West Coast Trip Continues Against The Rockies

After taking on the San Diego Padres, the Red Sox continue their West Coast trip in Denver. Unlike in the past, the Red Sox did well this Player’s Weekend, taking 2 of the 3 games from San Diego. Game one was a 11-0 slug fest for Boston, and game 2 saw the Red Sox win 5-4. Sunday’s game, however, ended in a 3-1 loss to the NL East Padres.

They now look to take on the Colorado Rockies in the second part of the west coast trip.West Coast Trip After splitting the two games in Boston back in May, the Red Sox look to take both games in Denver against the Rockies. Prior to welcoming Boston, the Rockies hosted the Atlanta Braves, and won on a walk off. Ryan McMahon hit a 2 run home run in the bottom of the 9th to win it, 3-1. The game was a make up game from earlier in the season.

Players Weekend in San Diego

After a walk off win in the suspended game on Thursday, the Red Sox traveled to San Diego to face the Padres at Petco Park. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 7 solid innings, allowing only 5 hits, and striking out 6 batters. JD Martinez hit 2 home runs to propel the Red Sox to the 11-0 win over the struggling Padres.

Game 2 was a bit of a challenge for Boston, as the squeezed out a 5-4 win on Saturday. Nathan Eovaldi made the start for Boston, but only lasted 3 innings, allowing two runs off of 4 hits. Matt Barnes picked up the win, and Brandon Workman earned his 8th save of the season. The game was tied 4-4 until Brock Holt’s 3rd home run of the season in the top of the 9th off of Kirby Yates.

The Red Sox were looking for the sweep in game 3. The Padres had other plans. Brian Johnson was the starter, and only pitched 3 innings until turning it over to the bullpen. Manny Machado hit a 2 run home run in the first off of Johnson, and Francisco Mejia hit a run scoring single for the Padres. JD Martinez hit his 31st home run in the fourth, but the offense fell short, as the Red Sox lost 3-1.

Continuing the West Coast Trip in Denver

After splitting the series in Boston 1-1 back in May, the Red Sox look to take both games in Denver. Rick Porcello will be the game one starter in the west coast trip, and Eduardo Rodriguez will be the game two starter. The Rockes haven’t named a game one starter, but Peter Lambert will be going in game two of the series.

The last time the Red Sox faced the Rockies at Coors Field was in September 2013. That west coast trip saw the Red Sox split the series 1-1. For Alex Cora, coming back to Coors Field will bring back some good memories, as he was part of the 2007 World Series team that beat the Rockies 4-0.

It was reported that fellow 2007 World Series Champion, Dustin Pedroia, will join the team in Denver. The last time Red Sox Nation heard from Pedroia was back in May, when he announced that he was taking a leave from baseball. Pedroia has been in touch with Alex Cora and other members of the Red Sox. It’s reported that he has about two more weeks on crutches, as he underwent another surgery not too long ago.

Closing out the Trip in Anaheim

The Red Sox will close out the West Coast trip in Anaheim against the LA Angels. The last time the Red Sox faced the Angels was at Fenway Park in the beginning of August. The four game set was split 2-2, but the Red Sox are looking to take all three games.

Defying the Odds – The Tale of Dustin Pedroia

From the moment he became a major league baseball player, Dustin Pedroia has been defying the odds. Many called him a bust. Many believed that due to his size, he could never cut it in the big leagues. Here we are fourteen years later. The long time second baseman for the Red Sox is taking a leave from the team. It was announced on Monday that Pedroia is going to take some time to figure things out.

Now, what does that mean? Have we seen the last of the Lasershow? Many fans believedefying the odds that he’s about to hang up his spikes and call it a career. Others think differently. It’s a tough situation for Pedroia, who has been the heart and soul of this team from the very beginning.

Defying the Odds Since Day One

Like many members of Red Sox Nation, we take notice when a new player gets called up to the big leagues. August 22nd 2006 was no different. Fans were wondering who this rookie infielder from Woodland, California was. All that they knew about him was that he was doing well enough in Pawtucket to get the call every player looks to get.

Pedroia isn’t your average infielder, but he won the heart of the Nation. He was a dirt dog on the field. Many dismissed him due to his size, but he made them think twice when he was at second base. From his sweet swing, to the flash of leather, Pedroia is the definition of dirt dog. There was something special about that kid from California. Since 2006, Red Sox Nation got to witness Dustin Pedroia’s career.

