Full Count
A Furiously Updated Red Sox Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Things don’t go as planned for Red Sox in David Ortiz’s return to first base 08.06.16 at 8:11 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Things don’t go as planned for Red Sox in David Ortiz’s return to first base

David Ortiz

David Ortiz

David Ortiz playing first base for the first time since Aug. 30, 2015 didn’t go exactly as the Red Sox had planned.

Ortiz left what would be a 3-0 Red Sox loss to the Dodgers Saturday afternoon after six innings due to what Sox manager John Farrell referred to as stiffness, with the slugger explaining to the media, “I got a little sore out there and decided not to continue in the game, didn’t want to get things worse.”

Hitting cleanup against Dodgers’ starter Ross Stripling, Ortiz went 0-for-3 before leaving. Aaron Hill would come on for the seventh inning to play third base, with Travis Shaw moving over to first.

“He started to stiffen up overall,” Farrell told reporters. “First time he’s been on the field in nearly a year. As I mentioned before the game, I felt like three or four at-bats today was more beneficial for our team than one potential pinch-hit late in the game. Unfortunately, their pitcher shut us down.”

Asked if he had planned to get Ortiz more than three at-bats, Farrell told reporters, “Oh, I was hopeful. But, you know, you’ve got to monitor every guy as they go through it. David’s got a unique situation. When he said he started to stiffen up, we got him off of his feet.”

Ortiz explained part of the reasoning behind playing first base despite his injured heels.

“I just didn’t want to take three days without playing,” he told reporters. “But, I’m OK, I’ll be fine.”

While in the field, Ortiz did once again prove he can play the position without a problem. In the fifth inning, he made a lunging catch of Josh Reddick’s two-out line-drive that would have scored at least one run if it got by the first baseman.

“I used to,” said Ortiz when asked if he enjoyed playing first. “Now, I worry about pain (too) much.”

Before exiting the game, Ortiz did make a couple of impressive plays at first base, including an inning-ending grab of Josh Reddick’s two-out line-drive in the sixth with runners on first and third.

Closing Time: Red Sox bats go silent in loss to Dodgers 08.06.16 at 7:35 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Closing Time: Red Sox bats go silent in loss to Dodgers
Eduardo Rodriguez only lasted 4 1/3 innings Saturday. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

Eduardo Rodriguez only lasted 4 1/3 innings Saturday.

David Ortiz exited Saturday's game after the sixth inning due to stiffness in his heel. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz exited Saturday’s game after the sixth inning due to stiffness in his heel. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

Friday night seems like sort of a mirage.

Except for the Red Sox’ nine-run outburst in their series opener with the Dodgers, John Farrell’s team has had a tremendously difficult time getting any sort of offensive consistently cooking. And that would be the Sox’ primary downfall in dropping a 3-0 decision to Los Angeles Saturday afternoon Dodger Stadium.

During their current West Coast road trip, the Sox have scored three or fewer runs in six of their 10 games. They are now 5-5 on the swing, with the final game of their three-game set taking place Sunday night.

One of the frustrating aspects of the Red Sox’ offensive woes this time around is that they couldn’t score either against the Dodgers’ rookie starter Ross Stripling or the rookie relief pitcher who followed him, Grant Dayton. The pair — which had totaled 13 major league appearances coming into the game — combined to hold the Sox scoreless for a combined seven innings, allowing just four hits while striking out eight.

Also not working out as planned was the integration of David Ortiz at first base, at least offensively. The Red Sox slugger went 0-for-3 before being pulled after the sixth inning. Following the game, Red Sox manager John Farrell revealed Ortiz had experienced some “stiffness” with his problematic heels, leading to bringing in Aaron Hill to third base and putting Travis Shaw at first base.

“He started to stiffen up overall,” Farrell told reporters. “First time he’s been on the field in nearly a year. As I mentioned before the game, I felt like three or four at-bats today was more beneficial for our team than one potential pinch-hit late in the game. Unfortunately, their pitcher shut us down.”

