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Red Sox notes: Rick Porcello heads to disabled list for first time in career; Mookie Betts making progress 08.02.15 at 12:31 pm ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

Many where wondering how the Red Sox were going to approach Rick Porcello’s scheduled start Tuesday, with the righty suffering through a two-inning, 10-hit, six-run outing in his last appearance. Sunday there was an answer.

The Red Sox placed Porcello on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 30) with a right triceps strain. Taking the place on the Sox’ 25-man roster is newly-acquired reliever Ryan Cook.

“He came out of his last start with soreness and inflammation in his triceps,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “The best way could have done would have been to push him back to Saturday to give him ample time, but we felt like that was going to be too much of a risk. We feel like it’s a short-term thing, but at the same time, we need to be able to back him out of there. He wasn’t going to be able to throw a bullpen today. While the symptoms are improving, there’s still soreness there, so he goes on the disabled list.”

Farrell noted that the Red Sox still hadn’t determined who would make the Tuesday start against the Yankees in New York. Candidates from Triple-A Pawtucket would be Brian Johnson and Henry Owens, although Johnson was scheduled to pitch Sunday, with Owens slated for Monday.

Porcello, who has never previously been on the disabled list, said he first felt the tightness during the second inning of his previous start.

“In the Chicago start, after the second inning, it started to feel a little tight, nothing, I didn’t think it was a big deal, thought it was something I could work through,” said Porcello, who threw prior to Sunday’s game. “Next day when I woke up the range of motion was locked to right there ‘€“ been working it out, playing catch and stuff, been getting progressively better each day. They want it to be something that’s completely gone, and not be anything that I need to worry about in my next start. I feel like I can ready in a couple days but we’ll take the time and get it completely out of there and get ready to finish strong.”

The righty added, “I’ve never felt anything like this in my triceps before. Usually you feel elbow soreness or stiffness or stuff like that but I never felt anything right here in my triceps. I don’t know.”

Porcello has the highest ERA (5.81) of any qualifying starter in the American League, and third-highest in the majors. Colorado’s Kyle Kendrick is the highest at 6.43, with Milwaukee’s Kyle Lohse sitting at 6.24.

– A positive development for the Red Sox was news that Mookie Betts, who has been on the seven-day concussion disabled list after tumbling over the right fence July 28, is closer to returning.

“Mookie turned a corner yesterday,” said Farrell. “His headache has disappeared. He’s going to be rechecked here in Boston. He won’t travel to New York. He’ll be rechecked here by midweek. He’ll begin exertion testing today, and we’ll continue to go through the MLB protocol for concussions. A much improved state with Mookie.”

Betts is expected to join the Red Sox for their weekend series in Detroit, at which time the outfielder will most likely resume baseball activities.

Sam Kennedy to replace Larry Lucchino as Red Sox president/CEO 08.01.15 at 7:48 pm ET
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According to a source, Larry Lucchino will be leaving his post as Red Sox president/CEO as early as the end of October.

Lucchino reportedly will be replaced by current Red Sox chief operating officer Sam Kennedy. The 42-year-old Kennedy, a Brookline native, is not believed to have a role in player acquisition in the manner Lucchino did since joining the club in 2002.

According to the Boston Herald, which first reported the story, the transition from Lucchino to Kennedy has already begun. A source reports that the move has been in the works since 2012, with Lucchino on board with the decision.

“The truth is Sam is an important part of this puzzle,” Lucchino told the Boston Herald. “He’s been working for me for 20 years, right out of college. He’s certainly my choice, as well as that of [principal owner] John [Henry] and Tom [Werner], to be promoted the position of president.”

“I don’€™t believe at all that this is the end of Larry’€™s relationship with the club, but the beginning of a more diverse role — one in which he can begin to enjoy some of the fruits of his labor,” Henry told the Herald. “He almost certainly will continue to mentor and push for excellence internally over upcoming years.”

It has long been rumored that Lucchino would be stepping aside from his current post, with the longtime baseball executive — who will turn 70 next month — seemingly wanting to diminish his workload. The current president/CEO hasn’t been as visible this season, with much of his focus turned to the the purchase of the Pawtucket Red Sox and that organization’s quest to build a new stadium in Providence.

