|Koji Uehara receives PRP injection, which suggests his return won’t be soon||07.22.16 at 5:03 pm ET|
If you were expected Koji Uehara to return from the disabled list after the 15 days, think again.
Manager John Farrell said the reliever received a PRP injection on Friday, which suggests he will be out an extended period of time. Uehara was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a right pectoral strain.
“That is going to require a little bit of down time to recover from that,” Farrell said. “Still it doesn’t lend to a return date or really to put a ball back in his hand as of yet. That’s really the most update I can give you.”
While nothing is official, Sept. 1 seems like a good general target date for his return.
The Red Sox will get another reliever back Friday in Junichi Tazawa, who is returning from shoulder impingement. Farrell said there are no physical restrictions for him, but as they do with all relievers, the team will monitor his work load.
“We’ll pick a spot. If Eddie [Rodriguez] goes deep in the game — again, I think it’s all going to be game dependent,” he said. “The leverage to it, the stress to it — put it this way, going into tonight there is no physical limitations. That will be the guide.”
Farrell added he would like to stay away from Matt Barnes again Friday night after he went three innings on Wednesday.
|Junichi Tazawa activated to active roster, Noe Ramirez optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket||at 3:55 pm ET|
As expected, reliever Junichi Tazawa is back on the active 25-man roster as he was activated prior to Friday’s game with the Twins. As the corresponding move, Noe Ramirez was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Tazawa was on the disabled list with shoulder impingement since July 14, retroactive to July 4. He has made 35 relief appearances for the Red Sox this season, going 1-1 with a 3.62 ERA and 37 strikeouts against only eight walks. Opponents are hitting just .215 this season.
Ramirez didn’t appear in a game during his few days with the club. The right-hander has made 11 relief appearances over seven stints with the Red Sox this season, posting no record and a 6.55 ERA with 11 strikeouts. He has has also made 18 appearances with Pawtucket this year, earning three saves and going 1-3 with a 2.36 ERA and 25 strikeouts compared to eight walks.
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|Why Joe Kelly wasn’t called up following Craig Kimbrel injury||07.20.16 at 5:09 pm ET|
The Red Sox are dealing with another injury to their bullpen.
On Wednesday, Koji Uehara was placed on the 15-day disabled listed with a right pectoral strain and right-hander Noe Ramirez was recalled for the sixth time this season.
Many wondered why it wasn’t Joe Kelly given his recent transition to the bullpen and throwing the ball well with Triple-A Pawtucket.
“He was (considered, but with [Junichi Tazawa], everything pointing to him being active for Friday, and while Joe is getting some quality work in that relief role, we didn’t want this to be a one or two day situation for him and be returned back to Pawtucket so that’s where we are with Joe,” manager John Farrell said. “Clearly, he’s throwing the ball well and without a specific date, that date whatever that is is getting closer.”
Kelly is currently with Pawtucket and hasn’t allowed a run in three innings over two appearances while striking out six. Since making the transition to the bullpen, the right-hander has allowed two runs over seven innings of work between Lowell and Pawtucket.
“There’s not a check list per se,” Farrell said. “The one thing he is doing is pitching exclusively out of the stretch. Felt like that has been able to minimize any additional movement in his delivery. He’s honed that in. The relief work that he’s done has been quality. Whether or not we go back-to-back is to be determined at this point. I wouldn’t say that it’s a must.”
Uehara received an MRI on his shoulder Wednesday afternoon, but the results were not known prior to the game.
“To suggest any type of timeframe right now, it’s still a little too early for that,” Farrell said. ”
“Unfortunately, we’re going to be without Koji.”
In the meantime, Farrell said Brad Ziegler would take over as closer, although he did say if there was a string of left-handers, that could change things.
As for closer Craig Kimbrel, who is on the disabled list after needing surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, he threw for the first time since the injury on Wednesday off flat ground.
“I don’t think there’s been anything to change the initial timeframe that’s been established,” Farrell said. “We’re hopeful it is on the shorter end of that. The check up and the way he’s going through rehab has been very encouraging.”
