|Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts starting after leaving Wednesday’s game with left quad tightness||04.21.16 at 10:13 am ET|
It will be a standard Red Sox lineup in the series finale between the Red Sox and Rays Thursday afternoon at Fenway Park.
Brock Holt will start in left field, while Travis Shaw will start at third base as the Rays will send right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the mound. This also means Xander Bogaerts gets the start after leaving Wednesday’s game with left quad tightness.
Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter David Price.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Brock Holt, LF
Christian Vazquez, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
David Price, LHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|Xander Bogaerts optimistic after leaving game with left quad tightness||04.20.16 at 9:09 pm ET|
The Red Sox suffered their second injury in as many days.
A night after Joe Kelly was forced from the game with the Rays with a right shoulder impingement, shortstop Xander Bogaerts had to exit early.
Bogaerts was driven from the Sox’ Wednesday night tilt with left quad tightness, experiencing the injury while scoring from first on David Ortiz’s fifth-inning double.
The good news for Bogaerts and the Red Sox was that after the game the shortstop didn’t feel like the injury would be something that would sideline him for long.
“If I feel the same way I feel right now I probably will,” he said when asked if he planned on playing Thursday. “If John [Farrell] wants to put me in the lineup I’ll be ready to go if I’m feeling the same way I feel right now.”
He was replaced at shortstop to start the sixth inning by Brock Holt, with Chris Young taking over in left.
Bogaerts was attempting a steal of second at the time of Ortiz’s line drive into the right field corner, going on to easily score standing up.
The discomfort first started before his stolen base attempt.
“I probably felt it my first at-bat when I got that base hit and Papi hit the double that I scored on,” said Bogaerts, who noted he has never previously experienced a quad injury. “That’s when I started feeling it and with the cold weather it just didn’t get better. The second time I scored from first I just felt like a little tightness right there, a little grab.”
The Red Sox led the Rays 6-0 at the time Bogaerts was replaced. He had gone 2-for-3 with an RBI.
|Red Sox notes: Christian Vazquez intent on making roster decision tough one||03.14.16 at 10:15 am ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The presumption is that the Red Sox will have Christian Vazquez start the 2016 in Triple-A.
Maybe we should take another look at that narrative. Vazquez certainly thinks so.
While the catcher has been somewhat eased through spring training after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last March, Vazquez sees no reason why he shouldn’t be viewed as a healthy major leaguer when Opening Day rolls around in three weeks.
“I feel good. In these last three weeks I want to show them I’m back,” said Vazquez, who gets the start Monday with Joe Kelly on the mound for the Red Sox. “I’m here. I’m here to help my pitchers, to help my team. We’ll see what happens.
“That’s my goal, to show them I’m healthy and I’m 100 percent so I can play nine innings.”
The fly in the ointment is the overflow of catchers on the major league club right now, with Blake Swihart currently being designated as the starter with Ryan Hanigan serving as the backup.
Things can change, as we were reminded when Swihart was driven from Sunday’s game after being hit in the mask with a foul ball. (Swihart was deemed good to go Monday.) But, so far, the only thing that hasn’t gone as planned might be Vazquez’s advanced progression to date.
|Scott Boras: Dave Dombrowski ‘rather patient’ about contract extensions||12.09.15 at 9:58 pm ET|
NASHVILLE — The time is coming when a conversation would only make sense.
After two full major league seasons, Xander Bogaerts would now seem to be a prime candidate to start negotiating a contract extension.
While not identifying Bogaerts by name, the subject of buying out arbitration years for players like the 23-year-old shortstop — and perhaps outfielder Mookie Betts — was broached by Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski at the winter meetings Wednesday afternoon.
“Well, we have not done anything to date,” Dombrowski said. “Also, that would be one of those things if we did do it, we would keep it to ourselves at the time. We’ve got some good players. I don’t know if this is going to be the time we end up doing it or not. We really haven’t had the time where we’ve sat down and discussed that one very thoroughly and from an internal perspective.
