|07.28.15 at 7:22 pm ET|
In just the second year of his major league career, the catcher was behind the plate for Martinez’s second start as a member of the Red Sox against the Angels on April 6, 1998. When he pitched in Game 3 of the 2004 World Series for his final Red Sox start, Varitek caught that too.
“You look back and it’s just an opportunity,” he said. “I was so young … it was the most memorable moments that I had to do behind the plate. You don’t appreciate how good someone is until you play your entire career and you don’t really see it again.”
“He had the physical tools with an exploding fastball, location of it, the ability to change speeds, a devastating changeup developed into the same curveball,” Varitek added. “He had plus pitches across the board, but that only goes so far unless you have the competitiveness and the heart that he had when he pitched, and it made him who he was.”
He was emotional when Martinez gave his Hall of Fame induction speech Sunday, sitting in front of the television for three and a half hours so he wouldn’t miss a thing.
“You just kept waiting, waiting, waiting, and he took the stage, but it showed what heart he has for both the United States and for his home, the Dominican …” Varitek said. “I’m just so proud and happy for him. It’s his moment, his time and so well deserved.”
There isn’t a whole lot of space on the right field deck for very many retired numbers, and that, to Varitek, speaks volumes of just how big it really is to have No. 45 go up there Tuesday night.
“It’s huge,” he said. “I mean you look on that board, and there’s only a few, there’s only room for a few [numbers], and deservedly so that Pedro’s is going to go right up there with them.”
|07.28.15 at 5:31 pm ET|
It’s no secret there will be more Red Sox players traded in the coming days.
With the Red Sox 13 games back of the Yankees in the AL East and 12 games below .500, there will be some movement as the team begins to shift its focus towards 2016.
Manager John Farrell noted there is a little different feel than last year, as there were many names rumored in trade talks — notably Jon Lester. There isn’t that one premier player or rumor this year.
“The difference between this year and last year is I think you see a lot of rumors surrounding individual names, precipitating in trades,” Farrell said. “That rumor hasn’t been nearly as strong surrounding guys last year. It is that time of year. Guys are fully aware that the deadline is fast approaching. I don’t think it’s as prevalent in the minds of the guys here and the lack of that rumor. If there’s anything that is kind of leaning that way, we try and give guys a heads up as best possible, but that’s not the case.”
One player who has been rumored in trades after Shane Victorino was dealt yesterday is Mike Napoli. After struggling much of the season, the first baseman has turned it around of late. Over his last 10 games he’s hitting .355.
“It’s something that’s out of my control,” Napoli said of possibly being dealt. “I come here, work hard every day to get myself better. Go out there, play hard and try to help us win that day. It’s something I don’t really think about. I come here and get my work in and do what I can.”
The Red Sox first baseman did speak of how much he loves Boston, but didn’t want to get into much about how sad he would be if traded.
“I don’t know. I guess I’ll answer that if it happens,” he said. “I love this place. I bought a place here, I live here. Love this city, love the people here. I’ve really enjoyed it. If that time comes, I’ll touch on my thoughts then.”
With the Victorino trade on Monday, Farrell himself admitted it says the team is focusing now on the future. The manager didn’t want to get into what that would mean for the team overall until after Friday’s deadline has passed.
“I think it’s probably best we get through these next few days,” Farrell said. “It’s kind of a mark on the calendar that you — I think there are some things that are obvious and if it affects an individual then that’s when a sit down 1-on-1 comes down a little more regularly.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|07.28.15 at 4:53 pm ET|
It’s clear the Red Sox need to add to their bullpen and they got that process started Tuesday.
The Red Sox claimed right-handed pitcher Jean Machi off waivers from the Giants and to make room for him on the 40-man roster, Clay Buchholz (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
The expectation even before the transfer to the 60-day DL was that Buchholz would pitch in September. He is eligible to return Sept. 9.
“Yeah, once the PRP injection was had, that was adding some time,” manager John Farrell said. “Now when you start to map out the down time following the injection, the initial flat ground throwing program, the mound progression, rehab starts, we’re into September.”
Farrell still expects Buchholz to pitch again this season and wants him to as a positive note heading into next season.
“Still [do], and I think it would be important for all involved to go into the offseason with some game activity under his belt,” he said. “I think that would give some peace of mind to Clay going into the offseason as well as everyone else.”
Machi was designated for assignment on July 20. In 33 outings for the Giants this season, all in relief, he went 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA and 22 strikeouts, making 23 scoreless appearances.