The initial timetable was 3-6 weeks from the injury, which was suffered July 11, so the team is likely hopeful he can return to the mound in early August as a best-case scenario.
|Red Sox notes: Blake Swihart, Junichi Tazawa, Chris Young injury updates||07.19.16 at 5:10 pm ET|
Although the Red Sox are fairly healthy in terms of their core players, some of their role players are still working their way back from injuries.
Left fielder Blake Swihart continues to go through full baseball activities after suffering a severe ankle sprain back on June 4. Manager John Farrell said there is no set timetable on a rehab assignment, but the fact that he’s going through full baseball activities should mean that will be coming soon
Swihart was batting .258 in 19 major league games this season. Farrell said over the weekend it’s unclear if he will catch at all the rest of the season.
He also added utility infielder Josh Rutledge is in a similar spot, as he rehabs from a knee injury, but he might be delayed in coming back a bit because of being on the 60-day disabled list and when he’s eligible to come off of that.
Reliever Junichi Tazawa (shoulder) could return to the Red Sox roster by Friday, as he was placed on the disabled list (retroactive to July 4) last Thursday. The right-hander threw a simulated game on Tuesday and was able to throw all of his pitches.
The news isn’t as good for left fielder Chris Young as he hasn’t yet begun ground-based running as he works his way back from a groin strain, which saw him go on the disabled list on June 24.
Farrell acknowledged the MRI showed a bit more than a Grade 1 strain. He added the team has “to be careful” with his rehab.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
|Red Sox place Junichi Tazawa (shoulder) on 15-day disabled list, recall RHP William Cuevas||07.14.16 at 7:16 pm ET|
Junichi Tazawa needs to go on the disabled list after all.
On Thursday the Red Sox placed the reliever on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder impingement retroactive to July 4. To fill his spot on the 25-man roster, right-handed pitcher William Cuevas was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Tazawa was unavailable for much of the last homestand. The right-hander has made 35 relief appearances for the Red Sox this season, going 1-1 with a 3.62 ERA and 37 strikeouts against only eight walks. Opponents have batted .215 against him.
“No, our doctors tell me the impingement is settling down,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said on a conference call. “He actually threw up to 120 feet today. The way we looked at it at this point was, could we have pushed him maybe to be ready even on Sunday? Perhaps. But we already had 10 days to backdate him, so we don’t want to push it at all. We have still a long way to go ahead of us. The doctors felt very encouraged and trainers very encouraged, as did Taz, by his progress at this point. But we figured, rather than rush him back, he misses Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we’re hopeful he’s going to be back and think he’ll be back by the homestand, and he’s really eligible to come off on Tuesday for our home game. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but there is a possibility he’ll be ready to go there. We feel very comfortable, and again, we didn’t want to rush and felt this was the best thing to do.”
Cuevas has made three relief appearances for the Red Sox over a pair of major league stints this season. He’s allowed two runs in five innings pitched. With Tazawa’s DL stint retroactive to July 4, they may have Cuevas be a long relief man if Tazawa can return after 15 days.
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|Red Sox notes: Eduardo Rodriguez to start Friday in New York; Clay Buchholz back in starting rotation||07.10.16 at 12:37 pm ET|
The Red Sox will get two starting pitchers back in their rotation coming out of the All-Star break — Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz.
Rodriguez will start Friday night in New York, as he’s appeared in two games with the PawSox since being sent back down in late June. He threw seven shutout inning on July 3, then allowed two runs over three innings in a rain-shortened outing Friday night.
“There’s been some adjustments made to his hand position,” manager John Farrell said. “It was a seven-inning and a rain-shortened three inning outing in which he’s pitched down there. The first inning in his second start — took him an inning to get into things, but the seven innings prior was sharp, was powerful. I think he’s by all reports and watching video of him looks like he’s gaining some comfort with the hand position that has been widely talked about. Required needed adjustments have been made.”
It also appears Buchholz will go back in the rotation, but the Red Sox won’t need a fifth starter until July 23. He hasn’t appeared in a game since July 2.
“Right now, we’ll work to get Clay back in there at some point,” Farrell said. “Where that slots in after the New York series remains to be worked through, but that’s the tentative plan right now.”
