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Sources: Still ‘highly unlikely’ White Sox deal Chris Sale 07.26.16 at 7:21 pm ET
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Chris Sale

Chris Sale

The Chris Sale talk figures to last all the way through Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline. But that certainly doesn’t mean all the smoke will ultimately lead to any kind of fire.

According to multiple major league executives who have been in communication with the White Sox, the chances of Chicago dealing Sale remain ‘highly unlikely,’ unless White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is ‘absolutely blown away’ by an offer for the 27-year-old lefty.

This, of course, doesn’t mean Sale absolutely doesn’t get traded before Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline, with one executive with an interested team saying they think ‘there’s a chance’ a blockbuster deal gets done.

Late last week sources told WEEI.com following Sale’s meltdown Saturday, in which he cut up his team’s throwback uniform in protest of having to wear them during his start, the White Sox were still not inclined to trade the ace or his rotation-mate, Jose Quintana.

One of the more interesting names surfaced in rumors involving Sale is pitcher Julio Urias, who the New York Post reported the Dodgers would be willing to include in a deal for the White Sox pitcher. The 19-year-old is considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, and has a 4.69 ERA over his nine starts, having struck out 48 in 40 1/3 innings.

Sale is under team control through 2019, while scheduled to not make more than $13.5 million in any season. The final two years of his deal are team options.

Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez details Koji Uehara injury: ‘It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt’ 07.26.16 at 6:46 pm ET
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Koji Uehara is on the 15-day disabled list with a right pectoral strain (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Koji Uehara is on the 15-day disabled list with a right pectoral strain (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

A pectoral strain is extremely rare for a baseball player to suffer, which is why it’s hard to have an idea of what Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara is going through and what a realistic timetable for his return might be.

Although it was two years ago, Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez suffered the same injury when he was attempting a pick-off attempt at first base.

“It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez suffered the injury on Aug. 8 and didn’t return until Sept. 26, but not as a starter.

Coming back from the injury he was switched to the bullpen where he made one regular-season appearance and one postseason appearance against the Orioles in the ALDS as he was never back to 100 percent.

“That injury is the most weird injury that could happen to a baseball player, but that happens sometimes,” he said.

The Tigers starter noted the rehab process took about a month and a half and it was mostly rest. He couldn’t lift any weights or do any throwing. Sanchez received a PRP injection like Uehara and also noted he was nervous returning from the injury as he didn’t want the muscle to tighten on him again.

“I was nervous,” Sanchez said. “You feel weird because you feel everything in the shoulder. Sometimes I felt something, but I think it’s more mental.”

Uehara suffered the injury after throwing seven pitches against the Giants on July 19. Going off of Sanchez’s timeline, Uehara would return to the Red Sox the first week of September, but it’s important to note Sanchez was 30 years old at the time. Uehara is 41 years old, which likely means his recovery time could be a little longer. Also, Sanchez didn’t go back to his normal role either.

Bottom line, don’t expect Uehara back to the Red Sox until at least early September at minimum, but also it’s no guarantee he returns at all.

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Jackie Bradley Jr. gets revenge on Hanley Ramirez by video bombing his hit on MLB Network 07.26.16 at 5:44 pm ET
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Jackie Bradley Jr. got his revenge.

Back in May when Bradley Jr. appeared on MLB Network after winning the American League Player of the Week, Hanley Ramirez appeared in the background distracting Bradley Jr.

Tuesday, Bradley Jr. got his revenge by doing the same when Ramirez was on MLB Network after winning the most recent AL Player of the Week.

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Red Sox notes: Blake Swihart, Chris Young getting closer to returns 07.26.16 at 5:14 pm ET
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Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

The Red Sox seem to be getting closer to getting back to a full compliment of players as both Blake Swihart and Chris Young are getting closer to returning to the team.

Swihart suffered an ankle sprain on June 5 and hasn’t played since. The catcher-turned-left fielder suffered a bit of a set back last week, but manager John Farrell indicated the next 7-10 days would be important for him.

“He’s ramping up activities and when he first increased the intensity, there was some residual discomfort in just getting past some of the increased change in direction, straight ahead speed, so while he’s making progress, he’s not ready to go out on a rehab assignment,” Farrell said. “I would say these next 7-10 days are going to be pivotal on what the next step would be for him.”

In 19 games at the major league level this season, Swihart is batting .258.

Young, another left fielder, is also getting closer to a return.

The right-handed hitter has been on the 15-day disabled list with a groin injury since June 24, but will go on the 11-day West Coast trip beginning Thursday and start running, which will eventually lead into being ready for a rehab stint.

