|Reports: Red Sox interested in former Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland||12.06.16 at 12:00 pm ET|
Now that Dave Dombrowski has his reliever, he’s turning his attention to a first baseman/DH, and defending Gold Glover Mitch Moreland is reportedly on his radar.
The free agent, who has spent his entire career with the Rangers, checks some boxes for the Red Sox. He’s left-handed, which Dombrowski wants in that spot, and he’s capable of not only playing first base, but playing it well, as evidenced by his 2016 Gold Glove.
What’s unclear is if Moreland would be willing to sign a short-term contract to fit what the Red Sox envision for the role. The team is looking for short years at short money to fill their DH opening, which manager John Farrell believes will rotate among players.
Moreland, 31, is coming off a down season offensively that saw him hit .233 with 22 homers and 60 RBIs. Two years ago, however, he batted .278 with an .812 OPS and was particularly effective against right-handed pitching (.294-.867, 18 HRs). His numbers against righties took a significant step back last year (.221-.700).
Moreland made $5.7 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility last season. The Indians are also reportedly in the mix.
News of the Red Sox’ interest in Moreland was first reported by Jeff Sullivan of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.
|World Series Game 5: Cubs, Aroldis Chapman hang on to beat Indians, remain alive||10.30.16 at 11:56 pm ET|
The Cubs live to fight another day, and the World Series is heading back to Cleveland.
Behind six strong innings from Jon Lester and the longest save of Aroldis Chapman’s career, the Cubs avoided elimination with a 3-2 victory over the Indians in Game 5 of the Fall Classic before a packed house at Wrigley Field.
This one wasn’t decided until Chapman struck out Jose Ramirez, who had homered earlier in the game, to complete the eight-out save. The out perfectly bookended his night, which began with a punchout of Ramirez with the tying run on second base.
That made a winner of Lester, who allowed two runs in six innings, striking out five. Lester improved to 4-1 in five career World Series starts.
The Cubs got all of their offense in the fourth against a typically stingy Indians pitching staff. Trailing 1-0 thanks to Ramirez’s second-inning homer off of Lester, Kris Bryant led off the fourth with a solo homer to tie it.
Anthony Rizzo doubled, Ben Zobrist singled, and Addison Russell gave the Cubs the lead with an infield single. Old friend David Ross, in perhaps the final game of his career, provided an insurance run with a sacrifice fly. He also threw out Francisco Lindor trying to steal in the sixth after Lindor’s RBI single had drawn the Indians within a run.
The Cubs then rode Chapman to the finish, earning their first World Series win at Wrigley since Game 6 in 1945.
|Red Sox manager John Farrell won’t rule out starting Eduardo Rodriguez over David Price in Game 5||10.10.16 at 3:27 pm ET|
John Farrell was merely answering a question, and he made it clear that before he can think about Games 4 or 5 of the Division Series, he must win Game 3 on Monday.
That said, his response in a pregame session with beat reporters when asked if there’s a scenario by which Eduardo Rodriguez could start Game 5 over David Price certainly was interesting.
“There could be. Yeah, there could be,” Farrell said. “Price has more relief experience than Eddie. Again, to try to forecast that, I don’t know. That’s way ahead of my thinking right now.”
The Red Sox trail the series 2-0 and will only play Game 5 if they can win the next two games in Fenway Park. Starting Price would normally be a no-brainer, but he fell to 0-8 in nine postseason starts on Friday in a listless 6-0 Game 2 loss.
That puts some pressure on Farrell to make a tough call, should the Red Sox reach a decisive Game 5. Faced with a similar decision last year, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons summoned Price for three innings of relief with a 7-1 lead in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Rangers. The Blue Jays won to force Game 5, which youngster Marcus Stroman started and the Blue Jays won, 6-3, to advance to the ALCS.
Farrell said that Price and Rodriguez will both be available in relief for Game 3. Both of Price’s postseason wins have come in relief.
“Hopefully there isn’t a spot where he has to come in in the midst of an inning,” Farrell said. “Depending on how long or how much [Drew] Pomeranz would pitch tonight, that potentially puts Eddie and/or David in that same spot tomorrow. Ideally we’d like to keep the switch-hitters on the right side of the plate, even at Fenway Park. That’ll all be dependent upon game, inning and situation.”
|David Price’s miserable postseason resume just got worse, if that’s possible||10.07.16 at 9:47 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — David Price’s shot at postseason redemption must wait — maybe until next October.
The Red Sox left-hander, mystifyingly winless in eight postseason starts entering Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Friday, delivered perhaps the worst playoff outing in a career full of them.
