|08.14.14 at 9:27 pm ET|
Pawtucket Red Sox pitching coach Rich Sauveur joined WEEI.com’s Alex Speier on the Minor Details podcast to discuss his first impressions of Henry Owens with the PawSox and the large influx of plus pitching in the organization. To listen to the interview, go to the WEEI podcast audio on demand page.
Owens, Boston’s top pitching prospect, has impressed at the Triple-A level, posting a 1-0 record with a 3.09 ERA and 14 strikeouts in two starts (11 2/3 innings). Owens was particularly dominant in his first outing Aug. 4 against Columbus, holding the Clippers to two hits and no earned runs over 6 2/3 innings while recording nine punchouts.
“Well, being actually the first time I’ve seen him throw, yes, I’ve seen him throw a couple times down in spring training, but to actually see him up here pitching for me was pretty exciting. … Obviously, by the outcome, striking out the side in the first inning, and seeing the poise on the mound was just outstanding. This kid is 22 years old, and again, striking out the side on three plus pitches — the fastball and the curveball and the changeup — it was an outstanding time for me,” Sauveur said.
Sauveur added that both Owens’ confidence on the hill and his impressive repertoire of pitches make it easy for him to project the southpaw as a top-of-the-line starter in the major leagues.
“Going on one start, I can say that I see this guy being a No. 1 or No. 2 starter for the Boston Red Sox. … [His] poise on the mound is ridiculous,” Sauveur said. “This kid reminds me of Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. I mean, just a goofball in the clubhouse and having a good time, and when he steps between those two wide lines that go down each side of the field, it’s game on. … Talking about his stuff, the fastball velocity was decent, the command was outstanding … and then he showed two plus pitches. … Of course, if this kid strikes out nine guys in a Triple-A game, something is going on.” Read the rest of this entry »
|08.14.14 at 8:52 pm ET|
Major League Baseball owners elected Rob Manfred to become the 10th commission in the history of the sport, with the current MLB Chief Operating Officer set to succeed Bud Selig in January. While Manfred was ultimately elected by a final 30-0 vote, it was not until the sixth ballot of the sport’s team owners that he beat out Red Sox chairman Tom Werner for the post.
From The Associated Press:
One baseball executive who attended the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity because details of the 4 1/2-hour session were not be divulged, said Manfred was elected on approximately the sixth ballot. The initial vote was 20-10 for Manfred, three short of the required three-quarters majority.
His total increased to 21 on the second and 22 on the third. While teams put written ballots into envelopes, keeping their choices secret, from team official speeches it was evident that Tampa Bay’s Stuart Sternberg and Milwaukee’s Mark Attanasio likely switched, the person said.
Manfred’s total dropped to 20, then increased to 22 before a dinner break. He got the needed 23rd vote on the next, apparently from Washington. Owners then made the final vote unanimous. The person said it appeared Arizona, Boston, the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland and Toronto had been the final holdouts.
|08.14.14 at 7:40 pm ET|
Anthony Ranaudo has won both of his big league starts. His reward on both occasions? An immediate demotion back to Triple-A.
Ranaudo, who claimed a victory with six innings in the Sox’ 5-4 win in Cincinnati on Wednesday, was optioned to the PawSox following the contest. In his place, the Red Sox recalled right-hander Alex Wilson, who has a 3.38 ERA in three big league games (and four call-ups) this year, with righties having gone just 1-for-10 against him. Wilson has a 4.35 ERA in Pawtucket, including a 2.33 mark over his last 19 1/3 innings.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
– With Ranaudo being sent down, Brandon Workman is slated to rejoin the Red Sox rotation after having his Wednesday start skipped in favor of his fellow member of the draft class of 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
|08.14.14 at 7:12 pm ET|
After posting a 5-3 record during an eight-game stretch away from home, Boston will open up an 11-game homestand with a four-game series against the Houston Astros.
The Red Sox have found themselves on a bit of a roll, winning four out of their last five games.
