|07.30.15 at 4:55 pm ET|
The Red Sox made a few roster moves prior to Thursday’s series finale with the White Sox, primarily to help the depleted Red Sox bullpen due to three consecutive poor starts by Red Sox starting pitching.
Daniel Nava was designated for assignment and left-hander Tommy Layne was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket. The corresponding moves had Jonathan Aro recalled and reliever Jean Machi activated after the Sox claimed him earlier in the week off waivers.
“We needed the space to get two fresh arms here,” manager John Farrell said. “Unfortunately for Daniel, whose story is an incredible one, the path that he’s traveled, there were some extended period of success for him here, but as opportunity diminished and the productivity was inconsistent the decision to designate him to make room was made.”
Nava was hitting .152 in 29 games with the Red Sox this season. He battled a thumb injury for most of the season, which Farrell said had an impact on his performance. Nava’s story is a unique one as he didn’t even make his college team at Santa Clara University. The Red Sox paid Nava’s Independent Ball team $1 for his rights back in 2007.
The switch-hitter made his major league debut in 2010 and became the fourth player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in his first major league at bat and the second to do it on the first pitch.
Things have gone downhill for him following the 2013 season where he hit .303 and played a major part in the Red Sox winning the World Series. Last season he hit .270 overall, but this was after spending time in Triple-A. Then this year, it’s been a struggle, partly because of the thumb.
“There were a couple of things,” Farrell said of his struggles. “I think at the beginning of ’14 there was some fundamental differences that maybe had him with a little bit more of an uphill path that when he went down to Pawtucket he was able to correct and came back last year and had a solid second half of the year for us. This year I thought he maintained some of those fundamental changes, but yet the production wasn’t there. As a result the opportunities started to diminish. There’s no question the thumb (injury) had an effect on his ability to repeat his swing. Those things combined never really allowed him to stay on track and him be the consistent hitter he was in 2013.”
|07.30.15 at 3:17 pm ET|
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup with Steven Wright going for the hosts:
|07.30.15 at 1:33 pm ET|
The Blue Jays, sitting two games out of the American League‘s second wild card spot at 51-51, have made their intentions clear. They are going for it.
Going to the Tigers in exchange for the soon-to-be 30-year-old Price will be top Blue Jays pitching prospect Daniel Norris. Also reportedly included in the deal will be Jays minor league pitchers Jairo Labourt and Matt Boyd. The completion of the trade is pending a physical.
While Tulowitzki was acquired to be part of the Jays’ foundation for years to come — under club control through 2021 — Price is a pure rental for the remainder of the 2015 season. He will be eligible for free agency at the end of this year.
It is the second straight year Price has been dealt at the non-waiver trade deadline, with the Tigers having acquired the lefty in a three-team trade with the Rays and Mariners.
Price continues to be dominant, posting a 2.53 ERA in 21 starts this season.
For more on the deal, and the prospects surrendered by the Blue Jays for Price, click here.
|07.30.15 at 10:23 am ET|
As the trade deadline gets closer and closer teams are beginning to make their final efforts to get things done before Friday’s deadline.
— The Pirates acquired pitcher Joe Blanton from the Royals on Wednesday for cash considerations.
— It was an interesting night Wednesday as a trade between the Mets and Brewers that involved Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez going to New York in exchange for pitcher Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores reportedly was going to happen until it fell through at the last minute.
Flores, who began crying on the field when he was informed of the trade, likely via a player who saw on social media, learned later that things had fallen through when Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said “there is no trade.” MLB.com reported the Mets backed out because of concerns with Gomez’s right hip, which he’s had soreness throughout the season.
— According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “a high-ranking executive who spoke to Tigers twice this week says he’d be shocked if the Tigers don’t move David Price by Friday” and Buster Olney said later on Wednesday that the Cubs, Giants, Yankees, Giants, Dodgers and Astros could be in on the pitcher.
Now that Hamels is gone, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman wrote the Yankees will talk to the Tigers about Price, though they are not necessarily considered a favorite to get him. New York had turned down a trade for Hamels when the Phillies asked for two of their top prospects in Luis Severino and Aaron Judge.
— The Tigers are also listening on closer Joakim Soria and former Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and could field offers for their other impending free agents, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. They will likely focus on Price, Cespedes and Soria though, Stark wrote.
|07.30.15 at 9:15 am ET|
A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (42-62): L, 2-0, vs. Norfolk (Orioles)
— LHP Henry Owens (Boston’s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) once again pitched well enough to win, but without run support took the loss (3-8, 3.16 ERA) with a final line of: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO (97 pitches, 64 strikes). In Owens’ seven losses this season, Pawtucket has scored a combined six runs.
The lone run charged to Owens Wednesday came after an RBI double in the second inning, with a single and passed ball charged to catcher Humberto Quintero preceding the run. Owens, 23, retired 13 of the final 17 batters he faced, with two of those that reached doing so via errors on the PawSox infield.
