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John Farrell: Surgery not ruled out for Allen Craig’s foot 08.21.14 at 5:35 pm ET
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Allen Craig was supposed to be getting his at-bats in Pawtucket Thursday night.

Allen Craig

Allen Craig

However, injuries and other circumstances have opened up a need. So instead, he’ll be the designated hitter in his second-career game with the Red Sox.

Craig, who was acquired by the Red Sox from the Cardinals for John Lackey, injured his ankle Aug. 1 in his Red Sox debut, and hasn’t played since.

The outfielder was scheduled to rehab in Pawtucket at DH Monday and play right field Wednesday and Thursday, but with Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli battling injuries and David Ortiz on a scheduled off day, Red Sox manager John Farrell said it would be just as valuable to give Craig those at-bats with the major league club.

Craig played right field and went 1-for-3 with a two-run single for Pawtucket Wednesday night. Farrell said Craig played with “no hesitations” over his two games with the Triple-A club.

“Went first to second on a base hit and overthrow after a couple RBIs, wasn’t too challenged in right field with many opportunities, but came out of it physically fine with some change in direction to his running and some acceleration to what would be full speed,” Farrell said. “So he’s passed at least two days of the physical test.”

That, at least, is the case with the ankle injury that Craig suffered in his Red Sox debut on Aug. 1, when he tweaked his foot while crossing first base. Still, questions remain about another injury with his foot.

Craig suffered a Lisfranc injury last September that ended his 2013 regular season and kept him out for the early part of the Cardinals’ World Series run. St. Louis and Craig opted to let the injury heal naturally with rest rather than surgery.

“We do know this: the injury he had last year was something that was given rest and recovery rather than a repair, probably as much to do with their stretch and postseason run. I guess it’s debatable whether a repair was needed or recommended, but they chose a conservative path,” said Farrell. “I can’t say, ‘Is there still some involvement?’ That is above me. He turned the ankle and foot here on the base, so what he was feeling wasn’t a result of the actual previous injury. But does the previous injury still give some instability? That’s, again, debatable.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Allen Craig, Cardinals, John Farrell, lisfranc
Mookie Betts unfazed in pursuit of learning Fenway outfield: ‘It’s a big adjustment, but I think I can handle it’ 08.20.14 at 7:27 am ET
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Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

The challenge of learning the ropes out in center field still looks to be a work-in-progress for Mookie Betts.

The Red Sox center fielder looked both capable and hesitant during Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Angels. In the second inning, Betts looked like the heir apparent to Jackie Bradley Jr., robbing David Freese of a potential home run out in the triangle in the second inning before doubling off an advancing Erick Aybar just a few seconds later with a throw to first base.

However, Betts also looked inexperienced at times, making an ill-advised dive on a Freese line drive in the fourth that resulted in a triple for the Angels third baseman. In the ninth inning, Angels designated hitter Brennan Boesch drove a Koji Uehara pitch out to the center-field triangle. While Betts gave pursuit, the ball bounced down and into the stands for a ground-rule double.

In the following at-bat, catcher Chris Iannetta would then drive in Boesch with an RBI double to give Los Angeles the lead for good.

While it was a mixed showing from a defensive standpoint, Betts took it all in stride after the game.

“It’s a learning experience, that’s how I look at it,” Betts said, adding, “You have your good and your bad. Some days are better than others.”

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Read More: Angels, John Farrell, mookie betts, Red Sox
John Farrell: Jackie Bradley Jr. sent down to ‘maintain adjustments’ at the plate 08.18.14 at 6:18 pm ET
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The Red Sox had finally seen enough of Jackie Bradley Jr. to know it was time for a change.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

The Sox optioned the struggling center fielder to Triple-A Pawtucket Monday in a move that manager John Farrell said had been discussed among baseball operations for about the last two weeks.

While he’s been nothing short of sensational in the outfield this season, Bradley has been a liability offensively. The rookie has hit .216/.288/.290 in 112 games and had recently endured a miserable stretch in which he went 0-for-35 with 18 strikeouts before showing some improvement at the plate over the last few games.