“He’ll be on the trip increasing the running,” Farrell said. “He’s hitting in the cage. He’s starting to hit on the field. The overall running on ground-base, that is still in the process of ramping up. By no means, he’s jogging. He hasn’t done any kind of sprint work yet. Ideally, a 11-day road trip, hopefully he’s close to getting out on a rehab assignment when we get back from that trip.”

In 48 games, the 32-year-old is batting .277.

Getting both Young and Swihart back would be important for the team as they could potentially have Brock Holt go back to his super utility role, which could prove vital as the team has a brutal schedule upcoming and could be an easy way to give players days off.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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Read More: blake swihart, Chris Young, Joe Kelly,
John Farrell ‘not anticipating’ any trades prior to Monday’s deadline 07.26.16 at 4:56 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

It’s always a busy time of the year with the trade deadline less than a week away, especially considering the Red Sox have already made four trades in the month of July.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, manager John Farrell was asked if he could sense a different mood in the clubhouse with the deadline less than a week away and he responded with saying he doesn’t sense a change in the atmosphere and added he isn’t anticipating another trade between now and Monday’s deadline.

“No, I wouldn’t think so,” he said of a possible mood change in the clubhouse. “At this point there isn’t that undertone. The fact that we have been able to acquire players prior to the deadline I think has injected a lot of confidence and I just think an overall upbeat tempo in knowing that there is commitment from Dave [Dombrowski] and ownership to add where the needs exist.

“If anything happens between now and the end of the month — not anticipating it at this point, but I think it’s pretty clear that Dave is always looking for ways to improve this team.”

With Chris Sale’s name being brought up and the Red Sox having the pieces in place to acquire him, there will always be that natural connection, but Sale himself said Monday night he doesn’t want to be traded and the Red Sox already added Drew Pomeranz.

The Red Sox could have the need for another arm in the bullpen, but Craig Kimbrel is progressing faster from his knee injury than many expected and in the field, left fielder’s Blake Swihart and Chris Young are both getting closer to returns, so the team could view those players returning as mid-season acquisitions.

Read More: John Farrell,
Red Sox lineup: Ryan Hanigan scratched, Sandy Leon will catch Steven Wright 07.26.16 at 3:21 pm ET
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Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan

Tuesday’s Red Sox lineup is much of the same.

With the Red Sox facing Tigers right-hander Mike Pelfrey, they will have Brock Holt in left field and Travis Shaw at third base as the teams will play the second game of a three-game series Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

Mookie Betts will play for the second straight day after missing two games with a knee injury.

Ryan Hanigan was in the original starting lineup, but scratched around an hour prior to game time. Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Steven Wright. Hanigan has flu-like symptoms and is day-to-day.

Here is the updated Red Sox lineup:

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

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Read More: mookie betts, Ryan Hanigan,
Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Christian Vazquez 3-for-4 in PawSox win; Andrew Benintendi hits key 2-run triple for Portland 07.26.16 at 10:08 am ET
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Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (52-51): W, 7-5, vs. Rochester (Twins)

— Christian Vazquez went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run. He roped an RBI single into right field to give the PawSox a 3-0 lead. It was his second three-hit performance in five games. Since being optioned to Pawtucket from Boston on July 5, Vazquez is slashing .271/.371/.373. He averaged .226 in 51 games with the Red Sox.

— Justin Haley was able to come away with the win, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings. He fanned five batters and walked three while not giving up a run until the fourth inning. The 25-year-old right-hander has pitched at least five innings in his last seven starts. Drafted in 2012 by the Red Sox, Haley is 9-7 with a 3.00 ERA in 20 outings.

— Chris Marrero went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. He drove home the first two runs of the game, with both of his RBI hits coming with two outs in the inning. Marrero, 28, has hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games, and he is batting .291/.345/.518 with the PawSox. He also has 19 home runs, second best in the International League.

— Pat Light, Boston’s No. 13 prospect at MLB.com, came on in the middle of the ninth inning after reliever Chandler Shepherd gave up a run in the frame. Light struck out the next two batters to end the game and earn his seventh save of the year. The 25-year-old right-hander is a perfect 7-for-7 in save opportunities and has struck out 36 in 30 innings. His ERA is 2.10.

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Read More: Andrew Benintendi, Chris Marrero, christian vazquez, danny mars
Tuesday’s Red Sox-Tigers matchups: Steven Wright vs. Mike Pelfrey 07.26.16 at 8:28 am ET
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In the penultimate game of the Red Sox’ nine-game homestand, knuckleballer Steven Wright will square off against Tigers right-hander Mike Pelfrey on Tuesday night.

