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Red Sox injury updates: Shane Victorino’s absence a precaution; David Ross still feeling concussion symptoms 05.17.13 at 7:22 pm ET
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MINNEAPOLIS ‘€“ Shane Victorino was back out the lineup due to a back issue Friday night, but he said the absence is nowhere near as necessary as when he missed seven games a few weeks back.

‘€œWe’€™re going to be smart about it,’€ said Victorino, who left Thursday night’€™s game in the ninth inning after colliding with the right field wall at Tropicana field, causing his ailing back to stiffen up.

‘€œLast time I missed a week. That’€™s not the goal to do the same thing this time. But again, I’€™m not evaluating it like it was the last time. It’€™s nowhere near that. I just don’€™t want it to get to that point because these are the symptoms I felt the last time. I can’€™t go out there and make it a week. Hopefully we can calm it down, ASAP. Like I said, hopefully I’€™ve got three hours to calm it down, and if I’€™m needed to play tonight, that’€™s the goal.’€

While Victorino was volunteering for duty ‘€“ having gone 3-for-3 with a homer the last the time Sox faced Minnesota starter Vance Worley ‘€“ Red Sox manager John Farrell hoped that the outfielder wouldn’€™t be needed this time around.

‘€œWe’€™ll do everything we can to kind of stay away, just to give him a full day off his feet,’€ Farrell said.

Starting in right field in place of Victorino for the series opener was Daniel Nava, who also took over the lineup’€™s No. 2 spot.

In 32 games, Victorino is hitting .383 with a .708 OPS and 19 runs. His .360 batting average with runners in scoring position leads the Sox, and is 13th in the American League.

“It’s a little stiff today, but I’m hoping it’s not anything like it was the first time,” Victorino said. “We’ve got to go day-to-day and see how it feels. It feels a lot better today, obviously, but it’s still frustrating to be circling back to this situation. I never wanted this to happen. I never wanted to be back where I was a few weeks ago. That was no fun. But again, you know, we’re still far from all that to get that point. So, just hoping today is the day and we’ll get out there tomorrow.”

ROSS STILL FEELING IT

David Ross, who was slated to possibly join the team in Minnesota, is still feeling the effects of his concussion, pushing the testing scheduled to gauge any symptoms back to Monday.

Ross most likely won’€™t be joining the Sox on their current road trip.

‘€œEverything pointed to him being re-examined there and him joining us here in Minnesota but much like we’€™ve seen with many other concussions, these things take on a life of their own,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œHe’€™s still experiencing some light-headedness and fatigue, so we’€™ve just got to give it time.’€

Ross is currently on the seven-day concussion disabled list after taking two foul balls off his mask last Saturday.

HANRAHAN TO STAY IN DALLAS

Farrell noted that Joel Hanrahan ‘€“ who had surgery on both his flexor tendon and elbow ligament ‘€“ will conduct the first portion of his rehab in the Dallas area. The reliever will be in a cast for 10 days before he can begin the process.

Read More: David Ross, joel hanrahan, Shane Victorino,
Joel Hanrahan to undergo season-ending surgery 05.11.13 at 11:30 am ET
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Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right forearm. The procedure will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, likely next week.

Hanrahan said that there was really no decision to be made once he was examined both in Boston and then by Andrews, suggesting that the tendon had torn off the bone. Initial reviews of the MRI suggest that Hanrahan’s ulnar collateral ligament is intact, though he will be further examined when Andrews performs the flexor tendon surgery to determine if he also requires a Tommy John procedure.

“I thought there might be a decision to make, but after talking with [Andrews] — he basically walked in, looked at my arm, touched it, and said there really wasn’t a decision. The flexor pretty much tore right off the bone. It wasn’t really a decision,” said Hanrahan. “It’s just a matter of what kind of surgery it was going to be. As of now, it’s just going to be the flexor. When he gets in there and takes a look, it could be worse, it could be not as bad.”

The recovery from the procedure (even if Tommy John doesn’t enter the equation), Hanrahan said, is typically six to nine months, meaning his 2013 season is effectively over. Read the rest of this entry »

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Visit to Dr. James Andrews reveals damaged flexor tendon for Joel Hanrahan 05.10.13 at 6:15 pm ET
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Prior to his team’s series-opening game against Toronto, Red Sox manager John Farrell said that the diagnosis given by Dr. James Andrews regarding Joel Hanrahan’s injured right arm was that the pitcher has damage to his flexor tendon.

Hanrahan, who was flying back to Boston from the Birmingham, Ala. office Friday and is on the 60-day disabled list, still hasn’t determined which course of action he will take to treat the issue — rest and rehabilitation or surgery.

“He was seen by Dr. Andrews this morning. A further MRI was taken there. What’s been pretty conclusive, or in agreement with other examinations, is that he has some damage to the flexor muscle tendon,” Farrell said. “He’s en route back here to Boston as we week and I know he’ll revisit with the training staff and the medical staff here. At some point there has to be a decision as to what course he’s going to take to rectify the situation.”

