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Red Sox lineup: Travis Shaw starts day on bench in series finale 07.03.16 at 11:00 am ET
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Travis Shaw, who has appeared in every one of the Red Sox’ games this season, will start Sunday on the bench, with Marco Hernandez playing third base.

Here is the Red Sox lineup with Sean O’Sullivan getting the start for the hosts in their series finale against the Angels:

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brock Holt LF
Sandy Leon C
Marco Hernandez 3B

David Price could understand why John Farrell said pitcher had great stuff Wednesday 07.01.16 at 4:39 pm ET
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David Price allowed four runs in his fifth loss of the year Wednesday to the Rays. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

David Price allowed four runs in his fifth loss of the year Wednesday to the Rays. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

In the 48 hours since David Price and John Farrell broke down the starter’s loss against the Rays, much has been made in regards to the conflicting analysis of Price’s performance.

While Farrell said Price, “had probably his best stuff of the season,” the pitcher surmised his changeup was “the worst I’ve had in a month,” and that his curveball was “awful.”

Speaking to WEEI.com prior to Friday night’s game, Price said he was unaware of anything Farrell said after the Red Sox’ 4-0 loss to the Rays Wednesday. (“I don’t watch postgame interviews, I don’t read the stories that are written. So honestly I have zero idea of what he said,” the pitcher said.)

But the lefty did offer an explanation of why Farrell might have taken such a stance.

“I think he might have been relating stuff to velo. That was the best velo since I’ve been here,” Price said. “My stance on velo is that it might allow you to get away with a couple more mistakes. But other than that, everybody at this level has proven they can hit a fastball at a range of velocities.”

Price also suggested that the best perspective of how a pitcher’s stuff is playing is always going to be on the mound and behind the plate, and not necessarily the dugout.

“It’s his view from the side. At times that can be misleading,” Price noted. “You’re from the side, guys throwing strikes and not getting calls or throwing balls and they’re actually strikes. It’s tough to really evaluate a game from the side. It’s something after they go back to watch it, or see it from down below and you get that real angle from it. That gives you a better perspective. However he wants to handle it, that’s his decision. That’s not for me to me to worry about.”

Price also offered his perspective on how Farrell has approached the pitchers compared to other managers he has had. The Red Sox skipper is the first former pitcher or pitching coach the starter has had, having previously pitched for Joe Maddon, Brad Ausmus and John Gibbons.

“Just watching bullpens,” said Price when explaining one of the differences. “Some managers will go out and watch a bullpen when a guy is coming back from the DL. But John makes his way out there pretty regularly to watch your bullpens to see your work on Day 2 or that Day 3 whenever you decide to throw that bullpen. That’s probably the pitching coach in him.”

Price did say, however, that most of the messages when it comes to the execution of pitching still come from pitching coach Carl Willis.

“Carl is a very good talker,” he said. “He’s able to get his point across, what he’s trying to say. That’s good. I feel like every pitching coach at this level have their idea of what makes this guy successful. It’s that ability to relay that message to the pitcher in terms of what he’s trying to say. Carl’s very good at what he does.”

Price’s record stands at 8-5 with a 4.74 ERA, having allowed 10 runs over 8 2/3 innings in his last two outings.

David Ortiz won’t participate in Home Run Derby; Mookie Betts also unlikely to join event 06.29.16 at 11:31 am ET
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Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, now teammates talk at the 2010 Homerun Derby. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, now teammates talk at the 2010 Homerun Derby. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz was tempted, but has decided against it.

The Red Sox designated hitter isn’t going to participated in the Home Run Derby during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game celebration in San Diego.

“No. No, because I have so many things going on over there when I go,” said Ortiz of the event, which is scheduled to take place July 11. “It’s going to be crazy. The Home Run Derby wears you out. I would like to, but I’ve got so many things lined up. It’s too much.”

Ortiz hasn’t done the Home Run Derby since winning the event in 2010 in Anaheim, beating current teammate Hanley Ramirez in the final round. The designated hitter has participated in the Derby four times.

This being his final season, Ortiz was tempted to dive into the Derby one more time, especially considering he has 18 homers (four shy of the American League lead) heading into Wednesday’s game.

“I probably would, but I’m not. My time is going to be very limited,” he said. “It’s good for the younger guys to do it. It puts you on the map for a minute. Energy is a big part of it. When was the last time you saw a guy my age do it. It takes everything out of you, because you don’t take any cheap swings. Everything has to be powerful. You definitely have to be in your 20’s to do it.”