The 31-year-old Wright is 12-5 with an AL-best 2.67 ERA.  He’s won his last four starts, his most recent win coming in a 13-12 victory over the Twins on Thursday. Wright pitched spectacularly in the outing, letting up just one earned run on four hits in eight innings. He also struck out a career-high nine batters.

“The knuckleballer was good,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Wright. “We just didn’t have a lot of offense to muster up. He had the lead and you knew he was going to ride it out for a while.”

Wright has faced the Tigers just once in his four-year career. On July 25 of last season, the right-hander got the loss after surrendering two earned runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched in a 5-1 Tigers win.

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Read More: Mike Pelfrey, steven wright,
Joe Kelly ‘powerful’ in 1st relief appearance with Red Sox, but allows run in loss to Tigers 07.25.16 at 11:40 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly’s first relief appearance with the Red Sox didn’t go perfectly according to plan, but then again it was his first relief outing as a member of the team.

Pitching at the major league level for the first time since June 1 and after seven relief appearances between Lowell and Pawtucket, the right-hander allowed one run in his inning of work while throwing 21 pitches.

Kelly entered the game in the seventh with the Red Sox trailing the Tigers 2-1. He allowed a lead off triple to Justin Upton on a 101 mph fastball to the triangle in right-center field. That was followed by a fly out, but then James McCann singled right back up the middle scoring Upton to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead and proved to be the game-winning run.

Of Kelly’s 21 pitches, over half of them were recorded over 100 mph on the Fenway Park radar gun.

“He was powerful. A lot of power,” manager John Farrell said afterwards. “A lot of velocity. Some inconsistent command getting behind in the count. 2-1 to Upton, fastball out over the plate that he’s able to drive one the other way. Still, the first look, I thought he threw enough strikes. He threw a breaking ball for strikes on occasion. First look on his part.”

The right-hander spent some time in the bullpen was he was with the Cardinals, but Monday was his first in a Red Sox uniform.

“I’m sure there was some adrenaline,” Farrell said. “You would hope that every guy takes the mound there is adrenaline there. I can’t say that it took him out of his game. We’re thinking in that spot he is going to give us two innings, but 20-plus pitches, not going to run him up to 40-plus is that is the possibility. I don’t think he was over-throwing to the point he was completely losing the strike zone.”

Given the injury to Koji Uehara, Kelly will likely get more looks in the sixth and seventh innings leading into Brad Ziegler and eventually Craig Kimbrel at the end of games.

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Closing Time: Drew Pomeranz much better in 2nd start, but Red Sox offense fails to come through in loss to Tigers 07.25.16 at 10:38 pm ET
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Drew Pomeranz was great Monday night for the Red Sox. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Drew Pomeranz was much better than his first time out with the Red Sox. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Drew Pomeranz deserved better.

After the left-hander allowed five runs in just three innings during his Red Sox debut last week, Pomeranz bounced back nicely, but the offense was silenced by Justin Verlander and couldn’t come through late as the Red Sox fell to the Tigers, 4-2.

Pomeranz went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out seven. He only made one mistake the entire night when he allowed a two-run homer well over the Monster seats to Jose Iglesias in the sixth inning.

“I had a good curveball tonight,” Pomeranz said. “I was locating my fastball a lot better. I was in a lot better counts all night and really, one bad pitch that hurt us.”

Pomeranz has allowed four or fewer hits in 12 of his 18 starts this season, which leads the majors.

Joe Kelly made his relief debut as a member of the Red Sox in the seventh and allowed a run on two hits. Kelly allowed a lead off triple to Justin Upton, who then scored on a RBI single up the middle by James McCann.

“He was powerful. A lot of power,” manager John Farrell said. “A lot of velocity. Some inconsistent command getting behind in the count — 2-1 to Upton, fastball out over the plate that he’s able to drive one the other way. Still, the first look, I thought he threw enough strikes. He threw a breaking ball for strikes on occasion. First look on his part.”

Another starter turned reliever, Clay Buchholz pitched the eighth and he allowed a run on two hits. Iglesias led the inning off with a bloop single and advanced to second on a passed ball, got to third on a sacrifice fly and then scored on a Victor Martinez single.

Buchholz would then throw a 1-2-3 ninth.

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, Drew Pomeranz, jackie bradley jr., Joe Kelly
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