|Red Sox cancel Wednesday’s Fenway Park open house||04.16.13 at 3:49 pm ET|
In the aftermath of Monday’s explosions at the Boston Marathon, the Red Sox canceled Wednesday’s scheduled free open house, the team announced. Here is the press release explaining the decision:
In light of the tragic events that befell our community yesterday, the Boston Red Sox will postpone tomorrow’s Open House at Fenway Park. The free event was to provide an opportunity during school vacation week for families and children to wander the concourses, see displays, and stroll on the warning track. It will be rescheduled for later this season.
“We all personally feel the grief of the horrifying tragedy that struck our community on Patriot’s Day,” said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. “Our hearts are with our fellow Bostonians and visitors from around the world who were here for one of Boston’s most spectacular and time-honored events. In the coming days, we will join with others to find ways to show the victims of this heartless, cowardly act our sincere support, and to demonstrate to all, our community’s unity, strength, and resilience.
“Fan safety has been and will continue to be of paramount importance. The club’s security personnel will continue to work vigorously with Major League Baseball security, and federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities to maintain and reinforce the high level of security already in place at Fenway Park.”
The Red Sox begin a 10-game homestand at Fenway Park this Friday, April 19, at 7:10 p.m., against the Kansas City Royals.
|For Shane Victorino, visit to Cleveland represents what could have been||04.16.13 at 3:30 pm ET|
Shane Victorino was coming off the worst season of his career. But when he reached free agency, it didn’t feel like it. The 32-year-old encountered considerable interest in multi-year deals from multiple teams, with two positioning themselves as his most aggressive suitors.
He ended up signing, of course, with the Red Sox, who gave him a three-year, $39 million deal. However, he only landed in Boston after giving considerable thought to the possibility of joining up with the Indians, who had a four-year, $43 million deal on the table.
Cleveland made a strong pitch to Victorino, suggesting that he was part of an offseason strategy that would yield an aggressive approach to the free agent market. New Indians manager Terry Francona was part of the pitch.
“I didn’t know who was going to come calling [in free agency], but I took every offer seriously, took everything in perspective. In the end, I chose [Boston], but no hard feelings against Cleveland,” Victorino said on Monday. “You look at the moves [the Indians] made after I signed here, throughout the offseason, that made their team better — [Michael] Bourn, [Nick] Swisher. Having Terry as their manager now, a guy that has managed World Series teams… Obviously, there was definitely hopes of being a winning team there and turning things around, so there was some definite interest. There was no hard feelings anywhere. I just thought Boston might be a better fit for me.”
Victorino talked to Francona early in the free agent process. Immediately, the outfielder could understand the appeal of playing for the former Red Sox skipper. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox lineup: Jackie Bradley Jr., Stephen Drew sit against Indians’ Ubaldo Jimenez||04.16.13 at 2:24 pm ET|
For the first time this season, Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. — currently mired in an 0-for-20 slump — is out of the lineup against a right-handed starter. The Sox instead will feature switch-hitter Daniel Nava in left field and the right-handed Jonny Gomes at designated hitter against Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
Gomes (5-for-12, 2 homers, walk) has outrageous numbers against Jimenez. Nava, likewise, is 3-for-5 with three doubles and a walk against the Indians starter.
Also notable is the absence of shortstop Stephen Drew from the lineup for the first time since he was activated off the disabled list last Wednesday. Pedro Ciriaco will get his second start of the year. Meanwhile, David Ross will get the start behind the plate with left-hander Felix Doubront on the hill.
RED SOX LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jonny Gomes, DH
David Ross, C
Pedro Ciriaco, SS
Felix Doubront, LHP
|Why Red Sox chose to call up Steven Wright||04.16.13 at 1:49 pm ET|
At first glance, the choice of Steven Wright as the player to replace Joel Hanrahan (who was placed on the 15-day disabled list) seemed curious.
Wright is a starting pitcher, a knuckleballer and someone who has started in 45 of his 50 appearances over the past two seasons. He pitched exclusively as a starter in both spring training and during his two appearances with the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox this season.
The reason for the promotion — which will be the 28-year-old’s major league debut — has a lot to do with the state of the Red Sox’ 40-man roster than anything. With Tuesday night’s starter Felix Doubront having not pitched since April 5, and reliever-turned-starter Alfredo Aceves following up Wednesday, there may be a need a long-man in the coming days. So with the understanding the Sox would need somebody on the 40-man, the candidates to fill such a role realistically came down to Wright and Daniel Bard.
The Red Sox weren’t about to take prospects Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa or Drake Britton out of their routines to jump into the uncertain role with the big league club. That leads to the question of why not Bard?
When the right-hander was sent to Double-A Portland it was made very clear that part of the reason his destination was that level and not Triple-A because the Red Sox didn’t want Bard feeling that a quick promotion was in the works at the first sign of progress. Thus far with the Sea Dogs, Bard has been somewhat up and down, having allowed baserunners in each of his six one-inning appearances. In six innings, he has given up five runs (4 earned) while striking out three and walking three.
Bard is coming off a scoreless, hitless, one-inning outing against Binghamton, walking a batter. He extended what was a no-hitter by the Sea Dogs at the time, coming in to pitch the sixth inning after Anthony Ranaudo turned in five innings of hitless ball.
It should also be noted that after an uneven spring training, Wright had looked good in his two outings with the PawSox. The knuckleballer, who was supposed to start for Pawtucket Tuesday against Lehigh Valley, was coming off a six-inning outing in which he allowed one run on two hits. His first start of the season saw him give up two runs on four innings. Wright has struck out 11 and walked seven.
|Joel Hanrahan to DL, Steven Wright up from Triple-A||04.16.13 at 12:03 pm ET|
Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan will be placed on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained right hamstring.
