|Red Sox pregame notes: Blake Swihart (ankle) ‘fairly far ahead’ of what team expected||06.23.16 at 12:24 pm ET|
Prior to the Red Sox-White Sox series finale on Thursday afternoon, Red Sox manager John Farrell gave injury updates on several of the wounded members of the team.
— Left fielder and catcher Blake Swihart suffered a severe left ankle sprain and is expected to miss several weeks because of the injury, but he appears to be trending in the right direction, as Farrell said Thursday that Swihart will be switching from a walking boot to a brace.
“[Blake Swihart] had a very good re-exam yesterday,” said Farrell. “He will come out of the boot and go to a brace. He is making steady progress. He will begin to get into more of a regular throwing program now that he can be weight bearing without a boot on, but still we are not at the point of putting him back where there is some twerking or twisting or rotation technical movement on that foot.
“But still, him getting into a brace and beginning to throw is probably fairly far ahead of what we first anticipated coming out of the injury. Encouraging, but still a ways to go.”
Before getting hurt, Swihart was hitting .258/.365/.355 in 74 plate appearances.
— Farrell also announced Travis Shaw will be available to pinch hit on Thursday after leaving Wednesday’s game in the third inning with a right shin contusion after fouling a ball off of his right ankle area on Tuesday night.
“Coming out of the game last night, even after we did some early work, I felt like he was good to go, it started to tighten up on him during the ball game, so I had to remove him,” said Farrell.
|Red Sox pregame notes: Hanley Ramirez ‘working through some things’ at the plate||06.22.16 at 6:04 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell explained why Hanley Ramirez will be dropped from fifth to seventh in the order for Wednesday’s game against the White Sox.
Ramirez is hitting just .179 with 11 strikeouts in 18 games in June. Since homering on June 15 to end a 35-day drought, Ramirez has gone 4-for-24 with six strikeouts.
As a result, he’ll be hitting as low as seventh for the first time since his rookie year of 2006. Chris Young moves up to the fifth spot in his place.
“Hanley has been working through some things to try and get his timing on track,” Farrell said. “Players are going to kind of tell you where they hit in the order. Chris has done an outstanding job this year, particularly against left-handed pitchers. And while Hanley works through the timing issues, well, we needed a little bit of a jumpstart or a spark potentially.”
Ramirez’s June 15 homer was his first since May 10 and one of the first true displays of hard contact Ramirez had shown in some time — a positive indication for Farrell.
“Even if it wasn’t a home run, you saw hard contact, and really that’s kind of what you’re looking for,” Farrell said. “When timing is a little bit more consistent or on the mark, the fact that it went out of the ballpark in my mind is irrelevant. The leg kick, the timing, the bat path, that’s all being worked on.”
It’s no secret the Red Sox are struggling at the plate. They’ve scored no more than three runs in five of their last eight games, which has focused the spotlight on manager John Farrell and some of his late-game decisions.
The numbers suggest the issue isn’t managerial, however, but personnel-related — specifically, the bottom of the lineup.
The seventh, eighth, and ninth spots were a strength for two months. Brock Holt hit .306 batting seventh. Bradley flourished in the nine-hole, batting .363 in 26 starts.
However, faced with injuries to Holt (concussion), Blake Swihart (ankle) and Hanigan (neck), Farrell has been forced to use inexperienced batters in high-pressure situations, with predictably poor results, which have landed the manager on the hot seat.
“You’re trying to create some matchups in your favor,” Farrell said before Wednesday’s game. “I think that the entire intent is to get the right matchup. It’s clear that’s debatable for some, but still, you’re in a situation where you’re reliant on multiple guys, not just one individual. Not every decision was inside a vacuum, it’s within the context of the lineup, who’s available to you, and what the bottom line score is.”
An obvious example comes from Boston’s 3-1 loss to the White Sox in 10 innings on Monday night. With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, Farrell pinch hit Ryan LaMarre for Marco Hernandez. LaMarre, summoned from Pawtucket on Saturday, struck out on three pitches in his first at-bat this season.
