|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz out, Mike Napoli at designated hitter||05.12.13 at 10:27 am ET|
David Ortiz will be getting the day off Sunday against right-hander Chad Jenkins, with Mike Napoli filling in at the designated hitter position for the Red Sox’ series finale against the Blue Jays.
Here is the Red Sox’ lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mike Napoli DH
Daniel Nava LF
Mike Carp 1B
Jarrod Saltalmacchia C
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Stephen Drew SS
Ryan Dempster will take the mound for the Red Sox. To see all the matchups, click here.
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Daniel Bard alarming performance; Rubby De La Rosa, Matt Barnes dominate; Henry Owens roughed up; Garin Cecchini gets a scare; Francellis Montas is striking out everyone (and walking no one)||05.12.13 at 10:15 am ET|
Alarm bells should be sounding in Portland.
Daniel Bard appeared so close to a return to form at times this spring. While there would be moments when he’d lose the strike zone, he showed the ability to make corrections — sometimes after a batter or two, sometimes after a pitch or two — on the fly, and his stuff was considerably better than it had been for almost all of 2012. The same held true when he started the year in Double-A Portland, where Bard’s delivery was getting locked in to the point where the Sox called him up in late-April.
He had one good outing and then one very bad one in the big leagues. No problem, it seemed. Go back down to Double-A, build on the good, taste the big leagues and have that as a reminder of a goal that wasn’t more than an arm’s length away.
But since being sent back down to Portland, it hasn’t worked like that. Instead, Bard has endured a succession of disastrous outings, the latest (and perhaps worst) of which took place on Saturday night.
He entered the game for the start of the sixth and issued four walks while uncorking a pair of wild pitches. He did record two outs, but ultimately had to be pulled after throwing just eight or 29 pitches for strikes. It was Bard’s fourth straight outing since getting sent back down to Portland in which he failed to throw more than 50 percent of his offerings for strikes:
April 30: 2/3 IP, 9 of 18 strikes (50 percent)
May 2: 1/3 IP, 4 of 15 strikes (27 percent)
May 6: 1 IP, 8 of 17 strikes (47 percent)
May 10: 2/3 IP, 8 of 29 strikes (28 percent)
Overall, that’s a 37 percent strike rate since Bard returned to Portland — a horrific number, worse than his control struggles last year in Triple-A. The fact that the Sox opted to promote Jose De La Torre on Friday, rather than considering a reliever already 0n the 40-man roster in Bard, speaks volumes about his uncertain place in the organization.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-0 WIN AT CHARLOTTE (WHITE SOX)
– Rubby De La Rosa is continuing to show flashes of dominance. The right-hander allowed just one hit in four shutout innings while punching out a season-high seven batters and walking two. In his last four games, he’s thrown 14 shutout innings, permitting just eight hits while striking out 19 and walking four. He threw a season-high 71 pitches, with 46 of those (65 percent) yielding strikes and seven resulting in swings and misses. And De La Rosa finished with a flourish, punching out the final four batters he faced. Read the rest of this entry »
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Ryan Dempster vs. Chad Jenkins||05.12.13 at 9:25 am ET|
Ryan Dempster will take the hill for the Red Sox in the rubber game of the series with Toronto on Sunday afternoon, looking for his third win of the year. He’ll take on right-hander Chad Jenkins, who will make his first appearance of the season for the Blue Jays.
Dempster has been impressive for the Red Sox this year, bringing a 2-3 record and a 2.93 ERA into Sunday’s game. He’s managed to keep the Sox in the game every time he’s pitched, not allowing more than four runs in any start. What’s been surprising about the 36-year-old starter is the amount of strikeouts he’s been getting. Dempster has struck out an average of 11.5 hitters per nine innings, and owns a 3.06 strikeout to walk ratio. At the beginning of play on Saturday, Dempster was sixth in the American League with 55 punchouts, and is second on the staff behind Clay Buchholz. In his last outing he struck out eight Twins, giving up four runs on five hits. He’s fanned eight or more batters in all but one of his seven starts.
Dempster has enjoyed pitching against the Jays for the most part (except that one time when he missed his start in Toronto because he forgot his passport), coming into the game with a 1-0 record and 4.12 ERA against the divisional rivals in four games (three starts). He earned his second win of 2013 against the Blue Jays back on May 2, going six innings and allowing only one run on four hits while fanning four.
Jenkins, who was just recalled from Double-A New Hampshire and took the roster spot of injured outfielder Rajai Davis, will be making his first major league appearance of 2013 after appearing in 13 games for Toronto in 2012, making three starts and going 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 32 innings. Brandon Morrow was initially slated to take on the Sox for the final game of the series but was pushed to Wednesday due to neck and back spasms that have been ailing him recently.
The 25-year-old Jenkins has made an appearance in only one game this year for the Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate, giving up three hits and two runs in five innings pitched. He’s never pitched an inning in Triple-A, skipping from Double-A New Hampshire straight to the big leagues in August of last year. The Red Sox got a brief look at the Tennessee native in 2012 when he threw an inning and a third of relief on Sept. 14, allowing two hits and two runs.