If Hanrahan chooses surgery it would most likely end his 2013 season. The procedure would also include taking a further look at the elbow ligament, which the flexor tendon typically protects. If there is damage to the ligament, it could lead to Tommy John surgery.

Hanarahan is currently on a one-year, $7 million deal, and will be eligible for free agency following this season.

“In situations like this it’s not uncommon for the player to make the final decision. Certainly it’s his career, it’s his arm,” Farrell said of Hanrahan, who experienced discomfort in a similar area in ’09. “Recommendations can be given through multiple opinions he has already received. And I think he’s doing a pretty good job of getting his arms around it with the information gathered. That decision will become more clear-cut in Joel’s mind.

While Junichi Tazawa will serve as the Red Sox’ closer for the time being, the hope is that Andrew Bailey will return from his injury (biceps) in the coming weeks.

“Andrew had a good throwing session today, symptom-free, so out to 105 feet tomorrow would be a progressive step toward that same throwing program,” Farrell said. “He’s making anticipated progress. There’s no date marked for his return, but we still feel confident with the group we have in our pen right now.”

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Joel Hanrahan placed on 60-day DL; will visit Andrews to determine if surgery needed 05.09.13 at 3:50 pm ET
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Red Sox reliever Joel Hanrahan was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list on Thursday, and the reliever is currently trying to determine whether he will require surgery for the right forearm strain.

The decision to move Hanrahan to the 60-day DL was made in order to free a spot on the 40-man roster for right-hander Jose De La Torre, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday. In addition, right-hander Allen Webster was optioned to Pawtucket after Wednesday night’€™s game.

Hanrahan, who has struggled at times over the course of his first month, with Boston, is 0-1 with a 9.82 ERA and four saves in nine appearances. According to a  source, there is no decision yet on whether or not Hanrahan will undergo surgery — he is visiting Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion — but he is expected to be sidelined for a couple of months at a minimum, even if there is no surgery needed.

“Once we got the initial MRI, it seemed [the 60-day DL] was a possibility,” said Sox manager John Farrell. “So not knowing the extent or total number of days, we felt it was still going to require some recovery time and then when you factor in the buildup back from that, we felt this was going to be a couple of months total at a minimum.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

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Ben Cherington on D&C: ‘Unfortunate and sad’ that David Ortiz faces questions about PEDs at 9:12 am ET
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Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning, after the Red Sox lost for the fifth time in six games with Wednesday night’s 15-8 setback vs. the Twins.

“We hit a little bit of a bump. And obviously last night was not our best night,” Cherington said. “[We've] got to grind through those and get back to playing better baseball, more crisp baseball, and executing. That’s what we had done for most of April. Just got to minimize this little rough patch and get past it.”

Asked to pinpoint the team’s main problem, Cherington pointed to the pitching staff.

“It all really comes back to pitching,” Cherington said. “When we’re executing and pounding the strike zone and sort of taking it to the opposing lineup, we’re a much better team and gives ourselves a chance to control the game and keep our lineup in the dugout and keep the lineup rolling, etc.

“We feel good about our team and where it is. We just hit a bit of a rough patch. We had to use a lot of our bullpen over the weekend in Texas and then certainly Monday [vs.] Minnesota. It was a bit of a scramble to get through the last two days. Hopefully as we move forward over the next few days we’ll get a chance to reset the bullpen, kind of get the pitching staff back on track from a workload standpoint and get going. So, it just goes back to pitching. But the same guys are there, and we’ve just got to get back to executing.”

With some key injuries in the bullpen, the Sox have had to juggle the roster. Cherington said another pitcher will be called up from Pawtucket for Thursday’s game.

“We’ve had to dip into the Triple-A depth even a little bit more early in the year than we hoped,” Cheringtons aid. “But we’ve got some guys throwing well there. We’ll have another guy in there tonight — Jose De La Torre will get his crack in the big leagues. He’s been throwing the ball really well and has been throwing the ball really well for over a year now in Triple-A. He’s  a talented pitcher. It’s just an opportunity for other guys to step up.”

Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy this week questioned David Ortiz about performance-enhancing drugs after the designated hitter returned from the disabled list and got off to a tremendous start. Cherington defended his slugger and noted Ortiz’ offensive skills have remained consistent for years.

“I was disappointed by it,” Cherington said. “And I don’t mean toward Dan specifically. But just generally, it seems as if when a player who happens to be in his 30s is still performing at a high level, there’s this sort of automatic suspicion. I sort of looked at it yesterday and thought about it. David’s been one of the most consistent and durable players in the big leagues over the last several years, even counting the fact that he missed some time last year. His performance when he’s been out there has been remarkably consistent, including the power numbers.

“So, if he had started this year, let’s say over the first 10 games or so hitting .300 with some power instead of .400 with some power, would anyone be saying anything? And then once you sort of take that into account and recognize that every good player goes through a streak during the year where they hit .400 and then every good player also goes through a streak during the year where they hit .200 over 10 games, and that’s how they end up at .300 at the end of the year. David would be the first to tell you he’s probably not going to end the year hitting .400. But we fully expect him to end the year being one of the best hitters in the league and a huge part of the middle of our lineup.

