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Injured Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia: ‘I’ll be back as fast as I can’

06.25.15 at 12:11 pm ET
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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was placed on the disabled list before Thursday afternoon’s game with the Orioles with a right hamstring strain, and he vowed a speedy recovery.

“You guys know me,” Pedroia said. “I’ll be back as fast as I can.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell said before the game that Pedroia would need at least two weeks, and maybe more, to recover. Pedroia described the circumstances that led to the injury as he rounded the bag on Wednesday after ripping a go-ahead single to left-center in a 5-1 victory over the O’s.

“I kind of just skidded, it slipped out before I got to the bag and I tried to recover,” Pedroia said. “You deal with it the best you can. It’s unfortunate. It’s something you can’t dwell on. It happens. It’s part of the game, I guess.

“I’ve never pulled a muscle before. It’s just weird. Right before I hit the bag, my foot kind of slipped out and I hit the bag with my left foot, so I tried to just recover and stop, so I slipped basically. It’s a thing you can’t prevent, man. That’€™s the part that frustrates me mentally. You work hard in the weight room and in the offseason trying to do things to prevent injury, and little things happen. It’s tough. We’ll get through it. Guys will come together and hold it down until I get back, and then we’ll go.”

Pedroia is in the midst of a resurgent season, batting .306 with an .819 OPS and nine homers, two more than he managed all of last season.

 

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Dustin Pedroia to 15-day disabled list, Joe Kelly optioned to Triple-A in flurry of Red Sox roster moves

06.25.15 at 11:54 am ET
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It was a busy morning Thursday at Fenway Park as the Red Sox made a number of transactions.

Dustin Pedroia was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain. The degree of strain is unknown. He injured it rounding first base in Wednesday’s win, on an RBI single in the sixth inning.

— Joe Kelly has been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket with Justin Masterson taking his spot in the rotation. He will start Sunday in Tampa Bay. Kelly will start Sunday in Pawtucket.

— Infielder Deven Marrero has been added to the 40-man roster and called up, as well as right-handed pitcher Jonathan Aro to pitch out of the bullpen.

— Catcher Erik Kratz, who the Red Sox claimed off waivers Sunday, has been DFA’d. The Red Sox’ 40-man was at 39, so only needed to open one spot to add Aro and Marrero.

Manager John Farrell said Brock Holt would fill in mostly at second base with Marrero possibly starting against left-handers.

“He’s the heart and soul of our team in the short description of it,” Farrell said of Pedroia. “The way he plays, what he means in the clubhouse, what he means on the field with his performance, probably having a career year to date. Hopefully this is on the order end on the time missed. In other words, after the 15 days hopefully he comes back to us. But, there is no projected date on his return, he’ll be back to us as soon as he’s capable.”

In sending Kelly to Triple-A, the Red Sox are hoping to get more consistency from the right-hander who has just one win over his last 13 starts.

“The options would have been put him in the bullpen or send him down to start,” Farrell said. “This centers around consistent command with the baseball and his pitches. It’s certainly not stuff, it’s not athleticism. The frustrating part for Joe and for all involved is that when you see an athlete with his ability and it doesn’t translate to the consistent command of his pitches, that’s what is continually being addressed. Felt like the uncertainty of pitching schedule coming out of the bullpen, best served to achieve this through consistent work in between starts starting in Pawtucket.”

In some positive news, after being hit with a line drive running the bases Wednesday night, Hanley Ramirez is day-to-day. There is no fracture to his hand, although Ramirez said he was concerned Wednesday night. He won’t play Thursday, but will be back in the lineup as soon as he can grip a bat.

“It’s day-to-day, I can’t give an exact time on his return,” Farrell said.

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Ben Cherington on D&C: Red Sox could be interested in acquiring major league players at trade deadline

06.25.15 at 10:25 am ET
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Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning to discuss the Red Sox and where they currently are in the season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Despite the Red Sox‘ record, Cherington said that he and the team are looking to get as much out of this squad as possible. So as the July 31 trade deadline gets closer every day, Cherington said, “on that kind of thing, you wait as long as you can” before deciding to give up on the season on focus on the coming years.

“I think the more general statement is that we’re going to work to get to a good team, get to the team that we believe we are actually closer to than many believe as quickly as we can,” Cherington said. “So I foresee a scenario where we would even be interested in acquiring major league players, adding to the major league team. Depending on what our record is, it may be that those types of talks would be more geared towards players that we control, not just this year, but beyond this year, but I think that’ll continue to be where our focus is.”

