|David Ross says plantar fasciitis won’t sideline him||07.22.14 at 11:22 pm ET|
TORONTO — It wasn’t difficult to identify that David Ross was in pain Tuesday night.
The Red Sox catcher seemed to pull up lame while running to first after lining a third-inning single, bringing out both Red Sox manager John Farrell and trainer Rick Jameyson. But Ross remained in the game, finishing with three hits in what resulted in a 7-3 loss to the Blue Jays.
After the game, Ross explained that the diagnosis for the ailment is plantar fasciitis on his right foot.
Ross — who wears orthotics due to flat feet — said he suffered a similar injury for the final two months of the 2007 season, albeit to his left foot.
“In the offseason I ruptured it and that’s what they do when they do surgery, they just go in and cut it,” he said.. “So I ruptured it and it hasn’t been a problem since. I was running today with the intent of letting that thing blow out. It would feel a lot better if it would.”
The backstop believed that the injury was a result of taping his left ankle after injuring himself during a mid-May series in Minnesota, leading to overcompensating on his right foot.
Ross didn’t believe the injury would make his miss any time.
It is the same injury Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli dealt with for much of 2013. (Click here to read more about the particulars of the ailment.)
“It’s been going on for a few days,” Ross explained. “I was getting better. It was getting a lot better. I just aggravated on that one swing. It’s not going to keep me from playing I don’t think. It’s one of those things that’s going to affect my running a little bit, which is definitely not something [Farrell] is worrying about, my speed to help the team if it would.”
|Red Sox pregame notes: Shane Victorino could be activated tomorrow; Will Middlebrooks nears return; Sox remain hopeful for second-half run||07.18.14 at 7:08 pm ET|
While the Red Sox only managed to post a 9-12 record in the 21 games that he played this season in the majors, there’s no denying that Shane Victorino brings a certain amount of panache to the table that the Red Sox have sufficiently lacked this year.
Whether it be his proficiency in patrolling right field (25.0 UZR in 2013, first amongst all right fields in AL ), talent at the plate (.294/.351/.451 line last season) or skills on the basepaths (23-for-26 in stolen base attempts with Boston), Victorino has certainly left a void on the roster during the 74 games that he’s missed this season with hamstring and back issues.
“We’ve missed his energy, we’ve missed his talents, his in-game decision, his instincts on the basepaths, we’ve missed a very good player for a majority of the year,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell before Friday’s game against the Royals.
However, it appears that the 33-year-old outfielder will not be sidelined for much longer, as Farrell stated that there’s a definite scenario that he could be activated before Saturday’s game. Victorino played all nine innings of Triple-A Pawtucket’s game against Buffalo Thursday, going 2-for-4 while showing no hesitancy to test his hamstring both out on the field and on the basepaths.
“He came out of last night in good shape physically, he ran the bases aggressively, went first to third a couple of different times, slid headfirst, a couple of base hits, made three plays in right field, so last night was a very good night for him and we anticipate him getting through tonight in a similar fashion physically and there’s a scenario which has him active for us tomorrow,” Farrell said.
|Ready for his closeup: Why Red Sox felt time was right for Christian Vazquez||07.09.14 at 11:52 pm ET|
The Red Sox have relied heavily on youth all year long, and with the Sox sinking further down in the standings during the homestand, they made a move on Wednesday that signaled that they aren’t backing off of a commitment to and investment in their prospects.
Goodbye, veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who was designated for assignment on Wednesday. Hello, 23-year-old Christian Vazquez, promoted from Triple-A Pawtucket and inserted into the lineup as the starting catcher.
“I’m very happy to be here,” Vazquez said. “It’s my dream to be here and play in the big leagues.”
“There was a lot of emotion,” Vazquez said. “It was a good win for us and I’m excited.”
Vazquez had his work cut out for him in his first game in the majors, facing All-Star candidate Chris Sale and catching five pitchers on the evening. He went 0-for-3 at the plate and was pinch-hit for in the ninth, but he looked solid defensively. While he had to work with four relievers, he began the game in something of a comfort zone, catching De La Rosa, his former Triple-A battery mate.
“[Catching De La Rosa] helped me a lot,” said Vazquez after his debut. “I’ve got a lot of experience with him and I’m very confident with him.”
Vazquez may not necessarily be the offensive spark that will turn the lineup around, but he’s described as a game-changer behind the plate.
“I think he’s a great young prospect,” catcher David Ross said prior to Wednesday’s game. “I love his attitude and he’s got a cannon for an arm. He’s not just about hitting or catching, he’s about both. I think he’s going to be a good bright spot for us.”
When he inked a one-year, $8.25 million contract with Boston on December 3, 2013, A.J. Pierzynski was expected to be a short-term, if not suitable, solution behind the plate for the Red Sox this season.
He may not have been in the team’s plans for the long haul, but even Pierzynski couldn’t have expected that his tenure in Boston would reach its conclusion at such an early juncture.
For Red Sox manager John Farrell, the move was necessary for the team to look to the future, as Pawtucket catcher Christian Vazquez was called up to fill Pierzynski’s open roster spot. Vazquez is a part of the team’s future beyond 2014; Pierzynski never was, which is why he was signed to a one-year contract as something of a placeholder.
“Obviously we designated A.J. earlier today,” Farrell said. “It’s an opportunity for us to invest in players that we feel are going to be here beyond 2014 and while there may be other decisions that are forthcoming, we felt like the place we where we were going to start with was behind the plate.”
“You never want to see a teammate get released or have to leave for any reason,” said catcher David Ross before Wednesday’s game against the White Sox. “We wish him the best, he’s had a great major league career up to this point.”