“I got a little sore out there and decided not to continue in the game, didn’t want to get things worse,” Ortiz explained to the media. Then, when asked when the soreness started, he joked, “Since the first inning. Beaten up for awhile.”

Ortiz is one of the Red Sox hitters to struggle through the current trip, currently going 4-for-30 (.133). Also slumping on the West Coast has been Xander Bogaerts, whose road swing has seen him hit .209 (9-for-43), although he did manage a single Saturday.

Before exiting the game, Ortiz did make a couple of impressive plays at first base, including an inning-ending grab of Josh Reddick’s two-out line-drive in the sixth with runners on first and third.

While Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez only allowed three runs, his outing couldn’t be considered a success considering he only lasted 4 1/3 innings. The lefty weaved his way in and out of trouble for much of the 88-pitch outing, allowing eight hits and a walk.

One of the more frustrating moments from Rodriguez came in the second inning when he allowed the game’s first run, a two-out single to No. 8 hitter A.J. Ellis with runners on first and second. The Sox lefty failed to bury his three-ball pitch to Ellis the pitcher, Stripling, on-deck, resulting in the run.

Reliever Matt Barnes managed to save Rodriguez a few runs on his line, coming in with a pair of runners on in the fifth inning and striking out pinch-hitter Joc Pederson before getting the Reddick liner to Ortiz.

The Red Sox managed only five hits on the day, with Mookie Betts collecting two of them. It ended with Dodgers’ All-Star closer Kenley Jensen striking out the side in the ninth inning.

For a complete box score, click here.

For a complete recap, click here.

Closing Time note

The Red Sox are now 15-9 in games Ortiz has played first base since injuring his heel in 2012, having now lost four of the last five.

Red Sox notes: John Farrell considering moving Mookie Betts down in lineup; Rich Hill scratched; Yoan Moncada’s sprain not serious 08.06.16 at 4:13 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Red Sox notes: John Farrell considering moving Mookie Betts down in lineup; Rich Hill scratched; Yoan Moncada’s sprain not serious

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

John Farrell isn’t about to turn a blind eye toward the kind of power Mookie Betts is producing.

After the right fielder hit his 23rd home run of the season Friday night, the Red Sox manager told reporters at Dodger Stadium Saturday afternoon that Betts might be making a move in the lineup because of the show of power.

Farrell said that there could be a scenario where Betts moves into the No. 2 or 3 spot, with Dustin Pedroia sliding up to the leadoff position.

Betts leads all leadoff hitters in homers, with Detroit’s Ian Kinsler second at 21 home runs from the top spot. Of Betts’ 46 career home runs, 32 of them have come with nobody on base.

“With one small adjustment can we be that much more productive?” Farrell told reporters. “And there’s the side of it that says Pedey sees a lot of pitches, gets on base at a good rate. Sometimes the first at-bat for Mookie, if he’s not hitting the ball out of the ballpark … Last night he hits the ball up the middle but there are times his second, third and fourth at-bats are so much more productive. That’s debatable. Still, I look at those scenarios and see if there’s a combination that could be even more productive.”

Pedroia hit leadoff in 25 times in 2015, hitting .346 with an .884 OPS. For his career, the second baseman has hit .279 with a .753 OPS in the first spot in the batting order.

– Rich Hill, who was scheduled to start against his old team Sunday, has been scratched due to continued blister issues.

The lefty was dealt by Oakland, along with outfielder Josh Reddick, at the non-waiver trade deadline despite not having pitched to more than one batter since July 7.

Right-hander Brandon McCarthy will take Hill’s spot for the Dodgers in the series finale.

– Red Sox president of baseball operations told the Boston Herald that the Red Sox don’t expect top prospect Yoan Moncada to miss a significant amount of time after spraining his ankle Friday.

“Fortunately, it’s not major,” Dombrowski told the Herald Saturday. “They did everything, I don’t know if they had MRI or X-Rays, but they did all that’s necessary and it’s definitely a sprain, the lowest type sprain and he’ll be out about a week.”

