|07.18.16 at 8:42 am ET|
“No,” said Hazen when asked if the Red Sox on the verge of introducing another position to the 21-year-old second baseman. “We want him to get comfortable at second base. He’s showing very well at second base right now. He’s developing at Double-A. We want him to go day in and day out, learn a position, master a position. We’ll tackle that as we need to.”
The timetable for Moncada moving off second base — a maneuver that would seem to be just a matter of time due to the prospect’s progression and Dustin Pedroia’s presence — is line with Hazen’s previously stated blueprint.
When asked in spring training how the organization approached such a move, the GM said, “”No. 1, we have to make sure the base position is always taken care of first. So we won’t just rush into a decision to move a guy around until the base position is in a good spot. So wherever that primary spot is, we usually like to take care of that first, and if that comes along the way we like it to, great. Sometimes that happens in Double-A and sometimes that happens in Triple-A. When we get to that point, that’s where we more start exploring the opportunity to be exposed to different places.
“We’re taking care of the base position. You need to be a good defender at the major league level. One of the downsides of switching positions is that if you end up being mediocre at multiple positions that doesn’t fly that great with the major league staff, who want proficiency. So we need to make sure that base position is proficient. And usually at the lower minors, in Double-A, we’re still working on those things. So for a young kid especially who has limited reps, we want to make sure that that base position is taken care of.”
At this point, the Red Sox may be looking to cover themselves at second base if anything were to happen to Pedroia over an extended period of time. But even if such a scenario took place, the likelihood would be that the club initially utilizes Aaron Hill and/or Marco Hernandez at the position.
For now, Moncada’s most likely path to seeing major league time this season may simple be as a September call-up, getting the opportunity to help the club with his base-stealing acumen. (The switch-hitter is 43 for 52 in stolen base attempts this season.)
Offensively, Moncada is hinting he might not be far from being major-league ready.
With Double-A Portland, he is hitting .325 with five homers, seven stolen bases and a 1.039 OPS in 20 games. In his last four games Moncada has reached base 11 times in 18 plate appearances, drawing a pair of walks in each contest.
All of this after garnering MVP honors for the Futures Game in San Diego during the All-Star Game festivities.
|07.18.16 at 8:31 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Sunday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (50-45): W, 6-0, vs. Charlotte (White Sox)
— In Pawtucket’s third straight win, Roenis Elias threw 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, letting up only two hits while striking out four. The southpaw didn’t allow a hit until the end of the fourth inning.
“His effort level was under control and his breaking ball was really good today,” PawSox manager Kevin Boles told MiLB.com. “He got those guys swinging early.”
Elias, 27, is 7-1 in his last 10 starts, pitching at least five innings in all of those appearances. He is 7-4 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 15 minor league outings this season. His 76 strikeouts rank second among Pawtucket pitchers.
— Marco Hernandez did more than enough on offense to secure the win for Pawtucket, going 1-for-4 with a season-high four RBIs. His second home run of the year came in the third inning, driving in three. He also drove in a run with a ground out in the opening frame.
The 23-year-old infielder has hit safely in his last three games and is slashing .315/.362/.444 this season. He ist third on current PawSox in RBIs.
|07.18.16 at 1:14 am ET|
Jonny Gomes won’t get to model his American Flag blazer again for President Obama this week.
Despite being a member of the World Series-champion Royals last year, Gomes wasn’t invited to Thursday’s meet-and-greet at the White House with President Obama. Gomes told FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal that he’s crushed by the snub.
“I’ve been sent down. I’ve been non-tendered, whatever,” Gomes told Rosenthal. “But this is probably the worst news of my professional baseball career.
“I’m not trying to throw an egg on anyone’s face. But a lot of people are asking me, ‘Hey, are you going to wear that American flag jacket? Is Obama going to ask you to make that speech again?’ It would be pretty cool. This is probably going to be Obama’s last championship team before he leaves office.”
Gomes met Obama after the Red Sox won the title in 2013 and sported the aforementioned patriotic apparel. He played an integral role on that team. The Royals left him off the invite list because they said they could only include a limited number of guests, and Gomes wasn’t on their postseason roster. He joined the club on Aug. 31 in a waiver deal and batted just .167 in 12 games.
The 35-year-old opened this year in Japan, but returned in May. Reports at the time erroneously claimed he was retiring. Gomes told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that he didn’t plan to hang them up, though he has yet to hook on with another team.
|07.18.16 at 1:02 am ET|
NEW YORK — The Red Sox continue to wait.
David Price has had his moments this year. He has looked very good at times.
But he has yet to really dominate an opponent and win a game on his own. Such was the case Sunday night against the Yankees when he once again did just enough to lose in a 3-1 defeat.