“An opportunity to take a look at a guy that will pitch out of the middle for us,” Farrell said. “We know it’s been about eight days since he’s been designated so there’s a little bit of time here where we’ve got to get back on the mound. Someone who has had two strong years prior to this one. Like I said, it’s an opportunity to take a look at someone.”
In 122 appearances between 2013 and 2014, the first two full seasons of his major league career, the native of Venezuela ranked 10th among National League relievers (min. 100.0 IP) with a combined 2.49 ERA.
Farrell said he didn’t have any reports as to why there was a dip in numbers this season.
“I don’t have a whole lot of reports,” he said. “I was first made aware of it last night that we had some interest. When the waiver period expired today we were awarded the claim. I don’t have any specifics as to why performance is down from the last two years.”
|07.28.15 at 3:34 pm ET|
Though manager John Farrell said Brock Holt would likely be back in the lineup Tuesday after hyperextending his knee on Sunday, the utility man will get another day off when the Red Sox play Game 2 of their series with the White Sox.
Alejandro De Aza, who entered Monday night’s game as a pinch hitter, will occupy the two-spot in the lineup to face Chicago righty Jeff Samardzija. The right fielder is 5-for-25 over his last 10 games and hasn’t recorded an extra-base hit since July 2.
Blake Swihart will be behind the plate to catch Wade Miley.
For an extensive look at Tuesday’s matchups, click here.
Here is a complete look at the Red Sox lineup:
|07.28.15 at 1:05 pm ET|
According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the Phillies are notifying teams with interest in lefty Cole Hamels that they would like to receive their best offers by Wednesday. Hamels is scheduled to start Thursday, but there’s a chance he is dealt before then. Friday is the non-waiver trade deadline.
Hamels is fresh off his no-hitter against the Cubs last Saturday. For the season, the 31-year-old is 6-7 with a 3.64 ERA.
|07.28.15 at 9:41 am ET|
With the trade deadline looming, teams are scrambling to get deals done towards a rebuild or a playoff push.
The Mets added Tyler Clippard from the Athletics on Monday according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. Mets beat writer Adam Rubin said the Mets had been trying to package Clippard with Ben Zobrist, but they were able to work out a deal with the Braves for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, negating the need for Zobrist.
Zobrist will be the next Athletics player dealt according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. His reported destinations could be the Royals and Nationals.
Interest heated up significantly for Padres star closer Craig Kimbrel on Monday, with the Nationals, Blue Jays and Astros emerging as the front-runners to land him according to Heyman. Rosenthal reported later on Monday that the Nationals are the “hottest” team after Kimbrel.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Monday that the Dodgers would be willing to move Yasiel Puig “in the right deal.” The much-maligned outfielder has been the subject of speculation after reports emerged of his outcast label in the Dodger locker room. He’s slashed just .253/.327/.423 in 217 plate appearances this year as he’s been bothered by a nagging hamstring injury.
Tuesday’s starter for the White Sox against the Red Sox, Jeff Samardzija, has been the subject of trade rumors for a second consecutive season. Nightengale reported late Monday night that the White Sox are waiting to see where they stand after this series to decide whether to move Samardzija. According to Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago, the Blue Jays have shown the strongest interest in the longtime Cub.
The Padres have inquired with the Cubs about shortstop Starlin Castro according to Jon Morosi and Rosenthal. Meanwhile, Rosenthal also reported that the Cubs have discussed highly sought after Padres starter Tyson Ross. Ross have drawn interest from the Blue Jays, Astros, Dodgers and Rangers as well, according to Heyman.
In the latest on Cole Hamels, the Astros are reportedly “making a big push” to land the Phillies southpaw according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Crasnick also reports that the Diamondbacks have “reached out to the Phillies to express their interest.” The Astros and the D-Backs join a laundry list of clubs that includes the Dodgers and Rangers who have pitched a package to acquire Hamels.
|07.28.15 at 9:20 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (41-61): Scheduled off day. Next action Tuesday vs. Norfolk (Orioles)
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (39-64): L, 3-2, vs. Trenton (Yankees)
— Mike Augliera suffered the loss Monday after allowing the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. The right-hander pitched three innings of relief, allowing one walk and no hits. Augliera has started 17 games for Portland this season and made two relief appearances. He is 2-14 with a 5.68 ERA.
— Left-hander Danny Rosenbaum made his fourth start in a Portland uniform, allowing two earned runs on 10 hits in four innings of work. He walked one and struck out three. Rosenbaum has pitched 13 innings over his four starts and has an 0-2 record and a 6.92 ERA.