“We’re open minded to that, if you can get that kind of cost-stability with the right players, and of course it takes two to get that done, because they have to be willing, but sure, we’re open-minded to it.”
Prior to Dombrowski’s arrival, the Red Sox had at least discussed the idea of making a run at extending Bogaerts and Betts.
For Bogaerts, however, there is a perception that he might have a hesitation to commit so early in his career due to the track record of his agent, Scott Boras. And while we have an idea of Boras’ approach to such deals — with the majority of his clients finding their way to free agency — it’s also interesting to note how Dombrowski has handled such negotiations.
“Dave is rather patient about that,” Boras told WEEI.com when asked about his experiences with Dombrowski in regard to signing players prior to their free agent years.
|Scott Boras isn’t tipping hand regarding Xander Bogaerts extension||11.11.15 at 4:46 pm ET|
Few of Boras’ free agent clients seem to be on the Red Sox radar this year, with Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (whom Boras is now also positioning as an outfielder) and catcher Matt Wieters highlighting the agent’s stable of offseason targets.
There was one topic that was Boras related which Red Sox followers should take interest in: a possible contract extension for Xander Bogaerts.
While the shortstop will be entering just his third full season, and remains four years out from free agency, Bogaerts’ emergence as an important piece of the Red Sox’ foundation has led to conversation regarding his long-term future with the organization.
Boras, however, wasn’t ready to elaborate on his client’s strategy when it comes to an extension.
“Again, anything their clients say to me about their interest in doing things … Xander is very happy in Boston,” Boras said. “He had a great year there. It’s really a relationship between him and the coaching staff. They did a great job with him and he did a great job with him and he did a great job for them so we’re very encouraged about his future there.”
The 23-year-old Bogaerts is coming off a season in which he hit .320, finishing with 196 hits, seven home runs, 81 RBI and 84 runs. He also was a finalist for the American League Gold Glove.
Boras was slightly more specific on the topic when visiting Fenway Park late in the regular season, telling WEEI.com, “Look, I always tell every team and every player, we’re an open door. Anything they want to look at and offer, and then the player just has to make his judgments, so we evaluate that.
“So I did all of these studies of him and even a great player like [Derek] Jeter, he was more home runs, more RBIs, and he’s made more playing time in the big leagues at 22 than Jeter had. So when you’re talking about a player at that level, that great, to be ahead of him in many ways, you can really see where Xander and the organization in combination have worked hard to get him to that level, so it’s nice to see.”
|Dave Dombrowski on Hot Stove Show: Likes Jackie Bradley, Rusney Castillo in outfield; says Hanley Ramirez’s healing; determined to find ace||11.04.15 at 1:49 am ET|
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski joined the Hot Stove Show on WEEI on Tuesday night and discussed his belief that Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rusney Castillo will be starting outfielders on Opening Day, that Hanley Ramirez is healing, and that whether through free agency or trade, the Red Sox hope to add a No. 1 starter.
“I think you’re always careful when dealing with players that you’re really not going to tip your hand on what you’re going to exactly do,” Dombrowski said. “We do want to get somebody that can lead the top of the rotation. You’re open to signing free agents, and you’re also in a position from our perspective where you’re open to trades. Those are different areas that we would explore. Where it eventually would take us, only time will tell.”
Dombrowski touched on a host of topics. You can listen to the full interview here.
On Bradley and Castillo in the outfield:
“I would feel comfortable going into the season with them. I think they have the ability to be a real dynamic group together. . . . Jackie Bradley and Rusney Castillo are in a spot where they showed a lot of good things, and there’s no question they’ll go into the season as our starting group. But they have to continue to grow like a lot of young players do. Jackie’s one of the best defensive outfielders I think I’ve ever seen. So that’s a plus, and Castillo’s got the all-around game. But you look for young players to continue to grow and continue to work hard, which they do now. I think they want to be excellent players, so they’ll have to continue that growth spurt. They’ll also be in a position where they’re going to have make adjustments, because the league will adjust to them and expose their weak spots. They’ll have to work hard to eliminate those weak spots and make the adjustments.”
