|08.18.14 at 8:18 pm ET|
The outfield is becoming less mysterious for Mookie Betts with each game.
Now the second baseman-turned-outfielder will have another chance to show the Red Sox just how far he’s come.
Betts was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket Monday to play center field in place of Jackie Bradley Jr., who was optioned in order to work on his adjustments at the plate. This is the third time this season Betts has been sent up to the big club and the second time this month. Even in that short time, Betts said that over the course of his 10 games in center (out of 11 contests in Pawtucket), his comfort level increased at a position he hadn’t played in pro ball until this May.
“I’m just happy to get the opportunity again. I think I had a good productive three weeks,” Betts said, later adding, “I played a lot of center field. Just getting new plays — I got an opportunity to throw somebody out at home, got to throw a ball around a few times, just learning those things.”
Betts said he’s worked closely with PawSox hitting coach Dave Joppie on his outfield play, working on reading the ball off the bat as well as his routes to the ball, which he said have been noticeably better.
PawSox manager Kevin Boles agreed. Boles said he and the coaches focused on improving Betts’ center field play in Pawtucket with apparent results.
“That was a focus to make sure that he got a lot of reps in center field,” Boles said. “The initial breaks were getting a little bit better, but the closing speed is definitely, it’s really impressive how he can close on balls, even if the first initial three steps are a little bit questionable at times. Just the athleticism, the throwing, keeping things in order, throwing to bases, keeping the running game in order.” Read the rest of this entry »
|08.18.14 at 6:18 pm ET|
The Red Sox had finally seen enough of Jackie Bradley Jr. to know it was time for a change.
The Sox optioned the struggling center fielder to Triple-A Pawtucket Monday in a move that manager John Farrell said had been discussed among baseball operations for about the last two weeks.
While he’s been nothing short of sensational in the outfield this season, Bradley has been a liability offensively. The rookie has hit .216/.288/.290 in 112 games and had recently endured a miserable stretch in which he went 0-for-35 with 18 strikeouts before showing some improvement at the plate over the last few games.
“The move to send Jackie back to Pawtucket has been talked about for a little while now,” Farrell said. “I think it’s important to note that this wasn’t reactionary. Had it been reactionary you might suggest it was going to be done a while ago.
“We felt like some of the adjustments that were being worked on had some evidence inside of given games, but we’re sending him out to maintain some of those adjustments. That is to try to shorten down that swing a little bit more and develop a more distinct two-strike approach.”
Bradley is 5-for-16 with two walks and just four strikeouts in his last five games, which raised questions about the timing of the decision. Farrell said Bradley’s adjustments still weren’t translating to the games consistently enough, and he wanted to take advantage of the final weeks of the minor league season.
Farrell said the team wants Bradley to get back to a “line-drive approach that has got a more defined two-strike approach in addition.” Read the rest of this entry »
|08.18.14 at 6:08 pm ET|
PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Even as Jackie Bradley Jr.’s struggles as a rookie assumed historic dimensions, the outfielder had resisted dwelling on whether he might get sent down to Triple-A. After all, he reasoned, there was nothing productive to be gained from doing so, at a time when the most important thing he could try to do was correct course.
And so, when the conversation with manager John Farrell and GM Ben Cherington finally took place following the Red Sox‘ 8-1 loss to the Astros on Sunday, Bradley was caught a bit by surprise. With just two weeks left before rosters expand from 25 to 40 players, Bradley hadn’t anticipated that he would be sent down now, even though (after going 5-for-16 to snap out of an 0-for-35 slump) he was hitting .216 with a .288 OBP and .290 slugging mark in 112 games.
“I didn’t know. I was definitely caught off surprise a little bit, especially with it being two weeks left. But you know, move had to be made. I’m down here, getting better,” Bradley said in the PawSox clubhouse. “I’ve got to be accountable for myself and for the season, and I didn’t perform at the level that I feel like I’m capable of performing. Like they told me, it’s a performance-based league.” Read the rest of this entry »
|08.18.14 at 3:32 pm ET|
Mookie Betts will play center field and bat eighth for the Red Sox Monday night as they begin a four-game series against the Angels at Fenway Park. The Sox called up Betts from Triple-A Pawtucket early Monday and sent down struggling center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Another noteworthy name back in the Red Sox lineup Monday is Dustin Pedroia. The second baseman was out of the lineup Sunday with flu-like symptoms. Mike Napoli and Christian Vazquez both return to the lineup after a day off on Sunday.