The 36th overall selection in the 2011 draft, Owens has thrown quality starts in eight out of his past nine outings, giving him an ERA of 2.85 (20 ER/63 IP) over that span with 54 strikeouts to 18 walks. In 2014 Owens went 17-5 over 26 starts split between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket, with an ERA of 2.94.
— RHP Pat Light (Boston’s No. 24 prospect at MLB.com) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, getting a double play to end the seventh after RHP Dayan Diaz had allowed a double and walked three batters. Light stayed on for the eighth and retired the side in order, striking out two. Light, 24, now has scoreless appearances in three of his last four after a rough stretch of eight outings that saw his ERA rise to 8.74. The 37th overall selection in the 2012 draft, Light had a terrific start to the year in Portland with 32 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings over 21 appearances before his promotion.
— The PawSox offense was held to just five hits, with DH Garin Cecchini (Boston’s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com), shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston’s No. 7 prospect at MLB.com), and center fielder Quintin Berry each reaching base twice (each with a single and a walk). Pawtucket was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and the team fell to 4-20 in July.
— Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was promoted to Boston with Mookie Betts heading to the disabled list. In 71 games in Triple-A Bradley has slashed .305/.382/.472, with five home runs in July to bring his season total to nine.
Infielder Mike Miller was reassigned from Portland back to Pawtucket, and catcher Matt Spring was added off the temporary inactive list.
|07.30.15 at 8:58 am ET|
The knuckleballer Wright has amassed a 3-4 record and 4.78 ERA this season in 13 appearances. He has made six starts for the Red Sox and also pitched out of the bullpen. His ERA is perhaps artificially low, considering his 5.45 FIP. Wright has totaled a WHIP of 1.329.
Wright is one of a handful of Red Sox pitchers to have their roles shift numerous times throughout the 2015 season. Due to unimpressive results from the likes of Justin Masterson and Joe Kelly, as well as the injury to Clay Buchholz, spots have opened up in the rotation at various points in the season.Wright spent a month with Triple-A Pawtucket before being called up and reintroduced to the rotation against the Angels on July 20. He got the loss in the contest, allowing six runs over five innings pitched.
In his most recent start, Wright got another loss, this coming at the hands of the Tigers on Saturday. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits. He and catcher Blake Swihart had trouble connecting with the knuckleball, as Swihart allowed four passed balls.
“I thought he had some decent violence to the pitch,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Wright. “Then there were a few that he left up in the strike zone, particularly to [Yoenis] Cespedes and [Jose] Iglesias for two of the extra-base hits. Where Blake has handled him relatively cleanly in his previous starts, he had difficulty with receiving him clean today, which allowed [runners] to advance 90 feet on a couple of occasions. Felt like where we were in the order in the fifth inning, needed to try and get a ground ball double play and Ramirez gets out of the inning with no further damage, but probably not as consistent of a knuckleball we’ve seen from Steven previously.”
|07.30.15 at 3:04 am ET|
The mystery regarding where Cole Hamels might end up has been solved. And it should be no surprise that his new landing spot isn’t with the Red Sox.
The 31-year-old lefty was traded from the Phillies to the Rangers Wednesday night in an eight-player deal. Heading to Texas will be Hamels, reliever Jake Diekman and $9.5 million. In return, Philadelphia receives veteran pitcher Matt Harrison along with pitching prospects Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, and outfield prospect Nick Williams.
Thompson and Alfaro are considered two of the top 50 prospects in the game according to Baseball America. The Rangers didn’t, however, have to part with their top prospect, Joey Gallo, whom — according to a major league source — the Phillies stopped asking for early on in the negotiations.
The Rangers weren’t one of the 20 teams Hamels had the right to veto a trade to. According to sources, the belief in recent days was that the Phillies were steering negotiations toward any of the nine teams not on the pitcher’s no-trade list who were showing significant interest.
With the Red Sox on Hamels’ no-trade list, sources confirmed that the organization didn’t view itself as a serious contender for the pitcher’s services in the days prior to Wednesday’s trade. Houston, which also had significant interest in the pitcher, found itself in a similar position as the Red Sox.
The Dodgers, who were not on Hamels’ no-trade list, were believed to be the Rangers’ most serious competitor for the southpaw’s services.
Hamels will be paid $82.1 million through the 2018 season, with a team/vesting $20 million option for ’19.
|07.29.15 at 11:03 pm ET|
First innings have become the Red Sox‘ worst nightmare of late. For the third consecutive game, they gave up at least two runs in the initial frame, harpooning their chances the rest of the way.
The misery may have begun in the first, but it didn’t end until just after 11 p.m. Wednesday when the White Sox sealed their 9-2 victory. The Red Sox now have dropped the first three games of their four-game set with Chicago, and 13 of their last 16 dating back to July 10.
