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PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina hired as Angels third base coach 11.05.13 at 2:11 pm ET
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Multiple industry sources have confirmed a report by Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that the Angels have hired Gary DiSarcina — who spent 2013 as the manager of the Red Sox‘ Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket — as their third base coach.

DiSarcina, 45, led the PawSox to an 80-53 record, a first-place finish in the International League’s North division and a spot in the Governor’s Cup championship series. But more significantly from the Red Sox perspective, in tandem with pitching coach Rich Sauveur and hitting coach Dave Joppie, he proved a critical contributor to the development of a number of key prospects during the season.

‘€œDiSar is a really loose and upbeat personality, one who connects with a lot of different types of people well. That was absolutely one of his strengths throughout the year, especially coming in and not having managed at that level,’€ Sox farm director Ben Crockett recently noted. ‘€œIt was impressive the way he took charge, got guys’ respect quickly but also managed different egos — both older players and younger prospects.  He really did a nice job of dealing with challenges as they appeared.’€

His imprint may have been most dramatic with infielder Jose Iglesias, who was admittedly disappointed after being sent to Triple-A following a strong start in early April, at a time when Stephen Drew was on the DL. Iglesias struggled not just offensively but also with his effort level in Triple-A, failing to run out grounders on multiple occasions.

DiSarcina pulled Iglesias in the middle of a game after one such incident, and the shortstop sat out of the next three games. But DiSarcina presented the approach not as a benching or a punishment, but instead an opportunity for Iglesias to catch his breath, to return to playing with the energy and joy that are often associated with the 23-year-old. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: gary disarcina, jose iglesias, Will Middlebrooks, xander bogaerts
Jose Iglesias suggests no ill-will towards Shane Victorino 10.17.13 at 1:23 am ET
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DETROIT — How to interpret the brief exchange between Jose Iglesias and Shane Victorino in the bottom of the eighth inning?

Iglesias lined a single to right, on which Victorino — playing shallow — charged the ball and fired somewhat wildly towards first base, with the ball getting past first baseman Mike Napoli after Iglesias had crossed the bag. Iglesias seemed to wave his arm somewhat defiantly towards Victorino — it was unclear at the time whether it was in jest or in contempt for Victorino’s unusual (but not unprecedented — Victorino had also tried to throw out Miguel Cabrera at first from right field during a June Red Sox-Tigers series) attempt to cut him down.

After the fact, Iglesias said that he knew that Victorino might try to gun him down at first, and so he’d hustled through the bag to ensure that he would not be caught.

“I keep my eyes to the players, where they’€™re at when I’€™m hitting, and I saw Shane playing shallow and I know he’€™s an unbelievable right fielder, and I hit the ball really hard and I knew right away he was going to throw to first,” said Iglesias. “So I sprinted all the way down.”

Iglesias insisted that his gesture was not one of antipathy towards his former teammate.

“No, it’€™s Shane, he’€™s an unbelievable teammate,” said Iglesias. “He’€™s an amazing right fielder. He tried to make a play for the team. That’€™s awesome.”

That play came two innings after Iglesias slid hard into second baseman Dustin Pedroia in an unsuccessful attempt to break up a double play. Yet the Tigers shortstop — whom the Sox dealt to Detroit as part of the three-way deal that landed Jake Peavy in Boston — suggested that nothing but hard-nosed fun was taking place.

“Playing against Boston is always fun,” said Iglesias. “Unbelievable organization, unbelievable team, and it’€™s a great series so far.”

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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Tigers ALCS matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Doug Fister 10.16.13 at 12:19 pm ET
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Jake Peavy has been a major leaguer for 12 years, during which time he’€™s won 132 games, pitched nearly 2,000 innings, struck out nearly 2,000 batters and posted a career 3.51 ERA.

But for as much success as Peavy has experienced in his career, he only has three postseason starts under his belt, and for the first time, he’€™ll make a start in a championship series round when he faces off against Doug Fister and the Tigers in Game 4 of the ALCS at Comerica Park on Wednesday. Boston leads the best of seven series 2-1.

Peavy’€™s third career postseason start came on Oct. 8 in the Red Sox‘€™s Game 4 ALDS win against the Rays. He lasted 5 2/3 innings and allowed just one run on five hits and struck out three at Tropicana Field. Peavy (12-5, 4.17 ERA) exited the game with Boston trailing 1-0, and his pitch count at just 74, but the Red Sox came back to win, and clinch the series.