The Blue Jays had an array of pitching injuries limit them in 2012, but it could be argued that this year’s staff is even more depleted than last year’s. Jenkins will be the ninth starter the Jays have used in only 39 games, while they used 12 by the end of 2012. Jenkins also represents the 22nd pitcher to appear for Toronto, a total that leads the majors.
|David Ortiz to Dan Shaughnessy: ‘Look who it is’||05.11.13 at 6:03 pm ET|
As David Ortiz prepared to leave the Red Sox clubhouse after the team’s 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays, he did a double-take. The sight of Dan Shaughnessy, the Boston Globe columnist who confronted the slugger directly with suspicions about the possibility of his use of steroids, standing with a group of reporters, caught Ortiz’s attention.
“Look who it is,” Ortiz said.
He paused for a moment, then noted — loudly enough that all in the clubhouse were party to his address — that on the very day on which Shaughnessy interviewed him, he took a test for PEDs. Ortiz said he would be sure to pass along results of that test to the columnist. Ortiz became slightly more animated as he noted that he’d taken 40 tests administered by Major League Baseball.
“I’ve never tested positive,” Ortiz told the columnist, who had referenced the fact that the New York Times discovered in 2009 that the slugger had tested positive for a performance-enhancer in 2003 (at a time when a) there were no penalties for positive tests and b) test results were supposed to be anonymous).
When the report surfaced four years ago, Ortiz disputed that he had ever knowingly used PEDs, something that he mentioned anew to Shaughnessy as he walked towards the clubhouse door.
“By the way,” Ortiz said, “let me know what I tested positive for in 2003.”
As he spoke, while Ortiz was clearly upset, his tone remained relatively measured. He did not seek a response from Shaughnessy, nor did the columnist say anything while Ortiz spoke, though he did position himself to speak to Ortiz if the slugger wanted to do so.
|Closing Time: Slump continues as Red Sox fall to Blue Jays, 3-2||05.11.13 at 5:10 pm ET|
The April feast has yielded to May famine, with the Red Sox currently ensnared in a desperate inability to produce runs even when opportunities stare them in the face. The Sox managed just two runs, the seventh time in 11 games that they’ve plated three or fewer, and with little margin for error, the team met its undoing when Adam Lind slammed a solo homer against closer Junichi Tazawa in the top of the ninth inning that gave the Blue Jays a 3-2 victory.
The Sox have now lost seven of nine, with the team’s struggles with runners in scoring position occupying a prime share of the blame. Against Toronto on Saturday, the Sox (who in one stretch saw Jays starter Mark Buehrle retire 13 straight) were 0-for-11 with two walks. The inability to capitalize on opportunities remains a recurring them in the team’s current skid.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– After the Sox rallied for a pair of runs to tie the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the eighth, newly (and presumably temporarily) anointed closer Junichi Tazawa immediately gave the game back to Toronto. Tazawa gave up a long solo homer to Adam Lind to immediately give the lead back to Toronto. Thus continued Tazawa’s struggles: In his last nine games, he’s allowed five runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings, yielding a pair of homers. He’s permitted baserunners in eight of his nine outings. His struggles, combined with the absence of Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey, have created instability at the back end of the Red Sox bullpen. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox notes: Andrew Bailey will need some time; Will Middlebrooks not ‘in harm’s way’||05.11.13 at 2:16 pm ET|
With Joel Hanrahan out for the year, the depth of the Red Sox bullpen, naturally, has been depleted — all the more due to the fact that Andrew Bailey is on the disabled list due to a strained biceps. And now, it looks like Bailey’s stay on the DL will be, at the least, longer than the 15-day minimum.
The Red Sox anticipated that Bailey would long-toss to 120 feet on Saturday. The team will want him to continue his progression out to 150 feet, and then have him start throwing off a mound by “the early part of next week,” according to manager John Farrell.
Farrell said that Bailey will need to work at least in a simulated game before being activated from the disabled list, and it’s possible that he’ll need to pitch in a rehab game as well. All of that being the case, it seems that the Sox will be without the two-time All-Star until at least later next week. While Bailey is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Monday (an off-day preceding the team’s three-game series in Tampa Bay), it would appear that the closer will not be ready to come off the DL for the start of the series against the Rays.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
– It’s clear that Will Middlebrooks is playing in considerable discomfort given that, according to a source, he’s dealing with a separation of his ribs from the cartilage connecting them to the sternum. Farrell suggested that while his young third baseman is playing through pain, he’s not at risk of suffering a worse injury while remaining on the field. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox-Blue Jays expected to start at 2:25 p.m.||05.11.13 at 1:39 pm ET|
The start of Saturday afternoon’s contest between the Red Sox and Blue Jays, scheduled for 1:35 p.m., has been delayed by light rain passing through Fenway Park. The Red Sox announced an anticipated starting time of approximately 2:25 p.m. Clay Buchholz is scheduled to start against Mark Buehrle.
- Cup of Coffee: Henry, Diaz propel Pawtucket to blowout victory
- Cup of Coffee: Spring's walk-off grand slam lifts Portland
- Bradley: "Everything's back to normal"
- Cup of Coffee: PawSox, Drive produce walk-off wins
- PawSox activate Jackie Bradley, Jr. from disabled list
- Weekly Notes: De La Rosa, Betts take center stage
- Cup of Coffee: Shaw leads 18-hit attack in Sea Dogs rout
- Cup of Coffee: Gedman, big Salem seventh key system’s only win
- Christian Vazquez’s new focus at the plate starting to pay off
- Cup of Coffee: Augliera dominant in Salem victory