|David Ortiz: Ben Cherington did ‘remarkable job,’ but understands why shakeup was needed||08.18.15 at 11:47 pm ET|
With the Red Sox headed towards their second last place finish in the AL East in as many years and third in the last four, it’s not surprising a shakeup took place with the team hiring long-time executive Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations Tuesday night.
Current general manager Ben Cherington will not return after the transition process.
“Like I said, you see this happening in baseball over and over and over,” Ortiz said following Tuesday’s game. “When organizations struggle or whatever they just shake it up. I’m not saying that this is the best way to go and do things because like I said even in a couple of years, the way we had been, Ben won a World Series as a GM. So you don’t forget about that that quick.”
Playing for an organization like the Red Sox, winning is what is most important, so although the move was surprising, it isn’t all that surprising at the same time.
“Like I said, it’s always moves in an organization like this one,” Ortiz said. “We weren’t expecting it to happen, but it happened. Now we have to move on and continue trying to be an organization, team that can compete next year and I guess that’s what they’re looking for.”
A few of the players who spoke in the clubhouse following the game said it wasn’t Cherington’s fault for the poor performances in recent years and ultimately it came down to them as players on the field.
Ortiz was posed the same question and after a bit of hesitation said the same thing.
|Clay Buchholz supports Ben Cherington: ‘Obviously you’d have to be stupid not to understand that it wasn’t his fault’||08.18.15 at 11:19 pm ET|
As one of the longest tenured members of the Red Sox, Clay Buchholz was one of the players that has known former general manager Ben Cherington the longest.
After all, it was the last year of Cherington being the team’s director of player development when Buchholz was drafted in the first-round of the 2005 draft.
The starter said it wasn’t Cherington’s fault for the struggles of the team the past few seasons, as the team announced Thursday former Tigers executive Dave Dombrowski will immediately join the team as president of baseball operations and Cherington did not accept Dombrowski’s invitation to stick around as general manager.
“I’ve known Ben my whole career since I got drafted he was the minor league coordinator at the time,” Buchholz said after the game. “I guess it’s along the lines of a player if you’re in this organization if you don’t fulfill your role for an extended period of time, they find somebody else that will. I don’t think Ben, honestly never had a hand in on the way we played or the level that we played at or if we didn’t do good enough. Obviously you’d have to be stupid not to understand that it wasn’t his fault. It’s the players in here.
“Little bit of a shock I guess that it happened tonight. As long as I’ve been here, the Red Sox, we have a meeting in spring training every year and the ownership comes in and says that they built teams to win baseball games and win championships, and obviously when it’s going like it is or has gone this year they felt like there’s needed to be a change and that’s what they went with.”
Buchholz said he found out the news in the eighth inning — about the time the news was announced — from Dustin Pedroia, another long-tenured member of the team.
|Torey Lovullo: ‘Hanley Ramirez is our left fielder and I think we’re going to stay with that’||08.18.15 at 5:35 pm ET|
With the season Hanley Ramirez is having in left field and another misplay on Monday night, there’s been more talk of potentially moving him to another position like first base.
Despite the criticism, interim manager Torey Lovullo was very strong the team’s commitment to Ramirez in left field.
“We’re not hiding anything and we want to be as transparent as possible. No, he’s not getting any type of work at first base at this point. Hanley Ramirez is our left fielder and I think we’re going to stay with that,” Lovullo said. “We’re going to try and get him the necessary work and necessary reps and necessary innings out there to get him to the point he feels comfortable and we become a championship defense in the outfield. It takes time. He’s a converted infielder and it’s a tough process. He’s further from the ball and moving and traveling at different angles and I feel comfortable saying Hanley is doing the right thing, working as hard as he can to make it happen as fast as he can.”
Lovullo pointed to some of the struggles he’s had in left field to being an infielder for all of his 10 seasons prior to this one.
“I think maybe he has some infield instincts in the outfield still,” he said. “I know he wants to come in on balls. I think we’re trying to get him to sit down as long as possible. I think he’s becoming a little bit more comfortable with the spacing around the wall. I just think there’s a general feel that he needs to develop here at Fenway Park. I think on the road he does OK defensively. I think at Fenway Park it’s a very confined area and he’s still adjusting. It’s going to take a little bit of time.”
Despite all the issues, Lovullo feels Ramirez is making promising strides since the beginning of the season.
“I think he’s on a good path right now,” he said. “I think there has been improvement since April. I think there has been improvement each and every day. He’s making some nice plays. We want to see everybody improve to a certain standard and make sure that we go out there and help him as a collective group to win baseball games.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|Red Sox lineup: Despite hot bat, Jackie Bradley Jr. sits vs. Indians||08.18.15 at 3:31 pm ET|
Despite swinging the hottest bat on the team, Jackie Bradley Jr. will get the night off as the Red Sox go up against right-hander Trevor Bauer in Game 2 of a three-game series with the Indians.
Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
Here is a complete look at the Red Sox’ lineup:
|Brock Holt on M&F: Terry Francona accompanying John Farrell to chemo treatment ‘shows what kind of man he is’||08.18.15 at 1:25 pm ET|
Red Sox utility player and Jimmy Fund co-captain Brock Holt checked in with Merloni & Fauria, along with Tom Caron during the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon to talk about what the Jimmy Fund does and also to discuss manager John Farrell‘s recent cancer announcement. To hear the interview, go to the Merloni & Fauria audio on demand page.
Farrell told the team last Friday during an unexpected meeting he has stage 1 lymphoma. Holt said it shocked everyone and felt like the team was going through it with its manager.
“When he told us we all kind of sat there and jaws were dropped, like what do we do, what do we say? You’re not really ready for something like that to be told to you,” Holt said. “It was a difficult day for everyone I think, but part of our job is to go out there and play every night and fortunately we were able to do that put some runs on the board and play a good game.”
Farrell’s first day of chemotherapy is Tuesday and Indians manager and close friend Terry Francona accompanied him to Mass General Hospital for his treatment.
“That kind of shows the kind of man that Terry is,” Holt said. “I have never met him, but obviously he was the manager here for a long time and Dustin played for him and Dustin says nothing but good things about him. It just kind of shows what kind of man he is and that is a pretty cool thing that he’s doing.”
Despite the team being 14 games below .500, Holt has seen some positives, although he did admit it’s been a disappointing year for everyone.
“I think our job is to come out and play regardless of how things have gone in the past,” Holt said. “The season obviously hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to go, or anyone else for that matter. We’ve done some good things. Younger guys are starting to play. Obviously [Xander Bogaerts] has had a tremendous year for us. He plays one of the main positions on the field for us, shortstop, so that’s been big for us. Our pitching has been better of late. We’ve been banged up, man — [Clay] Buchholz, [Rick] Porcello now, but Porcello is coming back. I think we have a good group. We just have to keep going on the path we’ve been on of late.”
Personally, Holt struggled a bit following the All-Star break, which he attributed to possibly fatigue coming out of the break. He’s performed better of late, as he’s batting .276 in August. He attributed the better performance to using a lighter bat.
“I think so. I was tired there for awhile,” he said. “I wasn’t getting to some pitches I usually get to and I was confused — I wasn’t doing anything different, my swing is pretty simple. I wasn’t able to square anything up. I was fouling pitches off or just missing them — pitches I usually get to. That’s part of the learning process of playing so many games. I didn’t get the All-Star break this year, but I think I’m starting to catch a second wind and I’ve started to switch to a lighter bat too, which has probably helped. I think I was just tied for awhile. It’s a long season. It’s a grind.”
|Source: Red Sox first-round pick Andrew Benintendi promoted to Single-A Greenville||08.16.15 at 9:33 pm ET|
After getting adjusted to playing with a wood bat, 2015 Red Sox first-round pick (No. 7 overall) Andrew Benintendi has been on a tear at the plate of late.
The center fielder out of the University of Arkansas has hit .405 with three home runs over his last 10 games and has been promoted to Single-A Greenville, according to a source.
In 35 games with Lowell, he’s slashed .290/.408/.540 with seven home runs and 15 RBIs.
He now will join Single-A Greenville, which has 21 games left in its regular season.
The news of the promotion first was reported by Sox Prospects.
|Jackie Bradley Jr. ‘actually getting the results’ with record-breaking day capping huge week||08.15.15 at 6:19 pm ET|
Last Saturday Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was batting just .121 over 24 games in the majors this season. Fast forward to following Saturday’s game, the 25-year-old is now up to .250 — a .129 increase in a week.
Bradley Jr. knows what struggling is like more than anyone as after being considered one of the best center fielder’s in baseball, he’s spent virtually the entire season in Triple-A because he’s had difficulty hitting major league pitching.
“You’re going to struggle. You’re going to have struggles,” Bradley Jr. said. “The ones who come out of it and continue to press on are the ones who play the game for a long time. From watching guys like Papi, Pedroia, guys from other teams as well — we all struggle and thankful that I was able to play today.”
He set a Red Sox team-record with five extra-base hits in the game and is only one of two major league players to ever have five extra-base hits at the age of 25 or younger. The other? Larry Twitchell 126 years ago — Aug. 15, 1889.
The South Carolina product is currently on a five-game hit streak where he’s batting .591, slugging 1.364 with 13 RBIs, three home runs and nine extra-base hits.
To put things in perspective, prior to last weekend he had just one extra-base hit on the season and four RBIs.
Bradley Jr. has performed in Triple-A, being named to the International League All-Star team this year and slashing .305/.382/.472, but he just couldn’t get anything going in the limited major league experience he’s been able to have.