‘€œJake, on a normal situation, we’re probably having a fist fight on the mound right there,” manager John Farrell said after the game about pulling Peavy during the sixth inning. “Our starters recognize the time of the year it is, the importance of every out, the importance of every matchup.”

Boston acquired Peavy from the White Sox on July 30 in a three-team trade that sent shortstop Jose Iglesias to Detroit. Peavy improved his ERA from 4.28 with Chicago to 4.04 with Boston, where he recorded a 4-1 record in 10 starts.

Peavy previously started a pair of postseason games in 2005 and 2006 as a member of the Padres. He had immense success in his eight years with San Diego, but not in the postseason. In two starts and 9 2/3 innings (both against the Cardinals, in the divisional series round), he allowed 13 earned runs and 23 hits plus walks.

Peavy faced the Tigers once this season, in his last outing as a member of the White Sox. He earned a win in Chicago’€™s 7-4 victory on July 25. Peavy allowed four runs in seven innings, and struck out seven batters.

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Read More: Anibal Sanchez, Doug Fister, jake peavy, Jed Lowrie
Tale of the tape: Red Sox-Tigers ALCS preview 10.12.13 at 8:23 am ET
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After making relatively quick work of the Rays in the American League Division Series, the Red Sox will take on the Tigers in their first ALCS since 2008, a stage that Detroit now has reached for three consecutive seasons.

The Red Sox wrapped up the ALDS on Tuesday with a 3-1 victory over the Rays, taking the series in four games. The Athletics forced the Tigers to play a Game 5 on Thursday, but for the second year in a row, the Tigers sent the A’s home.

The two teams are evenly matched in many ways, especially when it comes to what they can do with the bats. These two clubs fielded the best lineups in baseball this season, with both finishing in the top two of many offensive categories. Here’s how the offensive numbers break down:

BOSTON

DETROIT

Batting average

.277 (2nd)

.283 (1st)

On-base percentage

.349 (1st)

.346 (2nd)

On-base plus slugging (OPS)

.795 (1st)

.780 (2nd)

Home runs

178 (5th)

176 (t-6th)

Runs per game (average)

5.27 (1st)

4.91 (2nd)

Total runs scored

853 (1st)

796 (2nd)

The clubs are comparable when it comes to pitching as well. The Tigers rotation owns the lowest ERA in baseball at 3.44, while the Red Sox finished fourth at 3.84. Both teams’ weak links are the bullpens; Red Sox relievers rank 10th in the majors with a 3.70 ERA, while the Tigers bullpen ERA is 12th at 4.04. One clear advantage that the Red Sox have, however, is speed. Jacoby Ellsbury, who leads the majors in stolen bases, has swiped 17 more bags than the entire Tigers club, which ranked dead last in the majors with 35 stolen bases. The Red Sox rank fourth with 123.

Though the Tigers were early favorites to win the AL Central, they ended up finishing just one game ahead of the Indians, wrapping up the year with a 93-69 record. The Sox and Tigers met seven times in the regular season, with the Tigers taking four of the contests, including three out of four at Comerica Park in June. The Red Sox outscored the Tigers 43 to 35 in the season series, but the Red Sox’€™ 20-run offensive outburst against the Tigers in the last game of the season series between the two skewed things.

Here are the pitching matchups for the ALCS:

Game 1, Saturday: Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75) vs. Anibal Sanchez (14-8, 2.57)
Game 2, Sunday: Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74) vs. Max Scherzer (21-3, 2.90)
Game 3, Tuesday: John Lackey (10-13, 3.52) vs. Justin Verlander (13-21, 3.46)
Game 4, Wednesday: Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17) vs. Doug Fister (14-9, 3.67)
Game 5, Thursday*: Lester vs. Sanchez
Game 6, Saturday*: Buchholz vs. Scherzer
Game 7, Sunday*: Lackey vs. Verlander

