|04.27.16 at 5:06 pm ET|
A couple of injury updates from Fenway Park, where the Red Sox are preparing to open a two-game series against the Braves as part of a home-and-home with their “natural” rivals from Atlanta.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval said he’s feeling better and is on track to be examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday in Pensacola, Fla. He’s on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain and had to postpone his first visit with Andrews last week because he was too sore to be examined.
“A lot better,” Sandoval said. “A lot better. It’s still sore, but we’ll see what’s going on. The inflammation at least went down, it’s to a good point, so now we’re going to see what’s going on there.”
Sandoval has been limited athletically since suffering the injury on April 14.
“What am I doing? Nothing,” he said. “Just cardio, icing. That’s the only thing I can do.”
Sandoval isn’t sure if he’ll avoid surgery. He’s waiting to hear what Andrews says.
“I don’t know. I’m not a doctor,” he said. “I’m going to let them make the decisions. I don’t know if I’m going to get surgery or not. At least I can move it around. The inflammation went down. I hope they can look at it and see what’s going on.”
In other injury news, right-hander Carson Smith was in the clubhouse, one day after throwing a simulated inning against hitters at Triple-A Pawtucket following a rainout.
“I did get rained out yesterday, but I was fortunate enough to get some work in in the bullpen with some hitters standing in,” Smith said. “We tried to emulate a game as best we could.”
The plan is to send him to Double-A Portland on Friday and see if he can bounce back again and pitch on Saturday before determining the next step. The Red Sox have suggested he could return next week, and he sounds confident he avoided a serious injury in spring training when he left the mound with elbow tightness.
“I’m very confident I’m ready to go,” Smith said. “The velocity is there, the movement is there, so I’m happy.”
Smith was injured on March 21 in Jupiter and feared the worst.
“It’s a big relief,” he said. “When you have elbow problems, I think any pitcher can say that’s the biggest scare, hearing all the Tommy John stories. I’m glad I dodged that bullet and am healthy now and will continue to do things to dodge that bullet.”
|04.27.16 at 3:24 pm ET|
After sitting out the two games in Atlanta, David Ortiz will return to the Red Sox lineup Wednesday night.
It is a standard Red Sox lineup against a right-hander with Brock Holt in left field and Travis Shaw at third base. The Braves will send Bud Norris to the mound in the third game of the four-game series.
Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox starter Steven Wright.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Brock Holt, LF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Steven Wright, RHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|04.27.16 at 11:41 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-8): Game vs. Syracuse (Nationals) was postponed due to inclement weather. Next game is Thursday night at Syracuse.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (6-14): L, 3-2, at Binghamton (Mets)
— Starter Teddy Stankiewicz threw six solid innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on just two hits with three walks and two strikeouts, but he did not wind up factoring into the decision. He lowered his ERA to an impressive 1.13 to go with a 0.79 WHIP. Opponents are hitting just .183 against Stankiewicz this season.
— Binghamton, which took a 1-0 lead in the third on a throwing error by Sea Dogs first baseman Tim Roberson, scored the winning run in the eighth inning on a two-out RBI single from Dominic Smith that scored Kyle Johnson, who had led off the inning with a walk. Lefty reliever Nik Turley (0-1) took the loss. He pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed one hit and two walks with three strikeouts. Lefty Luis Ysla came on to record the final out of the eighth.
— The PawSox collected just three hits all game against Binghamton starter Andrew Barbosa (7 1/3 innings) and reliever Akeel Morris, who closed things out to get the win. Right fielder Bryce Brentz had the most significant hit of the game for the Sea Dogs, a two-run double in the sixth inning that gave his team the lead. He finished 1-for-4 with the double, two RBIs and two strikeouts. Designated hitter Henry Ramos and shortstop Jose Vincio each contributed a hit as well.
|04.27.16 at 9:16 am ET|
Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright, who has been a pleasant surprise in the team’s rotation this season, will look to continue that narrative as he faces off against Astros righty Bud Norris on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
Wright has put up quality starts in all three of his outings this season, although he only has one win to show for it, as his record sits at 1-2 to go with a dazzling 1.40 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. In his last start Friday against the Astros in Houston, he picked up his first win of the season after going 6 2/3 innings and allowing just one unearned run on four hits. He walked five and struck out six, as the Red Sox came away with a 6-2 victory.
“He’s been the most consistent starter, without question,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the win. “Going back to the conversation in spring training, not knowing where he was going to break with us. Just go out and pitch. And he does a great job of that, whether it’s in either role. To pitch the innings he’s doing, he’s been a stabilizer in the rotation.”
Wednesday night will be Wright’s first career start against the Braves.
Norris has had a rough go of it so far this season, as he’s off to a 1-3 start with a 6.75 ERA and 1.69 WHIP. In his last start Friday in Atlanta against the Mets, he lasted just four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out four as the Braves went on to lose the game, 6-3.