He also understands that the Derby isn’t for everybody, particularly with the chance that an altered approach may mess up second-half swings.

“Not me because that’s what I do. Batting practice I work on my opposite field swing and after that I start launching balls. Some guys, they aren’t legitimate power hitters,” Ortiz said. “They go to the Home Run Derby and I watch them and I can see it effecting their swing, because that’s not what they normally do.”

The other Red Sox hitter who might be a candidate to participate in the Derby is Mookie Betts, who has 16 home runs and is currently trending toward being voted in as an All-Star starter.

“I don’t think so,” he said when asked if it might be an option. “I’m not a home run hitter.” Betts said the last time he was part of a Home Run Derby was as a 10-year-old, finishing second in a Little League competition.

Read More: David Ortiz, mookie betts,
Tuesday night was reminder that Travis Shaw has come a long way, and played a lot of games 06.29.16 at 1:34 am ET
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Travis Shaw has participated in every one of the Red Sox' games this season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Travis Shaw has participated in every one of the Red Sox’ games this season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – When it became clear that Travis Shaw might actually make the Red Sox in the early days of spring training, the next logical line of questioning was how he might handle playing every third or fourth day.

It seemed logical at the time, anyway.

Now, 77 games into the 2016 season, Shaw has participated in every single game, doing so while even getting to go into, and seemingly come out of, his first major league slump.

“I didn’t know about it until somebody pointed that out, but I take pride in durability,” Shaw said. “I think I still have the longest streak since Pedey in 2010 or 2011. It means a lot to me, especially for their trust to put me out there every single day, one way or the other. Being able to play every single day this year means a lot.

“For me, it’s more durability and showing I’m an everyday player and can do multiple things, not just one spot. I do take pride in that.”

As gratifying as hitting his first home run in 100 plate appearances was during the Red Sox’ 8-2 win over the Rays Tuesday night, the opportunity to show that he had emerged from his recent struggles offered the greatest sense of satisfaction.

After Tuesday night’s three-hit performance, Shaw has now become the first player in the majors with three games of five RBI or more, and is hitting .273 with a .792 OPS and eight home runs. This after hitting .219 with a .590 OPS and not a single homer in his previous 28 games.

After Tuesday night’s win, in 553 plate big league plate appearances, Shaw is hitting .271 with an .802 OPS and 21 home runs.

“I was sitting there, thinking about it the other night. If you look at it, I hadn’t swung the bat well in a month and was still hitting .270. I’ll take that,” Shaw said. “You weather a whole month – three and a half, four weeks – and you’re still treading water at .270, .275, it could have been way worse.”

Could Pat Light follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Papelbon, Justin Masterson, Daniel Bard? 06.28.16 at 8:32 pm ET
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Pat Light

Pat Light

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It’s a longshot, but it’s worth a conversation, nonetheless.

Could Pat Light actually ultimately be the kind of relief pitcher the Red Sox are looking for to help in the seventh and eighth innings?

For previous Red Sox’ runs toward the postseason, some of their best non-waiver trade deadline additions have come from their own system. Jonathan Papelbon (2005), Justin Masterson (2008) and Daniel Bard (2009) all proved to be the kind of high-leverage arms those teams desperately needed straight through their playoffs existence.

Now, with Carson Smith’s injury leaving Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa perhaps a bit overexposed, the Red Sox find themselves looking for something similar.

Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree have put their hats in the ring, but have been met with somewhat uneven results.

Now it might be Light’s turn.

While it would seem a stretch that the Red Sox might lean so heavily on a pitcher that had such an uneven stretch in spring training and earlier this season, Light might actually represent something much more valuable than the first glance would suggest.

Before his promotion to the big leagues — the second for him this season — Light hadn’t allowed a run in any of his 10 outings with Triple-A Pawtucket. And with the fixing of his pitch-tipping problems, along with an alteration in mindset, the former first-rounder has harnessed his 100 mph to the tune of a 2.05 ERA and .161 batting average against.

“I came up with something in April that I started working on which was not trying to throw the ball as — every time I struggle, it’s my body that’s been leaking and my arm can’t catch up,” Light said. “Me and [Pawtucket pitching coach Bob Kipper] Kip sat down in Triple-A and tried to figure out what the issue was and tried to figure out a solution to it. We kind of figured out something mentally, a little click in my head that gets me going. I was able to work through that, got that started right before I debuted. Wasn’t quite there yet. And then after that, since then it’s gotten better and better and I’ve been able to get on a little bit of a roll down in Pawtucket.”

