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John Farrell acknowledges Red Sox have areas of need, but says team has ‘chance to do something special’ 07.04.16 at 12:21 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

With the Red Sox sitting at 44-37 at the midway point of the season, manager John Farrell acknowledged the team has obvious areas of need, starting with pitching and also a right-handed hitting infielder, but he still believes the team has the chance to make a deep run in October.

“I feel we do have a very strong offensive team,” Farrell said. “We’ve got some pitching situations to stabilize, to correct. To point to individuals, Eddie Rodriguez is a guy, there’s a lot of emphasis on his adjustments and development to get back to where he was a year ago. That’s ongoing. The recent shift to Joe Kelly to the bullpen gives us the potential of adding a power arm to the bullpen for us. Let’s face it, we’re starting to see the physical effects of a lot of use with some guys. We have to be careful, even today with a couple of guys out there.

“It does center around pitching. Could we have a little bit more balance with a right-handed hitting infielder, that’s a possibly as you go through a wish list. There’s a lot that is going on well here and that is a young group of players that are getting more seasoned. They are performing an producing at a high level consistently. This is a good team despite obvious areas of need.”

Going into play Monday, the team is three games back in the American League East and would be in the AL Wild Card game.

“This team still has the chance to do something special,” Farrell said. “Yes, we need to improve overall on the pitching end of things. Given what’s here, we don’t have a long list of needs to go out and get or hopeful of a number of things internally that need to click for us. There are things that are playing out every day that give us every reason to believe this is a team that is built to win.”

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Red Sox notes: Clay Buchholz could be shifted back to bullpen 07.04.16 at 12:07 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz

After his 4 1/3 inning performance on Saturday, Clay Buchholz could be going back to the bullpen.

Although nothing official has been announced, manager John Farrell hinted Buchholz could be going back to the bullpen and Sean O’Sullivan could get another start on Friday night when the manager was asked about who might start on Friday.

“I will say one of the things that will factor into this is that we’ve leaned on a few guys in the bullpen of late,” Farrell said. “Clay would give us the ability to include him in the bullpen sooner than it would be with Sully (O’Sullivan). That’s something that has got to be sat down and talked to with each guy. That’s not part of an announcement, but is something that is being considered and factored into this. The starter on Friday is yet to be named.”

— Ryan Hanigan is back at Fenway Park after catching back-to-back games with Pawtucket the past two days as he works his way back from a neck strain. It’s possible he gets activated to the team as early as Tuesday and then it would seem Christian Vazquez could be going back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Vazquez is batting just .226 in 51 games this season and after catching Rick Porcello for 15 straight starts, Sandy Leon is catching the right-hander Monday, which Farrell said was due to “Sandy’s performance.”

— Joe Kelly will throw a bullpen on Monday before two rehab outings out of the bullpen this week. The first will come Wednesday with Portland in Manchester, New Hampshire and then the other will be next Saturday with the Lowell Spinners.

Farrell said the plan after that would be to go back to Pawtucket, but if the need arises for him to join the big league club after the All-Star break, that could be an option.

— Blake Swihart took some fly balls in left field for the first time on Monday since spraining his ankle on June 5. Farrell said he isn’t ready for much change in direction, but was a good sign that he was able to get out on the field just a month after suffering the injury.

Read More: blake swihart, Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, Sean O'Sullivan
Red Sox lineup: Brock Holt playing back-to-back days vs. Rangers on 4th of July 07.04.16 at 10:16 am ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

For the first time since his return from a concussion, Brock Holt will play back-to-back days.

Holt will be in left field as the Red Sox go up against Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez on the Fourth of July from Fenway Park. After not starting Sunday, Travis Shaw is back at third base.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Brock Holt, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Sandy Leon, C
Rick Porcello, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: Brock Holt,
Red Sox option RHP Pat Light back to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Sunday starter Sean O’Sullivan 07.03.16 at 1:28 am ET
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Pat Light

Pat Light

It was a brief stint with the big league club for right-hander Pat Light.

