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Former Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish signs with Cubs 12.13.13 at 10:38 pm ET
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Outfielder Ryan Kalish, who became a free agent when the Red Sox elected not to tender him a major league contract for the 2014 season, signed a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training with the Cubs. Kalish, 25, had spent his entire professional career with the Sox after they drafted him in the ninth round in 2006. He appeared a potential everyday fixture for the Sox when he made a strong debut as a 22-year-old in 2010, hitting .252 with a .305 OBP, .405 slugging mark, four homers and 10 steals (in 11 attempts) in 53 games at the end of 2010. However, he spent most of the next three years dealing with a host of serious injuries that required four major surgeries — one on each shoulder and two on his neck, most recently a fusion of his neck vertebrae in August.

When he was non-tendered, Kalish told WEEI.com that he understood the Sox’ decision, and harbored nothing but goodwill towards the organization for whom he’d played.

“At this point in my life, I’m in a place where I just have a lot of love for everybody that has been with me along this path. That includes the Red Sox and everything we’ve been through together. Honestly, I don’t feel much right now except for just a mutual respect between myself and the team and [Sox GM Ben Cherington],” Kalish said by phone at the time from California, where he is rehabbing under Dr. Robert Watkins, who performed his most recent neck surgery. “There’s uncertainty with me, which I understand, because of my health questions. I’m not taking it bad at all. It’s just a new adventure along this path and it’s just so fresh. Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox face decisions on Andrew Bailey, Ryan Kalish and others 12.02.13 at 12:26 pm ET
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A midnight deadline looms for teams to tender contracts to the players on their 40-man roster who, with less than six years of big league service time, remain under team control. In the case of the Red Sox, that means five mostly straightforward decisions on arbitration-eligible players as well as some additional decision regarding players who are not yet arbitration-eligible but whose roster spots are in question at a time when the Red Sox will need to round out their major league roster with additional players.

First, the arbitration-eligible players: left-handed relievers Franklin Morales and Andrew Miller as well as right-hander Junichi Tazawa all project to make less than $2 million through salary arbitration, a modest sum given their abilities. Miller is expected to be healthy in 2013 after he underwent season-ending foot surgery for a torn ligament last July; his stuff was among the most dominant of any left-hander’s in baseball prior to the injury. Tazawa endured some ups and downs but still offers excellent bang for the buck as a late-innings right-hander who attacks the strike zone and gets swings and misses. Morales (2-2, 4.62 ERA in 20 games and 25 1/3 innings) had a disappointing year after his strong showing in 2012, but his upside (a left-hander with three swing-and-miss pitches) is such that he represents a worthwhile investment in his third year of arbitration-eligibility. First baseman/outfielder Mike Carp may assume a growing role with the Red Sox if Mike Napoli leaves in free agency; given his tremendous offensive production against right-handed pitchers in 2013, he’s a lock to get tendered. Newcomer Burke Badenhop will also be tendered. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: andrew miller, Brayan Villarreal, Burke Badenhop, franklin morales
Precedent suggests five-month recovery for Ryan Kalish 01.31.13 at 12:02 am ET
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On Tuesday, Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right (non-throwing) shoulder, a procedure that included a repair of a posterior labrum tear. The Red Sox described the surgery as successful. But what does that mean? A couple of position players to undergo similar procedures offers a glimpse.

In 2008, B.J. Upton proved a uniquely destructive source against the Sox in the American League Championship Series. His spectacular performance (4 homers, 11 RBI in the seven-game series) occurred while he had a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Upton underwent surgery in mid-November. After opening the 2009 season on the disabled list — partly a precaution against Tampa Bay’s season-opening roadtrip to cold-weather venues — Upton was back by mid-April, almost exactly five months after his procedure. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian gonzalez, B.J. Upton, labrum, ryan kalish
What Ryan Sweeney’s contract will look like if he makes Red Sox 01.26.13 at 6:11 pm ET
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According to an industry source, Ryan Sweeney will make a base salary of $1.25 million (with a chance for incentives) for the 2013 season if he makes the Red Sox‘ major league roster coming out of spring training.

Sweeney agreed to a minor-league deal with the Red Sox early Friday evening, offering the team outfield depth. The Sox and the 27-year-old became more of a fit after it was determined Ryan Kalish would be missing a substantial portion of the season’s first half due to surgery on his right shoulder. Sweeney became a free agent earlier in the offseason when he wasn’t offered a contract by the Red Sox.