Right-handed pitcher Steven Wright will be called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to take his place on the roster. Wright was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday in case he was needed in Boston.
Hanrahan injured his hamstring in the second game of the season, a win over the Yankees.
“It’s kind of been there every game,” Hanrahan said earlier this week. “It’s just progressively gotten a little worse. It’s something if I keep running out there and trying to do it I’ll hurt myself more and hurt the rest of the team. We felt the best way was to take it day by day and try to get it right.”
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster dominate; Xander Bogaerts struggles early||04.16.13 at 11:01 am ET|
THIS was the guy who got the $2.55 million signing bonus.
In 2010, right-hander Anthony Ranaudo had a draft experience like few others. A pitcher who entered his junior year with the expectation of going in the top five or 10 picks, he struggled with injuries and performance as a junior, resulting in a slide to the Sox in the supplemental first round at the No. 39 overall pick. Once selected, Ranaudo elected to pitch in the Cape League, where each of his outings became an event, with Ranaudo throwing up zero after zero while re-establishing his prospect credentials to the point of receiving a signing bonus in line with a top 10 pick from the Sox.
Ranaudo had a solid professional debut in 2011. Beyond the decent but not overpowering numbers (3.97 ERA, 117 strikeouts and 46 walks in 127 innings in Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem), he showed a tremendous work ethic, solid stuff (a low-90s fastball that sometimes touched 94 mph, as well as the ability to spin a power curve) and both a willingness and ability to learn over the course of the season. It seemed like a solid foundation that was building towards a potential breakout in 2012, given that, by the time he showed up in spring training last year, his fastball had ticked up into the mid-90s. Injuries prevented the breakout from happening, and instead resulted in a lost year with Double-A Portland.
But that’s now officially behind the right-hander. Now, Ranaudo is off to a dominating start to his 2013 campaign, one that suggests he’s separated himself from the struggles of a year ago, showing the skills and stuff to suggest that he may be close to reconnecting with the lofty prospect status that he enjoyed during the much-scrutinized time when pitching in the Cape League.
On Monday, Ranaudo logged five no-hit innings for Portland, allowing just one walk while striking out six. While he threw strikes on just 44 of his 73 pitches on Monday (60 percent), he got a dozen swings and misses, and the ability to get a handful of groundballs in addition to his strikeouts suggests that he was able to spot his fastball in a fashion that permitted either bad contact or no contact.
In two starts this year, he’s permitted one run on five hits in 10 innings, showing the ability to get swings and misses (12 strikeouts) and attacking the strike zone (two walks). His fastball — which was 92-96 mph on Monday, with good angle that made use of his 6-foot-7 frame and sharp command — represented an overpowering pitch, and he was also able to elicit a couple of swings and misses with his curveball and changeup.
In short, he’s looked nothing like he did last season in Portland, and a lot like he had at his most promising. His re-emergence represents one of the bigger developments in the initial weeks of the season for the Red Sox farm system.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-3 LOSS VS. LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES) Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox-Indians matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Ubaldo Jimenez||04.16.13 at 10:13 am ET|
Felix Doubront and the Red Sox will try to shift their focus back to baseball just one day after a horrific tragedy struck the city of Boston. Only minutes after the Sox completed a sweep of the Rays with a thrilling walk-off victory Monday afternoon, two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing at least three and injuring well over 100.
Tuesday night, the Red Sox and Indians will open up a three-game set in Cleveland, and Doubront will be matched up against Ubaldo Jimenez. This will be Doubront’s second start of the season, after his scheduled start Friday was pushed back due to a rainout. In his first game, Doubront went five innings, allowed three runs on nine hits and struck out six against the Blue Jays in a no-decision. In two starts against the Indians last season, Doubront went 1-1 and allowed five runs on 10 hits in 10 1/3 innings of work.
Jimenez will be looking to bounce back from a 4 1/3-inning, seven-run outing against the Yankees in his last start. This came off the heels of a very good first start for Jimenez against the Blue Jays.
“I had a good start in Toronto, but it’s early in the season,” Jimenez said. “I have to worry about my next game. I have to forget about this one.”
Jimenez is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 16 innings of work in his career against the Red Sox. This does not include his Game 1 start in the 2007 World Series, when, as a member of the Rockies, he went 4 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits in the Sox’ 2-1 win.
This also marks former Sox manager Terry Francona‘s first game facing his old team since being hired by the Indians during the offseason. Francona put together a stellar eight years in Boston, winning two World Series championships, although he also was a part of the 2011 September collapse, when the team went 7-20 to close the season and missed out on the playoffs.
“To be honest, I’m an Indian,” Francona said. “I’m aware of the questions and everything, and I have a lot of great memories, but I don’t think it’s fair to the players. This game is hard enough to play. They don’t need to be worrying about me having nostalgia week. They just need to try to beat them.”
- Cup of Coffee: Spring's walk-off grand slam lifts Portland
- Bradley: "Everything's back to normal"
- Cup of Coffee: PawSox, Drive produce walk-off wins
- PawSox activate Jackie Bradley, Jr. from disabled list
- Weekly Notes: De La Rosa, Betts take center stage
- Cup of Coffee: Shaw leads 18-hit attack in Sea Dogs rout
- Cup of Coffee: Gedman, big Salem seventh key system’s only win
- Christian Vazquez’s new focus at the plate starting to pay off
- Cup of Coffee: Augliera dominant in Salem victory
- Players of the Week, May 6-12: Rubby De La Rosa and Mookie Betts