On whether Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts are untouchable:
“I have always tried not to say players are untouchable. The reason I have done that is because you never can tell when somebody makes you an offer you just can’t believe. If you have Miguel Cabrera, somebody may offer you two Miguel Cabreras. Probably not going to happen, probably never will happen, but unless you listen, you don’t know.
But I do think when you talk about talented young players, Mookie and Xander are two you think are going to be backbones of the organization for years to come. So that’s how you approach it, and then you see what’s taken place. I would be very surprised if they’re not strong parts of our lineup next year.”
|Xander Bogaerts named finalist for Rawlings Gold Glove Award||10.29.15 at 1:33 pm ET|
For all the criticism Xander Bogaerts received for his fielding in 2014, he turned things around in a big way in 2015.
The shortstop was named a finalist for the American League‘s Rawlings Gold Glove Award for the position on Thursday. The two other shortstop finalists are Alcides Escobar of the Royals and Didi Gregorious of the Yankees.
In 676 chances this season, the 22-year-old Bogaerts made only 11 errors and showed tremendous improvement, especially with his range, from a year ago.
The winners will be announced on November 13.
|Xander Bogaerts looking beyond home run total, eyeing 200 hits||09.26.15 at 12:04 am ET|
With an RBI double to left field and a pair of infield singles in a 7-0 Red Sox win over the Orioles at Fenway Park Friday night, Xander Bogaerts notched his 55th multi-hit game of 2015 and sits just 12 hits away from 200 on the year.
Throughout the season, Bogaerts has expressed disappointment after being robbed of home runs by the wall in left and has discussed his desire to add to his home run total, but with just nine games left on the schedule, the shortstop is content with shifting his focus to his overall offensive performance.
“I mean I’m three home runs away from ten, but I had a nice comment the guys made today: there’s not too many guys that get 200 hits,” Bogaerts said. “So it’s kinda like, ‘OK, you know, you’re right.’ So let me just stop worrying about that home run and just try to get my hits in. Hopefully try to reach close to [200 hits].”
Friday also marked the 17th time this season the shortstop has recorded three or more hits in a game. He has now reached base safely in 23 consecutive games and his .325 average ranks second in the American League behind Miguel Cabrera‘s .334.
“I’m pretty happy, I didn’t expect it,” Bogaerts said of his average. “I’m very happy the way things have been. I’m very excited for next year for the whole team.”
Bogaerts also said earlier this season that he hopes to steal 15 bases. He did not record a steal Friday night, but still showed off his speed on a wild play at the plate in the sixth inning.
After Dustin Pedroia drew a leadoff walk, Bogaerts reached on a soft grounder to third for the first of his two infield hits.
David Ortiz then doubled on a fly ball to right field and Bogaerts took off, but Pedroia was holding at second, preparing to tag up, and the pair ended up rounding third just strides apart.
“That was a tough one, I read the ball well,” Bogaerts said. “If [Orioles right fielder Dariel Alvarez] caught it he would have doubled me up either way, so I just followed my instincts right there… I just went because I knew how far I was from second base at the time the ball fell.”
|Closing Time: Rich Hill’s complete game shutout leads Red Sox over Orioles||09.25.15 at 9:54 pm ET|
Two months ago Rich Hill was pitching in the Independent League and now the left-hander is pitching like the ace of a major league stuff.
Yes, the ace of a major league staff is a bit sarcastic, but the 35-year-old has been dominant in his three major league starts with the Red Sox this month. The latest came Friday night when he led the Red Sox to a 7-0 win over the Orioles.
Hill tossed a complete game, two-hit shutout to pick up his second win of the year. It was his second career complete game shutout, as his first came Sept. 16, 2006 against the Reds when he was with the Cubs.
“That was probably right up there,” Hill said if it was the most fun he’s had on a baseball field. “I can’t put a number on it, but that was a lot of fun. That was great.”
After allowing a leadoff single to open the game, Hill retired 16 straight batters before No. 9 batter Dariel Alvarez reached on an error by Hill when he overthrew first base on a grounder in front of the plate in the sixth. The second hit he allowed came to leadoff the ninth.