Sweeney played in 63 games for the Red Sox in ’12, hitting .260 with a .675 OPS. His season ended after breaking a knuckle on his left hand punching a wall during a July 30 game against Detroit.

After a report from WEEI.com surfaced that Sweeney would be returning to the Red Sox, the outfielder tweeted the following Friday night:

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Ryan Kalish on surgery: ‘I am feeling pretty down about this all right now’ at 4:36 pm ET
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Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish, in a series of entries on his twitter feed, acknowledged that he is “feeling pretty down” about the right shoulder surgery that he will undergo next week in California, which is expected to keep him out for at least spring training and the beginning months of the 2013 season.

The procedure will be the third surgery that Kalish has required in the span of roughly 16 months, following surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck in Sept. 2011 and surgery on a torn labrum in his left (throwing) shoulder in Dec. 2011. Those two injuries caused Kalish to miss almost all of the 2011 season before his year-ending procedures, and the recovery and rehab process left him feeling as if he was a shell of himself in 2012 (in part because he did not have a healthy offseason for strengthening). Now, he faces the prospect of another season that he will enter with considerable physical limitations.

The prospect of a third straight year in which he must focus on rehab and health is admittedly frustrating to Kalish, but he vowed that despite the succession of health woes, he remains committed to returning to health.

“The past few years baseball-wise have been really mentally tough as all I want to do is play fully healthy,” he tweeted. “I am feeling pretty down about this all right now but I will not quit and will work hard to get back to where I want to be.”

Kalish’s tweets, in turn, prompted feedback from former big leaguers with whom (or for whom) he has played in the past, including Mike Cameron (Kalish’s teammate with the Sox in 2010 and 2011) and Gabe Kapler, a manager in the Sox system in 2007.

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Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Sox finally unveil Mercedes; Bogaerts does it again; Hill on the rehab trail 08.24.12 at 12:10 pm ET
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A brief synopsis of the action in the Red Sox farm system on Thursday . . .

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 2-1 LOSS AT CHARLOTTE (WHITE SOX)

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— Outfielder Ryan Kalish, who was 0-for-14 in his first three games after being optioned back down to the minors, has shown a better approach in recent days. He went 1-for-3 with a walk on Thursday, and is now 3-for-11 with three walks in his last four games. Still, it has been a difficult run for Kalish in Triple-A. In the second half of the season, he’s hitting .190/.261/.238/.499.

— Rehabbing left-hander Rich Hill tossed a scoreless inning in which he permitted one hit, got a pair of groundouts and threw seven of 12 pitches for strikes. It was the first of back-to-back games for Hill, who has now made four straight scoreless appearances across three minor league levels.

Zach Stewart threw a season-high seven innings while permitting two runs on four hits (including a homer) with four strikeouts and no walks. In 11 starts for Pawtucket (since the Sox acquired him for Kevin Youkilis), he has a 3.94 ERA with 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings and just 2.1 walks per nine innings.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 14-9 WIN AT BINGHAMTON (METS)

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Xander Bogaerts blasted his fourth homer in 13 Double-A games, and his third to the opposite field. He was then hit on the forearm in his second at-bat, but according to the Portland Press-Herald, while he had a bump from the drilling, he expects to return to the lineup soon. The youngest position player in the Eastern League is now up to 19 homers in 117 games this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: beau bishop, cleuluis rondon, deven marrero, garin cecchini
Jerry Remy on D&C: Red Sox ‘couldn’t get a deal to their liking’ 08.01.12 at 10:33 am ET
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NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning and talked about the team’s lack of a major deal at the trade deadline. To listen to the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“I think they thought they couldn’t get a deal to their liking,” Remy said. “They probably looked around, shopped around, tried to see if they could make this particular team better [this year and] moving into next year. Those moves probably weren’t out there so you get the [Matt] Albers and the [Craig] Breslow deal and in a way it may come out looking pretty good because you get [Franklin] Morales back in the starting rotation, probably, depending on how bad [Josh] Beckett is. I’m sure they explored a lot of things, but I also believe they think the higher up and throughout the team they still have enough hitting to make a run. It wasn’t a big surprise to me that nothing big was done yesterday.”