Price last just 3 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and five runs, giving the Red Sox no chance against fellow Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who shut them out for seven innings in Cleveland’s 6-0 victory that pushed the Red Sox to the brink of elimination.
“It’s coming,” Price said. “I know my number’s going to get called again to pitch a game in 2016, and I’ll be ready. I want it, for sure, and I know these guys will give it to me.”
If only there were a reason to feel confident. Say what you want about Price’s miserable record as a postseason starter entering the game (0-7, 5.27), but he had given his teams at least six innings in each of his eight previous playoff starts.
In not escaping the fourth against the Indians, however, Price saw his postseason ERA as a starter climb to 5.74.
“Just, made some pitches, didn’t have good things happen,” Price said. “That’s part of it. Those guys are playing well right now. Our confidence isn’t altered. This is a very confident group, even though we’re down 0-2 right now. This team has been there before. We’re all right.”
But is Price? He was asked about the mounting frustration of constantly answering questions about his postseason failures.
“I have two wins in the postseason, just not as a starter,” Price said. “But I know good things are coming to me in October baseball. I know that. I didn’t have good things happen today. The Indians are playing well. Kluber threw the ball extremely well today. They had good things happen. That’s part of it.”
Price gave up three relatively soft hits in the second to give the Indians a 1-0 lead before Lonnie Chisenhall, who hadn’t homered against a left-handed pitcher all year, pulverized one off the plexiglass in right field for a three-run homer that blew the game open and deflated the Red Sox.
“Two of the best pitches I felt like I threw in the second inning, one was an infield single and one was a three-run home run,” Price said. “That’s part of it. It stinks to say it. It stinks to have it happen. But I feel good. I know this team is still confident. I’m still confident in these guys. I know that everybody in this clubhouse is still confident. We’re going home, where we play well. Get that first one.”
As things stand now, Price is slated to start Game 5. But on Friday, he helped reduce the odds of the Red Sox even lasting that long.
“Yeah, that stunk, for sure,” Price said. “I’ll be ready. When my number is called again, I’ll be ready to go out there and get outs.”
|Lonnie Chisenhall was one who got away from Red Sox in 2008 draft, and he made them pay in Game 2 of the ALDS||at 5:28 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — If things had broken a little differently in the 2008 draft, Lonnie Chisenhall might’ve been hitting a three-run homer for the Red Sox in Friday’s ALDS Game 2 instead of against them, as he just did off of left-hander David Price to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.
The Red Sox were so confident they’d nab Chisenhall with the 30th pick in that draft that they had already cleared the selection with owner John Henry when fate intervened in the form of the Cleveland Indians, picking 29th.
A couple of years ago in my Boston Herald days, Cubs assistant GM Jason McLeod, the former Red Sox scouting director, shared the story of what went wrong.
“He was our guy,” McLeod said. “He was at Fenway the day before the draft. We asked if he thought any other team was on him, and he said no.
“So we’re in the draft room, and the team two picks in front of us (Yankees) selects (Gerrit Cole). John Henry’s in there. We’ve got Chisenhall’s name out and we’re telling him that’s who we’re going to pick, giving him the quick background, the trouble he got into at South Carolina [for robbing a dorm room], and all of that.
“As we’re telling him this, the Cleveland Indians leave their mic open on accident, and Jed [Hoyer], the one who’s going to announce our pick, overhears them saying they’re going to take Chisenhall.
“Meanwhile, Theo (Epstein) and I are outside telling John Henry we’re taking Chisenhall, and Jed comes running out of the room. ‘The Indians are taking Chisenhall right now!’ And we’re like, ‘What? You’ve got to be kidding me!’
“So we run out. Who are we taking now? Who are we taking? The highest upside guy on the board is Casey Kelley. And I’m like, ‘John, OK here, listen. It’s a two-sport guy, it’s going to take $3 million dollars, and we can spread the money out.
“It literally happened in the span of a minute and a half that we took Casey Kelly, because Lonnie Chisenhall was our pick.”
The Red Sox didn’t regret that pick for long, because Kelly helped them bring slugger Adrian Gonzalez to Boston. But after watching Chisenhall take David Price deep on Friday, there are undoubtedly some regrets over the one that got away — or certainly where he landed, anyway.
CLEVELAND — Commissioner Rob Manfred remains surprised at the stir he caused in Boston last week when he questioned David Ortiz’s inclusion on the infamous 2003 performance-enhancing drug list.
Speaking in Cleveland before the Indians and Red Sox played Game 2 of the American League Division Series, Manfred stood by his words and lamented the destruction of the samples that could’ve been used to prove Ortiz’s innocence.
