an out. Think about this guy, this guy has probably never in his life been 0-for-15 in a stretch ever, so what is going to happen when he is? ‘Cause it’s going to happen here. Not to say he is not going to be a great player. I hate to see guys experience failure or loss or whatever it is they are experiencing, at this level, for the first time.”

Added Schilling: “Now that I am on this side of the fence and I watch and listen to people comment about players in certain ways, and I said this to you guys a bunch of times: You always count on [the team] knowing more about the players than we do. I think that is the case in most situations, not all. I think that they felt like, ‘Hey, listen, if he comes up here and goes 0 for the week he will be fine going back to Triple-A.’ The jump from A-ball to Double-A, the only bigger jump, I think, in sports is getting to the big leagues. Once you get to Double-A the game becomes big-league like. Everyone throws hard. You start to see breaking balls you never saw before. It’s the level, I think, where they do the first in- depth legitimate evaluation of: Can this guy play? And a lot of guys don’t even get to that level.

“He is clearly somebody I think they believe, ‘Hey, you know what? He can punch out three times in a game.’ I would bet you he has never had a hat trick. What is going to happen when he does? Is he going to fall into a rut and the next day be miserable and go out and go 0-for-4 and make an error, or is he going to go come out the next day and say, ‘Let’s go,’ and be a [Dustin] Pedroia and get after it.”

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, Curt Schilling, David Price,

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Hisashi Iwakuma

08.03.16 at 9:12 am ET
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The Red Sox will send Rick Porcello to the mound Wednesday in the third game of a four-game series at Seattle, while the Mariners will give 35-year-old right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma the start.

Porcello has been a consistent bright spot in a Red Sox pitching rotation that has had its fair share of struggles. The 27-year-old right-hander is 14-2 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. His wins are tied for the most in the American League, and his WHIP is eighth best in the AL. Porcello has won eight straight starts, his last win coming in a 6-2 Red Sox victory in Anaheim on Friday. He held the Angels to two runs on five hits in his first complete game of the season. He struck out three and walked none.

“Rick was outstanding,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He had just very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count. Pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in to some powerful right-handed hitters in our lineup.”

In 10 career starts against the Mariners, Porcello is 6-3 with a 3.73 ERA. He faced Seattle on June 18 of this season in a 6-2 Red Sox win. The New Jersey native held the Mariners to two runs on eight hits in six innings, striking out six in the outing to earn his eighth win of the year.

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Read More: Hisashi Iwakuma, rick porcello,

Hanley Ramirez taken for X-rays on wrist after breaking fall on way to clubhouse

08.03.16 at 1:14 am ET
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Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez

As if a 5-4 loss to the Mariners on Tuesday wasn’t bad enough, the Red Sox got some more troubling news after the game when first baseman Hanley Ramirez slipped en route to the clubhouse and injured his left wrist while trying to break his fall.

Manager John Farrell told reporters in Seattle that Ramirez had been sent for precautionary X-rays.

A set of stairs leads up to the visiting clubhouse in Safeco Field, and Ramirez apparently slipped on his way back to the clubhouse, jamming his wrist while he grabbed a railing.

“After the game, he was walking down the dugout, there’s two or three steps at the bottom of the dugout going into the clubhouse,” Farrell told reporters. “He lost his footing, caught himself behind and jammed his left wrist. It’s precautionary to see what’s going on there.”

This would not be an opportune time to lose the first baseman, who was recently named American League Player of the Week in late July. He blasted his sixth home run in his last 13 games on Tuesday, and it was a shot measuring 455 feet deep into the left field seats.

 

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Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada on possible promotion: ‘I’m not in a rush for anything’

08.03.16 at 12:56 am ET
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Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

PORTLAND — Carlos Febles knows it’s human nature.

With Andrew Benintendi getting the call to the Red Sox from Double-A Portland, the Sea Dogs’ manager would expect nothing less than for his club’s other top prospect, Yoan Moncada, to start contemplating his own shot at the big leagues.

“When you play this game that’s the main goal and when you find yourself closer, with a teammate of yours at this level going, you say, ‘I could be the next one going from the big leagues from here.’ I don’t blame him to think that way,” said Febles of Moncada. “He should be thinking that way. At the same time, I always tell the guys don’t think about the big leagues, just concentrate on Double-A because you can’t be in two places at the same time. If you’re in Double-A thinking, ‘I need to get to the big leagues,’ you’re putting too much pressure on yourself and you start pressing and next thing you know you’re know you’re not getting a call-up. You have to concentrate on the level you’re at, but at the same time it’s hard not to think about it.”

But, according to the player, there is still no rush.

Even with the Benintendi promotion, and the organization starting to introduce alternative positions to Moncada, the second baseman insists he’s focusing in on the here and now.

“I feel happy for him. It’s good for him. He’s a good teammate. But when my time comes, it’s going to be my time,” Moncada said through a translator. “I’m not in a rush for anything.”

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Closing Time: Fernando Abad allows crushing homer in Red Sox debut, erasing solid start from David Price in loss to Mariners

08.03.16 at 12:53 am ET
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After two straight dramatic victories, the Red Sox were due for an easy one.

