|John Farrell discusses offseason on Salk & Holley: Red Sox ‘jolted’ by Jacoby Ellsbury deal||12.04.13 at 10:47 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell, in an appearance on WEEI’s Salk & Holley show, acknowledged that Red Sox players were “jolted” by the news of Jacoby Ellsbury‘s seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees, particularly given that word of Ellsbury’s signing came on the same day that the Red Sox elected to sign A.J. Pierzynski, thus opening the door for the departure of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Marlins on Tuesday.
Farrell said that he heard from a number of players — he estimated about a half-dozen — who were curious about the developments.
“Because Jacoby and Salty hit the airwaves that they both signed, it was, OK, are we bringing any guys back? That was part of the question,” said Farrell. “I said, ‘Absolutely, we’re in the works. We’re in the process.’ … That’s where [GM Ben Cherington] is doing the best he can with the two remaining guys, with [Mike Napoli] and [Stephen Drew], we’re going to do anything we can to bring both guys back.”
Farrell touched on a number of offseason topics facing the Sox. To listen to the complete interview, click here. Some highlights:
On learning about Ellsbury’s deal: “I did get a text message last night saying, hey, he’s heading in for a physical, it sounds like it’s done. Then the news broke on the numbers and, my gosh, congratulations to Jacoby. We’ll miss him. He’s a very good player, had a great run here, granted, missed some time because of some serious injuries he went through. But he played through a lot last year for us. The foot breaking. The left thumb that was in a lot of pain towards the end of the year. But you know what? He deserved the right to see what his market was, and obviously it’s a big one.”
On the challenge of replacing Ellsbury: “Losing Jacoby Ellsbury, those players don’t come along very often, evident by the contract he got in New York. … To say how much we’ll miss him will be dependent on what we do with the roster before next spring training — whether we stay internal and look at our overall team, what we’re capable of, that’s probably the answer — not specifically one player compared to Jacoby. … Read the rest of this entry »
|Shane Victorino: Gold Glove ‘a big surprise’; right fielder feels good after two-game layoff||10.30.13 at 7:14 pm ET|
Shane Victorino had won three Gold Gloves when he signed with the Red Sox last winter, but his fourth, the one announced Tuesday, is different. This one comes as a reward for his play in right field — Fenway’s right field, no less — in 2013, the first time he manned that position regularly since 2007.
“More than anything I think the magnitude of moving to right field, the magnitude of playing in Fenway Park, this was a big surprise,” Victorino said. “I took it as a surprise about how everybody talked about how hard Fenway Park in right field was to play. I’ve always worked hard on my defense. And I’ve always taken pride in my defense, just like Dustin [Pedroia] has and the rest of this team, collectively. I think there’s a lot of other guys that are deserving of a Gold Glove.”
The award does not come without merit. Victorino posted a 25.0 Ultimate Zone Rating, tops among right fielders in the American League and second in all of baseball behind Gerardo Parra of the Diamondbacks (26.6). The Athletics’ Josh Reddick (16.4) and the Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki (11.6), the other top right fielders in the league, were well behind Victorino by that metric, which calculates the number of runs a fielder saved as compared to an average defender at his position.
Anecdotally, of course, the banged-up outfielder stayed true to his “Flyin’ Hawaiian” nickname by making a habit of crashing into the short falls or diving full-extension to record the out whenever possible.
Victorino, however, was quick to credit those around him. He said having the defensively savvy Pedroia, who reeled in his third Gold Glove, Jacoby Ellsbury and even Mike Napoli — who impressed in his first full season as a first baseman — in his vicinity was significant.
“It’s not just myself out there,” Victorino said. “It was the [three] guys that surrounded me and the rest of the team. … We take pride in our defense, and it’s something that we’re going to continue to do and work hard at every single day.”
Pedroia, who edged the Rays’ Ben Zobrist in UZR (10.9 to 10), was similarly pleased.
“It’s definitely a huge honor,” Pedroia said. “There’s so many great second basemen in the American League. So to win that award it’s an honor. We play against them every night. You see them out there and you respect them so much the way they play the game, all of them. It’s a huge honor.”
OTHER RED SOX PREGAME NOTES:
– Victorino said he had been ready to go for Game 5, but he and manager John Farrell discussed the magnitude of the game, and given what happened the night before — Jonny Gomes hit a three-run, game-winning homer — they did not want to stray from that lineup.
ESPN’s Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday and voiced his opinion on some of Red Sox manager John Farrell’s decisions this World Series, and he tried to explain why St. Louis pitched to David Ortiz in Game 5.
Farrell announced on Tuesday that, with the return of Shane Victorino to right field, Jonny Gomes would receive the start in left field over Daniel Nava in Game 6 on Wednesday at Fenway Park. Schilling said, “No, not at all,” does starting Gomes over Nava make sense to him.