“Let me say a couple of things about what happened in Boston,” Manfred said. “First of all, it was one of those instances where I know I was not breaking new ground. As a matter of fact, we put out a statement at the time of the original story in the New York Times that contained all of the factual information that I relied on when I spoke in Boston.
“My friend Michael Weiner [the late union head] did a press conference with David, said exactly the same things that I said up in Boston. I don’t know whether I had a captive audience or I had a particularly articulate day that day, but it seemed like it attracted a lot of attention.
“But I did not regard it to be a fundamental shift in what baseball’s position was with respect to those survey tests.”
Ortiz’s name was included on a list of supposedly anonymous samples that were supposed to be used to see if baseball could meet a minimum threshold of failed tests needed to trigger a full testing program the following year. When that threshold was easily met, the samples were supposed to be destroyed.
Manfred admitted there was “clearly a window” between the tests being taken and results being questioned. The Times story, however, was published in 2009.
“I think the problem with that in retrospect is this, we — and the ‘we’ in that sentence is baseball and the MLBPA — were fundamentally committed to the idea that those survey test results were supposed to be anonymous. So the window where we could’ve gone back and done some retesting or elimination of ambiguity was at a period of time that we fervently hoped that the commitment that was originally made to the players that they would stay private or confidential would be met.”
|Red Sox notes: Rick Porcello possibility to start Game 4; Marco Hernandez may have been right; Plans for Drew Pomeranz||at 2:44 pm ET|
Because Rick Porcello only threw 72 pitches in his Game 1 start Thursday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell has left the door open to pitch the Sox ace Monday in the American League Division Series if the game is needed. Right now, Eduardo Rodriguez is slated to get that start.
“It’s going to be dependent upon what we do out of our bullpen,” Farrell said prior to Friday afternoon’s Game 2. “For instance, if there was a scenario that Eddie Rodriguez ends up pitching out of the bullpen, the fact that Rick went the number of pitches he did, it presents him as a potential option, depending on what takes place.”
The Indians have already committed to bringing back Trevor Bauer as the Game 4 starter, if needed.
– The Red Sox manager did notice the Game 1 atmosphere having an affect on some of his players who hadn’t experienced the postseason before.
“I think the first game of the postseason, there’s a little anxiety waiting around,” Farrell said. “And you combine it with an 8 o’clock start which even when we feel an 8 o’clock start on a Sunday during the regular season, there’s a different feel to it. The fact that we had three days down, a late-night start or a later start, five guys in our lineup being their first postseason. Yeah, there were some things that were firsts and I’m sure that lent to … we faced far too many pitches yesterday. Below the zone and above the zone. Hopefully today after a game under our belt we’re back in the flow of things and back in the rhythm of things and we’re most consistent with our approach.”
– After taking another look at the ball that bounced in front of Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez with Hanley Ramirez at the plate in the eighth inning Thursday night, Farrell supported the decision by pinch-runner Marco Hernandez not to make a run at taking third base with one out.
“That’s’ a tough read,” Farrell said. “When that carom goes directly out where he doesn’t have kind of the peripheral to gauge on the distance, being the tying run, you’ve got to be 100 percent sure in your mind. And if there’s any hesitation with the way that Perez throws, you’ve got to play it safely in that spot. For sure, Hanley is swinging the bat as good as anyone. In that scenario, your first reaction is, because of the dugout, we have the side angle. Our first reaction is you’re thinking go. He’s got a completely different angle.”
– Farrell was truly impressed by the work turned in by Pomeranz in Game 1, so much so that he is already eyeing possibly using him in a similar manner if the opportunity presents itself Sunday.
“I thought he was very good,” said Farrell in regards to the lefty, who struck out five over 2 1/3 innings. “He maintained his stuff in his time on the mound. We’re hopeful after two days he’s available for something close to that again when we get into Game 3. It’s comforting to know that he has so much relief experience in his background. We’ve got a reliever who is stretched out, is how I look at it in the moment.”
Farrell also noted that the forearm soreness Pomeranz was dealing with isn’t currently a concern. “As long as we stay in that 45-50 pitch as a maximum, that physical is well under control,” he said.
– Farrell offered some insight on Xander Bogaerts’ struggles at the plate, which most recently an 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Game 1.
“It’s been a situation where I think he’s maybe chased some pitches,” the manager said. “I think that was pretty evident [Thursday] night. Breaking balls down below the zone or off the plate. And I think he’s committed to some pitches early, that’s where he’s maybe addressed some fastballs and maybe not having the best pitch recognition that he’s shown previously. So the one thing that we have to do is continue to get him in a place where he’s prepared and ready. And then trust his abilities once the game begins.”
