|07.20.16 at 1:34 pm ET|
Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen joined the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria show on Wednesday to discuss the team’s latest injured player and new starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz. To hear the interview, visit the OM&F on demand audio page.
In Tuesday night’s 4-0 win over the Giants, relief pitcher Koji Uehara came out of the game after throwing just seven pitches with an apparent pectoral strain. It is unclear yet when Uehara, 41, will be able to play again, meaning that Hazen and the Red Sox front office may have to make another move for a reliever.
“We’re going to get a better look at Koji this afternoon,” Uehara said. “Never really a good time after the game to get the best read on an injury. We usually like to let 24 or so hours set in before we can get a full handle on what we’re dealing with, hopefully its nothing overly serious.”
Added Hazen: “As far as what we do moving forward, I think there’s a couple of ways to look at it. One, we’re going to be opportunistic and continue to look at the trade market. I think one of the benefits to what we did early in terms of the aggressiveness, allows us to really survey the market and watch what else is going on, and allows us to continue to watch the team and see if there are other needs. I do think we feel pretty good about the bullpen as a whole. … I feel as a whole that the group the way we look at it is in a pretty good position. Our starters are working deeper into games, I think it’s really helped from a workload standpoint, it’s allowed [manager John Farrell] to more cherry pick where he’s going to use guys, and that’s always beneficial. We’ll see how it goes over the next seven or eight days or so, I do think overall, when you talk about getting [reliever Junichi Tazawa] back and you talk about getting [close Craig Kimbrel] back, we feel pretty good about the group. But there’s always room to improve the club. We’ll never sit here and not say that, given where we’re at.”
The team’s most recent move resulted in bringing in starting left-hander Drew Pomeranz from San Diego. Pomeranz was named an All-Star and holds a 2.47 ERA, but his workload capability is a concern. He has never pitched more than 100 innings in his five-year career until this season.
“We’re mindful of everybody’s workload,” Hazen said. “Certainly year over year is one way we look at it, outing to outing, number of pitches, how hard they have to work, we’re going to be mindful of that as we move forward. But that’s no different than all the other guys that start for us, or even the bullpen guys. We’re always conscious of the workload, we have every reason to believe he’s going to be there for us all the way through. I don’t think he’s pitched in the playoffs, so anybody who’s stepping into October for the first time … you need to be mindful for those things. It looks that the way the division is shaking out right now it may go down to the last day. Hopefully if you continue to play well and you can create some separation somehow someway, those are some of the benefits that you may have going into September where you can really monitor those things. You’re not always afforded that luxury, and if it goes down to the wire … you’re just going to have to deal with it when it comes. That’s where depth shows up again, and it’s something we’re going to have to be mindful of moving forward.”
|07.20.16 at 12:30 pm ET|
On Wednesday night, Drew Pomeranz will make his first start for the Red Sox after being acquired in a trade with the Padres. On Wednesday morning, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane to discuss the new hurler. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. To read Schilling’s criticism of owner John Henry, check the Full Count blog.
Schilling, who twice was traded during a season, said there is a rush of emotion when joining a new team.
“Incredibly exciting. A lot of adrenaline,” Schilling said, before cautioning: “Don’t judge [Pomeranz] by anything tonight. I was always exhilarated doing it because you move up in the standings for the most part, you don’t know that he can move much farther in the standings than he just moved. I like the deal. I kind of watched him throw a little bit after everything, the only number that concerns me is I think he has 257 innings outside of Coors Field, he’s walked 98 guys, which is not a good number. I would like to see that sink a little bit. He’s got some mechanical issues, slight ones. But big body lefty. He’s going to be fired up. I love the trade.”
The Red Sox had to give up one of their most highly rated prospects, Single-A pitcher Anderson Espinoza, but Schilling said he’s OK with it.
“Listen, if you win a World Series you don’t care, and that’s what they’re trying to do,” Schilling said. “You hate to see prospects go places, but they’re prospects. And anytime you can make that big league roster a little better to win a World Series without moving any of the 25 guys on it, I think it’s a good thing.”
Despite the Pomeranz trade, Schilling said the Sox will need to make another move to sure up their chances of winning the World Series.
“I think it’s a great trade if it’s not the last one. I still think they’ve got to make another move,” Schilling said. “Before last night I was thinking another starter, but the bullpen thing is starting to be pretty serious. But if you have to go get relievers at the deadline you’re in a good place, because everybody’s got them and everybody trades them. … The only reason that I would hesitate to say, ‘Oh my God, they can’t do this,’ is if you’ve watched over the last couple of years — Ned Yost somehow fumbled his way to a ring, which still boggles my mind — but with bullpens. You remember the Rangers and the Cardinals, [Tony] La Russa bringing in guys. It was almost like teams couldn’t wait until they get to the fifth or sixth innings to go the bullpens. But I don’t think that that’s this bullpen.”
