|Ryan Sweeney not offered contract, seemingly paving way for Jackie Bradley to make Red Sox||03.28.13 at 10:36 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After the Red Sox’ 6-1 win over the Twins Thursday night at JetBlue Park, Ryan Sweeney learned the Sox were not going to be offering him a major-league contract.
Sweeney still has 24 hours to determine if he would accept a minor-league assignment with the Red Sox, although the outfielder told WEEI.com Wednesday he was not inclined to do so.
The move would appear to lock up spots on the 25-man roster for outfielder Jackie Bradley and first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, although neither player knew of their fate at the time Sweeney received his news Thursday night.
Sweeney, who walked in his only at-bat in the win, initially hadn’t heard if the Red Sox’ intentions when approached by the media after the game. But at 10:10 p.m. – 1-hour, 50 minutes before the player’s opt-out deadline – Red Sox manager John Farrell called him into the back offices to inform Sweeney of the decision.
“They didn’t purchase my contract, so I’m the odd man out,” Sweeney said.
Along with the move to send reliever Daniel Bard to Double-A Portland earlier in the day, seemingly opening up a spot for Clayton Mortensen, the Red Sox appear to have their Opening Day roster set (barring a trade).
While Carp was already on the 40-man roster, a spot would have to be cleared in order to make room for Bradley. Both players also participated in the Red Sox’ victory, with Carp grounding out to second and Bradley scoring a pair of run while notching a single.
Prior to Thursday night’s game, Farrell did talk at length about Bradley’s situation, which has the 22-year-old on the verge of making the major league roster less than two years after being drafted.
“You always want to get the best feel you can for the makeup of the individual, looking at all sides,” Farrell said. “So in the event of something that doesn’t turn out well, or as he’s challenged, how does he respond to those, that’s a projection. Until you get to that point you don’t fully know how strong mentally is. He if struggles occur at the major league level in that spotlight what would his response be. And then at the same time you look at the spring training he had, the talent that he is and you try to put together the best team with the best players that you can.
“We’ve allowed him to go this deep into camp so we’re not afraid and not unwilling to break with him. If that was the case we would have sent him out four weeks ago. But all those things are considered.”
When asked how much the player’s service time clock is factored in (Bradley’s free agency eligibility jumps from after 2019 to after ’18 if he is called up prior to April 12 and fails to spend 20 days in the minors at some point over the course of one of the subsequent six years), Farrell articulated that it is a factor.
“I think it’s balancing the two,” he said. “We can’t control tomorrow, let alone six years from now.”
Farrell did say that the impression left by Bradley hasn’t been totally out of nowhere.
“Similar to what we’ve seen,” said the manager when asked what his scouting report was of Bradley prior to spring training. “A mature guy. Has always been in the center of the team which he played for, whether it’s in college or in the one-plus years of the minor leagues since he’s been here. From a scouting evaluation, it’s been accurate. A guy who is a well-above average defender right now. A complete understanding of the strike zone. Doesn’t play in any kind of panic mode. Everything we’ve thrown at him this spring has held true to form.”
|Daniel Bard sent to Double-A, Stephen Drew to DL as decision on Jackie Bradley still awaits||at 4:39 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Red Sox made a handful of roster moves Thursday – most notably, optioning right-hander Daniel Bard to Double-A Portland while also sending both first baseman Mauro Gomez and utility infielder Brock Holt to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Meanwhile, the Sox said there was no decision yet on the status of Jackie Bradley Jr. Meanwhile, shortstop Stephen Drew was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list, retroactive to March 27.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said prior to his team’s game against the Twins at JetBlue Park that the decisions regarding the final roster spots have yet to be made.
“We’re down to basically two slots,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of pending situations. Internally we’re getting closer to that.”
The final decisions are coming down to which two of a group of three hitters (Jackie Bradley, Ryan Sweeney, Mike Carp) the Red Sox will keep; the Bard decision seemingly would pave the way for Clayton Mortensen to be on the Opening Day roster.
As for the position players, part of the equation is muddled because Thursday represents the day Sweeney can opt-out of his minor-league contract if not guaranteed a spot on the 25-man roster. The Red Sox have until midnight to divulge their attentions to Sweeney. Read the rest of this entry »
|Ryan Sweeney awaits his fate with Red Sox||03.27.13 at 1:48 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The clock is ticking for Ryan Sweeney.