* = if necessary

WHO’S HOT: RED SOX

‘€¢ One of the concerns coming into the playoffs for the Red Sox was relief pitching in the late innings. Closer Koji Uehara has been lights-out all season, but the bridge from the starter to Uehara was a shaky one. But Craig Breslow has been impressive, and continued his dominance in the ALDS, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings and allowing two hits and a walk while also hitting a batter. Junichi Tazawa has been shaky at times, but he gave up just one hit over 2 1/3 innings, striking out two. Both set-up men have pitched well against the Tigers in 2013 as well as over the course of their career; Breslow threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings against Detroit this season and has a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings lifetime, while Tazawa accumulated two scoreless innings in 2013 and has posted a 1.08 ERA in 8 1/3 innings vs. the Tigers. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: jake peavy, Jhonny Peralta, jose iglesias, justin verlander
Jose Iglesias shines in return to Fenway 09.02.13 at 8:12 pm ET
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Jose Iglesias returned to Fenway Park Monday for the first time since being traded away to Detroit. Iglesias hit ninth for the Tigers and finished the day 1-for-3, smacking a double in the top of the third. Along with the base hit, Iglesias provided his trademark sensational defense all afternoon, stymieing the Red Sox by putting together three different double plays on a bittersweet occasion.

“I love those guys over there, it’s nothing personal,” said Iglesias. “It’s a business at the end of the day, but it was fun to come here today and get the W. The fans here are great, it’s a really fun place to be. Red Sox always been my first organization, but I’m getting used to it.”

Iglesias turned in the finest defensive play of the game. Shane Victorino delivered a single to lead off the sixth, and Dustin Pedroia hit a ground ball to the right of second base. Iglesias turned what should have been a fielder’s choice into an unassisted double play, running over from short, tagging out Victorino, then spinning and unloading a bullet to first base.

“I switched it up,” said Iglesias, “I covered the base. As soon as he read the ball, I just try to get the ball and I was able to make a good double play for the team. I knew I got time on first, so I try to tag him.”

“You can’t practice plays like that,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, “so that’s just athleticism, flexibility, agility, whatever you want to call it. You just can’t practice a play like that. Someone tells me they practiced a play like that, I’ll tell them they’re lying.”

Iglesias’ slick fielding buttressed the work of starting pitcher Doug Fister, a groundball pitcher who likes to keep the ball low and is especially dependent on his shortstop.

“That kid’s got great hands and moves all over the diamond and gets things done,” said Fister. “It’s such a blessing to have him. The things he brings to this team are astounding.”

Leyland noted that the Tigers are very confident about making a playoff push with Iglesias entrenched at short.

“He’s made about three already that I’ve never seen before. He’s going to make some of those acrobatic plays. We’re very fortunate to have him.”

“He’s unbelievable with his glove,” said Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson. “He definitely keeps some base hits that would have been up the middle or in the hole, he’s good at getting glove on it. For him to make some of the plays he makes, it’s unbelievable. It makes you just wait for a second to applaud him.”

Leyland admitted that, while he is not overly familiar with the 23-year-old from Havana, Cuba, he is happy to have him on the club.

“When you hear that many people talking about a guy, as a shortstop, you know it’s got to be true,” explained Leyland. “Offensively, he’s very aggressive. He’s a tough out for a young guy. He swings a little bit too much, probably like a big guy, at times, but he’s very smart. He knows how to shoot the ball to hit the hole, how to bunt for a base hit. I think he’s going to be a very good offensive player. I don’t want to take his aggressiveness away from him. He probably swings a little bit too much like a big guy in certain situations, but he’s very bright and very instinctive, so he’ll figure it out. He’s got baseball sense.

“Every once and a while, you get mixed reviews on some players. On him, there are no mixed reviews. Everyone that I’ve ever talked to say this guy’s a fantastic shortstop. When you get split reviews, somebody’s wrong. When you get a dominant positive, that means a guy’s good. Nobody has ever said this guy would not be, or could not be, or isn’t a fantastic shortstop.”

Though the Red Sox clearly saw him as being expendable enough to part with in the Jake Peavy trade, Iglesias is glad with the situation he has found.

“I’m doing what I’m supposed to do,” said Iglesias. “Playing short, that’s what I’m doing and I feel comfortable.”

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Red Sox-Tigers series preview at 11:28 am ET
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With the calendar flipped and the final month of the MLB season upon us, the Red Sox have an opportunity to flex their muscles and build on their American League East lead with a three-game series vs. the Tigers.

The best teams in the AL record-wise kick off the series Monday at 1:35 at Fenway Park. The Red Sox (82-56) lead the AL East by 5½ games, while Detroit (80-57) leads the AL Central by 7½ games.

Boston earned its lead with a three-game sweep of the White Sox. The second-place Rays, who entered a three-game series with the Athletics just 2½ games behind the Red Sox, dropped all three games in Oakland.