With the departure of Jarrod Saltalamacchia after the 2013 season, Boston looked for a backstop that would both approximate Saltalamachia’s impressive offensive numbers from last year (.273/.338/.466 with 54 extra-base hits, 65 RBIs) while also being on a short-term deal that would avoid blocking promising catchers in the organization going forward – such as Vazquez or Portland’s Blake Swihart.
For Farrell, Pierzynski — who averaged 22 home runs and 74 RBIs over 2012 and 2013 — fit all those requirements.
|Jake Peavy frustrated with umpire’s call on fourth inning, two-out walk prior to HR||07.01.14 at 5:23 am ET|
The count was 3-2 and Jake Peavy was just one strike away from striking out the side in the fourth inning. To that point in the game, Peavy had regained some velocity on his fastball that was not present in his past couple of outings. Peavy felt good on the mound, confident that he would turn in a start that would give the Red Sox a chance to win.
Peavy pumped a 91 mph fastball to Cubs batter Welington Castillo right on the outside corner, over the white of the plate, and most importantly, right where Peavy and catcher David Ross wanted the pitch. Peavy waited for home plate umpire Chris Conroy to punch out Castillo.
He waited and waited.
The punch-out from Conroy never came and Castillo walked down to first base. Peavy walked around the mound, frustrated with the call on what he thought should have been strike three.
Eight pitches later, Peavy left a cutter over the heart of the plate and Nate Schierholtz deposited the ball into the Red Sox bullpen in right field to swing the game 2-0 in favor of the Cubs. Considering how Cubs starter Jake Arrieta was throwing and how much the Red Sox offense has struggled to generate runs, Schierholtz’s home run was all the offense Chicago needed.
Schierholtz’s blast marked the 17th home run this season off Peavy, who is tied for most home runs allowed in the American League with David Price of the Rays. The righty has allowed home runs in all but three of his 17 starts in 2014. Peavy said that the high home run total is inherent with his desire to have an aggressive game plan with each start.
“I’m going to be aggressive and throw the ball over the plate,” Peavy said. “I shouldn’t say that I don’t mind giving up home runs. You don’t ever want to. Not many of them have been like the [Kyle] Seager [three-run home run in Seattle]. If you give up one or two, as long as they are solo shots, no more than a two-run home run, you have a good chance of keeping your team in the game. It’s frustrating, and I relive the pitch [to Schierholtz] over and over. I wish that I had thrown something different and wish I had located it and things could have been different.”
|Jonny Gomes on bench-clearer: ‘I figured a hands-on approach was a little more appropriate’||05.25.14 at 10:52 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The fallout from the bench-clearing incident between the Red Sox and Rays was somewhat predictable.
Both sides were unapologetic.
What happened in the seventh inning of an 8-5 Red Sox loss to the Rays was this: Tampa Bay’s Yunel Escobar stole third (later ruled defensive indifference) with two outs and the hosts leading by five runs. He then started hearing it from the nearby Red Sox dugout.
After a few back-and-forths, Escobar left the bag and started walking toward the Sox side, resulting in both benches clearing.
The most notable physical contact came when Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes raced in from his position and pushed Escobar in the face. Gomes, Escobar and Tampa Bay’s Sean Rodriguez were ejected.
Here are what some of the particulars had to say.
– “[Escobar] was yelling at our dugout a whole lot and then kind of kept yelling and then kind of took his helmet off and continued to yell. I don’t know. I don’t have much patience, nor do I have much time right now to be in an arguing match. That’s why it happened.”
– “He can have the bag if he wants the bag. I’m not concerned about the bag at all. I don’t think it is a stolen base. Scorer’s discretion. I wouldn’t have done it, but I don’t have a problem with him taking the bag. He can take the bag all he wants, but yell in my dugout and point in my dugout and take your helmet off and basically challenge our whole dugout, I’ll have a problem with that.”
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — This was like adding insult to injury … to insult.
Less than five minutes after former Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett tossed his first career no-hitter — blanking the Phillies in Philadelphia — the Rays broke open their game with the Red Sox via a pinch-hit, three-run home run from Sean Rodriguez.
The blast, coming off reliever Craig Breslow, broke a 3-3 tie and went a long way to help hand the Red Sox their longest losing streak since 1994 (10 games). The end result this time was an 8-5 Sox loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
Breslow would surrender five runs while recording just two outs before being replaced by Edward Mujica.
And then things really got interesting.
With two outs in the seventh, Yunel Escobar stole third without a throw (later ruled defensive indifference). Escobar then started exchanging words with Red Sox catcher David Ross and other members of the Sox, who could be seen yelling from the dugout after taking exception that the Rays would be stealing with a five-run lead.
After Escobar made a move toward the dugout, the benches cleared, with Jonny Gomes running in from left field and pushing Escobar. Escobar and Gomes were ejected, along with Rodriguez.
Earlier in the seventh, the Red Sox actually had uncovered some optimism.
John Farrell‘s club received got some timely hitting when Gomes launched his eighth career pinch-hit home run, tying the game at 3 with one out in the seventh and A.J. Pierzynski standing at second base. Gomes was pinch-hitting for Jackie Bradley.
Earlier on the mound, Brandon Workman turned in a solid outing in his first start of the season, allowing three runs on five hits over five innings. He walked three while fanning three, throwing 88 pitches. The righty had not allowed a hit through his first three innings.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– The first hit Workman surrendered came on his first pitch of the fourth inning, an opposite-field, solo home run by Evan Longoria. The three-inning no-hitter brought back memories of Workman’s first start in 2013, when he took a no-no into the seventh against Oakland.
– The Rays took the lead later in the fourth when they capitalized on a perfectly executed hit-and-run, moving Wil Myers to third after a ground-ball single to right from Brandon Guyer. A two-out Logan Forsythe RBI single between shortstop and third base then gave the hosts a 2-1 lead.
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