Considering that the Yankees pounded Price for 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings, it could’ve been worse. But fact is, the Red Sox gave Price a 1-0 lead in the first on Dustin Pedroia’s solo homer, and he gave it back during a three-run fourth.
“I’m definitely not satisfied,” Price said. “It was a bad fourth inning. Even when I was ahead, I couldn’t execute whatever pitch I was throwing to get an out. That’s tough. They gave me a lead there in the first inning with a home run by Pedey, and I couldn’t capitalize.
“That’s all it takes, one bad inning, one bad pitch. At this level, that’s enough to lose your team a ballgame. That was the case today. Those are always the tough ones.”
|07.17.16 at 11:39 pm ET|
NEW YORK — If David Price is planning to embark on a dominant second-half run, as he suggested to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford recently, it didn’t start Sunday night.
Once again tasked with protecting a slim lead, Price once again faltered against the Yankees. He allowed three runs in the fourth and generally struggling to put away one of the more pedestrian offenses in the American League in a 3-1 loss that snapped Boston’s six-game winning streak.
“The finishing pitch might not have been there as it was the last few times out for him but still, despite the combination of hits in that one inning, he kept the game very much under control,” manager John Farrell said. “He might not have been as sharp or as powerful as recent times out, but they string together 11 hits, got to go to the bullpen to shut things down and we did.”
Price needed to be perfect to outduel Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. After Dustin Pedroia gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the first, Price struggled right from the start, allowing a line drive to left by leadoff Brett Gardner that Brock Holt snared with a diving catch.
The Yankees peppered Price for 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings, including two each from Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran atop the order.
That said, the Red Sox carried a 1-0 lead into the fourth before Price faltered. Didi Gregorius started things with a one-out single and scored on Starlin Castro’s double to left. Price had a chance to keep the game tied, but after striking out Rob Refsnyder, he allowed RBI singles to Austin Romine and Ellsbury.
Price was lifted with two outs in the sixth after allowing singles to Gardner and Ellsbury, leaving the mound after a disappointing performance that left his ERA at 4.36 and at least temporarily dashed hopes that he’d start the second half the same way he finished the first, with eight strong innings against the Rays.
|07.17.16 at 7:37 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Drew Pomeranz woke up one week ago in San Diego, where he was preparing to represent the Padres as they hosted the All-Star Game. Life was good.
Then came the kind of upheaval that would throw most players for a loop with Wednesday’s news that the Red Sox had acquired him to boost their beleaguered starting rotation. For Pomeranz, however, a fourth trade in the last five years felt old hat.
“This is my fifth organization in the last six years, so I’m ready for anything at all times,” Pomeranz said, later adding, “Apparently someone still wants me.”
That someone is the Red Sox, and they need him more than ever. Their fourth and fifth starters posted an ERA over 7.00 in the first half before Eduardo Rodriguez tossed seven innings of one-run ball in a 5-2 victory over the Yankees on Saturday.
That represented a step in the right direction, but Pomeranz is expected to provide more of a leap that way. He’s 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA and ranked second in the NL with a .184 batting average against before being traded to the Red Sox.
He leaves the second-division Padres for the heat of the pennant race.
“Pretty excited to go to Boston,” Pomeranz said. “It’s a great city, great team. They’ve been doing well all year. They’re right there in the race. It’s real exciting to go a team like that. They want to win here, and I want to win, too, so I’m excited.”
He’ll make his Red Sox debut on Wednesday against the Giants, the team he had been scheduled to face on Sunday, which instead turned out to be the day he joined the Red Sox and met his new teammates.
“I can’t really get away from them,” he joked.
The 6-foot-6 left-hander arrives in Boston with some major expectations for how he’ll help boost the rotation. He has never pitched in a big market before, but he says he’s ready.
“I’ve done literally everything there is to do on a baseball field as a pitcher,” he said. “I’m pretty prepared for anything. You could shove me out there in any situation. I’ve done it. I have a routine. I’ll stick to my routine.”
Pomeranz threw a bullpen in front of manager John Farrell and staff on Sunday afternoon. The games start counting for real on Wednesday. Pomerantz is just happy to look around the clubhouse and see so many fellow Tennessee natives, from David Price to Bryce Brentz to Mookie Betts. He played with Steven Wright in the minors. He actually faced Price in high school when the Red Sox ace was an outfielder, striking him out once and allowing a hit.
“That’s the glory of being with five organizations in six years,” Pomeranz said. “You encounter a lot of different people.”
|07.17.16 at 10:03 am ET|
Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Saturday.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (49-45): W, 6-3, vs. Charlotte (White Sox)
— Left-hander Henry Owens took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before allowing an infield single. He ended up pitching 7 2/3 innings, allowing just the one hit and two walks while striking out four. However, he was charged with three runs, as he left with the bases loaded (hit batsman, single, walk) and reliever Chandler Shepherd gave up a three-run double to Jason Bourgeois.
