Red Sox notebook: David Ortiz uses the ‘F’ word; Jed Lowrie is on a role; Dennys Reyes sticks around
|04.13.11 at 6:27 pm ET|
Life goes on for the Red Sox, except now life can be without baseball for two straight days.
The players arrived to Fenway Park in preparation for their series-finale against the Rays Wednesday afternoon only to discover the game had been postponed due to weather. Most stayed for a bit, getting their usual work in, while also answering the inevitable question …
“Is this just what the doctor ordered for a team that has begun its season 2-9?”
“I’m not Nostradamus,” David Ortiz cracked before taking inside batting practice. “We’ll see. I don’t know. I mean, hopefully we can turn the page, try to get things better and start winning some games.”
One thing Ortiz wanted to make perfectly clear was that despite the season being in its infancy, the Red Sox aren’t taking this bump in the road lightly.
“Pretty much everybody’s working really hard right now. That’s why I’m one of the guys that believes that we’re going to turn things around because you don’t see nobody taking anything for granted right now,” the DH said. “Everybody’s like worried, I’m not going to lie to you. Everybody’s working their butt off just to get things better. Things are just not coming the way we expected, but right now, everybody’s trying to change things around.”
It has gotten so bad, Ortiz said, he actually used a word that he has attempted to eliminate from his vocabulary during the course of a baseball season.
“I know that it’s early in the season, but it’s the Red Sox, man,” he said. “I’m not used to that. I’ve been here nine years and I’m not used to that. I look at it, and it’s frustrating. I don’t use that word, but I have to now.”
Ortiz did go out of his way to say that the onus is on the players, not front office and coaching staff.
“Man, the coaches and the manager, they’re doing their best, man,” he said. “They can’t go out and there and hit and pitch and catch for us. They put together for us what we need to do, but after that, it’s on us. We’ve got to take over. They can do nothing else.”
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that while he appreciated Ortiz’ sentiments, in his opinion the responsibility for turning things around goes beyond just the players.
“It’s up to us,” said Francona. “That’s the biggest thing, is that it’s up to us. I appreciate what David is saying. As a staff, I don’t think we want to point fingers. It’s our job, certainly, to understand where we need to play better. But I don’t ever want them to feel like it’s us against them. It’s easy to stand up here and pat them on the back, and we’ve gotten to do that a lot. When things aren’t going well, it’s important to be there for them. I want them to feel that way.”
RED SOX RIDING HOT HAND WITH LOWRIE
Before the game was postponed, Francona had penciled in Jed Lowrie to start at shortstop.
Lowrie is currently hitting .438, having played three of the last four games (going 6-for-10). When asked why the almost-27-year-old (his birthday is April 17) was getting another start, Francona’s offered a no-nonsense answer.
“Jed’s hitting about .480,” Francona said. “We don’t have a lot of guys hitting .480.”
Lowrie has been particularly effective against left-handed pitching, going 5-for-8 with a pair of walks. Hitting vs. righties, the infielder is 2-for-8.
As for whether or not Francona saw Lowrie’s swing taking shape in spring training, the manager said, “I thought he was a little overaggressive at times. He swung at a lot more balls out of the zone we’ve seen. That’s probably something that’s early spring training. But he’s a good hitter. We’ve said that we’re trying to find ways to get him into the game. There’s days like today would have been where somebody’s got to sit. We’re just trying to win a game.”
The rest of the pre-postponement lineup was as follows: Carl Crawford LF, Dustin Pedroia 2B, Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Kevin Youkilis 3B, David Ortiz DH, J.D. Drew RF, Lowrie SS, Jarrod Saltamacchia C, Jacoby Ellsbury CF.
REYES STAYS WITH RED SOX, HEADS TO FORT MYERS
Reliever Dennys Reyes, who had been designated for assignment April 8, cleared waivers and will remain in the Red Sox’ organization and head to Fort Myers to work on his delivery.
Reyes pitched in four games, allowing three runs on two hits with two walks and two hit batsment in 1 2/3 innings.
Another reliever, Matt Albers, has shown good progress in coming back from a right lat injury. Albers, who has been in the 15-day disabled list since April 8, was scheduled to throw from 120 feet Wednesday after tossing from 60 and 90 feet for the previous two days.
The plan for Albers is to have him potentially throw a bullpen session over the weekend. He is eligible to come off the DL on April 21.
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