The Red Sox have until midnight Thursday to relay their intention regarding putting Sweeney on the Opening Day roster. The player then has 24 hours to inform the club regarding is choice of whether or not he will be accepting an minor-league assignment if a spot on the big league club isn’t won.
For now, he waits.
“A couple of weeks ago I was kind of worried about it. I was like, ‘Man, what’s going to happen?’ I was kind of getting stressed by it,” Sweeney said. “But the last week or two I was just decided to go out and play and whatever happens is going to happen. I’m not going to put stress on myself trying to figure it out. Hopefully, first and foremost, it’s here in Boston. But if it’s not I’ll just have to figure out where I’m going to go from there.”
The outfielder, who signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox shortly after it was learned Ryan Kalish would need shoulder surgery, told WEEI.com that he would not be inclined to accept a minor-league assignment from the Sox if asked.
Sweeney entered Wednesday’s game hitting .222 – 2-for-21 against lefties and 8-for-24 vs. right-handers. Of his one 10 hits was a doubles.
“Honestly, I have no idea. I’m kind of just in limbo,” he said when asked about his status. “I really haven’t even had a conversation with them to be honest with you, if there are two spots for three guys or how it even works. I’m just kind of waiting it out and we’ll see by tonight or tomorrow.
“I feel like my defense is always there, so I feel like that was fine. But as far as hitting and everything, I went through a little patch where I didn’t feel the greatest but then I got it back. But my swing for the most part all of spring training has felt great. I’m comfortable with what I’m doing right now, going into the season. I haven’t gotten as many hits as I’ve wanted to get. But as far as the type of at-bats I’ve had and the swings I’ve been putting on balls and how hard I’ve been hitting the ball, I’ve been fairly happy with it.”
It would appear that the Red Sox have four players vying for two spots, with Sweeney, Mauro Gomez, Mike Carp and Jackie Bradley all in the mix. Gomez has an option
Unlike Carp and Gomez, Sweeney is not on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster.
“I definitely don’t regret signing here,” he said. “You can always look back and say some team is looking for a left-handed bat now and you wish you signed there. Hopefully I still make the team and don’t have to worry about it, but with the signing of more guys after I came over here, and a few younger guys that have done well and not even knowing they were in the equation, I might have looked at it a little bit differently.”
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Jackie Bradley Jr. watch continues.
While the Red Sox made three more cuts (Ryan Lavarnway, Jose De La Torre, Anthony Carter), none were the 22-year-old outfielder. Bradley was hitting leadoff and playing centerfield for the Red Sox against the Marlins at JetBlue Park Wednesday.
“Still working through it and we’d probably like to have some sense who our 25 guys are going to be by the end of the day tomorrow, so we just want to be fair to all going north that they’ve got a couple days to prepare themselves,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “We’ll see how that goes.”
The Red Sox are still awaiting the to see how both Jacoby Ellsbury (ankle) and Shane Victorino (right wrist) progress from their injuries before making any definitive decisions regarding the 25-man roster. Both outfielders, however, are expected to be in the lineup Thursday night against the Twins.
“Precautionary than anything. Just going to give him another day to heal from the jammed ankle, the rolled ankle, he went through the other day,” Farrell said of Ellsbury, who did undergo an MRI after his mishap in Sarasota. “We fully expect him to be back in the lineup tomorrow, as we would with Shane.
Ryan Sweeney’s fate will have to be determined at some point Thursday, which is the day the outfielder has to decide if he will be opting out of his minor-league deal if he doesn’t make the Red Sox major league roster.
“A couple of weeks ago I was kind of worried about it. I was like, ‘Man, what’s going to happen?’ I was kind of getting stressed by it. But the last week or two I was just decided to go out and play and whatever happens is going to happen,” Sweeney said. “I’m not going to put stress on myself trying to figure it out. Hopefully, first and foremost, it’s here in Boston. But if it’s not I’ll just have to figure out where I’m going to go from there.”
Also competing for one of the spots is Mike Carp, who started in left field Wednesday. Unlike Sweeney, Carp is on the 40-man roster.
“You still see very good bat speed. We’ve got some feel for him,” said Farrell. “We also recognize too here’s a guy who’s changed camps, at the outset of spring training he didn’t have any of the first seven to 10 days before games began. We’re getting a better sense of that.”
Farrell said one of the reasons Carp was playing left field was in order to continue to get a look at Daniel Nava in right.
Stephen Drew is still battling some concussion symptoms, but continues to make enough progress that he can participate in some baseball activities. The shortstop reported that he had one of his best days Sunday, but the issue remains a “roller-coaster.”
