|Compression fracture for Jacoby Ellsbury; return in 2-3 weeks possible||09.08.13 at 5:23 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Red Sox manager John Farrell said that a visit by center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to Dr. Thomas Clanton in Colorado confirmed the team’s initial diagnosis that the leadoff hitter suffered a non-displaced compression fracture in his right foot when he slammed a foul ball off of it in an Aug. 28 game. Farrell said that Ellsbury will remain in his walking boot for five days, and that the team will see how he responds to treatment thereafter.
As ominous as that sounds, Farrell said the team is hopeful that Ellsbury will be back.
“The exam that he went through, the images taken in Denver concur with what’s been found in the exam in Boston and he does have a compression fracture,” said Farrell. “That means it’s non-displaced. But at the same time, we feel like he’ll return this year. He’s in a boot right now, will be for the time being. We feel like he’ll be back to us before this year is out. … We’re hopeful of the regular season.”
The Sox don’t have an exact timetable for his return yet, beyond the five days when he’ll remain in a boot, according to Farrell. But given that Ellsbury was able to play on his foot after suffering the fracture to his navicular bone, it would appear he is in a separate category of injury from teammate Dustin Pedroia, whose final three months were largely erased by a more severe navicular fracture.
“I talked to him when he did it. He was asking me about it, because it’s kind of the same area. I just told him, when I did mine, I couldn’t walk right away. So if something’s wrong, it’s a good sign that you were able to go run and do things,” said Pedroia. “We’ve got to get him better. He’s a huge part of what we do.”
A year ago, outfielder Cody Ross missed exactly one month after he endured a navicular fracture. In Ellsbury’s case, there is the possibility of an even more accelerated return. According to an industry source, his small, non-displaced navicular fracture is considered to be to a peripheral part of the foot, with surgery not considered a necessary outcome. The fracture is much smaller than the one suffered by Pedroia. While Ross’ fracture was likewise small, it was on the underside of the foot, a more vulnerable area. For Ellsbury, the injury is on the inside of the foot, in a small area that his ankle pad did not protect. Read the rest of this entry »
|Closing Time: Cody Ross returns to help sink Red Sox||08.02.13 at 10:46 pm ET|
The magic wasn’t quite there Friday night.
The Red Sox twice came back from a two-run deficit in their series-opener against the Diamondbacks, but they ultimately dropped a 7-6 decision. Former Sox outfielder Cody Ross ‘ who created a bit of a stir earlier in the day when he told WEEI that the Sox lied to his face during contract negotiations ‘ led the way for Arizona, going 4-for-5 with three extra-base hits, including the go-ahead home run in the seventh.
David Ortiz tied the game at 2-2 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, and a pair of sacrifice flies in the second gave the Red Sox a 4-2 lead. But Jon Lester couldn’t make it stand up. The Diamondbacks got one back in the third, then chased Lester from the game with four hits and three runs in the fifth.
The Sox saved Lester — who gave up six runs on 11 hits over 4 1/3 innings — from getting the loss by tallying another two-run homer in the sixth, this one courtesy of Stephen Drew. The tie was short-lived, though, as Ross led off the seventh with a blast into the front row of the Monster seats.
One of the Sox’ best chance to tie the game came in the seventh, when Shane Victorino doubled with one out. But then Dustin Pedroia flew out to right and David Ortiz popped out to third to end the threat.
The Sox started to mount yet another ninth-inning comeback, with Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury putting runners on first and second with one out via a pair of singles. But after a Victorino fly out to left field, Arizona closer Brad Ziegler managed to barehand Pedroia’s grounder back to the mound and throw in time to end the game.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– Lester got off to a tough start and never really settled down. He gave up three hits and two runs in a 26-pitch top of the first, surrendering a single to Aaron Hill, a two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt and a double to Ross. Lester threw just 10 pitches in the second, but still allowed two hits in the inning. He then needed 25 pitches to get through the third, allowing another run in the process. The up-and-down performance continued with a 1-2-3 fourth followed by a three-run fifth in which he allowed three doubles. Friday night marked a big step back for Lester, who had strung together three straight quality starts entering the night, with a 2.29 ERA during that span. The 11 hits were the most Lester has allowed since May 20, 2011.
– Ross had himself quite the return to Fenway. The former Sox outfielder went 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles, a single and three RBIs. He doubled in the first, singled and stole second in the third, doubled again in the fifth, then homered in the seventh. Ross made headlines earlier in the day when he told WEEI that the Red Sox ‘lied to my face’ during contract negotiations last year. He said he made it clear that he wanted to stay in Boston, but said the two sides couldn’t agree on the years. Ross, who was one of the few bright spots on the 2012 team, received a smattering of applause before his first at bat Friday night.