“Yeah, it was nice, a winning road trip,” said first baseman Mike Napoli, who clobbered a two-run homer in the fifth helped Boston to a 5-4 victory over the Reds Wednesday. “We’re playing better baseball. I feel like there were a couple games we could’ve came away with, too. We’re playing better baseball, the young guys are learning and we’re playing the game the right way. That’s what we need.”
The Astros -- sitting at 50 wins on the year — will be looking to match their victory total from last season during their series against Boston. Houston finished the 2013 campaign with a 51-101 record.
Houston will be getting some reinforcements in the outfield, as center fielder Dexter Fowler played his first game in six weeks Wednesday after suffering a back injury June 26.
“Whenever you are athletic and have three guys in the outfield capable of playing center field, we’re improved — cutting balls off, getting to them in the air,” said Houston manager Bo Porter after Houston’s 3-1 loss to the Twins Wednesday. “You got a glimpse of that today.”
The Astros are 4-6 over their last 10 games and 1-2 against Boston this season.
Here are the probable pitchers for the four-game series.
Thursday: Allen Webster (2-1, 4.91 ERA) vs. Scott Feldman (6-8, 4.14 ERA)
Friday: Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.99 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (10-8, 3.07 ERA)
Saturday: Rubby De La Rosa (4-4, 3.21 ERA) vs. Brad Peacock (3-8, 5.25 ERA)
Sunday: Joe Kelly (0-0, 2.08 ERA) vs. Colin McHugh (5-9, 3.08 ERA)
|08.14.14 at 3:24 pm ET|
With a trip of two National League parks in three series behind them, the Red Sox lineup will feature the trio of David Ortiz, Yoenis Cespedes and Mike Napoli in the third, fourth and fifth spots. Cespedes’ presence is noteworthy given that he was removed late from Wednesday’s game due to a hand contusion.
Xander Bogaerts will get a day off, with Brock Holt at shortstop. Will Middlebrooks is at third and Jackie Bradley Jr. is in center field.
RED SOX LINEUP
Brock Holt, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Christian Vazquez, C
Allen Webster, SP
|08.14.14 at 2:13 pm ET|
It was a blast from the past Thursday morning at Fenway Park, as three new members of the Red Sox Hall of Fame – Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Nomar Garciaparra – discussed a variety of topics with the media in the EMC Club.
While the hour-long press event mostly revolved around prior experiences and memories, Martinez took the time to discuss the present, focusing mostly on the departure of Red Sox ace Jon Lester, who was traded to the Athletics at the July 31 trade deadline.
“I hope he comes back, because he’s a perfect guy to actually have in the clubhouse, influence kids and I think [Lester] is a guy that I’m against seeing him leave,” Martinez said. “Openly, I’m going to say that I’m not happy that Lester is not here anymore. I would like him to come back and we had that talk in the outfield and during bullpen sessions, during games. I hate to see that Lester is gone because he’s a workhorse, he’s a good example in the clubhouse, he’s a role model in society … He’s everything you need for a young group of guys that are developing.”
Clemens, as he did earlier during his interview with Middays with MFB, remained mostly mum on his opinions regarding whether or not he will eventually get enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but added that his preference, if he does get elected, would be for his plaque to feature him donning a Red Sox cap.
“I don’t think you have any control over that, I made light of it and said I was going to wear a [University of Texas] Longhorn visor,” Clemens joked, adding: “I don’t think you have any control over that. … Obviously, [the preference] would be Boston, because I spent most of my time here.”
Martinez also commented on the debate regarding Clemens’ chances of one day getting the call to Cooperstown, stating that players such as Clemens and Barry Bonds should be voted into the Hall due to the fact that they compiled enough accolades before PED accusations began to sprout up.
“I think Roger, with all due respect to everybody that votes, I’ll have to say Roger and Barry Bonds are two guys that I think had enough numbers before anything came out to actually earn a spot in the Hall of Fame,” Martinez said. “I’m not quite sure, 100 percent, how close they will be before all the things came out, but in my heart, if you ask me before any of that, I would say yes - 100 percent - without looking back. … I believe they have a legit chance and I think, with time, the voters will take into consideration what they did previously.”
