|Red Sox pregame notes: Mike Napoli’s off field work on hitting at some point ‘has got to be put back on the field’||07.07.15 at 5:32 pm ET|
Napoli is currently batting .168 since June 1 with just two home runs and eight RBIs, while striking out 35 times in 113 plate appearances. After a 1-for-17 most recent stretch, he was given the day off Sunday with David Ortiz playing first base and will be off again Tuesday as recalled first/third baseman Travis Shaw gets the nod at first, giving Napoli a chance to work on regaining his confidence.
“[He will] continue to work through the challenges he’s finding himself in right now,” manager John Farrell said. “The work ethic is there. He’s trying to gain some comfort at the plate and that is going to come through work and repetition and working with (hitting coach) Chili [Davis], which he’s done early — been here on off days — and will continue to work through it to right its self. At some point, that work has got to be put back on the field with an opportunity to play its self out. For the time being, we’re giving him the chance to work through some things.”
In the meantime, the Red Sox are working on different lineups without Napoli. On Sunday, Ortiz played first and Hanley Ramirez served as the designated hitter in the team’s 5-4, comeback win over the Astros. Tuesday, Shaw will get his chance to show what he can do.
While Sunday it seemed like Ortiz playing first base was just a one time thing, it could happen again, especially with Thursday being an off day and the All-Star break coming after the weekend series with the Yankees.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of thought,” Farrell said of Ortiz playing first base again. “The way the schedule works out it gives David a day of recovery if we do choose to do that. I do know this: that was a deep lineup. I think it was reflective in the number of quality at-bats up and down the lineup, it gives us a chance to have [Alejandro] De Aza in the outfield. So all those things are being discussed and certainly available to us. We’ll approach that tomorrow if that exists.”
If Napoli’s struggles continue and the team can find a suitable lineup in his absence, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see him either traded or DFA’d as the trade deadline nears.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|Red Sox pregame notes: Steven Wright recalled, Noe Ramirez optioned; When might Dustin Pedroia return?||07.04.15 at 11:47 am ET|
After allowing four runs (two earned) in the 10th inning of Friday’s 12-8 loss to the Astros, Noe Ramirez, who was making his major league debut at the time, was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket and Steven Wright was recalled.
“High number of innings out of the bullpen — we need a fresh arm and someone capable of going multiple innings,” manager John Farrell said before Saturday’s game.
It is Wright’s fourth stint with the Red Sox this season.
Wright started for the PawSox on Wednesday, going five innings and threw 95 pitches so he wasn’t available to pitch Friday, which was the reason he wasn’t called up yesterday. Despite being on two days rest, the knuckleballer is available Saturday.
“He’s available for a couple of innings today,” Farrell said.
With the Red Sox this season, splitting duties between long reliever and a starter, Wright is 3-2 with a 4.15 ERA.
— Dustin Pedroia (hamstring) is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday against the Yankees and while he’s progressing, the team is weighing the risk-reward of playing him for three games, or giving him an extra three days off leading into the All-Star break.
“Hit again yesterday in the cage,” Farrell said. “Yesterday was a good day for him where the intensity to his running started to increase more. We will get a clearer view on this as we get through the Miami series. What we’re going to come down to is what is the risk-reward for activating him in the final series later this week on the homestand, or do we take advantage of those four days. We’re not clear — the next few days will give us more clarity on that.”
— With the two off days next week and issues some starters have had of late, Farrell had no update on the rotation as who would start when or who may be skipped. He said he would have that information Sunday.
|Injured Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia: ‘I’ll be back as fast as I can’||06.25.15 at 12:11 pm ET|
“You guys know me,” Pedroia said. “I’ll be back as fast as I can.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said before the game that Pedroia would need at least two weeks, and maybe more, to recover. Pedroia described the circumstances that led to the injury as he rounded the bag on Wednesday after ripping a go-ahead single to left-center in a 5-1 victory over the O’s.
“I kind of just skidded, it slipped out before I got to the bag and I tried to recover,” Pedroia said. “You deal with it the best you can. It’s unfortunate. It’s something you can’t dwell on. It happens. It’s part of the game, I guess.
“I’ve never pulled a muscle before. It’s just weird. Right before I hit the bag, my foot kind of slipped out and I hit the bag with my left foot, so I tried to just recover and stop, so I slipped basically. It’s a thing you can’t prevent, man. That’s the part that frustrates me mentally. You work hard in the weight room and in the offseason trying to do things to prevent injury, and little things happen. It’s tough. We’ll get through it. Guys will come together and hold it down until I get back, and then we’ll go.”
Pedroia is in the midst of a resurgent season, batting .306 with an .819 OPS and nine homers, two more than he managed all of last season.
|Dustin Pedroia to 15-day disabled list, Joe Kelly optioned to Triple-A in flurry of Red Sox roster moves||at 11:54 am ET|
— Dustin Pedroia was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain. The degree of strain is unknown. He injured it rounding first base in Wednesday’s win, on an RBI single in the sixth inning.