– Pedroia’s recent hot streak came to an end with an 0-for-5 performance. Pedroia had snapped an 0-for-16 slump in a big way against Seattle, going 5-for-14 with two home runs and seven RBIs in the series.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– In addition to the two-run homer from Drew, the Sox also got two runs from the bottom of their order in the second. Daniel Nava reached on an error to start the inning and Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled off the monster. Drew followed with a sacrifice fly to center that plated Nava and moved Saltalamacchia to third. Then Brock Holt registered a sac fly of his own that brought Saltalamacchia home. Of course, the bottom of the lineup has also been the source for the Sox’ recent heroics. Drew had the walk-off single on Wednesday, while Nava took the honors on Thursday. Going back further, the Sox have now gotten 17 RBIs from the bottom four spots in their order over the last seven games. Drew has led the way with nine during that span.
– Speaking of Holt, the rookie made a nice play at third in the top of the sixth. Hill ripped a one-hopper at Holt, but he was able to make a nice pick and throw out Hill.
– Ortiz belted his 21st home run of the season in the bottom of the first, a two-run shot to center that tied the game at 2-2. Ortiz has now reached base in 16 straight games and 37 of his last 39. Unfortunately for the Sox, Ortiz struck out his next two times up, then popped out to end a scoring threat in the seventh.
|Red Sox-Diamondbacks series preview||at 2:36 pm ET|
It was a wild night at Fenway on Thursday, when the Red Sox scored six times in the bottom of the ninth inning to steal a victory from the Mariners, winning on a Daniel Nava single after notching six hits in the frame. It was technically the club’s second walkoff in one day, since their 15-inning contest on Wednesday didn’t end until after midnight, though it ended the same way: with a walk-off celebration. With the win on Thursday, the Red Sox took a one-game lead over the second-place Rays.
The deficit was the biggest the Red Sox have overcome this season, and it gave them their 11th walkoff win of the season. The game was reminiscent of the Mother’s Day Miracle in 2007, which is the last time the Red Sox overcame a deficit of that size in the ninth inning.
“Is it magical? It’s a lot of fun. Is it magical? I’ll leave that up to you to decide,” Nava said. “I don’t think anyone saw that happening tonight.”
The Red Sox made one of the biggest splashes at the July 31 trade deadline, dealing shortstop Jose Iglesias and three lower-level prospects for starter Jake Peavy. Peavy will make his debut in a Boston uniform Saturday.
It will be a return to Fenway for outfielder Cody Ross, who was one of the few bright spots in the Red Sox 2012 season. His new team, the Diamondbacks, sit 3½ games behind the red-hot Dodgers in what used to be a tight NL West race. After losing four of their last five games and dropping to 55-53, the Diamondbacks slipped from a half-game back and haven’t held the division lead since July 21 after spending more than two months in first place.
It’s been a little while since the Diamondbacks have visited Fenway Park, last coming to Boston in 2010, when the Red Sox swept them in a three-game series. The Sox have taken five straight against Arizona and are 7-5 all-time against them.
“We know we’ll have a tough series,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “I’ve played quite a few games at Fenway Park myself. It’s kind of exciting, but at the same time, you’ve got to be able to dig in and have staying power. The games can be pretty exhausting.”
Here are the matchups for the three-game weekend set.
WHO’S HOT: RED SOX
‘¢ The Red Sox have had something special going late in games this season. They lead the majors with 11 walkoff wins, including the two in a row against the Mariners. Though Red Sox hitters are batting only .195 in extra innings and .262 in the ninth inning, they’ve drawn a total of 59 walks, good for an OBP of .360 in the ninth and .311 in extras. But it’s the Red Sox bullpen that deserves a huge chunk of the credit when it comes to the club’s ability to create late-inning magic. Red Sox pitchers have posted a 2.98 ERA in the ninth inning while allowing just seven runs in 25 2/3 extra innings. It was a combination of Koji Uehara, Matt Thornton, Craig Breslow and Drake Britton to keep the Sox in the game on Wednesday, while Steven Wright, just called up from Triple-A, threw three scoreless innings to make the team’s ninth-inning heroics possible.