Following are more highlights from the media session:
Clemens on whether he identifies himself as a Red Sox above all of the other teams he played for: “Sure. I spent 13 years here and I worked hard. Like I said, this is where I got my start, I got my nickname here and the kids today still call me ‘Rocket’ more than they do ‘Roger,’ so it’s pretty cool. At home, I probably have more Red Sox stuff that I do any other club that I played for.”
Garciaparra on the 2004 season: “Obviously, it was devastating being traded, no question about that. But I was happy for them winning the World Series. For me, that my teammates made feel like a part of it, which was great. I was grateful. When they were going through the playoffs, I was getting calls from them when they were on the bus, like, ‘Hey, did you see that? Did you see what we’re doing?’ … They were saying, ‘We’re thinking about you,’ and I was like, ‘I’m watching.’
“I never watched the World Series when I played. I didn’t want to watch where people were that I wanted to be. I’ve only really watched two World Series when I played. One was the Yankees and Mets when they were in the World Series, only because Jay Payton was my roommate in college and one of my dearest friends was playing in the World Series. … And then in ‘04, because I knew they were going to do it. … I realize here that the World Series is bigger than you. It’s about these people and these fans and the tradition here and what it meant. I’m glad, in ‘04, that it was finally accomplished, because these great fans deserved it.”
Martinez on the atmosphere at Fenway Park: “I’ll tell you what, the aspects of Fenway Park and the tradition, the uniqueness that we have here in Fenway, I can’t see it happening in any other place. … You can feel the heat from the bodies from the field. It’s so close. … This is the closest to a winter league game that you can probably feel. I always describe Fenway as the only place where you can feel like you’re pitching winter ball, because it’s loud, you have people right on top of you. … It’s a unique feeling that you get at Fenway.”
Garciaparra on Martinez’s tenure in Boston: “Watching him, there were times where I found myself like the fans, in awe of what he’s doing. So much so that when they finally hit the ball off him, I would be like the fans and go, ‘Ugh.’ I would do so the same thing and then I’d realize, ‘Oh, they hit it at me and I need to got to go make the play.’ … There were so many moments that made you feel that way and I’m grateful that I’m his teammate and friend.”
|08.14.14 at 11:40 am ET|
With the length of eligibility being cut down from 15 years to 10, Clemens, who has not gotten in on his first two years on the ballot, is eligible to get in for eight more years. He’s received less than 40 percent of the votes (75 percent is needed for election) in each of his first two years on the ballot due to his connection to performance-enhancing drugs.
“I can’t control any of that,” Clemens said. “All I can do is what I did, and I proved my case with the facts and everything that I need to do there.
“I find it kind of weird that people have to vote on how good you were or weren’t anyway, and most of them have never played the game anyway. I don’t really put a lot of stock in it either way. I know most of the guys at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, I’ve taken the boys there to play and they have a bunch of my memorabilia there that I go and show them, so I have a great time there anyway, but if that happens, great.”
Clemens said he finds the whole voting process “weird,” noting that players who get in on their 15th year of eligibility, such as Jim Rice, should be elected in their first year.
“It took him I don’t know how many years to get in,” Clemens said of Rice, “so I called him and said ‘Congratulations. I don’t know how you got better in 10 years to get in; I don’t know if you hit a bunch of home runs in a pickup semi-pro league or what, but congratulations.’
“Either you’re good enough to be in or you’re not. I don’t get punishing a guy or making a guy wait. If they think he’s a Hall of Famer, he should be in.”
Asked if it’s tough on his family each year when the voting process and therefore annual PED discussion surrounds him, Clemens said he pays it no mind.
“When you don’t pay a lot of attention to it, it’s nothing,” Clemens said. “We don’t worry about that day at home. We’re so busy, and I’m a Hall of Fame dad to them, and I’m not the Rocket, and that’s just the way we go about our life.”
After Clemens’ interview, fellow Red Sox Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez joined the show. Martinez sang Clemens’ praises, saying he considered him the better pitcher and that Clemens had the “best mechanics I’ve ever seen from a right-hander.”
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