After tying Boston with a win over the Yankees on Aug. 24, the Rays have lost seven of their last eight games, while Boston has claimed eight of its last nine. The Red Sox’€™ 5½-game AL East lead is their largest since July 5.

The Tigers find themselves in a familiar position at the start of September. They’€™re well on their way to winning their third straight AL Central title. With 25 games remaining, Detroit leads Cleveland by 7½ games.

One potential determinant of the series will be the health of the Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera. The reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner missed the last two games with due to issues with his groin and abdomen.

Cabrera is threatening to claim the Triple Crown again, as he leads MLB in batting average (.358) and RBIs (130). His 43 home runs puts him four behind the Orioles’€™ Chris Davis.

Team president/CEO/general manager Dave Dombrowski, during an interview on Monday’s Dennis & Callahan show, expressed optimism that Cabrera will play at some point in this series, although he was not listed in the team’s starting lineup for the opener.

Two series ago, the Red Sox lucked out in missing Dodgers starters Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke on its West Coast trip.

The Red Sox receive a similar stroke of luck this series in not facing former AL MVP Justin Verlander and current AL ERA leader Anibal Sanchez. Instead, Boston will see a formidable trio in Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, jose iglesias, Koji Uehara
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski on D&C: ‘Tremendous’ Jose Iglesias ‘going to be our shortstop for years to come’ at 10:51 am ET
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With the Tigers set to open a three-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Monday, Tigers president/ CEO/general manager Dave Dombrowski joined Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Butch Stearns and Gordon Edes to discuss his team’s success and the recent three-team trade that landed him shortstop Jose Iglesias from Boston.

Iglesias was sent to Detroit in the deal that brought Jake Peavy to Boston from the White Sox, and the defensive standout has continued to swing a hot bat, with a .292/.344/.360 line through 28 games with his new team.

“Jose’s been tremendous for us. He really changes our ball club, as you know, over here,” Dombrowski said. “He’s an outstanding defensive shortstop. He really changes the middle of the diamond. We have a lot of good pitchers, and some of them live with the ground ball, and so his range helps us appreciably — so quick out there.

“He’s also hit well enough. He’s continued to hit over .300 for us, and has gone through a little bit of a downtime period, but he’s come back and done well. He does a lot of little things for us as far as bunting, he can move the ball around, he can steal a base — he did steal a base the other day for us. He’s still working on those skills, but he can really run the bases well. So, for us, we really like what he brings for us. He’s going to be our shortstop for years to come.”

Miguel Cabrera was held out of the Tigers’ last two games with a groin injury, but Dombrowski is hopeful the reigning American League MVP will be able to play in this matchup of the top two teams in the AL.

“They’re working on it, he felt appreciably better yesterday,” Dombrowski said. “I think the one thing we’re going to do with him this time is we want to make sure from even his own perspective that when he gets back out there, that he’s running better than what he has in the past. We would think that he’ll most likely play in this series here at some point. I’m not sure if it will be today, but I would think that would be the case.

“He’s coming along well, but we want to make sure that he is healthy and ready to go the rest of the season without any setbacks that are unanticipated.”

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Read More: Dave Dombrowski, jose iglesias, miguel cabrera,
Buster Olney on M&M: Jake Peavy acquisition ‘a great trade for Boston’ 07.31.13 at 12:40 pm ET
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ESPN’€™s Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the Red Sox‘ acquisition of Jake Peavy and if there are any more moves coming for the Red Sox as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

The Red Sox were involved in the biggest splash so far when they traded Jose Iglesias and three other lower-level prospects in a three-team deal that landed them Jake Peavy. According to Olney, Peavy is worth the price the Red Sox paid.

‘€œI thought it was a great deal for them,’€ Olney said. ‘€œFor the Red Sox, as we talked about, he was perfect. He is perfect for the market. If you tried to sign a pitcher like him in the free agent market he would cost you $75 million in terms of having to make a long-term obligation ‘€” he is not extended for too long. He is a nice fill-in, given the cracks that they have had in their rotation and their pitching staff.

‘€œI think besides Iglesias, based on what I have heard from other teams, the lower-level guys are kind of lottery tickets. So there wasn’€™t anything that the Red Sox gave up besides Iglesias where you would say, ‘€˜Oh, boy, that one really hurts.’€™ It was a great trade for Boston.’€

Olney said that while some teams had some concern over Peavy’€™s health, as he just recently came off the disabled list and had experimental surgery in 2010 to repair a detached latissimus muscle, Peavy is feeling healthy right now.