Schilling also came out in defense of John Farrell, who has been criticized after Koji Uehara was injured while pitching in a non-save situation Tuesday night (“I wouldn’t expect to see [Uehara] back for quite a long time,” Schilling said).
“There’s too many intangibles, too many variables that I don’t know,” Schilling said of why Uehara was in the game. “Maybe he needed an inning. I don’t know the reasoning or the logic. I think it’s dangerous to play that game, because again, you don’t know what was going on, what John was thinking. Like I said, maybe Koji wanted an inning; maybe they were working on something, I don’t know. But that’s a bad injury.”
|07.20.16 at 11:08 am ET|
Here is a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (51-46): W, 4-2, at Toledo (Tigers)
— Catcher Christian Vazquez’s bat was red hot Tuesday night. The 25-year-old was 3-for-4 with a three-run home run and two runs scored. Vazquez was sent down to Pawtucket on July 5 after hitting .226/.278/.305 in 51 games in the big leagues. Since being demoted, Vazquez has been hitting .295/.415/.409 in 13 games.
— Starter Justin Haley pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs, 10 hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The 25-year-old right-hander is 3-3 with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in seven games (six starts) with the PawSox. Haley has been with Pawtucket since June 17, when he was promoted from Portland.
— In relief of Haley, Robby Scott pitched two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit with two strikeouts. Following Scott, Roman Mendez came into the ninth inning to throw five pitches and get the save.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (35-60): L, 3-2, at Trenton (Yankees)
— Mitch Atkins recorded his sixth quality start of the season, pitching six innings and allowing two runs, three hits and two walks with six strikeouts. In 21 games (12 starts), Atkins is 2-4 with a 5.15 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.
— Andrew Benintendi and Nate Freiman each went 2-for-4. In the sixth inning with Mauricio Dubon on base, Benintendi hit an RBI triple to center field. Freiman then hit a single to left to score Benintendi. Freiman is hitting .271/.341/.453 in 53 games, while Benintendi is hitting .282/.346/.487 in 52 games.
HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (56-38): W, 1-0 in 11 innings, vs. Potomac (Nationals)
— With one out in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 11th inning, Rafael Devers and Nick Longhi hit back-to-back doubles to win the game. Longhi has the second most doubles on the team with 23 and Devers is third on the team with 22. Devers finished the game 3-for-5 with two doubles and Longhi went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.
— Left-hander Matt Kent threw eight scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks (one intentional) with eight strikeouts. Kent reached career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts. Kent was the first Salem pitcher since Teddy Stankiewicz on May 25, 2015, to throw eight full innings. The 23-year-old is 8-4 in 17 starts with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP.
— Jamie Callahan picked up the win after pitching three scoreless innings of relief and allowing just one hit while recording three strikeouts. In 23 games this season Callahan is 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (48-45): No game scheduled.
— Greenville wills start a three-game series at Greensboro (Marlins) on Wednesday night.
SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (19-13): L, 4-2, vs. State College (Cardinals)
— Brian Johnson made his second rehab start in Lowell on Tuesday. Johnson threw six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and one walk with six strikeouts. In Johnson’s two rehab starts he has not allowed an earned run and only seven hits in 11 innings pitched.
— Chris Madera and Carlos Tovar each went 2-for-4, while Robby Scott and Andy Perez each drove home a run.
|07.20.16 at 10:11 am ET|
It’s not news that Curt Schilling has some hard feelings toward Red Sox ownership, but during his weekly appearance Wednesday on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, the former Sox pitcher did not hold back regarding his opinion of John Henry, calling the team’s principal owner “a dummy” and criticizing him for meddling in baseball affairs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. To read more from the interview, including Schilling’s thoughts on Drew Pomeranz and the Republican National Convention, check the Full Count blog.
Schilling, who had an acrimonious departure from the team after sitting out the 2008 season with a shoulder injury, was discussing the Red Sox’ offseason signing of the underperforming David Price when he opined of Henry, “I think he’s a dummy.”
“Not a fan,” Schilling added, promising he’d reveal more at a later date. “That’s a story for another time. … There’ll be a time and a place for that whole story, but we’ll figure it out.”
Asked to clarify, Schilling said: “Dummy’s a very … it’s not strong enough. The thing about it is this is a group of guys that meddle. Your question about whether [the Red Sox] are done [making trades] or not has everything to do with what John Henry feels [about] his team — whether Dave [Dombrowski] feels it that way or not, John is a guy [who] has proven time and time again to be involved.”