The left-hander also struck out 10, the third time in three starts he has done so this season. He has now allowed just three runs in 23 innings pitched this year. For his career he has a career ERA of 1.15 with the Red Sox, the lowest in club history (min. 25 IP).
He is the only AL pitcher in the last 100 years to record at least 10 strikeouts in each of his first three starts with a team. The only other Red Sox pitcher in the last 100 years to record 10 or more strikeouts and one or fewer walks in three straight starts at any point is Pedro Martinez in 1999.
“I’m older and I’ve been able to hone my skills I guess in the last five years and get stronger — get into a good lifting program and it’s a whole, big each piece of the pie kind of fits together and as I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to figure out the most efficient way that works for me to pitch,” Hill said. “This summer all the things fell into place and for me just really stay in that moment and make the pitch the best that I can.
Overall, when I was younger and starting, I don’t think I was as apt to understanding pitching as much as I thought I was. Now, as I’ve gotten older more of that has come along.”
Mookie Betts robbed Chris Davis of a home run to end the game with a leaping catch against the wall of the Red Sox bullpen.
The Red Sox gave Hill more than enough offense as they scored a run in the third on Xander Bogaerts’ double to left, which scored Betts, although Dustin Pedroia was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first to end the inning.
The Sox added another run in the fifth. Brock Holt led off with a walk. Sandy Leon sacrificed him over to second base and then he advanced to third on a groundout by Jackie Bradley Jr. and was able to score on a wild pitch.
|Scott Boras won’t rule out extension talks for Xander Bogaerts||09.23.15 at 8:31 am ET|
The agent joined his Boras Corporation colleagues Mike Fiore and Alex Ochoa in swinging by Fenway Park Tuesday to touch base with both his clients — such as the Red Sox‘ Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., along with Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore. Boras also took some time to meet up with new Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.
And while the conversations with Boras of the usual wide-ranging variety — ranging from changes in the draft to stem cell research — perhaps the most intriguing topic revolved around Bogaerts.
With the 22-year-old’s runaway success this season, would Boras ever entertain a contract extension for the shortstop? While such a payday might seem tempting for Bogaerts considering he’s still four years away from free agency, it isn’t the agent’s modus operandi to lead his clients down such a path.
But, as Boras explained, you never say never.
“Look, I always tell every team and every player, we’re an open door,” the agent said. “Anything they want to look at and offer, and then the player just has to make his judgments, so we evaluate that.
Boras added, “So I did all of these studies of him and even a great player like [Derek] Jeter, he was more home runs, more RBIs, and he’s made more playing time in the big leagues at 22 than Jeter had. So when you’re talking about a player at that level, that great, to be ahead of him in many ways, you can really see where Xander and the organization in combination have worked hard to get him to that level, so it’s nice to see.”
And there would certainly be some impetus for the Red Sox to at least approach Bogaerts with an extension considering his development.
The second-year starter has the second highest batting average in the American League (.325), while having evolved into a top defender at his position.
According to Boras, the breakout year shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
“From an evaluation standpoint, two years, three years ago, four years ago, when we first saw Xander play when he was just an entry-level player, we felt he was going to be a superstar,” the agent noted. “He had the ability. Then the question was getting the durability, the strength, and then getting the performance acumen that you can only learn at the major league level.
“This year, what the coaching staff has done, is Xander himself in the offseason, his core strength and leg strength hit him. His feet were under him. He was ready to take steps, particularly defensively and offensively and really being able to understand barrel control better, also understand the footwork that coaches were teaching him. When I saw him come to L.A. to play the Angels, I called Butter [Brian Butterfield] over and I said, ‘Look, you guys have done a remarkable job,’ because now his feet were in the right place. He was there on time. He was getting around baseballs and doing all the things, and his throws were relaxed, because he was in position to make the throws. And he was waiting on the slider. He was not early. His experience. All of the things that it takes to be an adept major leaguer, and so it was really thrilling to see. And remember, he’s 22 years old.”
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