The performance, and the mindset, certainly seem a long way from when his first go-round with the Red Sox. During that brief sting, Light gave up two runs over an inning against the Braves.

“Last time when I got the call, it wasn’t quite as, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to the big leagues.’ It was more, ‘Let’s go do it, see if I can put together a few outings and start playing well up here,” he said.

“He’s commanding his fastball much better,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “At least he’s had the first adrenaline rush of the big leagues out of the way while in Atlanta. Rather than getting back into a count with his split, he’s been able to put hitters away with it. That’s been the biggest key for him. Looking forward to that being on display here.”

John Farrell explains bullpen usage at end of blowout 06.28.16 at 12:13 am ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — According to Red Sox manager John Farrell, he was out of options.

With the bullpen having to pitch 18 of the Red Sox’ hurlers 33 innings on the current road trip, with Monday night’s starter Eduardo Rodriguez going just 2 2/3 innings in the what turned into a 12-7 loss to the Rays, the relieving situation got a bit uncomfortable for the Sox’ manager.

Farrell was forced to bring in each of his high-leverage relievers — Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel — for an inning each. Tazawa ended up throwing 17 pitches, while Uehara and Kimbrel each finished tossing 26.

Prior to the trio, Robbie Ross Jr. went 1 1/3 innings, while Tommy Layne also pitched an inning.

“We had five innings, max, out of the bullpen tonight,” Farrell explained. “That’s a game typically when we’re not going to see those guys come to the mound. On a night when [Matt] Barnes was still a little sore, Heath Hembree, there was no way he was able to get to the mound, guys who have been giving us multiple innings, that’s why Eddie [Rodriguez] was still on the mound when he was, trying to get as many innings as possible, even in a situation where we’re down. Unfortunately, we had to turn to everyone to get through the eighth inning.

Farrell added, “Koji and obviously Craig had not pitched since Friday. Three days down, or hadn’t pitched in three days, it was a chance to get him to the mound. Yeah, you don’t like to see him throw 20-plus pitches.”

While Tazawa didn’t allow a run, Uehara surrendered a two-run blast off the bat of Nick Franklin. Kimbrel also gave up a run on three hits.

After the game the Red Sox optioned Rodriguez, who allowed nine runs on 11 hits, to Triple-A Pawtucket, most likely opening the door for the promotion of another reliever for Tuesday.

Dustin Pedroia on conversation with Eduardo Rodriguez: ‘I was talking to him about baseball’ 06.27.16 at 11:52 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The conversation was there for everyone to see, and seemingly offered a microcosm of the Red Sox’ frustrations.

During a third-inning mound visit Monday night, Dustin Pedroia could be seen having a pointed conversation with struggling starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

After the game, the second baseman predictably downplayed the exchange.

“What did I say to Eddie? Do you honestly think I’m going to tell you that? I was talking to him about baseball,” Pedroia said after the 13-7 loss to the Rays. “I talk to all my teammates, every day. That’s about it.”

When asked about Pedroia’s message to Rodriguez, Red Sox manager John Farrell said, “Well, not getting into the mentality of it, the bottom line is he’s capable of more, we’re capable of more, we need to get better, and we had a chance to share that here after the game tonight. You know what, we collectively have to get better. To continue to fall behind as much as we are of late, we’re more talented than that. We have the capability of executing pitches at a higher rate. We can’t continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes, as we’ve been. We’ve got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are.”

Pedroia was also asked about the team meeting conducted by manager John Farrell after the game. The message, according to Farrell, that the Sox needed to be better. When asked if he agreed, the second baseman said, “Yeah, absolutely. I can’t really elaborate on that. Yeah, I do think we’re better than this.”

The Red Sox are now 12-18 wince May 26, falling 4 1/2 games out of first-place in the American League East. Their starters have combined for a 13.20 ERA on the current road trip.

Rodriguez lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up nine runs on 11 hits. He was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after the game.