‘€œI think if his remaining contract had been on for two or three more years, it might have been an issue where teams might have said, ‘€˜That might be a little bit too far out,’€™ ‘€ Olney said. ‘€œBut I will tell you that ‘€” and I have had many conversations with Jake ‘€” since he came back from that surgery, his arm is totally fine in his mind, and that is reflected when you watch him pitch. In the two starts he has had since he came off the disabled list, he has had tremendous movement on his fastball. It is not what it was when he was in San Diego, but it is really good.’€

As for what the Red Sox could be doing as the deadline approaches, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that Michael Young changed his mind Wednesday and would waive his no-trade clause to go to Boston. Olney said that Young would have been open to a deal with the Red Sox before Wednesday, though.

‘€œBasically, Michael Young wasn’€™t telling the Phillies he wouldn’€™t accept, he was using his no-trade ‘€” he has been using his no-trade to go down a pecking order,’€ Olney said. ‘€œNumber one, he wanted to go back to Texas. When that couldn’€™t happen, number two he wanted to go to the Red Sox. We will see if the Red Sox can work out some sort of deal with the Phillies. If that didn’€™t happen, then he was going to be open to other teams. All along it was not him saying, ‘I don’€™t want to be traded,’ it is him saying, ‘I want to steer myself to the exact right situation for me.’ ‘€

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei/com/redsox.

Read More: buster olney, jake peavy, jose iglesias, Michael Young
Red Sox minor league roundup: Taking stock of who’s on third; Jackie Bradley learns about the rumor mill; Anthony Ranaudo returns to form; Luis Diaz emerging in Greenville at 12:18 pm ET
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With Jose Iglesias being dealt to the Tigers in a three-team deal that brought Jake Peavy to Boston and ‘€œnothing imminent’€ regarding a trade for an infielder, according to general manager Ben Cherington, it’€™s time for the Red Sox to bring an infielder up from Pawtucket to man third base.

Obviously one of those options would be Will Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks has not played in a major league game since June 20, and is batting .257/.323/.451 in 36 games with the PawSox. Middlebrooks has shown some signs that he’€™s improved his approach at the plate since being sent down, though he’€™s hit a cold streak after notching two hits in four straight games. He’€™s 2-for-his-last-18 with a single and a run scored on Tuesday. He also drew a walk, his third in his last five games, and struck out, his fourth time in the same span.

‘€œI’m being more picky with what I’m swinging at,” Middlebrooks told Rob Bradford late last week. “I was really overaggressive and I got in a hole early in the year so I was trying to do too much to get everything back at once. I was trying to get three hits at once. You can’t do that, and pitchers know that.’€

Since rejoining the PawSox, Middlebrooks has improved on what was a very lopsided strikeout to walk ratio in the big leagues this year. In 53 major league games, Middlebrooks walked only nine times (about 4 percent of his plate appearances) while striking out 60 times (a 28 percent rate). In 30 games in his second stint with Pawtucket this season (he spent a brief period there on a rehab assignment), Middlebrooks has already drawn more walks than he did in the majors this season, with 10 free passes, meaning his walk rate is up to about 7 percent, well above his career rate of 4.4 percent. He’€™s also cut down on the strikeouts, fanning 25 times in 134 plate appearances, or 18.7 percent of the time.

Middlebrooks may not have compiled a slash line that makes one think that he’€™s forced his way back into the majors, but he has been quite productive for the PawSox. For a few weeks, the third baseman was averaging just about one RBI per game, and while that rate has slowed, he’€™s still driven in 23 in 30 games since returning to Triple-A. In his time with Pawtucket, he’€™s hitting .340/.411/.680 with runners in scoring position, with a .333/.407/.750 line in the same situation and two outs.

Another option for the third base job would be top prospect Xander Bogaerts. He’€™s spent only 42 games in Triple-A, but what a spectacular 42 games they’€™ve been. Bogaerts has acclimated well to every level he’€™s played at, and Pawtucket is no different. The shortstop, who is getting his first exposure to third base, is batting .273/.381/.473 with six doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBI since joining the Triple-A club. Bogaerts just finds ways to get on base, while his power is starting to really develop. The highly-regarded prospect went 0-for-3 on Tuesday, only his second time in his last 11 games that he’€™s failed to reach base on a hit. He did reach base twice and scored twice, however, reaching on a walk and a hit by pitch. Bogaerts has posted good strikeout to walk ratios in just about every stop on his way through the system, and has been exceptional in that department so far in Triple-A, drawing 24 walks while striking out 31 times in 176 plate appearances.