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Read More: Larry Lucchino, Sam Kennedy,
Closing Time: Red Sox figure things out against Chris Sale, White Sox 07.30.15 at 10:41 pm ET
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Steven Wright

Steven Wright

This one came out of nowhere.

Having won just three of their last 16 games, while sitting on the verge of a four-game sweep at the hands of the red-hot White Sox, the Red Sox didn’t have much reason for optimism heading into Thursday night’s series finale. Add in that John Farrell‘s team had to reverse its course against Chris Sale, one of the top pitchers in the American League, and the Sox’ best chance would seem for the rain to pick up steam from 7 p.m. and on.

But the rain did let up, resulting in just a 51-minute delay, and as it turned out the Red Sox were glad it did.

The Sox jumped all over Sale, handing the skinny southpaw with the 2.85 ERA one of his worst results of the season. The Red Sox tagged the White Sox starter for seven runs on 12 hits over five innings on the way to an 8-2 win at Fenway Park.

It marked the most hits ever allowed by Sale, who was chased from the game after not retiring an out in the sixth inning and being charged with four runs in the frame.

Sale’s counterpart, Red Sox starter Steven Wright, conversely turned in one of his best big league outings, giving up just two runs (both coming in the first inning) over seven innings. The knuckleballer finished with career-highs in innings pitched, strikeouts (8), and pitches thrown (115).

“It was just one of those days,” Wright said. “My last outing, it was definitely moving a lot more radically. It felt good coming out of my hand last night, and it felt the same coming out this time. Today it wasn’t moving quite as much. That’s just the way it goes sometimes with the knuckleballs.”

Another positive in Wright’s performance was his cohesion with catcher Blake Swihart after the backstop’s four passed-ball game the last time they got together.

“I think the other day his previous time out, he reached for a number of knuckleballs that were up above the eye level,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “There was a concerted effort on his part to raise his entire body up to maybe keep his eye level above the glove. But he handled him much more clean today. There was an adjustment he made in working with [catching instructor] Dana [LeVangie] in between starts.”

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Read More: chris sale, steven wright,
Red Sox lineup: Pablo Sandoval starts after leaving Wednesday’s game early 07.30.15 at 3:17 pm ET
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Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

After having to exit Wednesday night’s game early due to dehydration, Pablo Sandoval is in the Red Sox‘ starting lineup in their series finale against the White Sox at Fenway Park.

Also in the lineup for the Red Sox is first baseman Mike Napoli despite going 1-for-11 with five strikeouts against White Sox starter Chris Sale.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup with Steven Wright going for the hosts:

Brock Holt 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez LF
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Rusney Castillo RF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Blake Swihart C
Jackie Bradley CF

For all the matchups, click here.

Blue Jays to acquire David Price from Tigers for three prospects 07.30.15 at 1:33 pm ET
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The Blue Jays, sitting two games out of the American League‘s second wild card spot at 51-51, have made their intentions clear. They are going for it.

After dealing for shortstop Troy Tulowitzki earlier in the week, the Jays sent more shockwaves around baseball by dealing for pitcher David Price according to multiple reports.

Going to the Tigers in exchange for the soon-to-be 30-year-old Price will be top Blue Jays pitching prospect Daniel Norris. Also reportedly included in the deal will be Jays minor league pitchers Jairo Labourt and Matt Boyd. The completion of the trade is pending a physical.

While Tulowitzki was acquired to be part of the Jays’ foundation for years to come — under club control through 2021 — Price is a pure rental for the remainder of the 2015 season. He will be eligible for free agency at the end of this year.

It is the second straight year Price has been dealt at the non-waiver trade deadline, with the Tigers having acquired the lefty in a three-team trade with the Rays and Mariners.

Price continues to be dominant, posting a 2.53 ERA in 21 starts this season.

For more on the deal, and the prospects surrendered by the Blue Jays for Price, click here.

Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline,
Cole Hamels lands with Rangers; Red Sox not close 07.30.15 at 3:04 am ET
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Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels

The mystery regarding where Cole Hamels might end up has been solved. And it should be no surprise that his new landing spot isn’t with the Red Sox.