Diamondbacks outfielder Cody Ross, who was one of the few bright spots on the 2012 Red Sox, joined Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon as he prepared to play his former team in a three-game series at Fenway Park. Ross expressed his disappointment that he was not able to re-sign with the Red Sox, and he talked about the difficulty the 2012 Sox had playing for Bobby Valentine.
Ross left Boston as a free agent, but he said it was his clear preference to stay with the Red Sox. He said he still doesn’t understand why the team did not give him a fair shot.
“We might have made the mistake of going to them first and saying that I like it here, kind of I guess you would say showing your hand,” Ross said. “I guess it’s called showing your hand when you tell a team that you want to come back, you want to play here. I don’t see how that could hurt me, but I guess it did.
“When they didn’t trade me [during last season], I thought we were going to get something done. Ben [Cherington] sort of [dragged it out] and let it go to the offseason when we could have gotten it down easily during the year. The problem was they were hung up on the years. They wanted me for two, and I wanted three. We could never come to terms on that.
“To be honest with you, the day until I signed with Arizona, I thought it could still possibly happen someway, somehow. Maybe it was wishful thinking.”
In the end, the Sox went in another direction — giving other players the contract length they told Ross he could not have.
“Once I got into free agency, I didn’t drive the price up or do anything that would possibly affect me coming back here,” Ross said. “I just wanted fair value and fair years. They weren’t willing to go there — for whatever reason, I have no idea.
“They told me that they didn’t want to sign guys to long-term deals, and then they gave [Shane] Victorino a three-year deal, and then [Mike] Napoli a three-year deal or four-year deal, whatever it was [later shortened to a one-year deal after health issues popped up]. So, basically they lied to my face. At that point, I kind of got a bad taste in my mouth and wanted to move on, and that was it.
“It is what it is. Like I said, it was a great time being here.”
Ross joined the Red Sox as a free agent in January 2012, just as Valentine took over for the popular Terry Francona. Valentine had a tough time in Boston, and it ended with his removal as manager after one season.
“There were a lot of people here that were unhappy,” Ross said. “Maybe it was the fact that a lot of the players were just so used to the way Tito ran things and the way he did it, and then Bobby comes in and tries to change the whole culture and the whole everything. Nobody really wanted to buy into it, and it sort of rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. That’s just kind of how it went. … We could never really get on a roll or never play well. The injuries sort of tampered it a lot, too.”
Added Ross: “Bobby and Mike Aviles had a little deal that happened [a confrontation in spring training], and from then on it was just like one thing after another, player after player. It was tough. It was tough having to answer the questions every time day in and day out just about it. You know how the media is here, obviously. They’re not going to let up on it.”
Ross was one of the few Red Sox who did not make news for a dust-up with Valentine.
Said Ross: “To be honest with you, I might have been the only guy who didn’t have issues with him.”
|Larry Lucchino on the state of the Red Sox||02.14.13 at 4:48 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino, in a 30-minute media session, fielded questions on all things Red Sox. He expanded on comments made earlier in the week by team principal owner John Henry, who suggested that the team had shifted away from the core philosophy that had yielded six playoff appearances in seven seasons between 2003-09, and that a course correction is now in effect.
Lucchino highlighted the team’s basic emphasis of on-base percentage and long at-bats that drive up the pitch counts of opponents as centerpieces of the philosophical drift.
“[Henry] feels pretty strongly that we deviated from a basic philosophy of grinding relentless at-bats deep in the count, on-base percentage, some of the fundamental things that got us to the success we had. We have fallen considerably,” said Lucchino. “We used to have incentives in contracts relating to on-base percentage to show you how important we thought it was. I think there was kind of a deviation from that, somewhere along the way.”
Asked why that deviation occurred, Lucchino offered the following.
“I think it kind of grew gradually, and if you’re not ever-vigilant, that can happen to the organization. That’s one factor,” said Lucchino. “Perception that everybody now gets it, everybody now understands it, and don’t we have to look for some new metric or approach? And we in some ways outsmarted ourselves. Those are two of the factors.”
Among other topics: Read the rest of this entry »
|Ben Cherington on Jacoby Ellsbury, Cody Ross, Jerry Sands and the market for pitching||12.05.12 at 8:19 pm ET|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It’s been a relatively quiet day on the trade rumor front for the Red Sox, to the point where the most interesting items to come out of GM Ben Cherington‘s nightly media session at the winter meetings related to activity of the first couple of days.
Foremost, while Cherington did not discuss the agreement that the team reached on Tuesday with outfielder Shane Victorino, he did make clear that in the aftermath of a signing that gives the Sox a second potential center fielder, he is not looking to trade Jacoby Ellsbury.