Red Sox moves: Bryan Holaday added, Ryan Hanigan to D.L., Tommy Layne released 08.06.16 at 2:54 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Red Sox moves: Bryan Holaday added, Ryan Hanigan to D.L., Tommy Layne released

Bryan Holoday

Bryan Holoday

The Red Sox did some roster maneuvering Saturday.

As expected, the team added catcher Bryan Holaday to the the 25-man active roster after being claimed off waivers from the Rangers Friday. To make room, Ryan Hanigan went on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Aug. 5) for left ankle tendinitis.

Holoday is known for his athleticism, along with a strong throwing arm. The 28-year-old played in 30 games for Texas before being designated for assignment, hitting .238 with two homers while throwing out four of baserunners trying to steal on him. The Rangers went 17-8 in Holaday’s starts, winning 11 of their last 12 with the 28-year-old behind the plate.

Hanigan hadn’t claimed a hit since July 15, going 0-for-20 since homering at Yankee Stadium.

The Red Sox also requested unconditional release waivers on relief pitcher Tommy Layne, who had been designated for assignment Tuesday to make room for newly-acquired Fernando Abad. The lefty appeared in 34 games for the Red Sox, totaling a 3.77 ERA and .260 batting average against.

Left-handed and right-handed batters had equal success against Layne, with lefties hitting .259 and righties coming in at a .260 batting average.

Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz starts at first base, Dustin Pedroia out 08.06.16 at 2:35 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz starts at first base, Dustin Pedroia out

David Ortiz

David Ortiz

Red Sox manager John Farrell said it was a distinct possibility David Ortiz would see action at first base for the first time this season. Saturday it became a reality.

Ortiz gets the start at first base since he played the position Aug. 30, 2015, hitting cleanup against Dodgers righty Ross Stripling. The 40-year-old played first nine times last season, with the Red Sox going 6-3 in those games.

Also of note, Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup after leaving Friday night’s game following a foul ball off the ankle.

Here is the Red Sox’ batting order with Eduardo Rodriguez getting the start for the visitors:

Mookie Betts RF
Brock Holt 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Travis Shaw 3B
Andrew Benintendi LF
Eduardo Rodriguez P

For all the matchups, click here.

What if Mark Teixeira signed with Red Sox? 08.05.16 at 11:52 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on What if Mark Teixeira signed with Red Sox?

Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira

So, Mark Teixeira is calling it quits, and Lars Anderson is still playing. Who knew?

In case you forgot, Teixeira still represents one of the few free agents the Red Sox actually wanted and didn’t get. It was after the 2008 season that the then 28-year-old chose the Yankees offer of eight years at $180 million over the Sox’ comparable proposal.

Immediately after losing out on Teixeira — who had last played for the Angels before the Yanks thanks to midseason trade — the Red Sox front office immediately sounded the siren, letting all of those within earshot that missing out of the first baseman wasn’t the end of the world because there was a future star first baseman almost ready for major league action: Lars Anderson.

Teixeira, however, continued to be a sore subject for the Red Sox. That was evident when, after a Sox June 11 win over New York, Sox owner John Henry took to Twitter to take a not-so-subtle jab at the first baseman and his new team.

The sensitivity only amped up after Teixeira finished second in the American League MVP voting in his first year in New York on the way to a World Series championship for the Yankees.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox were surviving without Teixeira, as Kevin Youkilis managed to finish sixth in the A.L. MVP voting in ’09. Two years later, Adrian Gonzalez with the Red Sox after the Sox finally jumped ship from the Lars Anderson dream. (The big lefty hitter would be dealt at the 2012 non-waiver trade deadline for a pitcher named Steven Wright.)

In fact, over the first three seasons of Teixeira’s contract with the Yankees the Red Sox’ first basemen outproduced New York at the position (.888 OPS vs. .863 OPS). Still, during that time, Teixeira was still getting MVP votes while never playing fewer than 156 games.

But starting in 2012, the injuries started piling up on Teixeira and all of a sudden the Red Sox were able to finally pound their chests about not possessing the contract. The Red Sox won a World Series with a $13 million-a-year first baseman in Mike Napoli in 2013, a season in which the Yankees starting first baseman only played 15 games.