A name that has come up in terms of possibilities of moving at the deadline is Clay Buchholz due to his improved pitching and favorable contract.

“I really think our focus is going to be to continue to improve the team, build the team that we want as quickly as we can,” Cherington said. “With respect to the record, of course that’s going to have to guide us a little bit on certain types of transactions, but the big picture, the bigger considerations we’re going to be focused on trying to improve the team and be good as we can as quickly as we can, and so Clay obviously can be a big part of that.”

In his most recent column, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan wrote that Hanley Ramirez‘s attitude “has irked some respected members of the Red Sox’ clubhouse.” Cherington said he’s seen the piece, but that Ramirez’s “irksome” attitude is not something he’s heard about.

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Thursday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Miguel Gonzalez

06.25.15 at 8:23 am ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

In the rubber game of a three-game series with the Orioles, the Red Sox send rookie phenom Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound to face Miguel Gonzalez.

Rodriguez has made five starts since being called up at the end of May, working to a 3-1 record and 3.13 ERA. One of those starts was a mess in which he surrendered nine earned runs to the Blue Jays, but each of the other four has been masterful.

The left-hander’s most recent start came on Friday against the Royals. Rodriguez got through 6 1/3 innings and allowed just one run. He allowed six hits and walked one while striking out five. The Sox and Rodriguez got the win by a 7-3 score.

“He threw three quality pitches for strikes, but most importantly his fastball location was outstanding,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his starter’s performance.

“He was 96 with the fastball and 86 with the changeup,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “When you have an 8-10 mile-per-hour variation on your fastball and changeup and can command it, you’re going to be tough.”

Rodriguez, 22, has recorded a WHIP of 1.042 in his first 31 2/3 innings of major league action. He has allowed one or zero runs in four of his five starts. He has more than earned his spot in the rotation through those five outings.

On June 9, Rodriguez threw six shutout innings against the Orioles en route to a no-decision. Thursday’s contest will be the first opportunity for Rodriguez to face a team for the second time.

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Thursday Red Sox Farm Report: Brian Johnson delivers another strong start; Shane Victorino 0-for-2 in first rehab start

06.25.15 at 7:58 am ET
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (36-37): W, 3-2 in 11 innings, vs. Rochester (Twins)

— Left-hander Brian Johnson (Boston’s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com) continued to build a case that he is ready for the majors with an outstanding start, posting a line of 6 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO (93 pitches, 71 strikes). In addition to the seven strikeouts, only two balls left the infield as Johnson recorded 11 ground ball outs. At one stretch Johnson went 15 batters without falling behind 1-0 or 2-1 in the count, and he didn’t reach a three-ball count until the seventh inning

“He had some weapons tonight,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles told the Providence Journal in regard to Johnson’€™s performance. “He worked ahead in the count. He was unpredictable and worked to both sides of the plate. It all predicated off that fastball command.”

Johnson left the game after colliding with a Rochester player while Johnson was attempting to cover first base. He got up and walked off under his own power after the runner crashed into his right (non-throwing) arm, sending both players tumbling to the ground. Johnson told reporters after the game he was fine and Boles admitted he removed Johnson from the game to err on the side of caution.

The run scored off of Johnson was unearned, coming after the pitcher’€™s throw to first on a swinging bunt was low and wide. That runner would come around to score to tie the game at one in the seventh as reliever Pat Light allowed a two-out RBI single to right-center.

Johnson, 24, is 8-4 with a 2.57 ERA on the season over 14 starts. He has allowed two earned runs or less in 11 of those 14 appearances, pitching at least six innings in eight of his last nine outings. Johnson’€™s eight wins lead the International League, as does his 1.08 WHIP, with his 86 strikeouts second-best and his ERA fifth among qualified starters.

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Clay Buchholz showing flashes of 2013, emerging as Red Sox’ staff ace

06.24.15 at 11:26 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz has an ERA of 2.28 over his last eight starts. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Clay Buchholz has an ERA of 2.28 over his last eight starts. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

In a season lacking positives, there’s one player who has quietly gone under the radar as one of the biggest positives on the Red Sox roster of late and maybe a player least expected to be one.

That player is Clay Buchholz.

