|06.15.16 at 4:10 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell had his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton on Wednesday to discuss the team’s fifth starter as well as provide injury updates. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
The Red Sox have been getting by with just four starters as of late thanks to a number of off days, but the time has come for a fifth starter to join the team for a matchup with the Mariners on Friday. Farrell has elected to go with Pawtucket pitcher Roenis Elias, who in 10 games in Triple-A this year is 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
“I think the one thing that we look at is that [choosing a fifth starter] goes directly into the decision for the starting matchup,” Farrell said. “If you look at the performance of left-handed vs. right-handed starters, there’s a decided difference in the performance and production when they’re facing right-handed starters. The fact that Elias has thrown the ball four out of the last five starts strong and gone deep in games, we felt like this was the right opportunity to get out here.”
The decision to have Elias start Friday was made easier with Joe Kelly suffering a groin injury a few weeks ago with Pawtucket. Kelly was demoted to the Triple-A affiliate after going 2-0 with an 8.46 ERA and 2.24 WHIP in six starts with the Red Sox. It has yet to be seen what Farrell will do with Kelly once the right-hander is healthy again.
“First of all, we got to get him back to the mound,” Farrell said. “There’s no time frame because of the right groin injury he sustained his last start there. … I would not rule out the potential of him being shifted to the bullpen at some point.”
|06.15.16 at 3:34 pm ET|
With Brock Holt sidelined with a concussion and Blake Swihart out with an ankle injury, the Red Sox don’t have many other options in left field against right-handers, which is why Chris Young gets the start again.
Young and the rest of the Sox hitters will be facing Orioles righty Kevin Gausman Wednesday night. It’s a standard Red Sox lineup with no changes from Tuesday.
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
Chris Young, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Steven Wright, RHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|06.15.16 at 2:17 pm ET|
LOWELL, Mass. — This is almost like a new start for Red Sox right-handed pitching prospect Michael Kopech.
The 2014 first-round pick missed the end of last season with Single-A Greenville as he was suspended 50 games for using a performance-enhancing drug and then hasn’t pitched for an affiliate yet this season after he fractured his hand in spring training during an altercation with a teammate.
The hard-throwing right-hander has spent most of the past year in Fort Myers and he feels it’s matured him and he’s grown up.
“I had a lot of growing up to do and I feel like I have,” Kopech said at the Lowell Spinners’ media day Wednesday. “I was able to go down there and work on myself as a person, work on myself as a pitcher. Bettering myself is all I am here to do and I just want to continue that.”
Added Kopech: “I don’t want to say I was immature — but I definitely had a lot of growing up to do. I think I’ve matured a lot in the past few months being stuck in Florida working on pitching, getting out of there. I had a lot of time to think and I think in the long-run it helped me.”
In 16 games with Greenville last season, Kopech went 4-5 with a 2.63 ERA, but had 70 strikeouts in 65 innings. After he was suspended he was able to still work out at the complex in Fort Myers where a lot of work went into his off-speed pitches. He pitched in games during the fall instructional league to make up the innings he missed during the year.
Most recently after his hand was healthy, he was able to pitch in a few extended spring training games.
When on the mound, Kopech is one of the best pitching prospects in the organization. His fastball touches the high-90s and has good off-speed pitches to complement the fastball.
“I’m feeling really good,” Kopech said. “I don’t really feel like I had much of a set back. Stuff happens. It’s in the past, but I feel like I’m back where I need to be right now.”
|06.15.16 at 2:06 pm ET|
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy called into the Ordway, Merloni, & Fauria show Wednesday to talk about the approaching MLB trade deadline and other team news. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
Although the Red Sox are a game out of first place in the American League East, it’s become evident that there are some holes in the team that needs to be addressed. With the trading deadline on July 31, many expect the Red Sox front office to be busy in the coming weeks, and Kennedy expects that as well.
“I think we’ll certainly be aggressive in terms of preparation and the work that goes into it,” Kennedy said. “In my experience, it seems to always come down to those last couple of days, last couple of hours. I think [president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski] and [general manager Mike Hazen] and our great team of baseball operations will do whatever they think needs to be done to get us where we want to be, which is a playoff team. We’d really like to win the division, given the uncertainty around the playoff format.”
When looking at potential trades, the Red Sox will be led by Dombrowski, who joined the team last summer. He has a knack for making big trades, and Kennedy trusts him to make the team better for the final stretch of the season.