The last two seasons, both teams have been chasing certainty at first base. Teixeira did manage an .803 OPS with 53 home runs over that span, but never played in 123 games in 2014 and 111 games a year ago. Thanks mostly to the struggles of Napoli, the Red Sox’ first basemen were 24th overall in OPS from 2014-15.

Now Teixeira is announcing his retirement after struggling for most of this season while continuing to battle injuries, with the Yankees’ first basemen dead last in OPS. The Red Sox are 15th overall in OPS at the position, with some viable options for the future of the position if Hanley Ramirez morphs into a designated hitter.

Now that it’s almost all said and done, the Red Sox’ first baseman have totaled an .814 OPS since the beginning of 2009, with the Yankees coming in at .793.

And the now-28-year-old Lars? He’s hitting .279 with a .795 OPS with the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate in Tulsa.

Would Red Sox won more or less if they signed Mark Teixeira?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada on possible promotion: ‘I’m not in a rush for anything’ 08.03.16 at 12:56 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada on possible promotion: ‘I’m not in a rush for anything’
Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

PORTLAND — Carlos Febles knows it’s human nature.

With Andrew Benintendi getting the call to the Red Sox from Double-A Portland, the Sea Dogs’ manager would expect nothing less than for his club’s other top prospect, Yoan Moncada, to start contemplating his own shot at the big leagues.

“When you play this game that’s the main goal and when you find yourself closer, with a teammate of yours at this level going, you say, ‘I could be the next one going from the big leagues from here.’ I don’t blame him to think that way,” said Febles of Moncada. “He should be thinking that way. At the same time, I always tell the guys don’t think about the big leagues, just concentrate on Double-A because you can’t be in two places at the same time. If you’re in Double-A thinking, ‘I need to get to the big leagues,’ you’re putting too much pressure on yourself and you start pressing and next thing you know you’re know you’re not getting a call-up. You have to concentrate on the level you’re at, but at the same time it’s hard not to think about it.”

But, according to the player, there is still no rush.

Even with the Benintendi promotion, and the organization starting to introduce alternative positions to Moncada, the second baseman insists he’s focusing in on the here and now.

“I feel happy for him. It’s good for him. He’s a good teammate. But when my time comes, it’s going to be my time,” Moncada said through a translator. “I’m not in a rush for anything.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Source: Rich Hill talking extension with A’s, but trade still more likely 07.31.16 at 11:59 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Source: Rich Hill talking extension with A’s, but trade still more likely
Rich Hill

Rich Hill

LOS ANGELES — Something seems likely to happen with Rich Hill on Monday.

According to a major league source, Hill has been talking with his current team, the A’s, about a possible contract extension. The lefty is currently pitching on a one-year, $7 million deal. The talks were first reported to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

But the more likely scenario for Hill, according to the source, is that he gets dealt by the A’s. The non-waiver trade deadline is at 4 p.m. Monday. After that players would have to clear waivers in order to be traded.

Complicating Hill’s situation is his current stint on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 20) with a blister issue, one which hasn’t allowed him to throw more than five pitches in a game since July 7.

Prior to the blister problem, Hill proved himself as one of the most effective starting pitchers in the American League. The former Red Sox has gone 9-3 with a 2.23 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 76 innings.

If Oakland chooses not to deal Hill it can still offer the 36-year-old a qualifying offer at season’s end, which would guarantee him $16.7 million for 2017. It would also give the A’s a draft pick if Hill declines the offer and signs elsewhere.

Even with his current injury, Hill remains one of the best options for contending teams looking for playoff-ready starting pitching. Thus far, the only starters to have been dealt leading up to the deadline have been Drew Pomeranz (Red Sox), Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea (Marlins), and Wade Miley, who was sent to the Orioles on Sunday.

Read More: rich hill,
What now for Clay Buchholz? 07.31.16 at 9:06 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on What now for Clay Buchholz?
Clay Buchholz has changed the conversation with his performance of late. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz has changed the conversation with his performance of late. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Red Sox might have played this one right.

