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Clay Buchholz: ‘You can’t replace Jon Lester’

08.01.14 at 5:29 pm ET
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The new clubhouse dynamics took a while to comprehend. Clay Buchholz‘s belongings had relocated to John Lackey‘s old locker, the one tucked into a corner reserved for a veteran leader of a pitching staff. The position wasn’t far from his former station — just two lockers down — but it represented an adjustment for Buchholz to wrap his head around the notion that he was now the lone established big leaguer in the Red Sox rotation, something that he acknowledged was “a little bit” strange.

“I don’t feel like I’m old by any means. Time passes pretty quickly in this game,” said Buchholz. “I’ve been able to learn a lot from all of the guys who have come through and left. I’ve been able to make some really good friends, too. I feel like this is just how it’s going to be, for this year, at least, and just figure it out.

“One of those things. Things happen, another team is in the same situation we were in last year. We were trying to add guys to our roster to win a World Series. That’s what other teams are doing right now. It just so happens that a couple of our guys are going to try to help another team win this year.”

Lackey, a teammate of Buchholz’s for the last five years, is gone (having been traded to the Cardinals on Thursday), as is Jon Lester, who had been teammates with Buchholz for every one of his days in the big leagues dating to 2007. The departure of Lester creates a void atop the Red Sox rotation. How can it be filled? Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Clay Buchholz, john lackey, Jon Lester,

Red Sox place Shane Victorino on DL, recall Mookie Betts

08.01.14 at 4:57 pm ET
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Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, who left Wednesday’s game with back discomfort, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list for the third time this year. Victorino had an MRI on Friday morning; the Red Sox were awaiting results to determine a proper course of treatment. But given the recurrent nature of the injury, manager John Farrell said that the team could use the available time going forward this year to ensure that Victorino emerges healthy. In just 30 games this year, the 33-year-old is hitting .268/.303/.382.

“The one thing we do have right now is we have some time on our side, so whatever is recommended for Vic to get back to full strength, if we use the remaining months in this calendar year to our advantage, we’ll see if that makes sense,” said Farrell.

With Yoenis Cespedes not yet in Boston and unavailable to be in the starting lineup on Friday, the Red Sox called up Mookie Betts from Triple-A Pawtucket. Betts will start in center field on Friday to give the Red Sox an additional right-handed bat against Yankees (and former Red Sox) left-hander Chris Capuano. Betts is hitting .321/.408/.496 for Triple-A Pawtucket, with his most recent feat being a walkoff homer on Thursday. He’s hitting .444/.512/.667 against lefties.

Read More: mookie betts, Shane Victorino,

Red Sox designate Mike Carp for assignment

08.01.14 at 4:49 pm ET
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With the addition of a pair of corner outfield bats at the trade deadline, the Red Sox saw Mike Carp‘s limited playing time dwindling even further, and so the team designated Carp for assignment to take him off the 40-man major league roster. The team has up to 10 days to trade him (either to a team that claims him off waivers or after he clears waivers), send him to Triple-A or release him. Red Sox manager John Farrell suggested that the team wanted to give Carp a chance to pursue opportunities elsewhere, suggesting the possibility of a release.

Carp, acquired for cash prior to the 2013 season, hit .296/.362/.523 as a key reserve on last year’s World Series-winning team. But this year, he hit .198/.320/.279 in 42 games, and struggled to produce both in his part-time role and while working around a five-week period on the sidelines due to a broken foot.

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Kevin Millar on MFB: Red Sox ‘have a star now’ in Yoenis Cespedes

08.01.14 at 12:59 pm ET
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MLB Network analyst and former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar checked in with Middays with MFB to discuss the Sox’ trade deadline activity. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Red Sox were busier than any other team at Thursday’s deadline, making four trades by the 4 p.m. mark. The most notable losses were pitchers Jon Lester and John Lackey, which brought in A’s slugger Yoenis Cespedes and the Cardinals’ Allen Craig and Joe Kelly in return.

“I love what the Red Sox did,” Millar said. “At some point if they’re going to trade Jon Lester, it’s never going to pacify anybody, it doesn’t make sense. But you know what they got? They got three major league players. They traded Lester and Lackey, and they got three major league players immediately to help this club out.”

They biggest name acquired by the Sox was Cespedes. The Cuban has had a tough year at the plate, hitting just .256 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs, but Millar said he expects him to be a big presence in the Sox’ lineup, especially hitting at Fenway Park.

“At the end of the day, aren’t you tired of looking at the outfield’s offensive production?” Millar said. “Say what you want, we got to see him on the big stage in the Home Run Derby. I know it doesn’t mean anything, but we had a good time watching him last year at Citi Field, had a good time watching him this year at Minnesota, but at least he’s dynamic. I’d put him like kind of a star. He’s going to be a presence behind David Ortiz now. It immediately makes this team kind of like, ‘Whoa, that’s a 3-4 combination.’

“I’m looking at a guy and it’s kind of like you can lean your hat on somebody. We have a star now. Last year’s Red Sox World Series win, we leaned on the whole team because of the whole dynamic of the Boston bombing and the city and everything that went around it.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Kevin Millar, Yoenis Cespedes,

Red Sox-Yankees series preview

08.01.14 at 12:16 pm ET
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When the Red Sox take the field to begin a three-game series against the Yankees Friday night, they’ll be a team unrecognizable to many in attendance.

The Sox made four trades Thursday before the 4 p.m. deadline, shipping off five players and adding three major league-ready talents who are expected to be in uniform this weekend.