After his sixth start of the season Buchholz had an ERA of 6.03 and was getting mocked left-and-right for being the Red Sox‘ so-called ace. But, since then Buchholz has actually been just that — the ace of the Red Sox’ rotation.

Following his seven inning, one-run performance in the Red Sox’ 5-1 win over the Orioles Wednesday, Buchholz’s ERA is now 3.68, a full 2.35 lower than it was at the beginning of May.

Since May 14, over his last eight starts, he has an ERA of 2.28 and is unbeaten in his last five starts with the Red Sox winning four of those games.

The way he’s pitched of late has drawn some comparisons to how he was at the start of the 2013 season when he went 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA before missing three months with a shoulder injury.

“I think he’s been as strong start to start in terms of run strength and overall stuff this year equal to 2013 prior to the shoulder ailment that he went through,” manager John Farrell said. “But the percentage of strikes is extremely high every night he walks to the mound. He has such an uncanny ability to manipulate the baseball and change speeds as he did tonight, but he’s in a pretty solid run for us here over a high number of starts.”

Against the Orioles Wednesday, the right-hander had control of all of his pitches. According to Brooksbaseball.net, he threw 31 fastballs, 24 changeups, 12 curveballs and 32 cutters. On those pitches he got 13 swing and misses.

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Closing Time: Red Sox win overshadowed by injuries to Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia

06.24.15 at 9:48 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez (pictured) along with Dustin Pedroia both left Wednesday's game with injuries (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Hanley Ramirez (pictured) along with Dustin Pedroia both left Wednesday’s game with injuries. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

While the Red Sox showed some grit, coming back from a 1-0 deficit following a tough loss Tuesday night, the win was overshadowed by two injuries occurring during the game.

Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia both left the game in the Red Sox‘ 5-1 win over the Orioles Wednesday at Fenway Park, as the Sox scored five times in the sixth inning taking advantage of two Baltimore errors.

Ramirez left the game following the bottom of the fifth when he was struck on the left wrist by a line drive from Xander Bogaerts on a hit-and-run play when Ramirez was running to second base. It was announced as a left hand contusion. He saw the ball, but couldn’t get out of the way.

Pedroia left the game following a single in the sixth, when it appeared he suffered the injury rounding first base. The team announced the injury as right hamstring tightness.

“We’re still in the process of gathering all the information,” manager John Farrell said. “There’s advanced imaging going on for both Pedey and Hanley. The injuries are what everyone saw, but we don’t have full information yet.”

After the Orioles scored the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, the Red Sox came right back in the bottom half of the inning thanks to some sloppy Orioles defense.

Following two errors, Mookie Betts made them pay with a sharp single to right scoring Alejandro De Aza, who had reached on an error to leadoff the frame. Following a Brock Holt ground out to advance two runners, Pedroia came through with a two-run single to left (the play he was injured on) to put the Red Sox on top, 3-1 at the time.

The next batter David Ortiz then crushed a Bud Norris offering over the center field wall for a two-run homer to give the Red Sox the 5-1 lead. None of the runs in the inning were earned.

Clay Buchholz was once again solid for the Red Sox. The right-hander went seven innings allowing one run on eight hits while walking one and striking seven. The Red Sox have won four of his last five starts and his ERA has now fallen to 3.68 on the season.

“Lot of strikes and a constant mix of all his pitches,” Farrell said. “There wasn’t any one sequence that he would repeat. Started a number of guys off with a number of different pitches and again just with a constant change of speed for him tonight. He’s been very dependable for us and seven strong innings tonight. Good to see him go out and put up a zero after we scored the five. But led the way for us tonight.”

Junichi Tazawa struck out the side in the eighth inning and Koji Uehara tossed a scoreless ninth to close out the win.

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Hanley Ramirez (left hand contusion), Dustin Pedroia (right hamstring tightness) both leave game vs. Orioles

06.24.15 at 9:03 pm ET
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The Red Sox‘ 5-1 win over the Orioles Wednesday night came with a price.

On a freakish play in the bottom of the fifth inning, Hanley Ramirez was hit on the wrist on a hit-and-run play when Xander Bogaerts’ liner hit Ramirez when he was running to second base.

The Red Sox announced he left the game with a left hand contusion. Mike Napoli took his place in the lineup with Brock Holt moving from first base to right field.

Later in the game, Dustin Pedroia was injured in the bottom of the sixth on his two-run single to left field. He left the game with what the Red Sox announced as right hamstring tightness after he rounded first base and appeared to be in obvious pain.