— Joe Kelly has been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket with Justin Masterson taking his spot in the rotation. He will start Sunday in Tampa Bay. Kelly will start Sunday in Pawtucket.
— Infielder Deven Marrero has been added to the 40-man roster and called up, as well as right-handed pitcher Jonathan Aro to pitch out of the bullpen.
— Catcher Erik Kratz, who the Red Sox claimed off waivers Sunday, has been DFA’d. The Red Sox’ 40-man was at 39, so only needed to open one spot to add Aro and Marrero.
Manager John Farrell said Brock Holt would fill in mostly at second base with Marrero possibly starting against left-handers.
“He’s the heart and soul of our team in the short description of it,” Farrell said of Pedroia. “The way he plays, what he means in the clubhouse, what he means on the field with his performance, probably having a career year to date. Hopefully this is on the order end on the time missed. In other words, after the 15 days hopefully he comes back to us. But, there is no projected date on his return, he’ll be back to us as soon as he’s capable.”
In sending Kelly to Triple-A, the Red Sox are hoping to get more consistency from the right-hander who has just one win over his last 13 starts.
“The options would have been put him in the bullpen or send him down to start,” Farrell said. “This centers around consistent command with the baseball and his pitches. It’s certainly not stuff, it’s not athleticism. The frustrating part for Joe and for all involved is that when you see an athlete with his ability and it doesn’t translate to the consistent command of his pitches, that’s what is continually being addressed. Felt like the uncertainty of pitching schedule coming out of the bullpen, best served to achieve this through consistent work in between starts starting in Pawtucket.”
In some positive news, after being hit with a line drive running the bases Wednesday night, Hanley Ramirez is day-to-day. There is no fracture to his hand, although Ramirez said he was concerned Wednesday night. He won’t play Thursday, but will be back in the lineup as soon as he can grip a bat.
“It’s day-to-day, I can’t give an exact time on his return,” Farrell said.
|Closing Time: Red Sox win overshadowed by injuries to Hanley Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia||06.24.15 at 9:48 pm ET|
While the Red Sox showed some grit, coming back from a 1-0 deficit following a tough loss Tuesday night, the win was overshadowed by two injuries occurring during the game.
Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia both left the game in the Red Sox‘ 5-1 win over the Orioles Wednesday at Fenway Park, as the Sox scored five times in the sixth inning taking advantage of two Baltimore errors.
Ramirez left the game following the bottom of the fifth when he was struck on the left wrist by a line drive from Xander Bogaerts on a hit-and-run play when Ramirez was running to second base. It was announced as a left hand contusion. He saw the ball, but couldn’t get out of the way.
Pedroia left the game following a single in the sixth, when it appeared he suffered the injury rounding first base. The team announced the injury as right hamstring tightness.
“We’re still in the process of gathering all the information,” manager John Farrell said. “There’s advanced imaging going on for both Pedey and Hanley. The injuries are what everyone saw, but we don’t have full information yet.”
After the Orioles scored the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, the Red Sox came right back in the bottom half of the inning thanks to some sloppy Orioles defense.
Following two errors, Mookie Betts made them pay with a sharp single to right scoring Alejandro De Aza, who had reached on an error to leadoff the frame. Following a Brock Holt ground out to advance two runners, Pedroia came through with a two-run single to left (the play he was injured on) to put the Red Sox on top, 3-1 at the time.
The next batter David Ortiz then crushed a Bud Norris offering over the center field wall for a two-run homer to give the Red Sox the 5-1 lead. None of the runs in the inning were earned.
Clay Buchholz was once again solid for the Red Sox. The right-hander went seven innings allowing one run on eight hits while walking one and striking seven. The Red Sox have won four of his last five starts and his ERA has now fallen to 3.68 on the season.
“Lot of strikes and a constant mix of all his pitches,” Farrell said. “There wasn’t any one sequence that he would repeat. Started a number of guys off with a number of different pitches and again just with a constant change of speed for him tonight. He’s been very dependable for us and seven strong innings tonight. Good to see him go out and put up a zero after we scored the five. But led the way for us tonight.”
Junichi Tazawa struck out the side in the eighth inning and Koji Uehara tossed a scoreless ninth to close out the win.
|Pablo Sandoval won’t be fined by MLB; Dustin Pedroia should return Saturday||06.19.15 at 7:27 pm ET|
It appears the Red Sox and Pablo Sandoval can move on.
Sandoval won’t face any further discipline from MLB for being on his cell phone during a game. He received a warning and that was it.
“They’ve communicated directly with Pablo,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said to reporters in Kansas City. “They’ve issued a warning. He acknowledge the use of it. He admitted to it. And that’s the way they handled it.”
The third baseman is back in the lineup Friday night and the team is looking to put it in the past.
“It was addressed internally, it was addressed by MLB and we’ll put it behind us and focus on tonight,” Farrell said.
In other news, second baseman Dustin Pedroia is out with a left knee injury for the second time in three games and second straight overall. Farrell is hopeful he will be back in lineup Saturday.