But, at least for the time being, Brock Holt will get the call. Holt has something that neither Bogaerts nor Middlebrooks have: experience playing second base.

With Iglesias gone, the Red Sox currently have no one on the 25-man roster who could serve as a back-up at second base, and Holt has plenty of experience there. He’€™s played only seven games at third base in his minor league career, but he held his own in 10 games at the hot corner in his first stint with the Red Sox. In those 10 games, Holt was impressive with the bat as well, batting .290/.333/.290 with eight RBI, drawing three walks while fanning only twice, and coming through in some big situations for the Sox.

The 25-year-old, who went 1-for-4 with a single while playing second base on Tuesday night, is hitting .276 with a .290 OBP in eight games since returning to Pawtucket. Holt has not had an extra-base hit in his last 26 games (that stretch includes games both in the majors and minors), but Holt is not known for his power. In fact, he has only four doubles and a home run in 69 games this season. Holt also provides a bit of speed, having swiped eight bases in 11 chances for Pawtucket this season. At this point, though Holt will be the one to receive the promotion on Wednesday, Middlebrooks or Bogaerts will likely get the call before too long.

Here’s more on the Sox’ decision to call up Holt.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-4 WIN AT NORFOLK (ORIOLES)

(BOX)

— Twitter was abuzz with trade speculation when Jackie Bradley Jr. was lifted in the sixth inning of Tuesday’€™s game, pinch-hit for with the bases loaded and nobody out in what was, at the time, a two-run game. But Bradley was removed from the game because of a minor elbow injury, when he felt some discomfort in his throwing arm after making a throw from the warning track to third base earlier that inning. The injury was a minor tweak for Bradley, who hopes to be in the lineup on Wednesday. Prior to being lifted, he was 1-for-2 with a single, walk and run scored.

“It’s crazy,” Bradley told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal about the speculation regarding his inclusion in a trade. “Everyone has to make some kind of assumption, got to have something exciting to talk about. You might as well start off with me coming out of a game…. It’s weird hearing that. Everybody’s fighting to get who they want.”

Ryan Rowland-Smith, who missed over a month with appendicitis, made his return to the PawSox on Tuesday, going two-thirds of an inning and allowing two walks while striking out one. Rowland-Smith has had a great year for Pawtucket, posting a 1.02 ERA in 44 1/3 innings, walking 13 and striking out 39. The left-hander is a solid option for the big-league club should they need another reliever; he’€™s been extremely tough against both lefties and righties this season, with opposing hitters batting just .173/.240/.224 against him.

Alex Wilson made a rehab appearance for the PawSox, working his way back from a sprained right thumb. The right-hander went an inning and gave up a run on two hits, including a line drive into the gap that allowed the tying run to score. Wilson also walked a batter and struck out one. He was credited with the win in the end, but also received a blown save. However, Wilson said he felt good during the outing, and the plan is to rest on Wednesday and then pitch in back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday, then reevaluate. Wilson pitched to a 4.88 in 27 2/3 innings with the Red Sox this season.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-0 LOSS AT RICHMOND (GIANTS)

(BOX)

— There was also some trade speculation when starter Anthony Ranaudo was lifted from the game, right around the time  Bradley was pulled from his game in Pawtucket. But both were just a coincidence, and Ranaudo was pulled because he had thrown 98 pitches, while there were two runners on with two outs in the seventh inning. Ranaudo wasn’€™t hit particularly hard on Tuesday, but did give up two solo home runs in his 6 2/3 innings, allowing a total of four earned runs on four hits and a walk, receiving his fourth loss of the season. The encouraging sign, however, is that Ranaudo’€™s command was back. After walking 16 and striking out 17 in his last five outings (30 innings), the 23-year-old issued only one walk on Tuesday while striking out seven batters, his highest strikeout total since his 13 strikeout performance back on June 13. Ranaudo threw 63 of his 98 pitches for strikes.

— The Sea Dogs offense was quieted by Richmond starter Ryan Vogelsong, making a rehab appearance on his way to rejoining the San Francisco Giants. But Shannon Wilkerson was able to notch two hits in two at-bats with a single and a double, while also laying down a sacrifice bunt. Wilkerson, 25, is struggling for the most part in his second season with the Sea Dogs, batting .221/.298/.311 in 93 games with 14 doubles, four triples and three home runs on the year. Prior to the two-hit day, the center fielder was mired in a particularly ugly slump, batting just .095/.132/.111 in his previous 19 games.