And then the eighth inning happened.

A frame that started with David Price trying to nail down a three-hit shutout instead went up in flames when the Mariners chased Price with four straight hits and reliever Fernando Abad made his Red Sox debut one to forget by serving up a go-ahead three-run homer to Robinson Cano.

Just like that, a 4-0 Red Sox lead turned into a crushing 5-4 loss that overshadowed the big league debut of outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who grounded out as a pinch hitter in his first at-bat and then struck out on three pitches to end it.

As uplifting as the previous two victories were — they beat the Angels and Mariners on ninth-inning home runs — this one hurt just as badly, going south in the blink of an eye.

“That’s baseball,” Price told reporters. “That’s the way it goes sometimes. Just have to move on.”

Price cruised into the eighth, but Mike Zunino, who had struck out 11 times in 12 previous at-bats against him, led off with a homer and then the Red Sox couldn’t staunch the bleeding.

Until that point, it looked like they’d win easily. David Ortiz doubled in Dustin Pedroia in the first to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead, Ramirez added to it with his monster blast, and Ortiz seemed to seal it by plating an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.

But Abad failed in a big way, one day after being acquired from the Twins for reliever Pat Light, hanging a 2-2 slider that Cano golfed into the right field seats for his 24th homer. Cano had been 1-for-11 off of Abad prior to the homer.

“It was down middle,” Abad told reporters. “I think he was looking for that pitch.”

Closing Time note

With his 36th double of the season in the first inning, designated hitter David set a record for most doubles by a player 40 or older, breaking the mark held by Sam Rice since 1930.

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, David Price, Fernando Abad, Mariners

Andrew Benintendi joins Red Sox: ‘It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid’

08.02.16 at 9:33 pm ET
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Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi

Andrew Benintendi got the call from Carlos Febles, his manager at Double-A Portland, at 10 p.m. on Monday — he was headed to the big leagues.

The 2015 first-round pick found himself on a plane the next morning and on Tuesday joined the Red Sox in Seattle for the start of his big league career.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, and to finally be here, it’s an unreal feeling,” Benintendi told reporters in Seattle before the Red Sox faced the Mariners.

Benintendi wasn’t in the starting lineup — that will come Wednesday — but he was available to pinch hit and excited to be making his debut after just more than a year in the minor leagues.

“I’m just going to go out there and contribute the best I can,” Benintendi told reporters. “Stick with my game and try to get as comfortable as I can and hopefully help the team win.”

There’s no questioning Benintendi’s resume thus far. In his last game at Double-A, he went 4-for-5 with a pair of homers and five RBIs. He’s hitting .312 with nine homers, 76 RBIs and a .910 OPS at two levels this season.

The Red Sox believe the 22-year-old is ready.

“You know, this is a young player that’s advanced through the system obviously very quick,” manager John Farrell told reporters. “A talented guy, there’s a lot of excitement around him. But there’s no question that there’s still going to be a learning curve for him here. He’s going to be down the bottom third of the order. We don’t need to make any more of a focal point of his presence here with his placement in the order. We’ve got a very good, young and diverse lineup. We just want him to go out and play, play to his abilities.”

Benintendi broke down what he considers his strengths after posting more walks (74) than strikeouts (63) in the minors.

“I think just putting the bat on the ball and hitting for contact,” he said. “And getting on base and swinging at good pitches. Not trying to do too much. Obviously I’m not going to go out there and hit a bunch of home runs, so, just drive the ball into the gaps and hopefully put our team into a good position to win.”

The Red Sox plan to start the left-handed hitter against all right-handed pitchers for the time being, though it’s worth noting that Benintendi posted a .973 OPS against lefties in the minors this year.

In any event, Benintendi can’t wait to get started. He said his childhood hero was Ken Griffey Jr. and the Red Sox can only hope he turns out to be half the player.

“I never really made a timetable for myself,” Benintendi said. “The only thing I could control was to play hard and try to play well and win. I was going to trust the process and the people who made those decisions. . . . I wasn’t thinking [about the big leagues] at all. I just went on about my days as if it wasn’t even there. It was never stressful for me.”

Read More: Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox,

LHP Tommy Layne, INF/OF Michael Martinez designated for assignment to make room for Andrew Benintendi, Fernando Abad

08.02.16 at 3:52 pm ET
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Tommy Layne

Tommy Layne

Prior to Tuesday’s game with the Mariners, the Red Sox made a few roster moves to get both Andrew Benintendi and Fernando Abad on the major league roster as they designated for assignment left-hander Tommy Layne and INF/OF Michael Martinez.

Benintendi was selected from Double-A Portland and will wear No. 40, while Abad was acquired in a trade Monday with the Twins.

Layne was 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA in 34 appearances for the Red Sox this season. The left-hander has pitched in 128 major league games over three seasons with the Red Sox (2014-16), going 4-3 with one save, a 3.30 ERA, 84 strikeouts, and a .238 opponent batting average. If he clears waivers, he would go to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Martinez appeared in four games (one start) with the Red Sox after being acquired from Cleveland on July 8, going 1-for-6 with a walk and a run scored. He was the last player on the bench so really was a no-brainer to make room for Benintendi.