“Really kind of frustrating,” said Norris after suffering his third loss of the season. “I’ve got to get better. I know I can pitch deeper [in games] and do a lot better. … I want to turn this around as quick as I can, because it’s still April. I know there’s a lot more in the tank.”
The 31-year-old, who started his career with the Astros in 2009 and also has pitched for the Orioles (2013-15) and Padres (2015), has faced the Red Sox seven times, compiling a 2-3 record with a 3.07 ERA and 1.318 WHIP. He has 41 strikeouts and 19 walks in 44 innings of work.
|04.26.16 at 10:24 pm ET|
ATLANTA — The Red Sox should be getting some clarity on the Pablo Sandoval situation in less than a week.
Red Sox manager John Farrell reported before his team’s game against the Braves Tuesday night that Sandoval is slated to return to Dr. James Andrews Monday for a full exam on his ailing right shoulder. The third baseman wasn’t able to conduct the originally scheduled second opinion due to discomfort in the area.
In the meantime, here are some answers to questions surrounding the situation.
THE TEAM WAS AWARE OF SANDOVAL’S SHOULDER HISTORY
Through reviewing Sandoval’s medical history with the Giants, and the physical the Sox conducted at the time signing the free agent, the Red Sox did have what they considered enough information on a shoulder that had given the player problems in 2011. But the nature/severity of the injury wasn’t considered anything more than what many position players deal with.
IT WASN’T BAD ENOUGH TO CONSIDER INSURANCE
When free agents are signed, and there is a part of their body which might be of some concern, teams often take out insurance. In John Lackey’s case, the insurance was a clause in his contract that stated if he missed any significant time due to his injured right elbow his team option would be for the major league minimum salary. In the Jason Bay controversy, the Red Sox asked the player to pay a chunk of the insurance policy due to concerns over his knee. The Marlins couldn’t get insurance on Josh Beckett’s shoulder because of it’s condition prior to the player’s trade to the Sox. With Sandoval’s shoulder, however, going the insurance route wasn’t deemed necessary.
YES, THE REDS SOX DO TAKE OUT INSURANCE
Because of past conflicts with Lloyds of London when it came to insuring players, Red Sox principal owner John Henry had often tried to stay away from insuring injuries. (For more on Henry’s prior approach, click here.) But, according to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, there has been no such mandate, and the decision to insure players is a “case by case” basis.
THERE HAS BEEN NO WEIGHT MANDATE
Contrary to a Yahoo! Sports report that the team told Sandoval it had “no intention of playing him unless he loses weight,” according to a major league source, there has been no such directive. The Red Sox have been monitoring Sandoval’s progress while on the 15-day disabled list, and have been encouraged by his approach — and results — the last two weeks.
|04.26.16 at 10:04 pm ET|
One way for David Price to end a thoroughly disappointing first month with the Red Sox: tying his career high in strikeouts in his longest outing in a Boston uniform.
Making his fifth start for the Sox, Price fanned 14 batters over a season-high eight innings and received ample run support in an 11-4 win over the Braves that saw Travis Shaw drive in five runs.
Price settled down from a busy first inning to have what turned out to be a very strong performance against a Braves offense that entered Tuesday 27th in the league with a .227 batting average.
The veteran left-hander loaded the bases in the first inning after allowing an RBI single to Jeff Francoeur, but he escaped without further damage by striking out Drew Stubbs to end the frame.
Price followed up the first by turning in back-to-back 1-2-3 innings with a pair of strikeouts in each. He ran into trouble again in the fourth inning, once again loading the bases and surrendering the Braves’ second run.
From there, Price essentially put the game away by allowing just one hit and walking none over his final four innings. He struck out six of the last seven hitters he faced, all of which he retired. Furthermore, nine of Price’s last nine outs were strikeouts. He finished with a line of six hits and two earned runs allowed over eight innings, striking out 14 and walking two.
Though runs allowed have been a concern in his early starts (7.06 ERA entering Tuesday), strikeouts have not. Price now has struck out at least eight hitters in four of his first five outings with the Red Sox and leads the league with 46 strikeouts. Price was coming off a season-low five strikeouts in what was his shortest and worst outing of the season, a 3 2/3 inning performance in which he allowed two homers and eight earned runs against the Rays.
With Tuesday’s win, Price is 3-0 on the season with a 5.76 ERA. The Sox improved to 11-9. Read the rest of this entry »
|04.26.16 at 11:32 am ET|
ATLANTA — It wasn’t just one whisper. There were shouts that David Price wanted to sign with a National League team so he could participate in one of his favorite activities, hitting.
When such a notion is brought up now, Price smiles and lets out a quick chuckle.
“Obviously, that didn’t happen,” he said, later adding, “I don’t know if it ever entered the discussion. I enjoyed hitting. I enjoy facing a pitcher more than I enjoy hitting. No, it never came up.”