This mindset won’t translate into the offseason if the Red Sox fail to make the playoffs, Remy said. While the Red Sox analyst believes Bobby Valentine will stay at least until the conclusion of his contract, he doesn’t think the same can be said for Boston’s roster.

“You’re in for one of the greatest runs you’ve ever seen or you’re in for [a roster blowup],” Remy said. “If the team plays the way it’s capable of playing, they can make a run at this thing and can possibly get into the playoffs. If it doesn’t, then it’s been a major disappointment and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it gets blown up. And not blown up in a way that you’re rebuilding, blown up in a way where you’re changing parts to be a contending team.”

But the Red Sox, trying to close ground in the wild card race, are on a four-game winning streak. Continuing the streak depends on more than just offense and David Ortiz returning from injury, Remy said.

“It’s all up to the pitching,” Remy said. “It depends on what the pitching does. [Clay] Buccholz has been great recently. Beckett, we don’t know how good he’s going to be. [Jon] Lester was much better last time out. It depends on those guys. If they pitch well they can continue this run and have a good homestand.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bobby Valentine, Cody Ross, franklin morales, Jerry Remy
Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Jose Vinicio’s ‘Jose Reyes starter kit'; Brandon Jacobs’ huge July 07.28.12 at 3:45 pm ET
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Jose Vinicio went 2-for-4 with a homer, continuing what has been a very impressive year for a player who is in his first full season of pro ball and just turned 19. Though one of the smallest players in all of pro baseball (and with plenty of room to add weight and strength as he continues his physical maturation), he’s hitting .282/.327/.388/.714 with three homers in 61 games this year. He stole his 19th base of the year. And he continues to show really good hands that suggest the ability to stay at shortstop as he moves up. (Of all players in the Sox system, it seems safe to say that Vinicio is the least likely to outgrow the position physically.)

He’s an intriguing player who has impressed those who have seen him. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, in his guest appearance on Down on the Farm this week, said that he was told by a scout that Vinicio has a “Jose Reyes starter kit.”

He’s been using the entire field, he’s shown the ability to drive the ball on occasion when he barrels it and he has the ability to square the ball up that suggests that, if he does gain strength, there could be a very interesting player. That is in keeping with what the Sox saw when they scouted the switch-hitter leading up to their signing him for $1.95 million on the day he turned 16.

“You look at what players currently possess, make that relative to their strength and he was so skinny and weak but still showed bat speed, he showed the ability to move the barrel around the zone and make contact. Because of that, we said he’s got some components to be not strictly a defensive player. He showed us that he was able to hit in games. We thought he was a guy who could hit,” said international scouting director Eddie Romero. “Vinicio always had surprising pop, and he always showed the ability to barrel up against live pitching. As skinny as he was, he used a huge bat and would still square balls up from both sides of the plate.”

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Goldstein will join Down on the Farm to discuss the industry value of Red Sox prospects as potential trade chips. Lars Anderson will also join the program to reflect on the experience of his near-trade to the Athletics a year ago, and on the human dimensions of a minor leaguer’s life inside of a trade rumor. Tune in to WEEI 93.7 FM on Sunday at 8:30 am, or listen online at WEEI.com. The interviews will also be posted in their entirety to weei.com/podcast.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-3 WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS (PIRATES) Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: brandon jacobs, bryce brentz, chris hernandez, Daniel Bard
Closing Time: Sox finally get an extra-inning win 07.01.12 at 7:36 pm ET
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The Red Sox earned a series split with the Mariners with a 2-1 victory Sunday in 10 innings. The win was their first extra-inning victory this season.

Trailing late, the Red Sox were able to siphon some hope in the eighth inning when Dustin Pedroia took a Jason Vargas 1-0 fastball over the left-field wall for a game-tying solo home run. A Ryan Kalish pinch-hit double followed by a Pedroia single and David Ortiz sacrifice fly in the 10th inning gave the Red Sox their first lead in a game since Friday.

Here is what went right and wrong for the Red Sox in the series finale.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

‘€¢ On Vargas’ 114th pitch, Pedroia launched his first home run since May 10 to tie the game at 1-1 with one out in the eighth inning. Up until the at-bat, the second baseman was 1-for-15 for the four-game series. It was also 165 at-bats between homers for Pedroia.

