|Red Sox pregame notes: Xander Bogaerts on off day: ‘Something I needed and my body needed,’ Clay Buchholz, Will Middlebrooks, Shane Victorino set to begin rehab assignments||06.12.14 at 6:08 pm ET|
While Xander Bogaerts does not know for sure that he has ever played in a span of games as strenuous as the Red Sox‘ current 38 games in 39 day stretch, the shortstop knows that the a string of rain delays, long games and tough travel schedule have put a toll on his body. For that reason exactly, Red Sox manager John Farrell decided to give Bogaerts a day off during Thursday’s series opener vs. the Indians.
Bogaerts, who has gone hitless in his last 16 at-bats, will take Thursday as an opportunity to refuel, both physically and mentally.
“Try to get my body some good rest and maybe depending on the situation, coming in late in the game, but I don’t know,” Bogaerts said. “It’s part of the game or else I’ll just be ready for tomorrow.”
Farrell has noticed some moments of frustration for the rookie shortstop in recent days.
“When things don’t go great, as evident the other night where he grounds into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded, there might have been a little bit of frustration at that moment because of what we’re living a little bit as a team,” Farrell said. “To say that there are certain situations that you can visibly see it or he comes out of his swing or out of his mechanics in some way, no that’s not fair.”
Bogaerts believes that his swing and approach have not been as sharp in the last couple of games as they were prior to the road trip. The 21-year-old hopes that the off day will allow him reset and get back into a groove at the plate.
|‘Frustrated’ Stephen Drew to undergo tests on right oblique strain, Sox eye weekend return if cleared||at 5:09 pm ET|
The daily saga of Stephen Drew took another twist Thursday with the news that the shortstop will be undergoing several tests before the weekend to determine the extent of his aggravated right oblique.
After Thursday’s 5-2 win over the Indians, manager John Farrell said there’s a chance Drew could return to action over the weekend against the Indians.
“At this point, there was an ultrasound done. An MRI is still a possibility if the increased baseball activities [Friday] warrant it. The plan is for him not to have it right now,” Farrell said. “He’ll ramp up the activities. If there’s any kind of reproducing of the symptoms, then it would be administered at that point. Hopefully, he gets through [Friday] and then we’re looking for game activity on the weekend.”
Thursday’s ultrasound was administered to determine if Drew did any further damage during a batting practice session before Wednesday’s series finale in Baltimore. Before Thursday’s game, Farrell said Drew, who signed a $10 million pro-rated deal on May 21, was day-to-day with the oblique strain.
“[Wednesday] in the second round of BP he felt the right oblique kind of grab him again,” Farrell said. “So, whether or not the MRI is needed [Friday] — and even if there’s any question — we’ll get it to get all the information possible.
“He’s frustrated by it, but at the same time we can’t risk any longer-term situation here.”
Since signing with the Red Sox, Drew has played in just four games, collecting just one hit in 14 at-bats (.071).
Farrell was asked if an MRI Friday could reveal further injury beyond the oblique.
“I don’t know where,” Farrell said. “I just think the MRI is going to indicate to what extent there’s inflammation. If the MRI is deemed necessary, then the information derived from it will have a better read on the prognosis going forward.”
|Joe Maddon on Friday’s tensions: ‘I thought it was handled great’||05.31.14 at 3:39 am ET|
Red Sox skipper John Farrell might have thought home plate umpire Dan Bellino and crew chief Jeff Kellogg let Friday night’s game get out of control. Naturally, his counterpart in the Tampa Bay dugout saw things much differently.
“That was obvious that you’re not trying to hit Carp right there,” Maddon said of Price drilling the Red Sox first baseman in the fourth inning. “I thought the umpires utilized really good baseball judgment regarding how they handled it after Ortiz, they handled the rest of that really well. Of course, the ball at somebody’s head is no fun to see that happened. Again, you have to get their side of the whole thing. I’m just saying from our side of things, it was not precipitated by what happened last week.
“You know what? You let the players play. I’m a big believer in the players do a great job of policing one another. I try not to interfere with that kind of stuff. We’ll see how it plays out [Saturday]. There’s going to be no animosity from us to their side. Beginning of the game, we’ll just see how it plays. Again, the umpires did a great job tonight.”
Maddon and Farrell were not warned formally before the game, to the surprise of some, including Price. But once the game start, Maddon had no issue with Price clearly hitting Ortiz in the middle of the back as retribution for Ortiz slow trot around the bases on two home runs off Price in last fall’s ALDS Game 2.
“For me, you let the players play, and you really try to not get involved in that, whether it’s me as the manager or the umpires, let the players play,” Maddon said. “I’m a big believer in the players’ ability to police the game on their own. I really am. I thought the players did well tonight. I thought the umpires did well tonight. I thought it went well and I thought everything was handled properly.”
|David Price predicts more tension between Red Sox and Rays: ‘I’m sure it will [continue]‘||at 1:19 am ET|
In the first inning, Price drilled David Ortiz square in the back, nearly throwing a fastball completely behind the Red Sox slugger. That resulted in Price and the Red Sox being issued warnings by home plate umpire and crew chief Jeff Kellogg. Both benches emptied and John Farrell was ejected.
Three innings later, Mike Carp, in just his 10th career plate appearance against Price, was drilled for the third time by the Rays lefty known for his routine pinpoint control.
That resulted in Carp being awarded first base and Ortiz nearly attacking Price. The Red Sox were clearly frustrated that two batters had been hit, one in Ortiz very clearly intentionally. Could Price sense the growing frustration of the Red Sox?