Pedroia never gave up the fight to be the best. From winning Rookie of the Year in 2007, to MVP in 2008, he was a complete player. A definite force in the clubhouse, Pedroia led the Red Sox to three World Series Championships. This last one, despite not being able to play, he was able to use his voice and lead. That is the reason why he is “Captain” material, and why he is respected in the clubhouse in Boston.

A Proven Leader In Boston

As mentioned, Pedroia is no doubt the heart and soul of the Red Sox. He has been part of this team for fourteen seasons. This also makes him the ultimate veteran player on the roster. Pedroia is one of the few that can say that they have been with the same organization throughout there career. Not many players can say that. Especially players who have been in the game as long as Pedroia has.

What Does the Future Hold For Pedroia?

“I’m at a point right now where I need some time.” – Dustin Pedroia.

Following the announcement that he is going to the 60 day injury list, the Red Sox held a press conference with Pedroia, Dave Dombrowski and Alex Cora. Pedroia, sporting a black shirt and a Red Sox cap, answered questions from the media. You can tell that he was fighting back emotions as questions were being asked. For a guy like Pedroia, who lives to compete, it’s tough to face reality.

With this leave of absence, maybe Pedroia will retire. It’s up to him and his family to determine what comes next. It hasn’t been an easy road for the 35 year old the past few seasons. For young fans, seeing a player who you’ve grown up watching every day retire, it’s a strange feeling. I only hope that when he does officially retire, the number 15 ends up in the right field rafters. Nobody should ever wear that number again.

Dustin Pedroia setback: Is his role in jeopardy?

The latest version of a Dustin Pedroia setback reawakens whispers stemming from last season. They are whispers that the most loyal Pedroia supporters have tried to silence for over a year. The whispers that might suggest Pedroia’s career winding down, due to the nagging issues from his surgically repaired knee.

Yet another setback makes a timeline for Pedroia’s return unclear

News out of the Red Sox camp today proved quite discouraging. After being scratched Dustin Pedroia setbackfrom a Saturday start in Portland due to knee soreness, Pedroia reportedly suffered a setback after a doctor examined him on Monday. The news is troubling, seeing as the second baseman has already spent a month on the injured list with a bad knee.

At the time of his IL placement, it was reported that this knee issue was not related to the part of his knee that has undergone multiple surgeries. In an at bat in Yankee Stadium, Pedroia “felt something pop,” which led to his eventual rehab assignments up in Maine. More recently, he missed Saturday’s game as more of a precaution, given some general soreness. Pedroia had been rehabbing for a decently long stretch of games. The fact that he has endured another setback ensures he will be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.

If the latest issue really does differ from past knee injuries, then perhaps there is hope he can overcome it. As things currently stand, however, the signs point negative. Pedroia missed all but three games in 2018 due to that knee, and he fought through those limitations throughout 2017 as well. His former days as a masher and a dirt dog might well be a thing of the past. If he is to return in 2019, significant recovery will have to happen.

Pedroia will have competition for playing time once he returns

The self-proclaimed “Laser Show” has had a fantastic career in Boston, earning three World Series championships, an MVP, Rookie of the Year, four All-Star appearances, three Gold Gloves, and a reputation for laying it all on the line. There’s no doubt that his aggressive style of play has provided many victories. It could also be said that his hunger to play daily through injuries is what is hampering him. With that, the door is creaking open for that playing time to be absorbed.

Michael Chavis currently makes the loudest case to take the spot away, as the rookie infielder has thrown up a torrid .282/.407/.563 line in his first 20 big league games. His versatility to also play at third and first base gives him the edge.

Eduardo Nunez recently returned from the IL and ripped a two-run homer in his first game back. But the veteran has not been overly productive otherwise in 2019. Meanwhile, fan favorite utilityman Brock Holt recently suffered his own setback due to a bad shoulder. His recovery timeline is indefinite.

The Dustin Pedroia setback has been a major cog in the machine that has resumed the franchise’s place as a premiere team. It would be a shame for the knee that he’s had fixed so many times continue to hold him back. If he continues to miss time, there might not be a spot for him to come back to.

Red Sox Journal: Sox won 5 of 7 in the last week

A week ago today, the Sox defeated the Oakland A’s in the second of a three-game series at Fenway Park. Rick Porcello had his best outing of the season. He pitched 8 shutout innings and allowed just 2 hits and 2 walks. The Sox won the game, 5-1.