Another example came Tuesday night, another 3-1 loss. Hernandez pinch hit for Deven Marrero with two outs in the ninth, and struck out swinging to end the game.
Farrell has had a difficult time navigating the bottom of the order since the injuries began to pile up. Hernandez is hitting .188 batting eighth or ninth. Marrero is 0-for-3 in the ninth spot, and LaMarre struck out his only at bat at the bottom of the order.
The Red Sox need Holt and Swihart back to bolster depth. Holt began his rehab assignment in Pawtucket on Monday, going 2-3 with two doubles. Swihart remains in a walking boot and will need to be reexamined before he is given a date to return.
“Particularly in Brock’s case, his versatility, his competitive at-bats and his baserunning, he made an impact when he was on the field,” Farrell said. “Unfortunately, injuries take guys away from you, and how guys step up to contribute in their absence, that’s a key for our team. Both guys are on the mend, looking forward to getting them back.”
|Red Sox pregame notes: Brock Holt working towards rehab assignment; Travis Shaw looks to snap cold streak||06.14.16 at 5:15 pm ET|
John Farrell provided injury updates on a few key players before his team’s three-game series against the Orioles on Tuesday.
Brock Holt, who has been out since May 18 with a concussion, is inching closer to beginning a rehab assignment, but there is still no set date for the outfielder to get back on the field. Before the injury, Holt was batting .239 with 17 runs scored and 19 RBIs.
“Brock continues to do baseball activity,” Farrell said. “When he was in Pittsburgh, he went through the ImPACT testing, so the true symptoms of the concussion and the things that might interrupt decision-making, that’s cleared up. But there’s still some dizziness at times, a general fogginess that he feels and certainly some headaches that are there. We’re working towards getting close to a rehab assignment, but no exact date for that yet.”
The Red Sox manager also said that catcher Ryan Hanigan is feeling much better after dealing with a neck injury the last few weeks. Farrell is hopeful that Hanigan will return to the team from the disabled list after the minimum 15 days.
“He’s got range and motion freely now from the left side of the neck that’s been restricting him,” Farrell said. “[He] won’t begin light baseball activity, so we haven’t loaded that up yet to where he’s going to get a true read on it. Whether or not at the 15-day mark he returns to us, that remains to be seen at this point.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|Blake Swihart has ‘severe’ ankle sprain, foot will be immobilized for 2 weeks, chance season is over||06.05.16 at 5:33 pm ET|
The Red Sox got some concrete news on Blake Swihart, and it was not good.
The outfielder/catcher has what manager John Farrell termed “a severe ankle sprain” and will have his left foot immobilized for two weeks before the team re-evaluates.
Swihart was hurt making a catch in foul territory against the wall in left field during Saturday’s win over the Blue Jays. He crumpled to the ground and eventually limped off the field with some assistance.
According to a team spokesman, Swihart has a medial and lateral ankle sprain, as well as a strain of the peroneal tendons.
Farrell didn’t specify a time frame beyond the two-week immobilization, but the prognosis doesn’t sound encouraging. Team sources initially feared the injury would be season-ending, but Swihart was examined by noted foot and ankle expert Dr. George Theodore on Sunday, and now the club will wait two weeks before proceeding.
“With Blake, there’s a severe ankle sprain,” Farrell said. “He’s going to be immobilized for two weeks and we’ll re-evaluate at that point to see what the next steps are. He sustained a pretty severe ankle sprain here yesterday.”
With Swihart sidelined indefinitely, Chris Young becomes the starting left fielder. Young homered and singled in Sunday’s 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays, breaking up Marco Estrada’s no-hitter with the former in the eighth.
Swihart, 24, is hitting .258 with a .720 OPS in 19 games.
|Blake Swihart (sprained ankle) to 15-day disabled list, Rusney Castillo recalled among numerous Red Sox roster moves||at 10:29 am ET|
Following the injuries coming out of Saturday’s game, the Red Sox made a number of roster moves on Sunday.