The 31-year-old lefty was traded from the Phillies to the Rangers Wednesday night in an eight-player deal. Heading to Texas will be Hamels, reliever Jake Diekman and $9.5 million. In return, Philadelphia receives veteran pitcher Matt Harrison along with pitching prospects Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, and outfield prospect Nick Williams.

Thompson and Alfaro are considered two of the top 50 prospects in the game according to Baseball America. The Rangers didn’t, however, have to part with their top prospect, Joey Gallo, whom — according to a major league source — the Phillies stopped asking for early on in the negotiations.

The Rangers weren’t one of the 20 teams Hamels had the right to veto a trade to. According to sources, the belief in recent days was that the Phillies were steering negotiations toward any of the nine teams not on the pitcher’s no-trade list who were showing significant interest.

With the Red Sox on Hamels’ no-trade list, sources confirmed that the organization didn’t view itself as a serious contender for the pitcher’s services in the days prior to Wednesday’s trade. Houston, which also had significant interest in the pitcher, found itself in a similar position as the Red Sox.

The Dodgers, who were not on Hamels’ no-trade list, were believed to be the Rangers’ most serious competitor for the southpaw’s services.

Hamels will be paid $82.1 million through the 2018 season, with a team/vesting $20 million option for ’19.

Source: No-trade clause may be leaving Red Sox out of Cole Hamels chase 07.29.15 at 9:23 am ET
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Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels

With sources confirming late Tuesday night an earlier ESPN report that the Phillies were asking teams for their last and best offer on Cole Hamels, it appears the Red Sox aren’t a likely landing spot for the pitcher.

According to one major league source, Hamels’ no-trade clause — that prevents the Phillies from dealing the 31-year-old to a list teams, one of them being the Red Sox — continues to be a roadblock when it comes to the Sox acquiring the lefty. It seemingly has been an issue throughout the team’s pursuit of Hamels.

It is believed that the Phillies may be focusing on teams that have shown significant interest and are not on Hamels’ 20-team no-trade list.

It is believed by numerous major league sources that the Dodgers might have the inside track on acquiring Hamels, with a very interested Houston team running into the same issues as the Red Sox (also residing on the no-trade list). The Rangers also are believed to be in the mix.

MLB.com has reported that Hamels will not make his scheduled start Thursday, the last day before the non-waiver trade deadline.

Hamels is coming off a no-hitter against the Cubs, with his ERA standing at 3.64 over 128 2/3 innings. He is signed at $22.5 million per season through 2018, with a $20 million team option for ’19.

Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline, Cole Hamels,
Jose Abreu believes Rusney Castillo is going to be star for Red Sox 07.28.15 at 11:29 pm ET
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Jose Abreu

Jose Abreu

Almost a year after the Red Sox inked Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal, the outfielder has collected a fair amount of naysayers.

But don’€™t count Jose Abreu among that group.

The White Sox slugger ‘€“ who hit his 52nd career home run in the first baseman’€™s 238rd big league game Tuesday night during his team’€™s 9-4 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park ‘€“ believes good times are ahead for his former Cuban national team teammate.

“Yes, of course,” said Abreu through a translator when asked if he believed Castillo would be a star in the major leagues. “He’€™s a five-tool player. He’€™s just trying to work hard every day. He’€™s a great, great player.”

While the 28-year-old Abreu is just less than six months younger than Castillo, the pair’€™s immediate major league success has been strikingly different.
The Red Sox outfielder has totaled a .272 batting average, .688 OPS and three home runs in 38 major league games, while also 40 more games with Triple-A Pawtucket this season.

Abreu, on the other hand, by this date in his first full major league season had already hit 31 homers.

The White Sox slugger suggests, however, that all Castillo needs is more time.

“I played against him a lot in Cuba and I know him very well. He’€™s a very good player,” Abreu said. “My advice for him is to just keep working hard every day because he’€™s got a lot of talent to show up here.”

He added, “I see him as the same player as he was in Cuba. Sometimes it’€™s difficult for a player to just play one game or two and not have that consistency instead of playing every day. He has to keep working his way because he’€™s not a manager. He just has to play hard.”

And then there is that sting that Abreu left for Red Sox fans when the White Sox out-bid Boston for the player’€™s services by less than $5 million. (It is believed that the narrow miss by the Red Sox on Abreu pushed the team harder toward signing Castillo, with principal owner John Henry emailing WEEI.com last August, “Yes, the financial aspects [of Castillo’€™s contract] were impacted by coming close on Abreu. The White Sox did their homework.”