“Yeah, I absolutely get it, especially with Carp. I don’t know if I’ve hit anybody three times,” Price said. “I think I’ve hit him three times in probably less than 10 at-bats. I think one was when he was with Seattle. I feel like they’ve been all in the same region [of the body]. I’ve extended apologies to him both times before. That’s not something I’m trying to do. I had six lefties in the lineup today. I have to be able to throw my fastball in and wasn’t able to do it.”
But asked about his history with Ortiz, which included a Price Twitter rant about Ortiz pimping after two home runs off him in Game 2 of the playoffs last year, Price said, “I’m fine,” and that there was “no” reason for Ortiz to be upset with the apparent retaliation. Ortiz called Price a “girl” for the way he handled himself Friday night.
Does Price expect the bad blood to continue between the clubs going forward?
“I’m sure it will,” Price predicted.
|Jonny Gomes might be a ‘spark plug’ but he admits: ‘Tomorrow is not a guarantee for me’||05.29.14 at 7:51 am ET|
No one needs to remind Jonny Gomes of his value and role on the Red Sox.
The veteran outfielder proved his worth on the club again on Wednesday night, going 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and scoring twice in a 4-0 win over the Braves. After a 10-game skid, the Red Sox are suddenly on a three-game streak in the right direction.
“Obviously not ideal but I’ll tell you what, no one truly had their head in the sand,” Gomes said. “No one was ready to throw in the white towel on the season, by any means. It was just a rough patch but this team does a pretty good job of turning the page and cleaning the slate once we leave these double doors here. Likewise on a win, what we did tonight doesn’t matter tomorrow. So, we just have to clean the slate and get back to work tomorrow.”
Gomes’ numbers this year virtually mirror those for his career across the board – .248/.343/.425/.768 – in 39 games. Gomes is batting .308 with a mighty .950 OPS against lefties this year.
What makes Gomes so valuable is his attitude, given his uncertain role from game to game. Gomes has handled the platoon situation in the outfield flawlessly, understanding that he will not be playing every day as skipper John Farrell tries to maximize his ability to mash left-handed pitching. Wednesday night, however, Gomes got the left field nod against righty Gavin Floyd and Gomes was ready as always to answer the bell.
“Play here, sit here. Sit there, play there. I just go pitch to pitch, at-bat to at-bat,” Gomes said philosophically. “Tomorrow is not a guarantee for me so I just run it out there and any way I can generate a run on the board and take one off with my defense, that’s what I’ll try to do.
“Tomorrow is not a guarantee. It can be exhausting at times but I’ve done it for a while where every pitch, every at-bat is not so much pressure but I put a lot on it and I have a lot of pride in it. If I do play sparingly, I want to affect the game somehow. That’s what I try to do.”
|Kevin Youkilis: 2004 World Series title ‘made my life’||05.28.14 at 9:46 pm ET|
He was a 25-year-old infielder wondering how long he would be toiling for the Red Sox in the minor leagues when he was called up on May 15 in Toronto to fill the void left by Bill Mueller’s trip to the disabled list. He homered in his first game against Toronto righty Pat Hentgen.
The eighth-round pick of the Red Sox in 2001 would play in 72 games in 2004, hit seven homers and drive in 35 runs. He would even get two plate appearances against the Angels in the 2004 ALDS, won by Manny Ramirez on the walk-off homer in Game 3 at Fenway Park.
But Youkilis had a seat in the dugout for the ALCS against the Yankees and the World Series against the Cardinals. With 73 games in four months for the Red Sox in his debut season, the “Greek God of Walks” had himself a World Series ring.
“For me, it changed my life,” Youkilis recalled Wednesday afternoon at Fenway. “I went from making minor league money to all of a sudden making major league money then getting a full share in the World Series. My life changed dramatically. It made my life. In the minor leagues, you’re grinding it out so much, paycheck to paycheck and then you all of a sudden get a little bit of money, it helps you out in so many ways.”
The glamour and attention would eventually lead to a wedding ceremony (never formalized) to Boston socialite Enza Sambataro. After they split, Youkilis would settle down and eventually marry and start a family with Julie Brady, the sister of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“I look around at a lot of things. That was my first season. When you’re a rookie, you don’t really know what you’re doing. They’re telling you what to do and you’re trying to not mess up as much as possible and trying to conform and make an impression. That year was such an amazing year, winning a World Series. I always joke around about everyone has said, ‘Eighty-six years of heartache,’ and it was like four months for me. This is great. Are we going to do this every year? You finally realize, after we did it again in 2007. And then you realize, later, it’s special and it’s hard to do. And you’re going to have a lot of in-between years. And for the team to do it last year was an amazing feat.”
|Shane Victorino (hamstring) heads to DL, Daniel Nava recalled||05.24.14 at 1:48 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Shane Victorino’s stay on the active roster with the Red Sox lasted just four weeks.
After coming back from a right hamstring injury in April, the outfielder aggravated the same injury Friday night while running out a ground ball in the ninth inning of a 1-0 loss to the Rays. He was replaced by Jonny Gomes. Victorino was 0-for-4 Friday and is hitting .242 with one home run and 10 RBI in 91 at-bats.
Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated Friday that the team believes the injury is not as serious as the one he sustained in the club’s final spring training game in March.
Taking his spot on the roster is Daniel Nava, who was impressive his four-week stay at Triple-A Pawucket.
Nava, 31, rejoins the Red Sox for his second stint in the majors this season. He appeared in 17 games for Boston this year before being optioned to Pawtucket on April 22. With the PawSox, Nava has hit .253 (21-for-83) with three doubles, three home runs, and 14 RBI in 24 games.
In the majors in 2014, Nava has batted .149 (10-for-67) with two doubles, two home runs, and three RBI. Defensively this season with Boston, he has played 15 games in right field (14 starts), three games in left field (1 start), and two at first base (both starts).
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