Heading into the non-waiver trade Monday (at 4 p.m.), the Red Sox continue to get calls on Clay Buchholz. Their asking price (as pointed out by FanRag’s Jon Heyman when surfacing Miami’s interest) has been relatively high. Buchholz is still viewed as a starter, and when you have a starter in this market, that’s what you do — ask for too much.

So now Buchholz finds himself throwing the ball better than he has all year, albeit out of the bullpen. The latest example? Three innings of no-hit ball on the way to his fourth win of the season.

The conversation about the righty has certainly taken a hard turn since he went 19 days between outings. (After the Red Sox’ 5-3 win over the Angels, it was a period Buchholz referred to as “an out-of-body experience.”)

Thanks in large part to an adjustment in his arm slot, Buchholz is seemingly throwing the ball with the kind of confidence and conviction seen during one of his good runs. And because of it, if the Red Sox were to make him available in this market, they would be (and are) looking for something significant.

He’s saying all the right things, and, as of late, doing all the right things. There has been a late-July about-face.

“I’m still privileged that I’m getting to play baseball,” he said. “I’m not going to whine and gripe about what’s going on. If I can help the team out of the bullpen and that’s my role for right now, then that is what it is. There’s nothing I can do to change that. But I can try to get better at it and work and whenever I get in the games, give them the innings that they need me to give them. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

But is he looking forward to some definition thanks to the passing of Monday’s deadline?

“Yeah, I guess. It’s been a long couple of weeks, a long month or so,” Buchholz added. “It is what it is. It’s a business and I understand that aspect of it, too.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Clay Buchholz,
Closing Time: Dustin Pedroia saves Red Sox with 9th-inning homer 07.31.16 at 7:11 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Closing Time: Dustin Pedroia saves Red Sox with 9th-inning homer
John Farrell suffered his third ejection of the season, arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning. (Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports)

John Farrell suffered his third ejection of the season, arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning. (Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — It was without doubt the biggest hit of the Red Sox season.

With two outs in the ninth inning and the Red Sox trailing by a pair, Dustin Pedroia took Angels closer Huston Street’s 1-0 slider over the center field wall to give the Red Sox the lead for good, handing John Farrell’s team an improbable 5-3 win Sunday afternoon.

Just for good measure, Xander Bogaerts followed up Pedroia’s heroics with a homer of his own, sealing the Red Sox’ split of the four-game series with the Angels.

The Red Sox offense, dormant for almost the entire afternoon, finally came alive against Street in the ninth thanks to back-to-back singles from Jackie Bradley Jr. and Aaron Hill. Then, after consecutive strikeouts by Ryan Hanigan and Brock Holt, Mookie Betts kept things alive for the visitors with an RBI single.

That led to Pedroia’s blast.

“We find a way to dig a little bit deeper before the 27th out is recorded and give credit to our guys that keep fighting and keep battling,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “A big inning much needed particularly to salvage a split in the series and keep pace with where we are in the race.”

The manager added, “We’re digging, grinding, we’re dealing with some frustration, and to see it maybe, you know, the cork get popped late in the game with a five-run outburst, that’s hopefully the start of something here.”

Said Pedroia: “We don’t get too down. I think we just play the game. There’s 27 outs to get and we’re not — I think I struck out my first three times. It’s not like I was going to go cry or anything. You keep playing the game. That’s the way baseball is. We’re all professional and we’re all going to try to win for 27 outs.”

Getting the win for the Red Sox was Clay Buchholz, who followed up Steven Wright’s five-inning, three-run outing with three hitless frames.

“He was very good,” Farrell said of Buchholz. “He was down in the strike zone, he had a really good cutter, he was powerful. He’s doing a good job of obviously following a game, getting loose and getting prepared as best possible on short notice. And those three innings proved pivotal.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Red Sox Box Score
Red Sox Schedule
Latest on Twitter
Red Sox Headlines
Red Sox Minor League News
Red Sox Team Leaders
MLB Headlines
Tips & Feedback

Verify