“You answer the phone and take the calls and listen to ideas. Our expectation is Jacoby will be here and be our center fielder,” said Cherington. “[Dealing Ellsbury] is not our intent. We’re expecting Jacoby to have a really good year in 2013 and be a huge part of what we’re doing.”
As for the level of interest in his center fielder, Cherington said, “I wouldn’t comment specifically. We have a number of guys who are really valued by other teams, so weve been asked about a number of guys. We’re not looking to move guys off our roster. We’re looking to add talent to the roster, not move guys off at this point. We’ll see. You’ve got to listen and learn and have the conversation. We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t at least have the dialogue and gather the information and see what other teams are interested in doing.”
Secondly, Cherington said that he met with a player during team meetings. Colleague Rob Bradford confirmed that Cherington and manager John Farrell met with outfielder Josh Hamilton on Monday.
A few other notes:
— Though Cherington said that he hasn’t talked to outfielder Cody Ross since signing Victorino, he didn’t rule out the possibility of bringing back the corner outfielder who performed so well in Boston last year on a one-year, $3 million deal.
“We’re open-minded about it. See where it goes,” the GM said. “I guess that any time you potentially add a player of sort of significant commitment dollar-wise, it makes it a little bit tougher to add more, but I don’t want to rule anything out. We’re still looking to improve the team.”
|David Ortiz on fixing Red Sox: ‘We need some thunder in that lineup’||11.30.12 at 8:46 am ET|
David Ortiz, general manager ‘¦ sort of.
For the designated hitter, figuring out roster moves haven’t been a priority. There has been a charity golf tournament to help organize — which will run from Dec. 6-9 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic — and an Achilles tendon to tend to. (Ortiz notes that while he isn’t fully healed, his recovery remains ahead of schedule.) These are the things that have taken up most of Ortiz’ time in recent days.
Still, like most who follow the Red Sox, the DH has some ideas when it comes to fixing this 69-win team.
“I’ve been a little disconnected, but it’s not a surprise for anyone who follows the Red Sox that we need some thunder in that lineup,” he said when appearing on “The Hot Stove Show” on WEEI Thursday night. “The problem is that there isn’t too many out there. That’s one thing. I’m pretty sure everybody needs to be a little patient. We have the winter meetings coming up and a lot of decisions get made right after the winter meetings, so hopefully they come out with some decisions.
“We need some power. You guys saw how the team went down in power right after I was injured. Our pitching needs some adjustments in some spots.”
Ortiz’ point regarding the team’s power is well taken, especially considering the Red Sox hit a combined 64 home runs after the DH left the lineup on July 15, putting the Sox’ 20th in the majors. They also were 22nd in OPS during that span (.684). Prior to the Achilles injury, the team had the fifth-best OPS (.768) and eighth-most homers in baseball.
The DH was also asked about any concerns he might have had regarding free agents choosing to come to Boston, with the Red Sox serving as less of a desired destination than years past. The team was reminded of the dynamic recently when one of Ortiz’ good friends, Torii Hunter, prioritized going to a team that would seemingly be set up to win right away (in the Tigers).
“With the situation we’ve been facing the last couple of years, probably,” said Ortiz said regarding if there would be somewhat of a new challenge for the Red Sox this offseason.
“It’s like I tell everyone, but at the same time they’re not expecting you to be like Babe Ruth or Ted Williams. If you come through like that, great. But if you come and play in Boston and you stay on top of your game, try to make a difference every day, and come with the attitude to play hard, the fans will appreciate that.”
One free agent whom Ortiz is clearly a big proponent of bringing back in the fold is outfielder Cody Ross.
“I think Cody should have an opportunity to come back,” the DH said. “He played in the toughest time we were going through and he handled himself pretty good. He did a great job. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great, great teammate, and he’s a guy who cares. Me, as a player, that’s what matters to me, when you have guys who are about winning, who care about coming in every day and trying to make a difference. That’s the type of player I like to have around and that’s the type of player this organization needs. Cody did all of that throughout the year.”
|Ben Cherington on Red Sox Hot Stove Show: Building the ‘next great Red Sox team’||11.02.12 at 8:13 am ET|
Halloween enjoys a place of some infamy in the Red Sox front office. The memory of Theo Epstein resigning and leaving Fenway Park in a gorilla suit in 2005 still lingers, seven years later. Still, there have been no known repeats of such an incident, and this year, Epstein’s successor, Ben Cherington, opted for a look best described as “hard-working Red Sox front-office member.”