After Rodriguez in New York, Steven Wright will start Saturday and David Price on Sunday. Farrell said he did this to get both Rick Porcello and David Price a few extra days off.
“Yeah, we tried to build in as much as we could for everybody,” he said. “This will give David a couple extra days pitching on Sunday, but I think with Rick everything is pointing to a few extra days is what he needs.”
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
— Both Brock Holt (sprained ankle) and Junichi Tazawa (shoulder) are unavailable Sunday, but Farrell is hopeful they will be available Friday and he doesn’t expect either to go on the disabled list.
“Both are unavailable today,” Farrell said. “We don’t anticipate either situation, a DL situation. The four days is coming at a good time for a number of guys.”
Holt sprained his ankle after jamming it sliding into second base on Friday night, but is getting better by the day.
“Getting treatment,” Farrell said “Walking around a little bit more. The increase is a little bit more each day. Those guys are going to remain here over the break to continue to get treatment. Hopefully things are pointing to Friday for Brock and [Tazawa].”
|Red Sox notes: Injury updates on Brock Holt, Hanley Ramirez, Junichi Tazawa||07.09.16 at 2:16 pm ET|
There’s no question, the Red Sox are working through some injuries right now, but for most, the news is better than it is for Craig Kimbrel.
Brock Holt suffered a sprained ankle when he jammed his foot sliding into second base Friday night. He left the game and was in a walking boot afterwards, but the news was better on Saturday.
“Day-to-day,” manager John Farrell said. “He came in today better than we anticipated based on what took place on the field. He’s walking around a little bit more normally. I would doubt he’s going to be available in these two games before the break, but not to the point where we need to put him on the disabled list. The four days over the All-Star break are going to be good for a number of guys with these temporary types of situations physically. Brock is one of them.”
Holt has proven to be an integral part to the Red Sox this season as the team is 25-10 in games he starts this season.
Also leaving the game Friday night’s game was first baseman Hanley Ramirez after fouling a pitch off his leg. He was still limping on Saturday and thus not in the starting lineup, but Farrell said he would be available to pinch-hit.
Utility player Michael Martinez, who was acquired from the Indians on Friday is with the team and will be active for Saturday’s game. Marco Hernandez was sent back down to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room on the roster.
Also, added to the roster is Noe Ramirez. He will take the place of Kimbrel, but once Brad Ziegler arrives, it’s likely Ramirez goes back to Triple-A on Sunday.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
— Junichi Tazawa is unavailable again on Saturday, but the Red Sox are hoping it isn’t a long-term thing.
“Based on the exam by our medical team, feel like yes, there is time needed,” Farrell said. “He’s going through some treatment. They haven’t indicated there’s the need for a MRI at this point. If that would change, we would certainly do that. We’re not at that point yet.”
— Brandon Workman, who left Friday’s rehab outing in Lowell, suffered a left oblique strain as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.
“An unfortunate temporary injury on his part,” Farrell said.
|How can Red Sox fix struggling bullpen internally?||06.23.16 at 11:50 pm ET|
If this week’s series against the White Sox said anything, it’s that the Red Sox cannot count on Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara as much as once thought.
On Wednesday night, Uehara entered with the Red Sox leading 6-4 in the eighth inning and allowed two home runs to depart with the Red Sox trailing 7-6. Then in the seventh inning on Thursday, Tazawa entered with the Red Sox leading 5-4 and allowed a three-run home run to Jose Abreu and departed with the Red Sox trailing 7-5.
With Carson Smith out for the season with Tommy John surgery, some expected one of the two to slide into the set up role, but it doesn’t seem like that will be the case. Uehara has a 4.78 ERA in 26 1/3 innings, while Tazawa has a 3.18 ERA in 28 1/3 innings.
The way the current starting rotation is constructed, they cannot have the bullpen blowing many leads and need to find dependable relievers to lead into closer Craig Kimbrel.
Right-hander Heath Hembree took a step in the right direction in doing that on Thursday as he tossed a scoreless eighth inning to keep the Red Sox within striking distance and was able to get Adam Eaton out with the bases loaded to end the frame.