Schilling said he doesn’t know if Dombrowski, in his second year as the team’s president of baseball operations, is comfortable and/or forceful enough where he would tell Henry to butt out if he interfered too much.
“I feel like Dave is in a point in time and took the job because he was going to get to do his own thing. I don’t think that’s ever been true under Mr. Henry,” Schilling said. “I can see him saying, ‘You know what, you go sit in your office and count your money and I’ll fix the team.’ ”
Added Schilling: “Listen, they work together. And I’m not creating an adversarial relationship where there might not be one. But Dave Dombrowski’s been around a long time. And he’s been successful. And he’s got an incredibly good reputation. And I’ve never heard him complain about an ownership group, and he probably wouldn’t do that here.
“But I know the other side of that coin. I know this group. I know what they’re like, and they’ve always been the way they are. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because they’ve paid for a championship a couple of times, and that’s not a bad thing. But it’s got to be tough.
“Listen, Theo [Epstein] left. For what reason? We all followed that. We know why he left here. Maybe it’s changed, I don’t know.”
|07.20.16 at 8:26 am ET|
Recently acquired starter Drew Pomeranz will get his first chance in a Red Sox uniform on Wednesday when the Sox take on the Giants to close out a two-game series at Fenway. Pomeranz will match up against veteran righty Matt Cain.
Pomeranz, who was traded to Boston from San Diego on Friday for pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, is 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. The 27-year-old left-hander was named an All-Star and hasn’t lost since June 14. In his last start on July 7, Pomeranz threw seven shutout innings in a 6-0 win over the Dodgers. He let up just two hits and struck out six.
“Pomeranz used his curve a lot more, threw cut fastballs in to righties, elevated the fastball late in counts,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He got us earlier this year, pretty much the same. He’s had a really nice first half. We couldn’t get any momentum.”
Pomeranz has had nine outings against the Giants in his five-year career, recording a 1-4 record with a 4.54 ERA. He faced San Francisco on May 23 of this year, pitching seven innings of shutout ball in a 1-0 Padres loss. He struck out and walked four.
|07.19.16 at 10:50 pm ET|
The Red Sox shut out the Giants, 4-0, at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, but the victory did not come without a cost.
Interim closer Koji Uehara, thrust back into the role by Craig Kimbrel’s knee surgery, left the game in the ninth after throwing just one pitch to the second batter he faced. He left the game with what manager John Farrell described as a strained right pectoral and will be reevaluated on Wednesday. It’s too soon to say how long he will be out.
“I’m just praying that it’s not that serious,” Uehara said through translator C.J. Matsumoto.
Uehara entered with a four-run lead because Farrell likes giving him clean innings and didn’t want to have to bring him in with runners on base if another reliever got into trouble. Uehara hadn’t pitched since saving a victory over the Yankees on July 16.
He struck out Brandon Belt leading off the ninth, but threw just one pitch to catcher Buster Posey before motioning toward the dugout while pointing to his chest. He was replaced by Tommy Layne.
“It’s just some soreness that I feel,” Uehara said. “I thought it was just soreness. Muscle soreness. It’s the first time [he had felt it.]”
Uehara added that he “wasn’t surprised” to be pitching in a four-run game.
Joe Kelly, who struck out the side in an inning at Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, would be a logical candidate to replace Uehara in the pen, with newly acquired Brad Ziegler becoming the closer, though it’s possible Uehara’s injury isn’t serious and he’ll only miss a day or two.
|07.19.16 at 9:53 pm ET|
All the Red Sox needed Tuesday night against the Giants were two swings of the bat.
Brock Holt’s solo home run in the third inning followed by David Ortiz’s three-run home run the following inning would be more than enough for Red Sox starter Rick Porcello as the Red Sox beat the Giants, 4-0 Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
With two outs in the third, Holt took Giants starter Jake Peavy deep into the Red Sox bullpen and then after the first two runners in the fourth reached, Ortiz crushed a first-pitch home run well into the bleachers over the Giants bullpen.
For Ortiz, it was his 23rd homer of the year and career home run No. 526. It was also his 1,383rd career run scored, which tied him with Tony Gwynn for 98th on the all-time list. The home run traveled 451 feet according to ESPN Stats and Info, which is his longest of the season.
“What David continues to do for us is remarkable,” manager John Farrell said. “What he’s meant to our overall offense as a team — comes up in a big spot, first pitch over the plate for a three-run homer.”
Porcello was once again dominant at Fenway Park. The right-hander picked up his 12th win of the season and improved to a perfect 9-0 at home. The last time a Red Sox starter started 9-0 at home was Dennis Eckersley in 1978.
He went 6 1/3 shutout innings, while scattering four hits, walking two and striking out three on 108 pitches. His ERA is down to 3.37 on the year.