After being recalled earlier in the week, Light was brought in during the seventh inning and contributed to the Angels scoring 11 runs in the frame on Saturday. He allowed two home runs and finished the night going 1 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits, while striking out two.

Light was pitching great with Pawtucket before being recalled as he had a scoreless innings streak of 10 innings.

The corresponding move is recalling right-hander Sean O’Sullivan to start Sunday’s game. Manager John Farrell made the announcement following Saturday’s loss.

Sunday won’t be O’Sullivan’s first appearance with the Red Sox this year. O’Sullivan pitched May 7 in relief, then started on May 10 and May 15, including earning the win May 10 against the Athletics. Overall, he’s 1-0 with a 7.94 ERA this season.

With Triple-A he was named to the Triple-A All-Star Game where he’s 6-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 starts. He leads the PawSox in victories and his ERA is eighth-best in the International League.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: pat light, Sean O'Sullivan,
John Farrell: ‘Honestly, we’re embarrassed by tonight’s ballgame’ 07.03.16 at 12:19 am ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

The Red Sox self-admittedly were embarrassed by their 21-2 loss to the Angels Saturday night.

The Angels scored five runs in the fifth to lead 9-0 and then really poured it on by scoring 11 times in the seventh inning. The Red Sox surrendered 20 or more runs for the 14th time in franchise history and the first since Aug. 31, 2012 coming against the Athletics. They hadn’t allowed 20 more runs at Fenway Park since Aug. 21, 2009.

“Too many extra outs, far too many extra-base hits. Honestly, we’re embarrassed by tonight’s ballgame. There’s really no other way to put it,” manager John Farrell said afterwards. “We got kicked around the ballpark tonight and we need to put this behind us with an opportunity to win the series tomorrow.”

The pitching wasn’t there, evident by the 21 runs allowed. The defense wasn’t there as they committed four errors and the hitting wasn’t there, as they managed just one run against Angels starter Hector Santiago who entered with a 5.27 ERA.

The Red Sox have now dropped eight out of their last 12 games overall and just aren’t playing solid baseball.

“Absolutely we need to get out of it,” Dustin Pedroia said. “We need to play better, but going into the year, we knew we were going to have a stretch like this. If everyone thought we were going to show up and win 140 games, that’s not how baseball works. You’re going to have bumps in the road. What makes your team is how you find a way to get out of it and limit the losing streaks or bad plays. We’ve got to show up tomorrow and win the series. Chip away and win series at a time. That’s how you get out of it. I know we lost by 21 runs, but we win tomorrow, we’re starting out the homestand pretty darn good. I don’t care if we lost by 20 or whatever. That’s what we’ve got to focus on.”

The second baseman noted they are just 4 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East and they have plenty of time to turn things around.

“We’re four games out of first place. Dig in,” he said. “Show up to work tomorrow and try to win. I’m not embarrassed to be a Boston Red Sox. By no means. We lost by 21 runs, or whatever the hell it was. So? There’ll be better days.”

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, John Farrell,
Clay Buchholz: ‘I only gave up 3 earned runs, it wasn’t the worst performance I’ve had all year’ 07.03.16 at 12:05 am ET
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Clay Buchholz wasn't happy to leave the game when he did on Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz wasn’t happy to leave the game when he did on Saturday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

While Clay Buchholz wasn’t the biggest of the Red Sox’ problems Saturday night, he still allowed six runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings of work to take his ninth loss of the season as the Red Sox were embarrassed in their 21-2 loss to the Angels.

The right-hander allowed two runs in the first inning, another in the second, another in the fourth, before being pulled after allowing two batters in the fifth to reach.

Both of the runners came around to score to account for his six total runs allowed. His ERA now stands at 5.91.

“I mean, I only gave up three earned runs, it wasn’t the worst performance I’ve had all year,” Buchholz said. “Home runs, still a problem. Yeah, still haven’t found a way to fix that. It wasn’t a good start.”