After both Blake Swihart and Ryan Hanigan left Saturday’s win with injuries, both were placed on the 15-day disabled list. Hanigan has a neck strain that has seemed to bother him for a few weeks and after jamming his ankle into the left field wall, Swihart was diagnosed with a left ankle sprain. But, by how severe the injury could have been, this appears to be good news.
To replace the two players on the roster, outfielder Rusney Castillo was recalled and catcher Sandy Leon was selected from Triple-A Pawtucket.
In addition, reliever Noe Ramirez was optioned back to Triple-A and right-hander Heath Hembree was recalled.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Blake Swihart getting MRI on injured ankle, Ryan Hanigan tests on neck||06.04.16 at 8:09 pm ET|
The Red Sox’ 6-4 win over the Blue Jays Saturday afternoon came with a price.
Left fielder Blake Swihart left the game with two outs in the seventh inning after injuring his ankle when running into the left field wall chasing after a Michael Saunders fly ball. It was ruled a foul ball as although Swihart made the catch, it hit the wall in the left field corner first. Swihart’s left ankle jammed against the wall and he needed help walking off the field.
Manager John Farrell added Swihart will be getting a MRI Saturday night.
“You get in up against that concrete base there — the base of that wall,” Farrell said. “We don’t know exactly what has taken place yet. He will go for a MRI here tonight, so until we get the results, it’s hard to really comment any further on that.”
Swihart reached base three times in the game before having to depart.
Earlier in the inning, catcher Ryan Hanigan was removed from the game with a neck strain. This comes after he battled dizziness/illness earlier in the week. Farrell was able to rule out a concussion with him, but he will be going for more tests.
“They both are going for tests,” Farrell said. “Blake, obviously the ankle and Hanigan, who has been dealing with the neck strain, that continued to tighten throughout the game. He was battling not only the knuckleball, but obviously his neck. Both are going to go for tests here and once we get information on them we’ll have a better read on the severity of both.”
Hanigan was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and allowed three passed balls in the game. He was in the clubhouse postgame and although didn’t speak with reporters, he looked to be in some pain.
If the Red Sox need to call up a catcher from Triple-A Pawtucket, Sandy Leon would likely be the guy. He got a lot of playing time in the early going last season, so there is some familiarity with the staff.
With Swihart, if the team needs to call up an outfielder, Rusney Castillo likely is that guy. Ideally, the Sox would prefer the player to be a lefty given the number of righties they already have, but there isn’t such a player available.
Both Leon and Castillo were removed from Pawtucket’s game Saturday night.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Closing Time: Xander Bogaerts, Travis Shaw lead Red Sox over Blue Jays to end 3-game losing streak||at 7:13 pm ET|
Although the Red Sox have scuffled of late — losing three straight and six of their last nine going into the game — they still have yet to lose four in a row this season.
Led by the offense, the Red Sox snapped their skid with a 6-4 win over the Blue Jays Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Like they have all season, the Red Sox were able to get to Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman. The offense scored in five straight innings against him, as he departed with the Red Sox on top 6-4 in the sixth.
David Ortiz had a two-run single in the third and Travis Shaw added a two-out RBI single in the fifth. They added another in the sixth on a very close play at the plate involving Blake Swihart trying to score from first on a Mookie Betts double. He was originally called out, but following a challenge the call at home was overturned and Swihart was ruled safe.
Xander Bogaerts paced the offense with three hits, while Shaw and Betts each had two.
“[Bogaerts] with another big day,” manager John Farrell said. “After being stopped last night, he picks up three base hits today. I thought we did an outstanding job of running the bases — taking an extra 90 feet. Blake [Swihart] scoring from first. [Bogaerts] going first-to-third on a groundball out. Some heads up base running for sure. David with another key base hit for the two RBIs off Stroman. Each time they were able to put a run on the board, once again we were able to answer right back. That continues to be a characteristic of this team.”