RED SOX LINEUP
Brock Holt, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Mookie Betts, CF
Christian Vazquez, C
Brandon Workman, SP
|08.18.14 at 2:35 pm ET|
The Red Sox announced that they have optioned Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket and called up Mookie Betts from the PawSox. Bradley has struggled to get his head above water offensively this year, hitting .216 with a .288 OBP and .290 slugging mark in 112 games. That said, the timing of the move to Triple-A is slightly unexpected, given that Bradley had shown offensive improvement in recent games, going 5-for-16 with a pair of walks and just four strikeouts in his last 20 plate appearances after snapping an 0-for-35 spell. Bradley will be in the lineup as the center fielder in Pawtucket on Monday night.
Betts had his 14th three-hit game of the year in the minors on Sunday, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles. In 45 games in Pawtucket, he’s hitting .335/.417/.503 with 19 extra-base hits, 26 walks and 30 strikeouts; over the full minor league season, the 21-year-old is hitting .346/.431/.529 with 61 walks, 50 strikeouts, 33 steals and 46 extra-base hits.
In sending Bradley down now, it’s possible that the Sox could allow him to catch his breath in Triple-A before returning to the roster in September. If that happens, then by virtue of a minor league assignment of fewer than 20 days, the team would not have used one of his two remaining options through this late-season demotion.
|08.18.14 at 12:40 pm ET|
The losses have been piling up for Workman as of late. The right-hander lost twice in a matter of three days from Aug. 7-9 to make it six defeats in his last six appearances.
Workman (1-6, 4.45 ERA) allowed three runs in the first inning Aug. 7 against the Cardinals and never recovered as the Sox suffered a 5-2 loss in St. Louis. Workman gave up four runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five.
“I just didn’t come out sharp in the first inning,” Workman said after the game. “That got me today. I put up a three-spot in the first and put the team behind the 8-ball against a good pitcher. I got it going after that, but the first inning was enough.”
Workman’s appearance two days later was much shorter, but it may have stung more. The 25-year-old lasted just one batter after he gave up leadoff home run to Albert Pujols to give the Angels a walkoff win in the bottom of the 19th inning.
Workman is 0-6 with a 6.35 ERA since June 27, prompting Farrell to skip the righty’s turn in the rotation. Monday will be his first appearance in nine days and his first start in 11.
“It was an opportunity to give him extended rest, which we prioritized,” Farrell said Saturday.
The six-pitch appearance Aug. 9 is the only for Workman against the Angels in his career. Read the rest of this entry »
|08.18.14 at 12:40 pm ET|
A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-5 LOSS VS. SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)
– Feats of Mookie: Another triumphant trio. Mookie Betts went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, the 14th time in 99 minor league games and the seventh time in 45 contests in Pawtucket that he’s had at least three hits, and the fifth time (and third this month) that he’s had two doubles in a game this year. In 45 games in Pawtucket, he’s hitting .335/.417/.503 with 19 extra-base hits, 26 walks and 30 strikeouts; over the full minor league season, the 21-year-old is hitting .346/.431/.529 with 61 walks, 50 strikeouts, 33 steals and 46 extra-base hits.
– Outfielder Bryce Brentz went 2-for-4 with a homer, giving him 10 longballs in just 51 games this year in Pawtucket. The 25-year-old has been producing since his return to Pawtucket following roughly two and a half months on the sidelines (and rehab assignments) while rehabbing a hamstring injury. In 12 August games, he’s hitting .286/.345/.571 with four homers. That uptick in production has coincided with a somewhat more aggressive approach at the plate that has been characteristic of Brentz throughout his career; Brentz has walked 7.3 percent of the time since returning from the DL, after walking in 12.7 percent of plate appearances prior to the injury. Of course, he was also struggling to a .230/.335/.430 line in April and May.
– The good news for Garin Cecchini: He launched his seventh homer of the year, matching (in 101 games) his home run output from 2013 (from 129 games between High-A and Double-A). The bad news: He struck out twice and now has 86 strikeouts, matching his total from a year ago.
Those season numbers aside, Cecchini looks like he’s amidst his best offensive run of the year. He has an eight-game hitting streak in which he’s hitting .394/.429/.697 with two homers, four doubles, two walks and seven strikeouts. In the process, he’s lifted his season line to .250/.323/.354. Read the rest of this entry »
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