Buchholz allowed a two-run homer to Albert Pujols in the first inning and a solo homer to C.J. Cron in the fourth. He’s now allowed 17 home runs on the year. The right-hander has also had troubles in the early innings as his first inning ERA is now 10.38 and his ERA in the first and second innings is now 9.35.

The Red Sox even changed the way he warmed up by trying to simulate the first inning by sitting down and starting back up, but it didn’t seem to work out.

With the way the schedule is set up before the All-Star break, the Red Sox don’t have to use him the next time through the rotation as they can have Sean O’Sullivan (Sunday’s starter) or someone from Triple-A start next Friday.

Manager John Farrell wouldn’t commit to Buchholz making a start before the break.

“I can’t really commit to that,” he said.

Buchholz was visibly frustrated when he left the mound after throwing just 66 pitches. He met Farrell about halfway between the dugout and the mound to hand him the baseball and then was seen going right to the clubhouse and not sticking around in the dugout afterwards.

The two spoke about what happened afterwards and Buchholz still felt he should have stayed in the game given his low pitch count.

“We’ve had a chance to talk about it,” Farrell said. “It was a quick exit. I know he’s frustrated, but there’s some things within the game you’re trying to execute.”

While Buchholz certainly wasn’t the only issue Saturday night, he still hasn’t won a game as a starter since May 9 and the Red Sox may not have the time to wait around for him to turn things around.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, John Farrell,
Closing Time: Red Sox allow 4 home runs, get blown out by Angels in worst loss in long time 07.02.16 at 10:54 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz allowed six runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings of work Saturday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz allowed six runs (three earned) in 4 1/3 innings of work Saturday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Saturday night was a typical Clay Buchholz start and that was not a good thing for the Red Sox.

In fact, once Buchholz left the game it got even worse.

Buchholz allowed two runs in the first and another in the second and that was just the beginning as the Angels crushed the Red Sox, 21-2.

The Red Sox have now lost eight of their last 12 games.

With two outs in the first inning Mike Trout doubled and that was followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Albert Pujols. The Angels added another run in the second inning and one more in the fourth on a C.J. Cron homer before really blowing things open in the fifth as they scored five runs. Buchholz was pulled after the first two batters of the inning reached and Heath Hembree couldn’t bail him out. Aided by a Travis Shaw throwing error, the Angels scored five runs in the fifth to take a 9-0 lead.

The Red Sox starter finished the game going 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking one and striking out one. Hembree wasn’t any better in relief as he allowed three runs (no earned) in 1 2/3 innings of work. Following Hembree things didn’t get any better — they only got worse, which included the bullpen allowing 11 runs in the seventh inning.

Robbie Ross Jr. allowed six runs in 1/3 of an inning, Pat Light allowed six runs (five earned), including two home runs in 1 2/3 innings and finally outfielder Ryan LaMarre pitched the ninth. Ironically, he was the only player not to allow a run.

For the Angels, Cron had a monster game going 6-for-6 with five RBIs and five runs scored. He’s the third ever Angel to record six hits in a game.

Offensively, the Red Sox got their runs in the fifth inning as Mookie Betts scored when Dustin Pedroia reached on a throwing error and then Betts hit a solo homer in the seventh.

Closing Time note

Shaw has now played in 134 straight games, the longest streak by a Red Sox player since Pedroia played in 148 games from 2011-12. He’s started 123 of the 134 games.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Clay Buchholz, heath hembree, mookie betts, travis shaw
Red Sox lineup: Hanley Ramirez returns, Brock Holt sits vs. Angels 07.02.16 at 5:12 pm ET
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Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez

After missing Friday’s game against the Angels, Hanley Ramirez is back in the lineup Saturday night.