“[Pedroia] felt improved over a day ago,” Farrell said. “He’s been able to get in the cage, which he didn’t experience any kind of soreness. We would anticipate him back in the lineup [Saturday].”
For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.
Returning to the lineup is third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who was benched Thursday for violating the team’s social media policy.
Alejandro De Aza also gets the start in right field with righty starter Yohan Pino on the mound for KC.
Here is the Red Sox lineup with Eduardo Rodriguez getting the start for the visitors:
|Closing Time: Red Sox return to losing ways, drop another to Braves||06.17.15 at 10:20 pm ET|
So much for a winning streak.
The Red Sox fell back to 11 games under .500 once again with a 5-2 loss to the Braves, Wednesday night. The Sox have now lost eight of their last nine games, and two of three against Atlanta in its home and home set. They also find themselves nine back in the American League East.
This time the Red Sox fell victim to a methodical Braves attack on the scorching hot night, with Atlanta ultimately pulling away thanks to a two-run seventh inning.
In the seventh, Junichi Tazawa fell victim to a one-out, infield hit by Cameron Maybin, who would move to third on rookie Daniel Castro’s hit-and-run grounder into right field. Nick Markakis managed the eventual game-winner, placing a single into left.
Making the inning more frustrating for the Red Sox was that Maybin’s hit should have probably been an out, with Mike Napoli unable to catch a toss from Xander Bogaerts, who raced in and fielded the ball bare-handed. The throw appeared to hit off of the first baseman’s wrist on the fly and symbolized the inability by the Red Sox to make key plays when it counted the most.
“I was just trying to stretch as far as I could,” Napoli told reporters. “He’s a quick runner.”
More unforgivable for the Red Sox was how the Braves scored their second run in the seventh, with Tommy Layne coming on and walking the seemingly unwalkable A.J. Pierzynski. It was the first time the catcher has walked twice in a game since 2012, and just the second occasion in the past five seasons. It also marked the third time Pierzynski has walked with the bases loaded for his career.
Red Sox manager John Farrell wasn’t able to stick around for the entirety of the game, getting tossed by umpire Larry Vanover after arguing a Pedro Ciriaco checked swing with two outs in the seventh inning. Earlier in the game Farrell had come out on the field to argue with Vanover on a play at first base involving Mookie Betts, with the manager having already used his challenge.
|Joe Kelly on MFB: New pitching coach Carl Willis ‘focused on what your strengths are as a pitcher’||06.16.15 at 12:48 pm ET|
Red Sox starting pitcher Joe Kelly joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the team’s struggles, his own pitching adjustments and his work with NIVEA Men. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.
Kelly talked about the difference in style between ex-pitching coach Juan Nieves, who was fired last month, and current coach Carl Willis.
“Juan was a great guy. He was a good pitching coach,” Kelly said. “He was more focused on scouting reports — what the hitters don’t hit, what this guy does against the slider, what do you do in certain situations. Carl’s been awesome too. He’s mainly focused on what your strengths are as a pitcher. If you’re a sinker guy, you’re not going to go out and throw four-seams at a team and try to beat them that way. He tries to focus on that other aspect of your game.”
Kelly was asked about Adam Wainwright from his time in St. Louis and what type of leader he was. On top of how great he was in St. Louis, he said even this year he sent him video to help him with his mechanics when he was struggling.
“[Wainwright] was the best,” Kelly said. “He’s an on-field pitching coach. It was pretty neat to be a part of. Whenever I struggled or messed up with mechanics, he was always the first one there to help me. Even earlier this year, I gave up 21 runs in 21 innings and he saw a bunch of stuff wrong with mechanics and sent me over a couple of video clips and talked to me on the phone. He helped out a little bit right then and there to get me back on track.”
When asked about his struggles, Kelly discussed his continued role as a student of the game, both about himself and opposing hitters.
“I haven’t had a full year as a starting pitcher in the big leagues,” he said. “So I’m just learning hitters and learning my stuff. Guys with velocity [can be] very easy to hit. I hit a double off of [Jeff] Samardzija at 98. I can do that stuff — it’s not very hard actually. It’s just different kinds of mixes of pitches and locations. It’s more about hitting spots and trying to locate with the fastball.”
With talk of Kelly moving to the bullpen as the Red Sox moved away from a six-man rotation, he talked about his stance on the switch.
“I love starting. I love knowing when I’m gonna pitch,” Kelly said. “That’s where I am right now and that’s where my main focus is. One day, eventually, if that happens in my career, of course I’m going to stay in the game and help get guys out and perform for my team.”
“No, obviously John has all the control,” Kelly said. “As a player, it’s just getting frustrated about how everything’s been going. As a team we’re not playing well and sometimes that gets the best of us. You’ve been trained your whole life to beat the other person, to always win and to always give your best no matter what. So when someone puts it into your game, whether you’re doing good or bad, you’re going to be mad always.”
Brock Holt will bat leadoff and get the start at second base, while Alejandro De Aza will start in left field. Xander Bogaerts will hit cleanup.
Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Wade Miley as the Red Sox look to snap a seven-game losing streak.
For a complete look at the matchups, click here.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
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