“The move to send Jackie back to Pawtucket has been talked about for a little while now,” Farrell said. “I think it’s important to note that this wasn’t reactionary. Had it been reactionary you might suggest it was going to be done a while ago.

“We felt like some of the adjustments that were being worked on had some evidence inside of given games, but we’re sending him out to maintain some of those adjustments. That is to try to shorten down that swing a little bit more and develop a more distinct two-strike approach.”

Bradley is 5-for-16 with two walks and just four strikeouts in his last five games, which raised questions about the timing of the decision. Farrell said Bradley’s adjustments still weren’t translating to the games consistently enough, and he wanted to take advantage of the final weeks of the minor league season.

Farrell said the team wants Bradley to get back to a “line-drive approach that has got a more defined two-strike approach in addition.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: jackie bradley jr., John Farrell,
Red Sox pregame notes: Allen Craig to begin rehab assignment soon; David Ross making ‘adequate progress’ with plantar fascia injury 08.15.14 at 9:23 pm ET
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Allen Craig‘€™s eventual return to the Red Sox lineup draws closer and closer.

The right fielder has only played in one game with Boston after being acquired on July 31 in a trade-deadline deal with the Cardinals that send Craig and Joe Kelly to the Red Sox for John Lackey.

In his debut with the Red Sox on Aug. 1, Craig tweaked his ankle in his final at-bat while attempting to run out a grounder at first. Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Friday’s game against the Astros that he expects Craig to begin an assignment down in the minors within the next few days.

“€œWe’€™re hopeful that he goes out on a rehab assignment early this coming week -€“ possibly as early as Monday,” Farrell said. “€œHe came out of yesterday’€™s work of full BP, some running in the outfield, in good fashion. He’€™ll go through three more days of work prior to heading out.”

– Catcher David Ross, sidelined since Aug. 2 with a plantar fascia tear, continues to improve after taking part in a variety of baseball activities over the last few days.

While Farrell said that it’€™s looking more and more likely that Ross will not need to take part in a rehab assignment, he added the veteran catcher still has some big milestones to reach before he is able to return behind the dish.

“We’€™ve still got to get some steps accomplished with David,” Farrell said. “He’€™s set to catch a bullpen or two today. He started to do a little bit more running yesterday and came out of it feeling OK, so he’€™s making adequate progress as well.”

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Read More: Allen Craig, David Ross, John Farrell, Red Sox
John Farrell on MFB: ‘I think we would all love to see Jon Lester back in a Red Sox uniform’ 08.13.14 at 4:59 pm ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell joined Middays with MFB on Wednesday to discuss the state of the team and the prospects of Jon Lester returning to the club in the offseason. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Sox won consecutive games for the first time since July 20-21 with a 3-2 win over the Reds Tuesday night. Joe Kelly made his second career start with the Red Sox and was strong again, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings for a no-decision.

“The one thing with Joe Kelly, he’s athletic, he repeats his delivery,” Farrell said. “I thought last night he had more powerful stuff than in St. Louis, and when you sit in the dugout, particularly from the third base side, you get a real appreciation for how quick his arm is. Good action to his secondary pitches both curveball and slider, might’ve been pitching a little bit too fine last night early on but settled in.

“I think he’s just a quality right-hander who we’re still getting to know, but clearly there’s a lot there to like.”

Kelly may be the newest Red Sox pitcher acquired, but the starter still most talked about in Boston is Lester, whom the Sox traded to Oakland at the deadline for Yoenis Cespedes. Lester will be a free agent at the end of the season, and has expressed an openness to returning to Boston. Farrell said he hasn’t given up hope on Lester returning.

“I think we would all love to see Jon Lester back in a Red Sox uniform,” Farrell said. “We also know that once free-agent season opens, he’s going to have an opportunity — he’s earned the right to see what the market is going to bear for him. I’m sure there will be a number teams that are interested in Jon. He’s durable, he’s productive, he’s done it in Boston, there’s a great comfort level with everyone here.