— The Portland offense posted nine hits Monday, led by Mike Miller. The third baseman had the only multi-hit game for the Sea Dogs, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Miller is hitting .272 with nine doubles, two triples, one home run and 12 RBIs in 39 games for Portland this season.
— Center fielder Manuel Margot went 1-for-4 with a double to extend his current hitting streak to six games. Second baseman Carlos Asuaje extended his hitting streak to five games, going 1-for-4 and scoring a run.
|07.28.15 at 8:36 am ET|
Miley has quickly asserted himself as the Red Sox‘ most consistent pitcher in the wake of Clay Buchholz‘s injury. Since the All-Star break, he’s been downright dominant, tossing 13 innings while giving up just one run on five hits. Opponents are slashing a pitiful .119/.245/.238 over this stretch.
In his most recent start last Thursday against the Astros, Miley went six innings, allowing five walks and four hits but holding Houston to one run, a solo homer off the bat of Marwin Gonzalez. Miley wasn’t particularly economical Thursday, as he tossed 107 pitches and just 55 of them were for strikes, but he logged a season-high 16 swinging strikes. Though he staved off disaster, Miley admitted the start could have gone even better.
“I felt all right,” he said after the game, a 5-4 Red Sox loss. “I didn’t have the command I would have hoped you have. But I stuck with Hani [catcher Ryan Hanigan] and we made a lot of pitches, offspeed pitches, and got through it.”
For the season, Miley is 8-8 with a 4.33 ERA. The southpaw is 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA since his dugout outburst on June 11 and has lowered his ERA by a half-run over that span as well. He may have career lows in walks per nine (3.5) and strikeouts per nine (6.5), but he has found a way to adapt of late.
|07.28.15 at 1:00 am ET|
If you thought Johnny Cueto to the Royals was stunning, wait until you hear this one — Troy Tulowitzki is headed to Toronto.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports, the Blue Jays have acquired the power-hitting five-time All-Star shortstop for shortstop Jose Reyes and a package of unidentified minor leaguers.
Tulowitzki, long considered the face of the Rockies, joins a loaded Blue Jays offense that’s already the best in baseball. He’s hitting .300 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs. He’s also signed through 2020, thanks to the six-year, $118 million extension that kicked in this season.
According to Rosenthal, Tulowitzki will receive a $2 million assignment bonus and receive full no-trade protection with the Jays. The 30-year-old is a lifetime .299 hitter with 188 homers and 656 RBIs. He’s also an outstanding defensive shortstop, with two Gold Gloves to his name.
The Jays still have problems on the pitching side they must address, but for now, even at the cost of Reyes, their imposing offense just got a lot stronger.
The Jays will also receive 42-year-old reliever LaTroy Hawkins, the oldest player in baseball, in the deal.
|07.28.15 at 12:48 am ET|
Shane Victorino had a vital presence in the Red Sox clubhouse all for three seasons he spent with Boston, even during the last two he saw minimal playing time in due to nagging injuries — that was the well-respected type of leader he was.
Although his Red Sox teammates know being traded is part of the business, it’s still hard seeing a player they like so much leave.
“He was a great guy,” pitcher Justin Masterson said. “Gave us some great stuff. Brought a lot of energy, from Hawaii. It was just fun to have him around. It will be tough seeing him go, selfishly. But in one sense for him, we’re kind of struggling here and he’s going to a place that is in first place.”
“Shane is a guy I played against for a long time with the Phillies, with the Red Sox. A valuable clubhouse guy,” catcher Ryan Hanigan added. “One of the best right fielders in the game. A good friend of mine and it’s tough. It’s part of this business obviously, but he’s going to missed I’m sure by the city of Boston. Anaheim is getting a good guy, for sure.”
Even though the right fielder was hitting .245 playing in 33 of 100 games due to injury this season, he was still a player most in the clubhouse looked up to.
Victorino will now play for his fourth career team. He spent his rookie season with the Padres, the next eight with the Phillies, before 53 games with the Dodgers in 2012 after being traded, followed by his last three years in Boston.
Masterson has been traded at the deadline a few times, so he knows what it’s like. The pitcher said it can be tough at first, but as a player you love being traded to a contender.
“It feels great,” Masterson said of being traded to a first-place team. “Once everything is set and done, you get to your spot, it feels great. But, it’s also hard because you have a lot of good things going on. He’d been here for a few years, have some nice things, [you’re] comfortable. Things that no matter where you go it’s hard to build those back up. That will be tough and hard on him. I love him so I wish him the best.”
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