It marked the second time in a month that Owens pitched at least six no-hit innings. He faced only 22 batters through seven innings, one over the minimum.
“There was some deception to his fastball but he pounded the zone and got them swinging early,” manager Kevin Boles said (via MiLB.com). “Watching him tonight, he looks much more relaxed, and I thought he was able to repeat his delivery more times than not.”
Added Boles: “He had better fastball command, showed feel for his changeup. I thought his hand speed with the changeup was terrific and he made sure that he showed them that pitch to keep them off balance.”
Owens had allowed five runs in each of his last three starts. He’s now 6-5 with a 4.07 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 16 Triple-A starts this season.
“I’ve been working on the repeatability of my mechanics and getting comfortable with my windup and it’s just been kind of about repetition to where it gets to muscle memory and this was the best it’s felt all year,” Owens told MiLB.com. “When I felt out of sync, I was able to make the adjustment quicker rather than carrying it over to the next batter, which has kind of plagued me throughout this year, so I think there’s still a little work to be done, but as a whole I feel I’m going in the right direction.”
|07.17.16 at 8:49 am ET|
Looking to complete a series sweep of the Yankees on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox will send out ace David Price, while the Yankees will depend on the right arm of Masahiro Tanaka.
Price is 9-6 in 19 starts with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.190 WHIP. Price ended the first half of the season on a high note last Sunday by pitching eight innings and allowing no runs, four hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts in a 4-0 Red Sox win. It was the first time this season Price didn’t give up a run.
“I was never discouraged,” Price said. “I never lost confidence in my abilities. My coaching staff and my teammates didn’t, either. Just continue to work. I know it’s going to happen.”
Against the Yankees, Price is 14-8 in 33 games (32 starts), the most he has against any team, with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.318 WHIP. Price faced the Yankees in back-to-back starts in May. In the first outing on May 7 he went seven innings, allowing six runs, eight hits and one walk with three strikeouts. In next start seven days later, the 30-year-old left-hander lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs, seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
|07.16.16 at 7:07 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Eduardo Rodriguez was lost for the entire first half of the season. Might he finally be found?
He certainly looked that way on Saturday in a 5-2 victory over the Yankees, pitching seven effective innings and riding a three-run homer from Sandy Leon to a win his best start of the season.
His timing couldn’t have been any better, because he delivered seven innings of one-run ball with his future in the rotation on the line.
“It’s good because they gave me the chance to get back here and do what I do,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve got to say thanks to them to believe in myself.”
The Red Sox ran their winning streak to a season-high six games, while the Yankees dropped their second straight to open the second half, falling two games below .500 this late in the season for the first time since 1995.
This one was about the Red Sox battery. Rodriguez had struggled since injuring his knee in spring training, taking an 8.59 ERA out to the mound in his first start since June 27. His previous start might’ve been his worst, and featured a very public tongue-lashing from second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the mound in Tampa.
Rodriguez was supposed to spend a considerable chunk of time in Triple-A figuring out what plagued his delivery, but he rejoined the Red Sox after just one and a half rehab starts.
He delivered, in part by exhuming the slider he had abandoned for most of the season. He allowed four hits and one run, striking out one and walking two. He also featured a modified delivery out of the stretch with his hands starting higher in an effort not to tip pitches. It seemed to work.
“It was good, because now I’m not thinking about the tipping stuff,” Rodriguez said. “I just throw the ball right where I wanted.”
His only mistake came in the third on a solo homer to Brett Gardner. Otherwise, he controlled the game, inducing grounders and weak fly balls while outdueling former Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia.
|07.16.16 at 5:07 pm ET|
NEW YORK — The Red Sox needed to add a starter, but as it turned out, their options were pretty limited.
The Sox ultimately landed San Diego lefty Drew Pomeranz in exchange for top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza on Thursday.
After Pomeranz, the quality of starting pitchers who were being made available thinned out significantly. Rich Hill would have been a consideration, but the combination of Oakland’s asking price and the fact the veteran is eligible for free agency after this season led to the Red Sox shying away.
Philadelphia’s Jeremy Hellickson could have been had. The 29-year-old wasn’t at the level of either Pomeranz or Hill, totaling a 4.03 ERA in 19 starts with the Phillies.
A few pitchers that may have normally been considered by the Red Sox — Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi or Chris Archer — weren’t in the mix despite reportedly being on the block. The reason was, according to a major league source, was that Tampa Bay had no interest in dealing any of the group to its division rival.
The news lines up with comments by Tampa Bay president Matt Silverman to the Boston Herald recently, telling the newspaper he would prefer not to trade with the Sox.
Pomeranz is slated to make his Red Sox debut Wednesday at Fenway Park against the Giants.
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