“I love Daniel Nava, I think the kid is just a complete player,” Schilling said. “I think that the Gomes thing is exactly what John said — I think it’s a hunch, and he’s continuing to play it.”
Schilling also questioned Farrell’s decision-making throughout the series.
“I thought John had made some questionable moves and changes, and I thought got outmanaged a couple of different times,” Schilling said. “They’re playing poorly, but they’re good enough to play around that. I guess they’re one of the few teams that can do that.”
If not for Ortiz, the Red Sox likely would find themselves in a significantly different situation. St. Louis continues to pitch to Ortiz despite the fact he possesses a .733/750/1.267 batting line, with four extra-base hits in five games.
“The problem is that he’s so locked in, it’s very Barry Bonds-like in the sense that when he was going well, he would literally get one pitch, not an at-bat, a game, and when he got it he would never miss it. David is getting a pitch an at bat and he’s not missing it,” Schilling said.
|Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino win Gold Gloves||10.29.13 at 9:59 pm ET|
For the second time in the last 23 years, the Red Sox received recognition for defensive excellence in the form of multiple Gold Gloves. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia and right fielder Shane Victorino were recognized as 2013 American League Rawlings Gold Glove Awards at their respective positions.
From the press release announcing the awards for Pedroia and Victorino:
This marks Pedroia’s third Rawlings Gold Glove Award, as he also received the honor in 2008 and 2011. Since the award’s inception in 1957, he is the sixth player to win at least three with Boston, along with Frank Malzone (3 at third base), Carl Yastrzemski (7 in the outfield), George Scott (3 at first base), Fred Lynn (4 in the outfield) and Dwight Evans (8 in the outfield).
Pedroia led the majors while establishing club records with both a career-high 160 games and 159 starts at second base in 2013. According to Fangraphs, he topped all major league second baseman with 15 defensive runs saved and also led the American League with an .836 zone rating at the position. His .993 fielding percentage (5 errors/688 total chances) ranked second among AL qualifiers at second base, percentage points behind Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist (.9927 to .9928). Pedroia did not make his first error of the season until his 70th game on June 15, ending a club-record 69 errorless games at second base to begin the year.
For Victorino, it is his fourth Rawlings Gold Glove Award, tied with Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips for the second-most among 2013 winners behind the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina, who earned his sixth at catcher. He previously won Gold Gloves in three consecutive seasons from 2008-10 while with the Phillies.
In his first season with the Red Sox in 2013, Victorino made a career-high 106 starts in right field and appeared in 110 games overall at the position. He also made 11 starts and played in 15 games in center field. The Hawaii native tied for sixth in the American League with a team-leading 10 outfield assists, and his nine assists from right field tied for the AL lead and marked the most by a Red Sox right fielder since Trot Nixon recorded nine in 2005. He tallied the third-most putouts among AL right fielders (264) and his three double plays tied for second-most in the circuit at the position. According to Fangraphs, Victorino led the AL with 24 defensive runs saved in right field.
The Red Sox have multiple Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners for just the second time in the last 23 years (also three in 2011: Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez at first base and Jacoby Ellsbury in center field) and 11th time overall since the award began in 1957.
In addition to Boston’s 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners, Jacoby Ellsbury was a finalist in center field but the award went to Baltimore’s Adam Jones.
The complete list of winners:
C – Salvador Perez, KC (AL), Yadier Molina, STL (NL)
1B – Eric Hosmer, KC (AL), Paul Goldschmidt, ARI (NL)
2B – Pedroia, BOS (AL), Brandon Phillips, CIN (NL)
SS – J.J. Hardy, BAL (AL), Andrelton Simmons, ATL (NL)
3B – Manny Machado, BAL (AL), Nolan Arenado, COL (NL)
LF – Alex Gordon, KC (AL), Carlos Gonzalez, COL (NL)
CF – Adam Jones, BAL (AL), Carlos Gomez, MIL (NL)
RF – Victorino, BOS (AL), Gerardo Parra, ARI (NL)
P – R.A. Dickey, TOR (AL), Adam Wainwright, STL (NL)
Speaking to the media prior to his team’s workout Tuesday at Fenway Park, Red Sox manager John Farrell said that David Ross would be starting at catcher in Game 6 of the World Series. Farrell also noted that Shane Victorino (back) is expected to return to the lineup, with Jonny Gomes getting the nod over Daniel Nava in left field.
Ross has previously caught Game 6 starter John Lackey twice this season, limiting opponents to a 2.38 ERA (3 ER, 11 1/3 innings).
The catcher is coming off a two-hit performance in Game 5 in which he managed the go-ahead, ground-rule, RBI double in the seventh inning of the Red Sox’ 3-1 win Monday night. For the postseason Ross is hitting .286 (6-for-21). Only one baserunner has stolen on him.
Farrell is also attempting to ride the semi-hot hand with Gomes, who claimed one of the biggest hits of the series when he launched a three-run blast in Game 4. The left fielder was 0-for-4 with a strikeout against St. Louis Game 6 starter Michael Wacha when the pair faced off in Game 2.