“We’re still in the process of gathering all the information,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “There’s advanced imaging going on for both Pedey and Hanley. The injuries are what everyone saw, but we don’t have full information yet.”

Ramirez’s injury occurred on one of the stranger plays that can happen in a game, but it is the second time this year that a Red Sox base runner has been hit with a ball on a hit-and-run, as it happened to Bogaerts earlier in the year.

“It’s very rare, it’s uncommon to happen where two guys advancing to second base being put in motion get hit with a line drive and a ground ball,” Farrell said. “It’s something you don’t see often. And the one tonight hopefully we’re able to avoid something physical for the time being.”

It’s very rare for Pedroia to leave a game, so there is some concern there, but no new information will be known until likely Thursday morning.

“He lost his footing going around the bag,” Farrell said. “He slips with the left foot and when he tried to plant and brace himself with his right foot, the ground gave out or he stepped in a little bit of a hole and wasn’t able to keep solid footing and that’s where he felt it in the hamstring. Anytime a player comes off the field, you’re concerned. But we’ll know more here before the night’s out.”

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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Red Sox injury updates: Sox hope to get Ryan Hanigan back July 1; Shane Victorino begins rehab with Pawtucket

06.24.15 at 5:36 pm ET
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Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan

The Red Sox have two players rehabbing in the minors in catcher Ryan Hanigan (broken finger) and outfielder Shane Victorino (left calf) .

It seems Hanigan will return faster than Victorino, as the Red Sox are hopeful he can return when he’s eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on July 1.

“We fully hope that he’d be back when he’s first eligible and that’s right after the first of July,” manager John Farrell said.

Hanigan caught five innings on Monday and served as the designated hitter Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket. Following a day down on Wednesday, Farrell said he will be back behind the plate Thursday.

Victorino will begin his rehab with the PawSox on Wednesday.

“He’ll go back to back for the first couple days just building into it,” Farrell said. “Two and three at-bats both for the first two nights. We’ve got to get him to where he’s going consecutive games nine innings each before he comes back to us. So that wouldn’t be on this upcoming road trip.”

Farrell ruled out a return to the team on their upcoming road trip for Victorino.

Both players will be with Pawtucket until Friday and then after it’s undetermined where they will go, with the chance one or both could go to Double-A Portland.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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Red Sox pregame notes: Mike Napoli’s struggles ‘surprising'; No decision made on Joe Kelly

06.24.15 at 5:18 pm ET
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Mike Napoli's average has dipped below .200 to .199 this season. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Mike Napoli‘s average has dipped below .200 to .199 this season. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It hasn’t been the contract year many expected from Mike Napoli.

With an 0-for-4, four strikeout performance Tuesday, Napoli’s average has dipped down below .200 to .199 and in the month of June he’s batting .179 with 23 strikeouts and four walks in 72 plate appearances.

With the type of spring Napoli had, hitting six home runs and having sleep apnea surgery in the offseason, the issues he’s had have come as a bit of a surprise.

“I think we’re all a little surprised,” manager John Farrell said. “That’s not to say that Mike’s not working at it because he is. Coming off the spring, he looked free, he was getting some balls in the inside part of the plate where he was getting ahead out to the pull side and was driving the ball into right center field, which is where he true power is when you see him going well. With the exception of a smaller stint of time that’s really when he’s been in that approach.

“This is surprising. There’s going to be swing and miss, we know that with Mike. That’s part of his make up as a player, as a performer, with the power you’re going to get. You could also look to four years ago, there was a year similar to what is unfolding right now and that’s been a lower average, but a high number of home runs. We’re certainly not turning away from Mike, we’re here to help him get through it.”

In his first two seasons in Boston, Napoli hit .259 and .248 respectively. Farrell doesn’t see a change in his swing, more so he’s fouling off pitches he should be hitting.

“No. There’s a big swing there, which again goes hand and hand with the power that you’re going to get from him,” he said. “I thought last year there was a little bit more of a pronounced two-strike approach where he shortened up and not to say we’re always looking to sacrifice an at-bat, but Mike’s here to drive the baseball and he’s certainly capable of that. But, to say that there is a fundamental change where the bat head is in and out of the strike zone quicker than what we’ve seen in the past, I certainly don’t see that. Like I said, there’s a pitch in the at-bat right now that he’s fouling off and then after that they are kind of forcing him to chase on the periphery.”

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