A day later, on a rare Wednesday afternoon game, Boston was gunning for their first homesox won sweep of the season. Hector Velazquez started and pitched 2 innings of one-run ball. Marcus Walden, who has pitched exceptionally well after starting 2019 at Triple-A, pitched in relief and hurled 3 scoreless innings. Andrew Benintendi broke the game open in the sixth inning when he scored two runners on a bloop single to center field. Final score: Boston 7, Oakland 3.

On Thursday, the team sent second baseman Dustin Pedroia on a rehab assignment to Double-A Portland. The veteran has since played in three games for the Sea Dogs. He has recorded 3 hits and 1 RBI.

Also on Thursday, the Sox were in search for a season-high fourth straight victory. But, mistakes in the ninth inning by third baseman Rafael Devers and closer Ryan Brasier resulted in a White Sox win on a walk-off home run.

Boston responded by winning the final three games of the series in impressive fashion. After the game 1 loss, they outscored Chicago 30-to-5. By the end of the weekend, the Red Sox had captured their third three-game winning streak of the season.

In-season Acquisitions

The team made several other transactions last week. On Friday, they added infielder Cody Asche to their 40-man roster. Pedrioa played in two games over the weekend in Double-A Portland.  Asche most recently played at the Triple-A level for the Sugar Land Skeeters of Sugar Land, Texas. His last major league appearance came in 2017 with the White Sox.

On Saturday, Boston placed shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin on the 10-day Injured List (left knee sprain). The team recalled Eduardo Nunez from Pawtucket. Since being activated, Nunez has started two of three games.

Also on Saturday, first baseman Joey Curletta was added to the 40-man roster after being claimed off waivers from Seattle. The 25-year-old has no major league experience, but was named the 2018 Texas League Player of the Year (Double-A) after posting 23 home runs and 94 RBI in 129 games. Curletta was assigned to the Paw Sox roster.

Yesterday, before opening up a three-game series in Baltimore, the Red Sox placed starting pitcher David Price on the 10-day Injured List due to elbow tendinitis on his pitching arm. Price had been the team’s most consistent starting pitcher this season (1-2, 3.75 ERA, 1.14 WHIP). Right-handed pitcher Ryan Weber filled the roster spot after being called up. Weber pitched 4 scoreless innings last night in relief for starter Josh Smith.

After losing last night in Baltimore 4-1, the Sox will send Hector Velazquez to the mound tonight. Chris Sale will pitch the series finale on Wednesday.

Is Red Sox Prospect Michael Chavis the Future at Second?

Due to modern day defensive shifts in the major leagues, the physical requirements of a second baseman have changed in recent years. Nowadays, you can spot players built like corner infielders manning a middle infield position. For Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis, the evolving nature of the position might be his best chance to get that quality bat tool of his into the major league lineup.

Mostly known for his hitting prowess, the newest addition to the Boston clubhouse is going to get a chance to show what he can do on the field. Let’s look at some of the reasons why Chavis’ stay in the big leagues might blossom into something more.

Dustin Pedroia’s uncertain status opens the door

With Pedroia back to the injured list with knee issues, the future of second base sort of Red Sox prospect Michael Chavishangs in the balance. This was supposed to be the season in which the team’s longest-tenured vet would return to full health for the first time since 2016. Another setback, albeit not expected to be serious, relegates Pedroia to the injured list. Joining him are Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt, who had been struggling anyways, leaving the Sox thin at the position. Enter Chavis.

Drafted as a shortstop, Chavis has spent most of his time in pro ball at third, while also seeing some work at first the last couple seasons. Before his call up, he appeared in five games at second in Triple-A Pawtucket. The versatility could indeed add to Chavis’ value, given his proven ability to hit well across all levels so far. If Pedroia continues to battle injuries, this might be Chavis’ opportunity to steal the position away. That opportunity is contingent on whether Holt and Nunez remained injured and/or ineffective.

The physical requirements of a second baseman have changed

Previously, teams looked for quick, agile players that could cover a lot of ground on the right side of the diamond. You needed somebody who could avoid contact on the base and still turn two. But with analytics has come more targeted field positioning, more often putting second baseman right in line with where hitters are most commonly putting the ball. With that, teams are starting to place bulkier players at second to keep their bats in the lineup. Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis, weighing in a 216 lbs., far exceeds the build of the traditional second baseman.