“My costume was a pair of khakis and a collared shirt, sitting around in the office very late,” Cherington said on the Red Sox Hot Stove Show on Thursday night.
There likely will be many more such nights given the goals articulated by Cherington and the challenge of achieving them. Now just over a year into his tenure as Red Sox GM and coming off the disappointment of a 69-93 record, Cherington talks often of what the end game is for a team in transition. He talks of building “the next great Red Sox team,” a goal that will require both considerable effort and, to his mind, patience to address the numerous deficiencies that emerged in 2012.
What, Cherington was asked, does he mean when he discusses his aspirations?
“It’s a team that gets on base more. It’s a team that’s strong up the middle. It’s a team with guys that want to be here. It’s a team with pitching that’s aggressive and attacks the strike zone. It’s a team that can do that over the course of a six-month season, and that grinds through the tough periods. All the things that made us good in the past. Our best teams I think had a lot of the qualities I mentioned,” said Cherington. “Those teams are not built overnight. If you lose 93 games, it means you’re a ways away from that team. We feel like we have some of the pieces necessary to be that kind of team. We think that we have more on the way in the farm system, so we’ve got to be protective of the guys in the farm system that we most believe in and we’ve got to be selective about the types of guys we bring in. Read the rest of this entry »
|Cody Ross and the pursuit of a Josh Willingham deal||10.29.12 at 2:51 pm ET|
Cody Ross counts outfielder Josh Willingham as one of his closest friends in baseball. Both achieved status as big league regulars with the Marlins in 2006, when Willingham made a splash as a 27-year-old rookie who swatted 26 homers and Ross finally getting a big league opportunity with a Marlins team that acquired him for $1 from the Reds, hitting 11 homers in 91 games with Florida while showing the ability to play all three outfield positions.
The two outfielders spent three years together with the Marlins, but after the 2008 season, he was dealt to the Nationals, spending a couple years in Washington before going to Oakland in 2011. Ross, meanwhile, remained with the Marlins until 2010 before he was sent on a waiver claim to the Giants for the stretch run that yielded an unforgettable October. He remained in San Francisco for 2011, living near his former Marlins teammate.
But after the 2011 season, both Ross and Willingham found themselves on the same team — which is to say, none at all. The two were free agents, albeit ones in strikingly different boats.
Willingham had a strong walk year with the A’s, smashing 29 homers and driving in 98 while hitting .246/.332/.477/.810 in 136 games as a 32-year-old. Ross, as a 30-year-old, put up far more modest totals, hitting .240/.325/.405/.730 with 14 homers in 121 games for the Giants in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »
|Larry Lucchino on D&C discusses whether Cody Ross, John Lackey or Alfredo Aceves might return||09.20.12 at 1:04 pm ET|
Red Sox CEO/president Larry Lucchino, in an interview with the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning, addressed how a number of Red Sox players might fit into the club in 2013. Perhaps most noteworthy was Lucchino’s acknowledgement that there remains an open question whether Alfredo Aceves — who was suspended once for conduct detrimental to the team, and for whom a second suspension was considered but deemed unnecessary after took a backdoor exit from the mound during a pitching change to avoid passing manager Bobby Valentine — will be brought back to the Red Sox.
“[A decision regarding his role as a starter or reliever] will be made next spring by whatever team he is with. Maybe he’s with us. We’ll see. Maybe he’s elsewhere. It’s a little early to answer that question,” said Lucchino. “We have so far [put up with his activities]. … He is a valuable pitcher. His track record over the course of his major league career has been very impressive.”
Additional highlights from the interview:
On John Lackey’s potential to contribute to the rotation in 2013: “All the information that I’ve been getting has been quite positive about his health and his current state of readiness. … We do have a guy who is a double-digit winner in the big leagues and who has been a horse.
“I’ve seen a number of players come back with much stronger arms and played very effectively [from Tommy John surgery],” he added. “We have seen evidence that this has been a very effective procedure.”
On the team’s interest in bringing back Cody Ross: “We love Cody Ross. He is someone that was, I think, one of [GM] Ben Cherington‘s best offseason acquisitions. When we saw him in spring training, several of us predicted that he would be a very popular player because of his style, personality and power. He has proven to be just that. We’d love to have Cody Ross come back and play for this team in future years. We’re at the beginning stages of that process.” Read the rest of this entry »
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