But it’s undeniable that Price isn’t the norm when it comes to living life as a major league pitcher. He just likes taking batting practice too much.
Price, who hit a home run in his last high school at-bat, has never let the love for swinging the bat go. According to those who have played with the pitcher, it isn’t uncommon to find his way into batting practice groups, even with no interleague action in site.
“It’s fun,” Price said. “I can’t turn down BP in a major league park.”
Is he a good hitter?
“In BP I am,” he responded.
There is proof of that. There was the blast the lefty hitter sent into the second deck at Washigton’s Nationals Park. Or the one that Price hit over the “Belle Tire Blast Zone” in right field at Comerica Park in Detroit.
“Miggy [Miguel Cabrera] said he the only lefty he’d see do that was Prince [Fielder],” Price said.
|04.26.16 at 9:37 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-8): W, 5-0, vs. Syracuse (Nationals)
— Starter William Cuevas, back with the PawSox after a brief stint in the Boston bullpen, was dominant in his return to Triple-A. The Venezuelan right-hander threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits. He walked three and struck out four in improving to 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
“I felt really good with all my pitches and kept a good tempo tonight,” Cuevas said after the game (via the PawSox website).
Said manager Kevin Boles: “He was terrific, very efficient. He induced contact early and I thought his tempo and pace with [catcher Blake Swihart] was terrific.
— Marco Hernandez (Boston’s No. 19 prospect on MLB.com) played left field and went 3-for-5 with a double and one strikeout. Swihart also finished with three hits, going 3-for-4 with a double, one RBI and one walk.
— Sam Travis had another multi-hit performance, going 2-for-5 with two doubles. He added one RBI and two strikeouts. His average now sits at .306 to go with two home runs and 14 RBIs. Designated hitter Jason Maxwell went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Jantzen Witte was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a walk.
— Reliever Kyle Martin threw two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and striking out four to finish off the shutout.
|04.26.16 at 9:13 am ET|
Red Sox ace David Price will look to bounce back on Tuesday night in Atlanta when he takes the mound opposite young righty Matt Wisler and the Braves.
While Price has not yet lost a game this season (his record sits at 2-0 through four starts), his ERA sits at a disappointing 7.06 and he has a 1.38 WHIP. This is due largely in part to his last outing on April 21 at home against the Rays. After the Red Sox offense gave him a five-run lead in the first inning, he lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits. He walked two, struck out five and served up two home runs in the outing.
“That’s the best I’ve felt in my four starts here,” Price said after the game. “To me, that’s the most disappointing thing. To feel the way that I felt, [I just didn’t] get the results that I expect.”
In three career starts against the Braves, Price is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA despite a 1.526 WHIP. Price last faced the Braves on Sept. 16 of last season and led the Blue Jays to a 9-1 win, pitching seven innings of one-run ball, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out nine.
Wisler is 0-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 0.93 WHIP through three starts and one relief appearance this season. In his last start on April 21 against the Dodgers, he lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run (none earned) on four hits. The 23-year-old walked two and struck out six, while the Braves offense could only muster one run of support. Wisler wound up with a no-decision despite an impressive performance, as he came close to outdueling 2014 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.
“He matched pitch-for-pitch one of the premier pitchers in our era, arguably, in Kershaw,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said postgame.
Wisler, who has never pitched in a game against the Red Sox, made his major league debut last June 19 and wound up pitching in 20 games (19 starts), going 8-8 with a 4.71 ERA and 1.459 WHIP.
A seventh-round draft pick of the Padres in 2011, Wisler was traded to Atlanta last April in the deal that sent current Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel to San Diego.
|04.26.16 at 1:01 am ET|
ATLANTA — Last May, David Ortiz was animated in his defense of Tom Brady when word came down the NFL had suspended the quarterback for four games.
“I think the decision was very poor,” the Red Sox DH said regarding NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s initial mandate that Tom Brady miss the first four games of the 2015 season. “You’re not just talking about any football player. You’re talking about probably the best player in the game, so what is the message you’re sending? I don’t think the message they’re sending is good. They want to send a strong message to who? The NFL players? How about the fans. What we think of it doesn’t matter?”
Then on Monday, it happened all over again.
Brady once again was tagged with a four-game suspension after the NFL won its appeal of Judge Richard Berman’s ruling. And, like many New Englanders, Ortiz’s reaction was that of frustration … and exhaustion with the situation.
“It’s crazy,” Ortiz said after his team’s 1-0 win over the Braves. “It’s just surprising a year later talking about the same stuff.”
And then Ortiz dropped an apt description of what has unfolded.
“When you fight eggs with a rock, the eggs never win,” said Ortiz, referencing NFL’s stubbornness. “It’s crazy.”
For more on Brady’s situation, check the It Is What It Is blog.
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