The Milwaukee Brewers are the trendsetters in this area, given how they have used Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas in the field. Shaw, a corner infielder with pop, and Moustakas, a natural third baseman with power, both saw significant innings at second base last season. That trend has continued into 2019, with Moustakas getting the majority of the time there. The versatility of these players allows manager Craig Counsell to keep their productive bats in the everyday lineup. This can be a similar path to get Chavis innings at the big league level.

Chavis can be a spark plug like former prospects before him

In 2016 and 2017, the Sox were in search of a spark, and in came Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers. The two top prospects emerged and hit .295/.359/.476 and .284/.356/.329, respectively, in their first tastes of the majors. As an early season addition, Chavis, if given enough playing time, could be the next in line. If the depth chart remains thin, the job could be Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis’ to lose.

Not Saying The Red Sox Need Pedroia, But Maybe?

The early struggles of the 2019 Red Sox derive from multiple departments. Starting at the top, Mookie Betts is 6-for-27 in the batters box, which is equates to a .222 batting average. That’s a problem. The team’s pitchers have allowed a total of 16 home runs in just six games. That tops the American League. The team’s poorest output, offensively speaking, has come from center field and second base. Jackie Bradley Jr., in 23 PAs, has a .174 on-base (OBP) and the combination of Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt looks like this: 23 PAs, 2 hits, an OBP of .130, 2 steals, and 2 strikeouts. I’m not saying the Red Sox need Pedroia back, and I am not saying they don’t. But perhaps his admittance to the 25-man roster could do some good for this team.

Fact: The Red Sox did not need Dustin Pedroia last year to win the World Series.Red Sox need Pedroia

The team occupied Eduardo Nunez, Ian Kinsler, and Brock Holt at the keystone in 2018. Nunez reached base at a .289 clip and Kinsler’s .294 clip was in 143 PAs for the Sox. Holt, on the contrary, posted a .362 clip in 367 PAs.

Pedey played in just 3 games last season and in 2017, he logged 463 PAs in 105 games. He tallied 201 hits in 2016. It was just the second time in his lengthy career that he eclipsed the 200-hit mark.

Now at age 35, he’s on the outside looking in. His recovery from knee surgery has been a long, grueling process. His contract with the Red Sox expires in 2021. It has seemed that all along, he has been to do whatever needs to be done in order to get back to a playing role with this team.

According to Alex Cora, via Ian Browne of MLB.com, Pedroia is set to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Low-A Greenville. He is expected to play in back-to-back games Thursday and Friday, have a day off on Saturday, and then play a full nine innings on Sunday.

So, how would Pedroia’s return be helpful? Some may actually view it as a distraction. The thinking is that the team needs to focus on winning games and not become distracted and emotional over the return of the “little leader.”

Pedroia is a true leader

While some may think that way, I believe that the opposing perspective is true. The one constant that has always remained with Pedroia is his leadership. When healthy, he is the first player in the clubhouse. He is all business. I’m not saying the Red Sox need Pedroia and his counsel, but that type of attitude could reflect well on Red Sox players at this juncture. Other than last season, Pedroia is a two-time World Series champion. He won a WS with Alex Cora as his teammate in ’07.

Pedroia is also recognized as a leader while playing the field. Besides being a four-time Gold Glove winner, Pedey helps his pitchers in other ways too. In 2016, while David Price was struggling on the mound during his first season in Boston, Pedroia helped point out issues he was seeing in Price’s arm mechanics.

In addition, Pedroia’s entry could break up some staleness in the Red Sox fielding depth chart. Brock Holt, who is known primarily as a utility man, could start to platoon more all around the diamond, instead of backing up Nunez at second. He could give players like Andrew Benintendi and Bradley Jr. breaks in the outfield on certain days. The same could be said about Nunez, whose must comfortable fielding position is said to be third base. I’m not saying the Red Sox need Pedroia, but more fielding flexibility could help loosen things up.

In 13 seasons, Pedroia owns an on-base percentage of .366. In some thinking, Pedroia could be this season’s version of 2018’s Kinsler, who owns a .339 career OBP along with two gold gloves, including one last year. Pedroia and Kinsler were teammates at Arizona State University in 2002 before Kinsler transferred to University of Missouri in ’03. Both Pedroia and Kinsler are four-time All-Stars as well. I’m not saying the Red Sox need Pedroia, but maybe he could be this team’s missing link.