“He was at his best right after the first couple of lead off base hits,” Farrell said. “Great job putting up a zero with three consecutive strikeouts. Two opportunities for shutdown innings, which he converted. As we talked before the ballgame, very comfortable in this ballpark. Was in complete control of the ballgame here tonight. Outstanding work on his part.”
Robbie Ross Jr. got out of the seventh inning by enduing a double play, newly acquired right-hander Brad Ziegler tossed a scoreless eighth. In the ninth Koji Uehara struck out the first batter, but had to leave with an apparent shoulder injury after that. Tommy Layne recorded the final two outs of the game.
After the game, it was revealed Uehara felt something in his pectoral muscle. It’s unclear the severity of the injury.
“I’m just praying that it’s not that serious,” he said through a translator.
The Red Sox have not allowed a run in their last 25 innings at Fenway Park.
Ortiz is now batting .514 with three home runs when swinging at the first pitch this season.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win.
|07.19.16 at 5:19 pm ET|
For just the fourth time all season, Brock Holt will be batting ninth for the Red Sox.
Holt will start in left field as the Red Sox go up against the Giants and former Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy Tuesday night in the first of a two-game series.
For the Red Sox, Sandy Leon will catch Rick Porcello.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Sandy Leon, C
Brock Holt, LF
Rick Porcello, RHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|07.19.16 at 5:10 pm ET|
Although the Red Sox are fairly healthy in terms of their core players, some of their role players are still working their way back from injuries.
Left fielder Blake Swihart continues to go through full baseball activities after suffering a severe ankle sprain back on June 4. Manager John Farrell said there is no set timetable on a rehab assignment, but the fact that he’s going through full baseball activities should mean that will be coming soon
Swihart was batting .258 in 19 major league games this season. Farrell said over the weekend it’s unclear if he will catch at all the rest of the season.
He also added utility infielder Josh Rutledge is in a similar spot, as he rehabs from a knee injury, but he might be delayed in coming back a bit because of being on the 60-day disabled list and when he’s eligible to come off of that.
Reliever Junichi Tazawa (shoulder) could return to the Red Sox roster by Friday, as he was placed on the disabled list (retroactive to July 4) last Thursday. The right-hander threw a simulated game on Tuesday and was able to throw all of his pitches.
The news isn’t as good for left fielder Chris Young as he hasn’t yet begun ground-based running as he works his way back from a groin strain, which saw him go on the disabled list on June 24.
Farrell acknowledged the MRI showed a bit more than a Grade 1 strain. He added the team has “to be careful” with his rehab.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|07.19.16 at 11:44 am ET|
As sports fans, almost all of us fantasize of being a member of our favorite team. Red Sox fans imagine themselves hitting the go-ahead run over the Green Monster, Celtics fans visualize hitting the game-winning 3-pointer on the parquet floor, and so on. Of course, for most of us those dreams are far-fetched.
So we’re left to wonder; what does it feel like to get the chance to become a star for the team we grew up idolizing?
For an answer to that question, look no further than High-A Salem first baseman Nick Longhi, a Springfield native and lifelong Red Sox fan. Longhi, 20, may have moved to Florida as an infant, but he had no problem staying loyal to the stars of Fenway Park. He even remembers crying himself to sleep back in 2003 after Aaron Boone hit a walk-off home run off Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the ALCS.
“It really wasn’t that difficult for me [to stay a Red Sox fan] because of the fact that I was brought up in that environment with my dad loving all Boston sports,” Longhi said. “And that’s something that we took an interest in. We bonded through sports my whole childhood and my whole life. Obviously, as a kid, that’s the team your dad roots for, that’s who you want to win, too.”
Not only has Longhi dreamed of becoming a Boston legend, he is moving closer and closer to his goal every day. Through Monday, Boston’s No. 15 prospect at MLB.com is slashing .290/.360/.398 in 84 games. His 56 RBIs are sixth best in the Carolina League, and he ranks second among current Salem batters in batting average. He’s collected 24 multi-hit games this year and continues to enhance his game after batting .330 with Lowell in 2014 and notching 62 RBIs in 115 games with Greenville last season.
Although Longhi’s home run numbers are down — he currently has two home runs after totaling seven last year — Salem manager Joe Oliver believes the drop-off is normal.
“I think his power will eventually evolve,” Oliver said. “Playing at Salem typically knocks down a lot of guys power numbers just because they’re playing so big. This hasn’t been a good season for his home runs, but he’s definitely showing clutch hitting, driving in quite a few runs.”
Drafted by the Red Sox in 2013, Longhi now has been a member of the Red Sox organization for four years, working his way up from the Gulf Coast League to the Carolina League. Longhi currently is thriving, but he came dangerously close to passing by an opportunity most of us can only dream about.
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