More to come …
|Shane Victorino explains why he was scratched from lineup, outlook for Game 5||10.28.13 at 2:17 am ET|
ST. LOUIS – When Shane Victorino woke up Sunday morning, he had every intention of being in the Red Sox’ lineup for Game 4 of the World Series. It didn’t work out that way.
The right fielder was forced from the lineup just 1½ hours before what would result in a 4-2 win for the Sox after it was determined his ailing back wouldn’t loosen up by game time.
“I had every intention of playing,” Victorino said. “Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. It’s really day-to-day. When I got up this morning I thought I would be able to play, and had every intention of playing. It just didn’t turn out the way I wanted.”
Victorino said he re-injured his back while chasing after a Matt Adams hit into the right-field corner Saturday night.
It’s an injury he has dealt with for much of the season, although the discomfort hadn’t reached the level he felt both after Game 3 and prior to Game 4 in some time.
“When I first took off for the hit I felt it grab, and when I went down in the corner to get the ball … It was fine, still, and it got better throughout the night, but then by the end of the game it was really locked up,” Victroino said. “I thought I could do some exercises and it would loosen up. When I came here today I had every intention of playing. But the trainer asked me to do one thing that would stand out, I tried to do it and I couldn’t do it. So we made the decision.
“This is probably the worst it’s been in a while. That’s what’s frustrating for me. I’ve had that feeling and it’s gone away, but today was like, ‘Wow!’ So hopefully tomorrow it’s better.”
Victorino spent the entirety of Sunday night’s game in the clubhouse and trainer’s room, attempting to get his back in some sort of shape in case he was called upon.
Helping ease the pain was seeing his replacement, Jonny Gomes, come through with the biggest hit of the night, a three-run blast in the fifth inning that gave the Red Sox the lead for good.
“It’s great to see what happened tonight,” Victorino said. “Sometimes you don’t play and you see someone go in for at your position and they make a mistake, or don’t have a good night, you feel worse. First of all, this guy probably doesn’t think he’s starting tonight. But with Jonny, I know every day he’s thinking he’s playing. Every day he’s, ‘Game on.’ So it doesn’t hamper me more to think I pulled myself an hour and a half before the game because I couldn’t do something and then I feel like crap. With him I know he’s always game ready.
“The other part that scared me was that I thought I could go, but in the third or fourth inning I’m locked up then we lose me, we lose a bench guy. So we lose two guys. Me being a National League player, I understood that. Let’s let Jonny go. Let me do my exercises seeing if I could get better, and if there’s a pinch maybe I can help. Would it be very minimal? Maybe. But it makes me feel that much better seeing Jonny doing what he did. It’s crazy how that happens.”
|Ken Rosenthal on D&C: Red Sox, Cardinals ‘are who everybody else wants to be’||10.23.13 at 10:35 am ET|
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to preview the Red Sox-Cardinals World Series.
The team’s face off on Wednesday night at Fenway Park in Game 1, with Jon Lester taking the hill for Boston and Adam Wainwright for St. Louis.
“What I love about this series is simply that these are the two ‘it’ organizations right now,” Rosenthal said. “These two teams are who everybody else wants to be. And the fact that for the first time since 1999 the two teams with the best records in each league have made it to the World Series to me is very special.”
Boston comes off a six-game ALCS triumph over the Tigers. The dagger came in Game 6 when Shane Victorino launched a grand slam with the Red Sox trailing 2-1, to put Boston up for good. It was the second bullpen implosion for Detroit of the series.
“The bullpen, it’s a whole different animal for the Cardinals, because the Tigers bullpen — the whole thought process of the Red Sox that entire series, it didn’t work early, at least the first game, was, ‘Let’s get to their bullpen, and good things might happen,’ ” Rosenthal said. “Eventually that is exactly what happened in that series. It’s not going to happen in the same way this series.”
The Detroit bullpen allowed a pair of devastating, late-inning grand slams, the team’s best two hitters did not show up, but the Tigers lasted six games on the strength of their starting pitching. St Louis cannot match Detroit’s top line of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez, but the Cardinals have put together a very solid rotation.
“The Cardinals starters, while not Sanchez, Scherzer and Verlander, are certainly very good,” Rosenthal said. “Wainwright is outstanding, [Michael] Wacha is really good, and whoever else they throw will be someone who has a high-octane arm.”
St Louis features an offense that’s capable of producing from top to bottom. Outfielders Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday provide the pop, while second baseman Matt Carpenter, and catcher Yadier Molina were arguably the best players at their positions in MLB this season.
“I also believe that the Cardinals have, right now, a better offense than the Tigers did, given [Miguel] Cabrera’s injury and [Prince] Fielder’s struggles,” Rosenthal said. “The Cardinals are a much more balanced type of offense, I don’t expect them to go into these kind of funks and slumps we saw.”
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