“I just kept my mind open for each team,” Abreu said. “I have to thank the Red Sox organization because I was working out in their complex in the Dominican Republic, so I have to thank them for that because they gave me the facility to show off for other teams, and for them also. But things were right for the White Sox.”

Mookie Betts leaves game with concussion symptoms after falling over fence, could miss time 07.28.15 at 9:27 pm ET
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What appeared to be one of the season’s more dramatic plays for the Red Sox simply resulted in a two-run homer for Chicago’s Jose Abreu and an injured Mookie Betts.

With two outs in the sixth inning and the White Sox carrying a 5-2 lead over the Red Sox, Abreu launched a Wade Miley first-pitch fastball to deep right-center field. Betts raced back to catch the fly ball, but after two steps hurdled his body over the fence.

The outfielder tumbled into the Red Sox bullpen, landing on his head and neck. While the ball trickled out of Betts’ glove after he landed on the ground, Abreu was called out. But after a video review, the call was overturned, giving the White Sox slugger his 16th homer and the visitors a two-run lead.

“The wording we use is he has to have ‘control of his body,’ ” crew chief Bill Miller told a pool reporter after the game. “In this case we couldn’t tell if the ball was on the ground on the other side of the fence or not, and so that’s why we went to replay. They determined he didn’t have control of his body when he hit the fence and the ball popped out.”

Adding injury to insult, Betts would be removed from the game after having to sit on the ground just prior to reaching the Red Sox dugout. Rusney Castillo came on to replace the center fielder.

The Red Sox announced Betts left the game with concussion symptoms.

“He’s being examined further right now,” manager John Farrell said. “At minimum, he’ll have to go through the MLB protocol to be cleared, so before stating what he exactly has, we have to get some further information from the tests.”

It’s likely Betts will go in the seven-day concussion disabled list, which goes along with MLB protocol.

Ryan Hannable contributed to this report.

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Mike Napoli bracing himself for possible trade deadline relocation 07.24.15 at 12:48 pm ET
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HOUSTON — Shane Victorino has said he was wants to live out the life of his three-year contract with the Red Sox, using these final days before the non-waiver trade deadline as an opportunity to “go make it hard on [the front office].”

He isn’t alone in his sentiments.

One of the other members of the Red Sox who is living life in the last year of their deal, Mike Napoli, has also started to feel the reality as July 31 draws closer.

“I try not to look too far, but I know this is a business,” Napoli said. “It’s hard for me because I love it here so much. But the way things are going now, it’s pretty rough.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I really try not to think about that.”

But these days, with the Red Sox residing 12 games back of first place in the American League East, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for Napoli to not think about it.

The first baseman could very well join Victorino, Craig Breslow and Justin Masterson as a piece which will be attempted to be sold off by the Red Sox at the deadline due to their contract status.

With Napoli, the likelihood has gotten a bit more realistic in recent days thanks to somewhat of a resurgence. While the Red Sox would surely have to take on a good chunk of what is left of the $16 million owed this season in any deal, the 33-year-old was shown enough life of late — hitting .389 with a 1.143 OPS on the Sox’ disastrous seven-game road trip — that a team might have interest.

Games like Thursday night’s performance, in which Napoli notched three hits for the second time this season (two doubles, home run), might have distracted potential suitors somewhat from relying solely on a woeful first half.

And even if Napoli isn’t dealt before July 31, his run as a Red Sox still might come to an end prematurely thanks to an August deal. (Remember, he was almost dealt to the Sox after they claimed him on waivers from the Angels in 2010.)

While it is unlikely Napoli would return to the Red Sox beyond this season even if he remained with the team for the duration of his two-year deal, it doesn’t make the prospects of moving on any easier for the 10-year big league veteran.

“I think it’s the best place in the world if you have a winning ball club,” said Napoli, who bought a house in Boston after signing his two-year, $32 million deal prior to the 2014 season. “I think that’s the frustrating thing, to not have a winning ball club. We’re a good team, but we’re just underachieving. We’ll just have to try and make the best of it.”

Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline,
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