‘€¢ With the Red Sox trailing by a run in the fifth inning, Matt Albers came on for Doubront with one out and the bases loaded. The Sox reliever needed just one pitch to induce an inning-ending, 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Jesus Montero.

‘€¢ Scott Atchison, who had hit a bit of a rough patch of late (allowing runs in two of his last four outings), turned in a solid performance, not allowing a baserunner over two innings. Atchison is now 10-for-1o in not allowing a run while pitching an outing of two innings or more.

WHAT WENT WRONG

‘€¢ Doubront only allowed one run, but he struggled with his command for much of the afternoon. The lefty walked five while only lasting 4 1/3 innings, ending up throwing 103 pitches. The starter did strike out four while giving up just three hits.

‘€¢ The only run allowed by Doubront came in the third inning when Chone Figgins led off the frame with a single before stealing second. Figgins moved to third on Brendan Ryan‘s single and scored via Ichiro Suzuki‘s sacrifice fly to left field. Ryan would also come away with a steal, one of the three notched against the slow-to-the-plate Doubront.

‘€¢ The Red Sox squandered a golden opportunity in the second inning when Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After a Will Middlebrooks strikeout and Daniel Nava popout, Kelly Shoppach walked to load the bases with two outs. But Nick Punto‘s line drive into the hole between shortstop and third base was snagged by a diving Kyle Seager, preventing a pair of runs.

Read More: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, felix doubront, ryan kalish
Daniel Nava and Ryan Kalish just worried about the here and now 06.22.12 at 1:23 am ET
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The more Daniel Nava and Ryan Kalish succeed, the more Red Sox fans are intrigued. After all, it’s easy to get caught up in Nava’s numbers, which include a .439 average in 14 June games including six multi-hit games that has him hitting .340 in 35 games overall. It’s easy to see Kalish race from first to third on a hit-and-run grounder off the bat of Mike Aviles in the eighth inning and say the Red Sox need that energy.

And it’s easy to wonder why – when Nava drives in Kalish with the go-ahead run on a broken bat single – both can’t stay with the Red Sox long term.

That’s not even mentioning Will Middlebrooks, who appears closer and closer to a full-time job as the Red Sox starting third baseman.

But with Nava and Kalish, it’s fascinating because of what is waiting in the wings several weeks down the road with Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury. Both are getting ready for game activity as part of their rehab programs, including Crawford on Saturday in Florida.

“I’ve been aware of it since I got called up and so I know it’s a reality,” Nava said after driving in the winning run in Boston’s 6-5 win over the Marlins. “It was a reality the last time I got called up. But if there’s anything I can do to help the team get back to where we’re hanging in there, those guys come back and have a shot, who knows where it’s going to go. I’m aware of it. I think anyone who gets called up and doesn’t have a big contract, it’s a reality.”

The reality is that left fielder Carl Crawford has yet to play a game in the second season of a seven-year, $142 million deal. The reality is that Jacoby Ellsbury is an All-Star caliber center fielder who finished just behind Justin Verlander in the American League MVP voting in 2011 and is making $8 million this season.

Nava, on the other hand, was signed to a minor league deal before spring training after making $417,500 in 2011. Kalish isn’t far behind. He’s making $483,000 this season. It’s assumed that one or both will head back to Triple-A Pawtucket when Crawford and Ellsbury return.

“Those decisions aren’t mine to make,” Nava said. “It can’t hurt but at the same time it’s not about me trying to put a feather in my cap. It’s about me trying to say, ‘Hey, this is something I did to help the team win’ and get in the right direction. They’ll make the decisions they have to make and whatever they think will help the team is what they’re going to do.”

“It’s awesome,” Kalish said of Nava and Middlebrooks. “They’ve been here a while and they’ve been doing since the day they got here. As young guys, that’s all you want to do, you want to bring fire and spark people.”

Never was that spark more evident than when Kalish went first-to-third on a hit-and-run grounder by Mike Aviles to the second baseman to set up the game-winning run in the eighth.

“If I don’t feel that true aggressive feeling of no regrets, then I’m not going to try it,” Kalish said. “But on that play, I felt really confident about it.”

Nava and Kalish’s teammates appreciate their hustle. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Red Sox, carl crawford, daniel nava, Jacoby Ellsbury
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