“It’s disappointing to me because of the hot start he’s got to face that question, when, as he said yesterday, when he didn’t get off to a good start a couple of years ago, he’s got to face questions the other way. It’s a disappointing thing. I guess we understand in the big picture where those questions come from. But, as David said, he’s part of a program as every player on our team is, every player in baseball is. It ought to take a little bit more than a hot streak to raise that question, in my opinion.”

Asked about the possibility of some players beating MLB’s drug testing, Cherington responded: “All I know is that the program’s in place, it’s a strong program. There’s a lot of testing. Every player in baseball is tested, including ours. They don’t know when it’s going to come. It happens during the offseason, it happens during spring training, it happens during the season. And there’s clearly penalties for testing positive. If a player tests positive, then that player has to be accountable for that, take responsibility for that, and there are penalties.

“But until that point, it seems unfair — it’s unfortunate and sad almost that David has to deal with that and we have to hear about it without any evidence other than a player just doing well on the field.”

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Dr. James Andrews looking at Joel Hanrahan’s arm images 05.08.13 at 7:43 pm ET
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Joel Hanrahan said prior to the Red Sox‘ game against the Twins Wednesday that the team had sent the MRI images of his ailing right forearm/elbow to both Dr. James Andrews and Dr. David Altchek, hoping to determine the extent of the pitcher’s recent injury.

One of the concerns, Hanrahan explained, was that the inflamed flexor tendon hadn’t been sufficiently protecting the elbow ligament, leading to a problem with that area.

“The flexor muscle basically protects your ligament. That’€™s one of the things they’€™re looking at, to see how that ligament looks,” said the reliever. “Obviously I think you could probably go through this clubhouse and look at everybody’€™s ligament and it’€™s not going to be like a 12-year-old’€™s ligament. So that’€™s one thing they’€™ll look at, to see if that ligament has been compromised.”

Hanrahan, who was forced to leave Monday’s game after experiencing pain in his forearm (leading to his current stint on the 15-day disabled list) said he is still dealing with discomfort in that area of his right arm.

“It’€™s been sore pretty much all throughout that area since Monday. It’€™s still sore,” he said. “I can’€™t really grip a whole lot. I haven’€™t really been doing anything but icing and riding the bike. There’€™s not a lot we can do. Just sit, wait and do treatment and see where that takes us.”

The 31-year-old Hanrahan, who already spent a stint on the 15-day disabled list due to a sore right hamstring earlier this season, said he has never undergone any sort of surgery.

Read More: Dr. James Andrews, joel hanrahan, Red Sox,
Buster Olney on M&M: Junichi Tazawa has ‘probably the best stuff in that bullpen’ at 1:32 pm ET
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Buster Olney of ESPN spoke with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday about the potential for protective caps for pitchers after the Jays’ J.A. Happ took a line drive to the head Tuesday, the state of the Red Sox pitching, and the constant suspicion that players are using performance-enhancing drugs if their performance improves.

In the wake of Happ’s injury, the discussion about requiring protective headgear for pitchers has come up again. Olney noted some of the issues that would make it hard to implement such a rule, including the effect it would have on pitchers’ mechanics and the players’ general resistance to change.

“The number of instances of this happening is actually on the increase, according to research that Willie [Weinbaum, of ESPN] has done,” Olney said. “Major League Baseball, for good reason, is concerned, because the 60 feet, 6 inches is not going to change. What Willie has found is that they’re having a difficult time coming up with a lined cap, and if you go beyond a lined cap — maybe even with a lined cap I think you’re going to get the initial response from a lot of players, which is, I don’t know if I want to wear that, that looks kind of weird. When David Wright wore that oversized helmet, there was definitely that old-school pushback on style.

“In 2007, Mike Coolbaugh, who was a coach in the minor leagues, was killed by a line drive, and after that Major League Baseball basically made a rule saying all the base coaches have to wear a helmet. And initially there was pushback on that, and now we don’t even notice. I think when you’re talking about pitchers going out there wearing some kind of a cage, like cricket batters, I think that we are a long, long way from players ever agreeing to do something like that. And hopefully it doesn’t take some terrible accident where they’re taking that more seriously.”

Olney said headgear for pitchers likely would have to be implemented first at the youth level.

“Any type of change would have to literally take place with kids who are learning how to throw the ball,” he said. “It’s not only a style component, but let’s pick out someone older, say, Ryan Dempster. Let’s say MLB said we want to have head protection on a pitcher. There’s a mechanical issue there, too. The way you use your hands, you draw your hands over your head, and suddenly you have some kind of headgear device — that would not be something that could be embraced overnight by anybody, no matter what the risk was. It would literally alter how these guys would have to throw the baseball. If in fact there are changes, and the velocity keeps accelerating and we get more and more of these kinds of things, it’s only natural that his conversation’s going to take place. It would have to first take place in Little League.”

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Read More: allen webster, buster olney, felix doubront, J.A. Happ
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