“It’s part of the game. I knew going into the season, you go into every season it’s not going to be an easy,” Pedroia said. “It was you wouldn’t play all the games, you just show up at the end and it would be fun. It’s a grind. That’s part of it. You have to show up every single day prepared and ready to work and that’s how you get through it. You’re going to have good days. You’re going to lose by 10 runs and you’re going to win by 10 runs. You’re going to have days like that. You play a lot of games so the main thing that we’ve always gone about here is that it shouldn’t change how you act day to day. You should pride yourself on showing up and trying to win every single day. Sometimes you’re going to get your ass kicked, but then you’re going to show up the next day and try and give it right back. That’s it.”

He then added, “I think guys are playing hard. Hell, our shortstop ran a 3.9 down the line in the ninth inning down seven runs and then went first to third. So, yeah, that was pretty cool.”

Eduardo Rodriguez optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after tough start 06.27.16 at 11:39 pm ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to start putting changes in motion after their 13-7 loss to the Rays Monday night.

Following an outing in which Eduardo Rodriguez gave up nine runs on 11 hits over 2 2/3 innings, a team source confirmed the starting pitcher Eduardo would be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Rodriguez saw his ERA climb to 8.59 after the outing, having started the night at 6.41. His “Game Score” (a metric devised by Bill James to evaluate a starting pitcher) was the lowest by a Red Sox starter since Doug Bird on May 24, 1983.

It was the sixth start for Rodriguez since coming back from a right knee injury, with three of the outings going 4 2/3 innings or less. Rodriguez’s batting average against also proved problematic, sitting at .315, with opposing hitter totaling a .993 OPS.

“Very surprising,” said Farrell of the Rodriguez outing. “On a night, again, as we’ve been going to that bullpen so extensively, we needed to get some innings. Felt like he was back to a place after his start five days ago that would carry him through. They bunched a number of hits together. They squared up a number of baseballs, a number of pitches tonight. It was disappointing.”

Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. still trending toward All-Star starts 06.27.16 at 6:45 pm ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — They’re one week away.

For the last time before the final voting is announced, Major League Baseball released the leaders in All-Star balloting. And, as it stands, the Red Sox seem well-positioned to boast at least four position players as starters for the American League.

Both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts currently are in the top three in voting for outfielders, only trailing Mike Trout. Betts is just ahead of both Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain and Mark Trumbo of Baltimore.

“It’s definitely cool. You can’t say you never dreamed about,” Betts said. “It’s definitely something I would love to be a part of. We’re kind of struggling right now so my mind is kind of somewhere else right now. But I’m going to do the best I can and in doing that the All-Star voting will take care of itself. Just take care of business, and that business will take care of itself.”

Both shortstop Xander Bogaerts and designated hitter David Ortiz have comfortable leads at their respective positions.

Dustin Pedroia resides in third-place in the race for the second base spot, while Hanley Ramirez is the fifth-highest vote-getter at first base.

Here is the complete voting:


Red Sox notes: Brandon Workman eyeing return to majors; Brock Holt targeting weekend return; Clay Buchholz stays in rotation 06.27.16 at 6:23 pm ET
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Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — We have a Brandon Workman sighting.

The reliever, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, made an appearance at Tropicana Field Monday, throwing a bullpen session in front of Red Sox manager John Farrell. Workman has been participating in games in Fort Myers.

“I’ve been throwing about on a five-day schedule down there, but I just recently took some time off, and now I’m starting to ramp back up and start pushing forward through it,” said Workman, explaining that his time off was an opportunity to fix some mechanical issues.

“I’d just been working full steam ahead for a while there, so it was a breather to catch my breath and get everything back where it needs to be, and now I’m ramping back up again.”

“He threw the ball good,” said Farrell of the bullpen session. “Typical with a Tommy John recovery, there’s going to be some ups and downs with some arm strength as you go through those rehab outings. He’s been in games up to three games while in Fort Myers. We’re hopeful that soon he gets out on a rehab assignment to begin that 30-day clock. To do that, felt like there were some minor adjustments in his delivery work to get past some muscular soreness in the lat area that’s been taking place.”

Workman hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since Sept. 18. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list coming out of spring training in 2015, attempting to avoid surgery with a PRP injection in his right elbow. But after two months, it was determined surgery would be needed.

The 27-year-old is eyeing a rehab assignment in the coming weeks, most likely starting in Single-A Lowell. And if all goes well, Workman is hoping to contribute to the major league’s team run in the final month or two.

“That’s been my goal from the time I got surgery through today,” he said. “I’ve been working, trying to get myself in a position where I can come back sometime this year and be a contributing part.”

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