– Farrell admitted that, prior to Ortiz’s eighth-inning double, it appeared as though the regular season’s demands had caught up to the retiring designated hitter a bit.
“The yearlong tour had grown, and maybe had worn on him somewhat, physically,” Farrell said. “Hopefully [Thursday] night’s final at-bat was a sign of things to come here. We need him.”
– Cleveland manager Terry Francona that as effective as Andrew Miller and Cody Allen were Thursday night, things didn’t go exactly as planned. And it was the Red Sox’ lineup that caused the curveball, according to Francona.
“Believe me, that isn’t the way we drew it up,” the Indians skipper said. “I wanted Andrew to come in and turn the lineup over. I didn’t want it to be 40 pitches. And the same thing with Cody. I wanted Cody to get the last five, but not that long. They make you work so hard and that’s part of why they’re so good.”
|TV cameras catch David Ortiz lecturing Marco Hernandez in dugout during Game 1 loss, and Hernandez reveals what Ortiz said||at 1:53 am ET|
CLEVELAND — The second the ball bounded in front of home plate, Hanley Ramirez waved for Marco Hernandez to take third. The rookie pinch runner instead retreated to second.
It was the eighth inning of a one-run game, and after the Red Sox failed to score, Hernandez found himself in the dugout alongside David Ortiz, who draped an arm over the youngster and spoke to him at length as the TV cameras rolled.
So what exactly did Ortiz say?
“He said to me, ‘You only have one decision. If you go, you go. But if you stay, make sure you do it the right way,’ ” Hernandez told WEEI.com. “I’m confident that was the right read. That run is the most important run of the game. If I get out on that play, the next hitter would have to hit a bomb to tie the game.”
There were no bombs. The Red Sox instead failed to score en route to a 5-4 loss to the Indians in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
Ortiz was a bit more pointed in his rendering of the conversation.
“We were just talking about baserunning situations, just give him some ideas,” he said. “He’s got to be a little more aggressive and be aware of things a little better next time.”
Hernandez pinch ran for Ortiz after the slugger doubled with one out in the eighth and the Red Sox trailing 5-4. Cody Allen bounced a curveball that kicked a few feet in front of the plate. Ramirez waved Hernandez, but the rookie stayed put. Those extra 90 feet loomed large when Ramirez grounded out. Xander Bogaerts then struck out to end the inning.
“Marco, his read at second base, we’ve got a chance to advance 90 feet,” manager John Farrell noted.
|Closing Time: Indians hammer RIck Porcello, ride strong bullpen to win in Game 1 of ALDS||10.06.16 at 11:42 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — The Red Sox will not roll into the American League Championship Series after all. They officially have a fight on their hands.
Expected to romp through the undermanned Indians, the Sox instead watched the hosts feed off the energy of their home crowd, drill three home runs off Cy Young candidate Rick Porcello, and gut out four-plus innings of relief to deal the Red Sox a 5-4 loss in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
Game 2 is Friday afternoon, with David Price taking on Corey Kluber in a battle of former Cy Young winners.
“Hey, listen, this is not over yet,” said DH David Ortiz. “We’ve got plenty of games to play. I’m going to bring my best tomorrow. That’s how I am. And I’m pretty sure my teammates will, too, so see you mañana.”
The Indians didn’t win 94 games because they’re pushovers, and they pushed back against the supposed inevitability of a Red Sox sweep in a big way on Thursday night.
Roberto Perez, Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor blasted solo homers in the span of four batters in the third inning, turning a 2-1 Red Sox lead into a 4-2 deficit as the sellout crowd at Progressive Field erupted.
The Red Sox, who got homers from Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon, rallied within a run, but drew no closer. Andrew Miller and the Indians bullpen combined to limit the Red Sox to a run over the final four-plus innings.
|Jonathan Lucroy reportedly vetoes trade from Brewers to Indians||07.31.16 at 11:18 am ET|
All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers has invoked his no-trade clause and vetoed a deal to the Indians, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Jonathan Lucroy has exercised his no-trade clause and vetoed trade from #Brewers to Indians. Details to come.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 31, 2016
Lucroy, who had a limited no-trade that included Cleveland, was expected to join the Indians and bolster their playoff chances on the same day they acquired All-Star reliever Andrew Miller from the Yankees.
But he instead chose to nix the deal for reasons that aren’t yet clear.
Lucroy, 30, is batting .300 with 13 home runs and an .844 OPS.
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