What has been the biggest difference this time around after getting called up July 29?
“Actually getting the results,” he said. “Hitting balls hard and having something to show for it. As cliche as it sounds, when you hit the ball hard, you want something to show for it. It’s finally showing.”
|Closing Time: Led by 4 home runs, 26 hits, Red Sox rout Felix Hernandez, Mariners||08.15.15 at 4:56 pm ET|
Facing former Cy Young Award winner and six-time All-Star Felix Hernandez without Hanley Ramirez, Rusney Castillo and Dustin Pedroia on paper seemed like a pretty daunting task, but that couldn’t have been anymore wrong.
The Red Sox roughed Hernandez up for 10 runs in just 2 1/3 innings, as the Red Sox rolled to a 22-10 win over the Mariners. They’ve now combined to score 37 in the two games so far in the series, which is roughly 45 percent of the 82 total runs they scored in May.
They also finished with 26 hits, which were a season-high. It was the second straight game where they’ve set a season-high in hits as they had 21 Friday night.
“I wish I could tell you. I wish I knew,” acting manager Torey Lovullo said of the offensive outburst. “It’s just a bunch of guys going up having a great approach, not missing their pitch. We’re having some really, really loud contact throughout the course of this game and throughout the course of yesterday’s game. Against arguably one of the best pitchers in baseball. There was no let up by us. I think our guys are very focused. They’re very determined.
“Let me tell you, when you get into a game in the eighth or ninth inning and you have to face a position player, usually your focus kind of goes backwards and everybody laughs and jokes. Just to shoo you where this team is at, what they feel about themselves, they go up and execute against [Mariner’s catcher Jesus Sucre] in the eighth inning and didn’t give away one at-bat. A lot of things happened today, that’s something that I’m most proud of.”
After failing to score in the first inning, they scored five runs in each of the next two innings to chase Hernandez from the game.
The five second inning runs were highlighted by a solo homer from Pablo Sandoval and then a two-run blast for Jackie Bradley Jr. — both to almost the exact same spot in center field. In the third, Alejandro De Aza ripped a two-run homer to right field and they scored two more on a Brock Holt double.
Hernandez’s final line read: 2.1 IP, 12 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. It was a career-high in earned runs, tied a career-high in runs and was the third-shortest start of his career.
The Red Sox batted around four times in the first four innings and added four more runs in the sixth inning when the first four batters of the inning reached, highlighted by a Bradley Jr. double.
They also added four more in the seventh, once again keyed by Bradley Jr — and another three in the eighth as Bradley Jr. hit his second homer of the day.
Bradley Jr. was the biggest offense star, as he went 5-for-6 with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs. He now has a five-game hit streak where he’s batting .591 with nine extra-base hits. It was his first career four-hit game. He’s raised his average .129 in a week.
Red Sox starter Wade Miley was solid, as the left-hander went seven innings allowing two runs on four hits, while walking three and striking out eight. It was his 13th quality start, which leads the Red Sox.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win:
|Pablo Sandoval X-rays on right elbow negative after leaving game||08.15.15 at 3:02 pm ET|
Although the Red Sox roughed up Felix Hernandez for 10 runs in 2 1/3 innings, it wasn’t all good news.
After hitting a two-run homer in the second inning, Pablo Sandoval was hit in the right elbow with a Hernandez fastball in his next at-bat. Although the third baseman stayed in the game and scored on Alejandro De Aza’s home run, he left the game before the Red Sox took the field for the top of the fourth.
The Red Sox called it a right elbow contusion and acting manager Torey Lovullo said the X-rays came back negative. He’s day-to-day.
Josh Rutledge took his place in the order and played second base, while Brock Holt shifted over to the third base.
Sandoval’s homer was his 10th of the season.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|John Farrell keeping sense of humor after cancer diagnosis; New bench coach ‘imminent’||08.15.15 at 12:06 pm ET|
Farrell was with general manager Ben Cherington, assistant general manager Mike Hazen and the coaching staff putting a plan in place for while he’s gone.
Farrell will begin chemotherapy early next week.
“Any time we get to see a big smile on his face it makes us all happy,” Lovullo said. “He’s in his his office right now being himself, having a good time and just touching base and staying connected to everybody. The feedback was that it took him getting out of the dugout for us to score that many runs yesterday. He had some humor to that, which we all appreciated through this tough moment.”
With Lovullo, the former bench coach, now acting as manager the team will be bringing in a bench coach as soon as possible, as the organization is currently deciding who that will be.
“It’s something we’re talking about right now,” Lovullo said. “We’ve been working through that with Ben [Cherington] and John [Farrell]. We’re just throwing some names around and we certainly want to have somebody on the bench. That is imminent. Who that is at this point, we’re not sure. We’re going to try and do that as soon as possible.”
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