“One of the things about [him] joining us in August, it was extremely helpful from a competitive standpoint,” Kennedy said. “Dave has had a long time to evaluate things at the major league level and throughout our farm system. … This guy eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball. When he’s not traveling with the team, he’s visiting minor league affiliates. He’s really gotten to know everyone throughout the entire organization, so I think that will prove to be very helpful as he evaluates trade opportunities alongside Mike Hazen and everyone in baseball operations.
Added Kennedy: “We’ll see, I think there will be a lot of activity and intrigue in the Red Sox, just because of the amazing job our baseball operations have done in terms of drafting and developing players. It’s no secret that we have a lot of ability throughout the minor leagues and so there will be a lot of incoming phone calls, and there will be a lot of outbound calls as well. It will be a busy time over the next 45 days.”
|06.15.16 at 1:57 pm ET|
The Sox are now 3-5 against the Orioles, with John Farrell’s pitchers carrying a 6.56 ERA against the O’s hitters. The Red Sox have also succumbed to 34 homers in 21 games against their top two contenders in the division.
So, with 12 more games to go against Baltimore, and six vs. Toronto, David Ortiz summed up his team’s situation in unique style when talking to WEEI.com after the Tuesday night loss.
“You have to just keep on playing better,” the designated hitter said. “If you don’t play better it doesn’t matter how much you piss on your territory. They’re still going to take your lion away from you.”
As for the “lion” (which we are assuming to be the chance to win the division), the Red Sox are still well within eyesight of the target, sitting two games ahead of Toronto and 5 1/2 up on both the Yankees and Tampa Bay.
The Red Sox are also at the top of the Wild Card standings, joining the Blue Jays as the two non-division-winning teams which would currently qualify for postseason play.
“It’s crazy. The AL East has always been like that so it’s not a surprise,” Ortiz said. “You have to fight through it.”
|06.15.16 at 12:03 pm ET|
Here is a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (33-31): L, 6-2, at Indianapolis (Pirates)
— PawSox right-hander William Cuevas stumbled after stringing together several strong starts. Cuevas pitched six innings, giving up six runs on nine hits — including three home runs and four doubles — and two walks with two strikeouts. It was the first time in 10 starts that Cuevas has given up more than three runs. The 25-year-old Venezuelan is 4-3 with a 3.29 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP in 11 starts this year.
— The PawSox only had five hits, and two of those came from Henry Ramos. The right fielder was 2-for-4 with a double, a strikeout and a run scored. Ramos was promoted from Portland on June 6, and in six games with Pawtucket he is hitting .316/.333/.421. In 42 games with Portland, he was hitting .281/.333/.406.
— Deven Marrero scored on a Jose Vinicio ground out in the fifth inning. Then in the ninth inning, Marrero drove home Jantzen Witte on a ground out. The shortstop finished the night 1-for-4 and is hitting .214/.257/.256 in 55 games this season.
|06.15.16 at 11:03 am ET|
During his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling weighed in on the Orlando massacre and defended fellow gun owners while blasting the “corrupt, lying, fraudulent, felon-infested government.” To hear the interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page.
Schilling, an outspoken conservative, said the Orlando shooter was “a radical extremist follower of Allah” and this was not a “homophobic hatred thing” as has been speculated this week following reports that Omar Mateen had previous contact with the gay community before his attack on a gay nightclub.
“He should never have been able to get these weapons,” Schilling said. “The laws are in place for this to stop people like this. We just either A) don’t enforce them, B) they’re broke, or C) both.”
If more laws are introduced in the wake of this tragedy, Schilling said it would be a mistake.
“We’ve already heard enough [about the background of mass murderers like this]. We’re going to hear more of the same thing about this guy. There’s no possible way he should have been able to hold a water gun, much less an AR-15,” Schilling said. “So again, my biggest thing is, the laws already exist. I think there’s an enormous amount of work we need to do and work on with the mentally ill. I don’t think there’s any question about that. But the fact of the matter is all the laws you want passed are already in effect. The states that they are not in effect for are the states where people have voted to keep them available.”
Added Schilling: “The last thing in my mind that I want to see happen right now is for this corrupt, lying, fraudulent, felon-infested government to have more say in my day-to-day life. I want them out and gone. And I need the federal government to do what they’re supposed to do, which is protect the country, provide for people that can’t provide for themselves, and shut up and get out of the way.”
|06.15.16 at 10:51 am ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, making his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning, questioned whether David Price is worth the high price the Sox paid in the offseason. To hear the interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page.