In relief of Red Sox starter Steven Wright, Matt Barnes allowed a run over two innings, Junichi Tazawa threw a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel closed things out in the ninth. Overall, the Red Sox’ arms limited the Blue Jays to just four hits in the game.
Wright was pulled after the fifth inning and throwing 111 pitches. The knuckleballer allowed three runs, but none of them were earned because of passed balls. Two scored in the fifth on one passed ball when Michael Saunders struck out and beat the throw to first, which allowed both Ryan Goins and Jose Bautista to score. The Red Sox led 4-1 going into the inning.
Ryan Hanigan and Swihart left the game in the seventh inning. Hanigan left with a neck strain and Swihart departed with a left ankle injury suffered hitting the wall hard in left field on a foul ball. He was helped off the field by a trainer and Farrell.
Dustin Pedroia has now hit safely in 25 straight games against the Blue Jays, tying the second longest streak in MLB history (Jerry Remy, 26, 1977-82 and Vladimir Guerrero, 25, 2001-06).
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
Red Sox left fielder Blake Swihart left Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays with a left ankle injury.
On a Michael Saunders fly ball down the left field line in the seventh inning, Swihart chased it down going full force into the wall in the corner where he appeared to jam his left ankle hard into the base of the wall.
He was aided off the field by a trainer and manager John Farrell. The team announced the injury and added he is being evaluated further. Although he caught the ball, it was a foul ball because it hit the wall first.
Chris Young replaced him in left field.
Earlier in the inning, catcher Ryan Hanigan left the game with a neck strain. He was having a tough day going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and four runners left on base, along with three passed balls that all led to runs. Hanigan had dizziness/illness last week.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Red Sox GM Mike Hazen on OM&F: Bullpen ‘probably the best place for’ Clay Buchholz right now||06.01.16 at 1:59 pm ET|
Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen called in to Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday to discuss Clay Buchholz’s pitching struggles and the development of the team’s younger players. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
Buchholz is 2-5 as a starter,and has a 6.24 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. He was moved out of the rotation and to the bullpen last weekend to make room for Eduardo Rodriguez.
“I think it’s probably the best place for him right now, given where the team’s at,” Hazen said. “Not an easy decision, I don’t know if that’s something that’s permanent, the way we look at it, certainly I think from a results standpoint. They talked to Clay, I didn’t happen to be there at the time, but I think it’s something [where] he can make a positive impact as he did in Toronto already, in the short run.”
Added Hazen: “I don’t think his days of starting are over. Clay Buchholz is too talented, we’ve seen him go through the American League East too many times on some runs where he’s really one of the few guys that can walk up into Toronto and pitch in that environment and dominate that lineup, and he has done that pretty consistently over the last few years. We’re going to need Clay Buchholz, and I don’t know in what form or fashion. I think in the short run he’s going to make an impact in the bullpen, in the long run we’ll see where it goes. But as long as there’s the 12 guys that we have right now we’re going to need him, just like we need everybody.”
Hazen also addressed concerns that Buchholz may not get enough innings in the bullpen to work on his pitching.
“I certainly understand that as you move through a period of time, if he gets shortened up too much that you’re going to have to stretch him back out again,” Hazen said. “We’re not really thinking a month down the road right now, we’re not really afforded that luxury. So many things have happened already over the course of the first half of the season in our starting rotation and in our bullpen. Things in this game happen all the time, I don’t know where we’re going to be from point in time, but we’re not going to deal with that until later.
Added Hazen: “As of right now, in the short run, we still have the ability to put him back in there. I still think he’ll be able to maintain some length, we have not gone through the rotation on a consistent basis where we’re going seven or eight innings every night, and hopefully we get to that point because then we’re really clicking. But in those moments, you’ve seen other relievers, [Heath] Hembree, [Matt] Barnes, those guys have gotten three-inning stints fairly regularly I think, even if we’ve played so well on those off nights. Whether it’s rain-induced or whether somebody gets hurt early, I think there’s going to be enough of those opportunities, and if there’s not, we’ll figure that out at the time.”
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