The Red Sox held off on posting a lineup until Ramirez finished batting practice, but everything appeared to have gone well. Ramirez was pulled from Wednesday’s game in Tampa with an injury to his right side suffered on a swing in the late innings.

After playing in his first game in over a month after suffering a concussion on Friday night, Brock Holt will sit on Saturday. This was the plan going into the series, so it isn’t a set back for the left fielder, who went 2-for-4 in his return.

Bryce Brentz will get the start in the left field as the Red Sox go up against Angels lefty Hector Santiago.

Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Bryce Brentz, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Clay Buchholz, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: Brock Holt, hanley ramirez,
Joe Kelly changing roles, will come back to Red Sox as reliever 07.02.16 at 4:54 pm ET
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When Joe Kelly comes back to the Red Sox, it will be out of the bullpen. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

When Joe Kelly comes back to the Red Sox, it will be out of the bullpen. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Joe Kelly is nearing a return from a groin injury he suffered a few weeks back in Triple-A Pawtucket and when he returns to the mound, it will be in a new role.

Manager John Farrell said prior to Saturday’s game with the Angels Kelly has been moved to the bullpen.

“Power arm,” Farrell said. “He’s done it multiple times with whether it’s been St. Louis — this will be the first time that we’ve shifted him to that role here. This is for multiple reasons — for the time it would take to stretch him back out, potential of shorter stints, the stuff playing up, possibly more productive. That is the whole goal here and to also continue to build depth in our bullpen.”

Kelly suffered a groin injury during a start with Pawtucket on June 7 and hasn’t pitched in a game since. He threw a 40-pitch bullpen Saturday and will throw another one Monday.

“He was receptive,” Farrell said of the role change. “He understood the reasons for it and the logic behind it. It’s something he’s done in the past. I think more importantly he’s feeling good physically and that is the biggest thing. His bullpen today was a productive one, it was crisp. The fact that he has the potential of putting himself in a position to be a candidate to come up here sooner than later because of the role, that’s another positive in this.”

Farrell pointed to a possible return to the big league club right after the All-Star break and that he would need a minimum of two rehab outings beforehand. He said one would be with short-season, Single-A Lowell and then another with Double-A Portland when they are in New Hampshire July 4-7.

Looking at the schedules, it would appear Kelly would first appear in New Hampshire with the Sea Dogs and then go to Lowell with the Spinners next weekend.

In six starts this season, Kelly is 2-0 with a 8.46 ERA. For his career, he’s pitched in 30 games as a reliever and is 2-3 with a 3.25 ERA in those games.

Kelly certainly can add depth to the Red Sox’ bullpen which needs help going into the second half of the season. It could also be a sign that the Red Sox will focus the majority of their attention at the trade deadline towards acquiring a starter.

Read More: Joe Kelly, John Farrell,
Saturday Red Sox Farm Report: Yoan Moncada homers, ties career-high with 5 RBIs 07.02.16 at 10:34 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Friday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (42-40): L, 5-4, vs. Columbus (Indians)

— Left-hander Henry Owens struggled once again taking the loss. He allowed five runs (four earned) over 6 1/3 innings of work on four hits and struck out nine, but walked five batters. It was a strange line as he still managed to walk five hitters when he threw 70 of his 110 pitches for strikes. Owens is now 5-5 on the season with a 3.86 ERA.

— The offense couldn’t get much going as they trailed 3-0 and then 5-3 before scoring a run in the ninth. The game saw just over an hour rain delay.

— Henry Ramos and Jantzen Witte paced the offense as they each went 2-for-4. Ramos is now batting .309 with the PawSox, while Witte is hitting .255.

— Chris Dominguez homered with Pawtucket down to its final out in the ninth, cutting the score to 5-4. The homer deflected off the right fielder Yandy Diaz and deflected over the right field fence. He has now homered three times in his last seven games.

— In relief of Owens, Kyle Martin struck out four in 1 2/3 perfect innings of work.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: anderson espinoza, henry owens, Trey Ball, yoan moncada
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