Price pitched well Tuesday, at one point setting down 19 consecutive Orioles, but he was done in by two home runs in a 3-2 loss.
“When you pitch at the top of somebody’s rotation and you’re considered to be ‘the ace,’ you have to win 1-0 games,” Schilling said. “You have to win 2-1. You have to win 2-0. You have to win the games when your offense doesn’t score. Your offense’s output other than zero means less on the day you pitch than it does on other days, because you’re the ace. … When you’re up against somebody’s ace — which [Chris] Tillman was last night — you get the best of guys, so you have to be on top of your game. Last night he was good. [But] he got outpitched.”
Asked what Price would be scored on a scale of 1-10 for major league pitchers, Schilling said the left-hander is a 6.
“This is not the David Price they paid $217 million to get,” he said. “Stuff-wise, all of that stuff. I don’t think this is the guy. Last night when I saw him, the innings I was watching, he was 92-94 [mph]. The Price that you paid for was 96-98. I think it’s a natural regression. Your stuff starts to kind of go away [with age].”
Added Schilling: “His mechanics are not conducive to keeping his velocity up. I’ve said that all year long. If you watch him, every time he finishes delivering a pitch — for the most part — he’s a guy that stands straight up. He recoils a lot. And that’s not healthy for your arm. I’ve seen a lot of guys that do that — tons of guys that do that — and they lose their velocity faster than everybody else. It’s a physical thing.
“And the challenge is he was always that guy, the 200-inning guy and the ace guy, because his secondary stuff has never been exceptional. Which is OK, because he always had the velocity. But once the velocity starts to kick down, the secondary stuff has to get better, because if it stays the same it becomes even less effective. The innings that I watched last night he had a pretty good changeup. He struck out the side one inning. He had a decent changeup. But he’s never gone out there with a Clayton Kershaw curveball or a [Greg] Maddux changeup. He’s always had kind of average secondary stuff, I thought, in my opinion. And that’s a challenge when you lose your fastball.”
|06.15.16 at 9:04 am ET|
Knuckleballer Steven Wright will take the mound for the Red Sox when they play the second game of a three-game series with the Orioles on Wednesday. Wright will get the start opposite 25-year-old right-hander Kevin Gausman.
Wright has been keeping up his surprisingly successful season, going 7-4 with a 2.09 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 12 starts. He’s pitched three complete games, his ERA is the best in the American League and he’s won four straight starts.
The 31-year-old last pitched in an 8-1 win at Minnesota last Friday. Wright allowed no earned runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He also fanned six and forced 13 ground balls.
“His last four games on the road have been everything we could’ve signed up for,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said following the win over the Twins. “He’s the same guy when he walks in the clubhouse, regardless of where the clubhouse might be around the country.”
In three career games vs. the Orioles, Wright is 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. His last start against Baltimore came May 30, a 7-2 win at Camden Yards. He pitched a full nine innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and striking out seven.
|06.14.16 at 11:10 pm ET|
Not only has David Price pitched like an ace of late, he’s also talking like one.
Price went eight innings allowing three runs on five hits (two home runs), while not walking a batter and striking out 11 on Tuesday. Despite the strong performance, the Red Sox still fell to the Orioles 3-2.
Over his last three starts, the left-hander is 0-3 and has allowed a total of eight runs in those games. While Price has put up solid numbers, he still wants to be even better to ensure the Red Sox get a win every time he takes to the mound.
“I’m better than three runs, I know that,” Price said. “That is what I have done my entire career. If you told me whenever I get to the field I can have eight innings and three runs, I’m not going to take that. I’ll take my chances and go up there and put up nine zeros. I’m getting there. I know that. This team has confidence in me, the coaching staff and I’ll continue to get better.”
It was Price’s seventh straight quality start, the longest active streak in the majors and longest by a Red Sox pitcher since Jon Lester recorded eight straight in the summer of 2014.
A lot of Price’s success has had to do with the adjustment he’s made with his delivery to get better timing. Over his first seven starts of the year Price had an ERA of 6.75, but in seven starts since, he has an ERA of 2.68, to lower his year ERA to 4.52.
“I’ve made a lot of adjustments throughout my career, whether it is start-to-start, inning-to-inning, or pitch-to-pitch,” he said. “It’s something I definitely hang my hat on being able to do. It’s tough to do it at this level and to expect to get good results, but I expect to get good results.”
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