“I found his comments to be encouraging. He’s looking for the total package, not just the highest dollar. I think that sits well with anybody who reads it and particularly where he’s spent the majority of his career. We know there’s deep roots here. One of his homes is still here.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: John Farrell, Jon Lester,
John Farrell on D&H: ‘Getting [Clay Buchholz] back on track might be the No. 1 objective as far the rotation goes’ 08.06.14 at 5:45 pm ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell joined Dale & Holley on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Clay Buchholz‘s struggles, Henry Owens‘ impressive Triple-A debut and the state of the club in the aftermath of the July 31 trade deadline. To listen to the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Farrell said that he had a sit-down meeting with Buchholz on Tuesday in order to discuss ways to help ease the righty out of one of the worst slumps of his career. Buchholz, expected to be one of the leaders of a young rotation going forward, allowed seven earned runs in back-to-back starts against the Blue Jays and Yankees over the last two weeks.

“Getting [Buchholz] back on track might be the No. 1 objective as far the rotation goes,” Farrell said, continuing: “When people talk about No. 1 or No. 2 starters, major leaguers perform their way into those roles, because they all have similar abilities. So whether or not if he’s a No. 1 or a No. 5 is depending upon how consistent an individual pitcher is, how durable they become, and the level of performance from outing to outing.

“We’ve seen from Clay that there’s elite performance as it’s capable, and yet the one thing that he and I talked about extensively yesterday was just trying to get him back on to the most simple element that a pitcher has under control, and that’s this pitch in this moment, and take away all the other distractions or all the other things that you’re trying to accomplish. … People might say, ‘Well, that’s no revelation,’ well, honestly, any performer, their mind at the moment is the thing that matters most.”

One of Boston’s most promising prospects, southpaw starter Henry Owens, had a fantastic debut with Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, allowing just two hits and no runs over 6 2/3 innings while striking out nine Columbus batters.

While Owens — who is 15-4 with a 2.47 ERA this season between Double-A Portland and Pawtucket — appears to be on the fast track for the majors, Farrell said that he would like to see the 22-year-old lefty continue his success with the PawSox before considering calling him up.

“I think anybody who starts the year in Double-A is on the radar,” Farrell said. “But I will say this, it’s not part of the conversation [Wednesday] to open up this spot in the rotation for when Henry arrives. I think it’s great that he went up to Pawtucket and had an outstanding debut at Triple-A and I think it’s also important to keep perspective that he needs to keep doing it, as we all do. I guess that’s the best and most honest way I can answer it.

“We’ve got a very good-looking, young, left-handed prospect starting pitcher, and I think in time he’ll clearly demonstrate that he’s ready for the next challenge, and the first step was a very positive one while at Pawtucket.”

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, henry owens, John Farrell, Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia continues to provide spark in Red Sox lineup 08.04.14 at 8:09 am ET
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Even after putting together a strong performance at the plate Sunday night against the Yankees, Dustin Pedroia – always looking at the big picture — was more focused on the pitch he wasn’t able to capitalize on.

Down by one run with two outs in the ninth, Pedroia stepped up to the dish to face off against Yankee closer David Robertson. After a lengthy battle, Pedroia drove the eighth pitch of the at-bat deep into left field, only for it to hook left of the foul pole before clearing the Green Monster.

“It started out fair and then it kind of hooked foul, it’s just one of those things, and it was kind of up and in, so I hooked it a little bit,” Pedroia said.

Pedroia grounded out on the next pitch to seal the 8-7 Yankees win, giving New York its third series win of the year against Boston.

Despite his frustrating final at-bat, Pedroia compiled another great batting line against New York, finishing the night 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. It was the fifth multi-hit game in a row for the Red Sox second baseman, tying a career-high mark that Pedroia has already reached seven times in his career.

“I think over the last seven, eight days, you’re seeing much better bat speed, he misses another one there in the ninth inning, just foul,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “Just better bat speed and more freedom in the swing.”

“I feel good. I’ve got to build on it and continue to work and try to get better,” Pedroia said.

While the Red Sox‘ chances of continuing their season in October are essentially null at this point, Pedroia has done his part to keep his team in games over the last two weeks, energizing a lineup that has underwhelmed for most of the 2014 campaign.

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Read More: Dustin Pedroia, John Farrell, Red Sox, Yankees
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