“Quality strikes in a key moment — and against a good hitter,” manager John Farrell said. “That might be a breakthrough moment for Heath. Bases loaded, really no other place to go, threw some pitches in some different locations than [other times] against lefties.”
The right-hander has been dominant against righties, as they were batting just .127 against him going into the day, but lefties were crushing him batting .475. The hope is Thursday will help build some momentum into more high leverage situations.
Another option could be down the road on I-95 in Pawtucket in hard-throwing right-hander Pat Light.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how it goes, as long as it’s a W in the standings and that was the case Thursday for the Red Sox.
Even though the bullpen looked very vulnerable, the Red Sox were able to rally from 4-1 and 7-5 deficits to come away with a 8-7, 10-inning win over the White Sox to avoid a four-game sweep and their first four-game losing streak of the season.
Following two walks, Xander Bogaerts singled up the middle scoring Mookie Betts for a wild walk-off win.
This came after Craig Kimbrel got out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the top half of the inning.
After rallying from a 4-1 deficit entering the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 5-4 lead after the frame, Junichi Tazawa promptly allowed the White Sox to regain the lead in the top of the seventh as he allowed a three-run home run to Jose Abreu.
Tazawa’s performance comes following Wednesday night when Koji Uehara took the loss as he allowed two home runs when he entered the game with a 6-4 lead. The bullpen has now allowed seven runs in the last two games with three coming on homers.
The home run gave the White Sox a 7-5 lead, but once again the Red Sox wouldn’t go down without a fight as they scored a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Travis Shaw and then tied it in the eighth when Dustin Pedroia singled home Marco Hernandez who doubled with one out.
After White Sox starter James Shields departed in the top of the sixth, the Red Sox plated four runs in the inning (three charged to Shields) to turn a 4-1 deficit into a 5-4 lead and things were looking good at that point.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Hanley Ramirez hit a weak ground ball to second base that Brett Lawrie overthrew first base and two runs scored on the play. Then, pinch-hitter Sandy Leon singled to tie the game at four and the next batter Hernandez hit into a fielders choice to plate Ramirez as the go-ahead run at the time.
Red Sox starter Rick Porcello didn’t have his best stuff. The right-hander went just 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while walking one and hitting two. He had a season-low two strikeouts. It was also his shortest start since May 17 when he went five innings in a loss to the Royals.
The White Sox scored quickly against Porcello, putting two runs in the board in the top of the first inning before most settled into their seats. He allowed a lead off single, hit the next batter and then Jose Abreu singled to score Tim Anderson for the first run of the game. The second run scored on a Melky Cabrera double play.
Porcello would give up two more runs — one in the fourth and another in the sixth. In the sixth, he allowed a lead off triple to Cabrera and he scored on a sacrifice fly from Todd Frazier.
It was the second walk-off win of the season for the Red Sox.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
|John Farrell explains thinking behind management of bullpen in loss||04.06.16 at 10:45 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — When it came to identifying the effectiveness of the Red Sox bullpen in Boston’s 7-6 loss to the Indians Wednesday night, one pitch significantly altered the conversation.
That one offering came from Junichi Tazawa, whose split-finger fastball stayed up just enough for Mike Napoli to launch it over the left field wall for what proved to be the game-winning blast.
“A split that never got to where he tried to bury it, down below the zone,” Farrell said of the seventh-inning solo home run. “He threw a couple of really good ones in the at-bat and the third one he threw him stayed up, stayed in the middle of the plate.”
“I was trying to bounce it,” Tazawa said through a translator. “I was able to get a swing-and-miss at previous pitches. That was the directions I got in the bullpen, but I mislocated it.”
Farrell explained after the game that Tazawa, who threw 16 pitches and faced three batters, wasn’t going to stay in the game long. He had entered in the seventh, after Noe Ramirez and Robbie Ross Jr. teamed up to pitch the previous inning.
With Ramirez already having had to follow up starter Clay Buchholz with 1 1/3 innings, and Ross Jr. coming on for his two batters, Farrell knew there wasn’t a lot of length left with at least three more innings to go.
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