Michael Almanzar has been slumping recently, a trend that continued as he went 0-for-4 on Tuesday. In his last six games, the 22-year-old has only two hits and a walk. Almanzar is enjoying a fine season for the Sea Dogs, however, batting .269/.332/.431 with 63 RBI in 103 games this year.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 6-5 WIN (10 INNINGS) VS. POTOMAC (NATIONALS)

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Keury de la Cruz may be heating up again. The outfielder reached on two hits for his second day in a row, this time with a single and his fifth triple of the year. He also drove in a run, adding to his team-leading total of 75. De La Cruz had come back to earth after a ridiculous showing in June (in which he hit .387), hitting only .235/.296/.382 in 26 games this month. On the season, the 21-year-old has offered very solid production, slashing .284/.323/.430 with 29 doubles and seven home runs in 104 games. De La Cruz also swiped two bases on Tuesday, part of Salem’€™s base-stealing attack on Potomac; Salem runners stole seven bases without any runners being caught on Tuesday. De La Cruz has stolen 24 bases in 30 attempts. He also had an outfield assist, his seventh of the season.

— Second baseman Mookie Betts reached base safely three times on Tuesday, going 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and two runs scored. Betts still has drawn more walks than he has strikeouts (seven walks to six strikeouts) in Salem after drawing 18 more walks than strikeouts in his time with Greenville. Betts has struggled a bit in High-A, batting .239/.304/.423 in 20 games, and is batting only .143 in his last eight games, though he has reached on five walks. Betts was one of the six players to steal a base on Tuesday, his eighth swiped bag with Salem. He has yet to be caught by a High-A catcher.

Matt Price earned the win for Salem, throwing two shutout innings while allowing just one hit but walking two. Price had previously allowed runs in his last two outings after an 11 1/3-inning scoreless streak. The right-hander has closed out 24 games for Salem, recording five saves and fives wins and posting a 2.62 ERA in 44 2/3 innings pitched. He’€™s issued 18 walks while striking out an average of 9.5 batters per nine innings.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 5-1 WIN AT GREENSBORO (MARLINS)

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— The Drive lost two members of their pitching staff when Francellis Montas and J.B. Wendelken were involved in the deal that brought Peavy to the Red Sox. Montas, 20, was 2-9 with a 5.70 ERA for Greenville this year, with the hard-throwing righty striking out 96 batters in 85 1/3 innings. Wendelken, who made his last appearance for Greenville on Tuesday, throwing a perfect ninth inning, was 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA pitching in relief, with 20 walks and 54 strikeouts in 65 innings.

— Starter Luis Diaz turned in a fine performance, going six scoreless innings while allowing five hits and a walk and fanning eight batters. The 21-year-old righty has compiled an impressive 4.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 67 strikeouts and 16 free passes in 70 innings this season. Diaz has pitched to a 1.33 ERA in his last eight starts, allowing just seven earned runs in 47 1/3 innings. In that span, opposing batters are hitting .195/.238/.254 against him. Overall on the season, Diaz is 6-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.114 WHIP.

Reed Gragnani hit the first home run of his professional career on Tuesday, going 3-for-4 and driving in three runs. Gragnani, a 22-year-old second baseman who was drafted in the 21st round this year, hit .333/.411/.417 with the Spinners before earning the promotion to Greenville. In 14 games with the Drive, he’€™s slumped, hitting .231/.317/.288 with only one extra-base hit. He’€™s drawn five walks as compared to seven strikeouts, and has stolen two bases.

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 6-4 WIN VS. AUBURN (NATIONALS)

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— Second baseman Cleuluis Rondon was the other member of the Red Sox organization to go over to the White Sox in the Peavy deal. The 19-year-old was batting .276/.326/.350 in 37 games for the Spinners.

— Left fielder Kevin Mager had a big day for Lowell, going 3-for-5 with a triple (his first this season) and three runs batted in. Mager, who has split time between Greenville and Lowell this year, is batting .423/.444/.615 over his last seven games, and currently owns a five-game hitting streak. The 24-year-old is batting .314/.394/.436 in 39 games with the Spinners this year.