“Let’s get through these next four days first, then we’ll probably have a little more clear-cut plan at that point,” Farrell said regarding Drew.
Drew will join David Ortiz in heading north with the team when they break camp and go to New York. Ortiz also continues to take steps forward, hitting once again in the batting cage while having already participated in some straight-ahead running.
Relievers Craig Breslow (shoulder) and Franklin Morales (back) are expected to remain in Fort Myers.
|Red Sox release Lyle Overbay||03.26.13 at 11:06 am ET|
The Red Sox on Tuesday released first baseman Lyle Overbay, who had been invited to spring training on a minor league contract.
The team has yet to reveal a decision regarding Ryan Sweeney, with whom they face a deadline this week as well.
Overbay, a 12-year major league veteran, played for the Diamondbacks and Braves last season, hitting .259/.331/.397/.727 in 65 games (131 plate appearances). The 36-year-old hit .220 in 19 spring training games this year.
Sweeney, acquired from the Athletics in the 2011 trade that also brought Andrew Bailey to Boston, signed a minor league deal to remain with the Sox in January.
|Ryan Sweeney, Ryan Lavarnway offer reality checks for Thursday’s heroes||02.22.13 at 7:07 am ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Remember when Ryan Sweeney hit that home run against Northeastern last March 4? It was going to propel the outfielder to a power surge that had been invisible while hitting just 14 homers in six seasons. Even Bobby Valentine thought so.
“Watching him, I don’t think he knows himself as well as he should, especially as a hitter,’” the former Red Sox manager said at the time. “It seems like in the outfield he has a very good sense of who he is. I’m not sure he has a great sense of who he is at the plate.” He then added, “Bad mechanics. Doesn’t know himself as a hitter.”
That would be it, however. Sweeney never hit a ball over the fence the rest of the season. It wasn’t the start of something big, a notion that he never promised, anyway.
“It was a 3-1 count. It was against a college kid. I was just trying to hit a home run,” Sweeney admitted prior to Thursday’s game against Northeastern.
Ryan Lavarnway offered another example of the kind of spring training mirage these games can present.
After dropping 28 pounds in the offseason, the catcher was somewhat worried the weight loss would cut into the power he had exhibited when hitting 32 minor-league home runs in 2011. But with one swing, his fears were tempered, hitting a home run in his first spring training at-bat during a ‘B’ Game against the Twins at Hammond Stadium.
The reality, however, was that his weight loss did effect the power output, an issue Lavarnway would later admit to.
“Last year it was kind of a relief after I had lost the weight to know I could still get it out. This year I feel strong, so if I get it out I expect it at some point,” he said. “It’s more of having the right approach on a consistent basis rather than a lightning strike.”
Both players have learned their lessons.
Sweeney (who went 0-for-1 Thursday) feels he might have found something for the long haul, but not because of any one moment. The outfielder spent two weeks in Los Angeles working with Rod Carew, who appeared to identify an issue with the lefty hitter’s approach.
“I basically changed my swing,” Sweeney said. “I changed my lower half and how I’m getting to balls. I just feel like I’m ready to hit every pitch and I’m taking good swings and I have a good bat path to the baseball. I just feel like I can put better swings on the ball.
“Talking to Ben [Cherington], he said, ‘We don’t need you to hit 20 homers.’ As long as you can go in and give a good at-bat. I just feel like what [Carew] taught me will put me in a better position to drive the ball more.”
Lavarnway also altered his approach, not prioritizing his home run stroke as much as he did in ’12 while attempting to regain his usual plate discipline. He is more intent on letting the eight pounds of muscle added in the offseason do the work instead of an unnatural swing.
So, for players like Jarrod Saltamacchia (two-run double, 2 walks), Mauro Gomez (3 hits), and Dan Butler and Shannon Wilkerson, who each homered against Boston College, Thursday was nice, but most likely meant little. Just ask Sweeney and Lavarnway.
“There’s no immediate satisfaction in doing something in Game 1, especially this year in extended spring training,” Lavarnway said. “You have to peak at the right time.”
|What Ryan Sweeney’s contract will look like if he makes Red Sox||01.26.13 at 6:11 pm ET|
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:
So excited to be back with Boston! Thanks to the red sox for the opportunity to play there again. Spring training here we come.
— Ryan Sweeney (@RyanSweeney12) January 26, 2013
Don’t worry redsox nation no punching doors this year #gosox
— Ryan Sweeney (@RyanSweeney12) January 26, 2013
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