It didn’t take long for the White Sox to get started, as Adam Eaton planted his fourth leadoff home run of the season just inside the Pesky Pole on the sixth pitch of the game. Four batters later, Adam LaRoche lined a shot off the Monster sending Melky Cabrera to third and resigning Red Sox starter Rick Porcello to a troublesome, but manageable scoring threat. However, on the throw in to second from left fielder Hanley Ramirez, super-utility man Brock Holt missed the short hop and with no backup to be found, allowed Cabrera to cross home plate easily, spotting the White Sox a 2-0 advantage right from the get-go.
A 2-0 deficit quickly ballooned to 5-0 in the second inning. After retiring two of the first three batters he faced during the frame, Porcello allowed three consecutive base-knocks, leading to two more Chicago runs. By the end of the inning, the right-hander had loaded the bases with a walk and hit LaRoche, sending the game further out of reach.
“Some of the mechanical issues that I’ve had in the past this year kind of came back tonight,” Porcello said. “You get out there in the heat of the moment and all you’re thinking about is competing and doing whatever you can do to get out of that situation.”
Leading off the next inning, Alexei Ramirez mashed a shot over the wall in left after falling behind on an 0-2 count to Porcello. A double and a single later, and Red Sox manager John Farrell indulged the crowd, yanking his starter.
Following 4-0 and 5-0 first-inning deficits overseen by Joe Kelly and Wade Miley, respectively, the Red Sox certainly hoped for a better showing from Porcello. Coming into the game with a 2.50 ERA and a .641 opponent OPS over his last three starts, he was knocked around early and often in his 200th career start. Holt’s error started his night off on a sour note and he never bounced back.
“I had a bad game,” Porcello said. “I elevated some pitches, fell behind some guys, [had] a couple walks, put some runners on base [which] put me in some tough spots and I didn’t recover.”
|07.29.15 at 9:41 pm ET|
Sandoval went 0-for-1 with a walk before being replaced in the top of the sixth by new infielder Josh Rutledge. The game-time temperature was 91 degrees.
Sandoval had a rough night before departing. After walking to lead off the third, he was waved home on a double by Ryan Hanigan, but thrown out in a bang-bang play at home plate by a relay from right fielder Avisail Garcia to second baseman Carlos Sanchez to catcher Tyler Flowers.
“During the game,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell when asked about when the dehydration set in. “Whether or not going first to home was a contributing factor to that, he was past the 45-foot mark when the ball was picked up in right-center field and you think you’re in pretty good shape to score there. The weather, possibly the first to home, I first became aware of it when he came out.”
He also continued to show limited range at third base, particularly on a Carlos Sanchez double that contributed to a three-run second inning.
“You know, that’s something that Pablo’s dealt with his entire career,” said Farrell regarding Sandoval’s conditioning. “It continues to be addressed. I can’t say tonight is a direct result of that but there are ongoing efforts to support that, to try to get him in the best shape possible.”
Sandoval, signed to a five-year, $95 million contract in the offseason, is now hitting .262.
|07.29.15 at 5:19 pm ET|
In the wake of a crushing fall over the right field fence during Tuesday night’s 9-4 loss to the White Sox, Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts will be placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
According to manager John Farrell, the 22-year-old underwent extensive testing after the game, all of which ruled out further injury.
“[Betts] has been placed on the seven-day concussion DL,” Farrell said. “Obviously, it was confirmed, consistent with the symptoms last night and the further testing, it’s clear he’s got a concussion. The timetable for this is unknown, but every available test to rule out anything else, from the upper back to the neck and obviously to the skull, all that was performed, and everything else was ruled out other than the fact that he’s got a concussion.”
With Betts sidelined, the Red Sox called up outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to assume a starting role in his absence.
“This is an opportunity for Jackie and for us to see him in a game situation,” Farrell said.
As the Red Sox head into their weekend series with the Rays, Farrell announced that the rotation would not change. However, he did hint at the possibility of a call-up in the near future for blue-chip left-handed pitching prospect Henry Owens.
“We’re going to stay on turn through the weekend,” Farrell said. “Monday being an off-day we’ve got the ability to adjust going forward, but as we’re taking a look at Jackie [Bradley Jr.], our goal and our intent is to see Brian Johnson and probably Henry Owens at some point, so all that is on the horizon.”
Farrell also addressed Joe Kelly’s precarious position in the rotation with less than a full vote of confidence. When asked if Kelly would remain in the rotation, Farrell responded by saying, “For now.”
Bradley Jr. is not the only recent arrival expected to get recurring reps. Rusney Castillo will also see regular at-bats going forward.
“We’ll look to put the best matchups on the field as we can right now,” Farrell said. “There’s going to come a point where every day at-bats for Rusney will be there, against both [Jose] Quintana and [Chris] Sale, two tall orders. He’s got those the next two nights, but Rusney’s going to get regular at-bats.”
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