Forrest Allday, the Red Sox eighth round pick in the 2013 draft, continues to hit well in his first professional season, going 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI on Tuesday. Allday has walked 13 times in his 63 plate appearances while striking out only 11 times, and currently owns a line of .313/.476/.375 in 15 games.

Ty Buttrey was solid in his seventh start, giving up a run on five hits and three walks in four innings. He struck out four. Buttrey, a 20-year-old right-hander, has allowed only two earned runs in his last four starts (19 1/3 innings), good for a 0.93 ERA, allowing seven walks while recording 14 strikeouts. Buttrey has posted a 2.23 ERA and 1.206 WHIP in his first seven outings with Lowell, though he’€™s walked almost as many batters as he’€™s struck out (13 walks compared to 17 strikeouts).

ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: 3-1 LOSS VS. GCL RAYS 

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– Jake Drehoff, who was drafted in the 12th round this year, made his professional debut on Tuesday, going an inning and giving up a run on three hits. Drehoff, a 21-year-old drafted out of the University of Southern Mississippi, is a tall lefty who throws a fastball in the high-80s to low-90s, a changeup and a slider.

— Center fielder Jordon Austin went 2-for-3 with a double, his third extra-base hit this season. Austin, a 18-year-old drafted in the sixth round out of Forest High School in Ocala, Florida this year, is hitting only .229 in his 18 games with the GCL Red Sox, though he has drawn a total of 18 walks (as well as 18 strikeouts), and owns a .439 OBP.

Wendell Rijo‘€™s 16-game on-base streak was snapped when he went 0-for-4 on Tuesday. The 17-year-old hit .415/.508/.585 during the streak, and is batting .310 with a .430 OBP in 26 games, drawing 16 walks while clubbing nine doubles.

Sean Coyle went 0-for-4 in his third game with the GCL Red Sox. Coyle is working his way back from a knee injury and playing his third game in almost two months.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 12-2 LOSS AT GCL MARINERS

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— First baseman Darwin Pena provided most of the offense for the DSL Red Sox, going 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored. For the 20-year-old, it was his third double and seventh extra-base hit of the season. Pena is batting .244/.305/.317 in 46 games on the season.

— 18-year-old Carlos Garcia was knocked around a bit in his 10th start, giving up four runs (though only three were earned) on six hits, one of those being a home run, his third home run allowed in 44 1/3 innings this season. Garcia didn’€™t walk a single batter for only the second time this year. In his first four starts, Garcia managed t strike out 26 batters, but since then, he’€™s totaled only nine in his last 27 1/3 innings. Garcia owns a 2-3 record and 3.45 ERA in his second year in the DSL.

Read More: anthony ranaudo, Brock Holt, jackie bradley jr., jose iglesias
Why it is Brock Holt — and not Xander Bogaerts or Will Middlebrooks — getting the call at 10:56 am ET
By   |  43 Comments

The Red Sox seemed to clear a giant lane to the big leagues for Xander Bogaerts and/or Will Middlebrooks with the trade of Jose Iglesias. And indeed, they very well may have done just that — for next year.

Any questions about whether the Red Sox consider Bogaerts their shortstop of the future were erased when dealing the chief obstacle to that role. Iglesias will now practice his defensive wizardry (in some Medieval cultures, anyone who had his defensive skills might have been thrown into a lake to see if he floated) in Detroit, and Bogaerts has a clear path to being the Sox’ shortstop for perhaps years to come (with a chance that in a couple years’ time by perhaps 2016 or so, Deven Marrero could claim the starting shortstop role). With Bogaerts at short, that would seemingly position Middlebrooks to reclaim his role as the Sox’ everyday third baseman for next year if he can reproduce some of the promise he showed as a rookie in 2012.

But for now, both Bogaerts and Middlebrooks remain in Triple-A, with Bogaerts batting third and playing short in Pawtucket’s noon game and Middlebrooks occupying the third slot in the lineup. While those two remain in the minors, Brock Holt is getting summoned to the big leagues.

So: why?

For starters, Holt is the only player of the three who can contribute in a true utility role. He can play short, second and third, giving the Sox coverage in case anything should happen to Dustin Pedroia. Iglesias had offered the Sox protection at all three positions. Holt can serve that function. Bogaerts (who is just starting to get acclimated to third base after spending his entire pro career at short, and who has never played second in a game) cannot. Nor can Middlebrooks, whose next game at a position other than third will be his first as a pro. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brock Holt, jose iglesias, Will Middlebrooks, xander bogaerts
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