That means the Red Sox‘ lineup will not only look new, but may be improved as well. Slugger Yoenis Cespedes, whom the Red Sox acquired from Oakland for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes, and Allen Craig, obtained from the Cardinals for John Lackey, could be in the starting lineup as soon as Friday. General manager Ben Cherington said they will man the corner outfield positions.

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks also will be back after missing over two months with a broken finger. Rookie Xander Bogaerts will move back to shortstop after Stephen Drew was traded to none other than the visiting Yankees. To top it all off, the Sox called up pitcher Anthony Ranaudo to pitch Friday, which was when Lackey was scheduled to start, in his major league debut.

There’s no telling whether or not the change will be good for the Red Sox yet, but it’s clear things can’t get much worse for them. The Sox have lost eight of their last nine games after being swept by the Blue Jays in a three-game set a Fenway Park this week. The Red Sox were outscored 24-4 in the three games, which included a 14-1 beatdown in Monday’s opener, in a week full of distraction and trade rumors. The sweep put the Sox 12 1/2 back in the AL East and 11 back in the wild card.

The Yankees, whom the Red Sox are 4-6 against this season after taking two out of three at Yankee Stadium June 27-29, had a much quieter deadline than their rivals. New York acquired Drew for the injured Kelly Johnson in the first swap between the two teams since 1997. Drew is expected to play second base while Derek Jeter mans shortstop.

What the Yankees could’ve used was some pitching to aid their depleted rotation, which has lost a number of key players, including standout Japanese rookie Masahiro Tanaka. Instead, New York has tried filling that void with the likes of Chris Capuano, who was designated for assignment by the Red Sox earlier this season, and rookie Shane Greene, both of whom will start this weekend.

The Yankees are coming off a pair of series losses after dropping two of three against the Blue Jays and the Rangers. The losses put the Yankees five games out of the division lead and 3 1/2 back in the wild card chase.

In a theme that will sound familiar to Red Sox fans, the Yankees have struggled in close games of late, unable to come up with the key hit to put them over the top.

“Every game that we lost was by two runs or one run and all but one of those [last 13] games was a one- or two-run game for either side,” manager Joe Girardi said. “So if we get the consistency in our offense, we’re going to win a lot more.”

Here are the pitching matchups for the three-game set.

Friday: Ranaudo vs. Capuano (1-1, 4.30 ERA)
Saturday: Allen Webster (1-0, 3.38 ERA) vs. Greene (2-1, 2.38 ERA)
Sunday: Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.87 ERA) vs. David Phelps (5-5, 3.89 ERA)

WHO’S HOT: RED SOX

– The 2014 season has been as frustrating for Dustin Pedroia as anyone, , but he was one of the few with reason to feel good following the Toronto series. Pedroia has two hits in each of his last two games and has four multi-hit games in his last six. He’s hitting .385 in his last seven games to improve his average to .276 for the season, good for second on the team behind Brock Holt.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brett Gardner, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, xander bogaerts

Sources: Red Sox to call up LHP Tommy Layne

08.01.14 at 11:03 am ET
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With a sudden need for pitching help due to a flurry of trades Thursday, the Red Sox will call up left-handed reliever Tommy Layne, according to multiple industry sources.

Layne pitched one game for the Red Sox this season, pitching two-thirds of an inning in the second game of a day-night doubleheader against the Orioles and allowing one walk.

The 29-year-old has been impressive in Pawtucket, going 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 48 innings (37 appearances).

Layne, who stands 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 26th round of the 2007 draft. After five seasons in Arizona’s minor league system, the St. Louis native was sent to the Padres in 2012. He appeared in 40 games for San Diego over two seasons, all in relief, posting a 2-2 record with a 2.84 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 25 1/3 innings. He held lefties to a .175 batting average.

He was designated for assignment following the 2013 season and signed with the Red Sox on Nov. 10.

 

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Mike Hazen on D&C: Other offers Red Sox fielded were ‘prospect-related deals’

08.01.14 at 10:44 am ET
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Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk about the team’s trade deadline deals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The last-place Red Sox went on a full fire sale Thursday, making four deals and trading five players before the 4 p.m. deadline. The most notable name dealt was lefty Jon Lester, who was shipped to the Athletics with Jonny Gomes for Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes. The Sox also traded John Lackey to the Cardinals, Andrew Miller to the Orioles and Stephen Drew to the Yankees by the end of the day.

The Red Sox not only got an All-Star in Cespedes, they also got major league talent in return for Lackey, acquiring outfielder Allen Craig and starter Joe Kelly from St. Louis.

“I think we had had that in the back our mind the entire time,” Hazen said. “We wanted to make sure we put as much talent on the major league roster as possible. I will say, you can’t go into those situations with that plan. You can have the plan, that’s great, but it’s not typical that you would get offered or find teams that have the ability to give players off their major league club when they’re making a playoff push.

“So that’s not something you can necessarily go in there and say, ‘We really want to do it.’ Every trade takes two to tango. We can go to a team and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got Jon Lester, we’ve got John Lackey, guys that we believe will really help you down the stretch.’ On the flip side, they can say, ‘Great, but we can’t take guys off our major league club.’ ”

Added Hazen: “In a lot of cases you end up talking to most clubs with prospect packages because they’re major league clubs in deep. I think what we ended up finding was that there were a lot of clubs that had depth on their major league roster. The Cardinals, everyone talks about the talent they have. Obviously the A’s have the best offense in baseball, so they were able to sacrifice something off of those major league clubs in order to get something in their rotation.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Allen Craig, Joe Kelly, john lackey, Jon Lester
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