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

Read More: Michael Martinez, tommy layne,

Report: Yankees could release Alex Rodriguez before end of season

08.02.16 at 1:17 pm ET
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Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

The Yankees purged four veterans from their roster in the days leading up to the trade deadline, but they may set their biggest fish free before the end of the season.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, the Yankees are considering releasing controversial slugger Alex Rodriguez, whose playing time has disappeared along with his production.

The 41-year-old A-Rod, who sits four homers shy of 700 for his career, is owed the remainder of his $21 million salary this year, as well as a guaranteed $21 million next year. The Yankees are expected to try to move on from him over the winter, but they may accelerate their timetable. From the story:

While the more likely scenario still seems to be parting ways with A-Rod over the winter, a source familiar with the situation told the Daily News on Monday that there’s a chance releasing the slumping DH “could happen” before the end of this season as part of the team’s ongoing overhaul.

If the Yankees part ways with Rodriguez, it’s possible his career is over. As it stands now, he ranks fourth all-time in homers behind only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth, and third in RBIs (2,084), behind Aaron and Ruth.

Read More: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees,

What does Andrew Benintendi’s arrival mean for Red Sox?

08.02.16 at 11:21 am ET
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Andrew Benintendi has been promoted from Double-A to the Red Sox. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Andrew Benintendi has been promoted from Double-A to the Red Sox. (Harry How/Getty Images)

The time has arrived.

Just over a year and two months after being selected No. 7 overall by the Red Sox in the 2015 MLB draft, Andrew Benintendi has flown through the system and is now on the major league roster after being called up following Monday’s game in Seattle.

The center fielder hit .290 in 35 games with short-season, Single-A Lowell after being drafted last year before being promoted to Single-A Greenville to end the year. In 19 games with the Drive, he hit .351 to cap a great first summer as a professional. He started this season in High-A Salem, but was promoted to Double-A Portland after batting .341 in 34 games.

With Portland, Benintendi continued to mash opposing pitching after taking about two weeks to get settled in. The biggest transition occurred 54 games into his Double-A career when he played his first professional game in left field so he could get a chance at the big leagues this season with his natural position of center field occupied by Jackie Bradley Jr.

Now, nine games after that transition took place, Benintendi has been promoted to the Red Sox, and thus skipping Triple-A Pawtucket. Benintendi finished his time with Portland batting .295 with eight home runs and 44 RBIs, including a two homer game in his final game on Sunday.

The left-handed hitter will become the first player since at least 2009 (when the Salem affiliate started) to appear in the big leagues after starting the season with High-A Salem. He is also the first Red Sox prospect to go right from Double-A to the majors since Jackie Bradley Jr. made the big league team out of spring training in 2013.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has been on record saying he has no issues with a player skipping Triple-A.

“I’ve never felt that Triple-A is really a necessity with good players,” he said about a month ago. “I’ve jumped many guys from Double-A in my career. Usually if you do well at Double-A against that type of competition and show that you can perform. There’s some benefits to going to Triple-A. I don’t mean to downplay it. But I’ve had a lot of success throughout my career with guys going from Double-A to the big leagues.”

So what does this mean for Benintendi now that he’s with the Red Sox?

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Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Jose Sermo hits 3-run triple in Salem win; Mitchell Gunsolus hits grand slam for Greenville

08.02.16 at 10:02 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (57-52): No game scheduled.

The PawSox had Monday off and will begin a three-game series at Rochester (Twins) on Tuesday.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (40-67): No game scheduled.

The Sea Dogs will return to the field on Tuesday, when they open a six-game homestand against Erie (Tigers).

Jose Sermo

Jose Sermo

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (63-43): W, 11-7, at Wilmington (Royals)

— All nine Salem batters tallied at least one hit, and eight crossed home plate. The most important hit of the game belonged to Jose Sermo, who smacked a triple with the bases loaded in the second inning to drive in three and push the Red Sox lead to 9-1. He came home on a single in the next at-bat. Sermo, 25, is slashing .245/.302/.500 in 30 games this season.

— Daniel McGrath got the win thanks to Salem’s offense, as the southpaw gave up five earned runs on eight hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked three. The 22-year-old Australian has pitched at least five innings in his last 10 starts. McGrath is 5-5 with a 3.98 ERA in 13 outings. He has thrown two complete games this year.

— Danny Mars was one of three Salem batters to collect two hits, going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. The two-bagger was his 14th of the year. Mars, 22, has hit safely in seven consecutive games and has four multi-hit performances in that span. He is batting .283/.346/.385 in 95 games with 27 stolen bases.

— Bobby Poyner came in to relieve McGrath, holding Wilmington to one run on one hit in three innings. He fanned four and walked two in the outing. The 23-year-old left-hander is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 30 appearances. He is 14-for-14 in save opportunities.

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Read More: Austin Rei, Bobby Dalbec, Bobby Poyner, Brandon Workman
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