Infielder Nick Lovullo and center fielder Tate Matheny moved up the ladder to the Portland Sea Dogs. They’re also the sons of St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo. The Cardinals played the Diamondbacks during their home opener this season, which served as the one time the two teammates had opposing rooting interests.
Matheny played in the big leagues for 12 years. As a catcher for the Cardinals, he was on the other side of the Red Sox’s historic World Series victory in 2004. He took over the managerial position in 2012 after Tony La Russa led the Cardinals to a World Series title in 2011 just before retiring. Just a year later, Matheny and Lovullo were on opposing dugouts during the 2013 World Series. Lovullo was Boston’s bench coach for manager John Farrell’s staff. He followed Farrell to Fenway after two years in Toronto as the first base coach.
For Lovullo, the Blue Jays job followed a decade long coaching career in the minor leagues. Nick was a freshman on the Holy Cross baseball team the year his father celebrated winning the World Series at Fenway Park. In Lovullo’s last season as the Red Sox’s bench coach, Nick was starting his professional career with the Lowell Spinners 30 miles north of Boston.
2016: The Year of Two Lovullo Pros
2016 was a special year for the Lovullos, as Torey would go see Nick play short season Single-A ball in Lowell and Nick would then be in attendance for the Red Sox’s post season series against the Cleveland Indians. Torey got to see Nick get his first hit as a pro on Father’s Day.
“Lowell will always have a special place in my heart,” Nick said.
The Arizona managerial job was a dream come true for the senior Lovullo. Nick split his time last season as a Red Sox minor leaguer and Diamondback fanatic.
“It was pretty special, he said. “Knowing that when he got done playing, that was his goal. His dream was to become a Major League manager. I saw firsthand on how hard he worked.”
Eduardo Rodriguez has a bright future with the Red Sox and clearly the team knows this. Rodriguez will skip his next start because he has thrown 140.2 innings between Triple-A Pawtucket and the Boston Red Sox this season, only 4.1 innings of his career high in a season of 145, according to NESN.
The Red Sox are being smart here—the last thing the team needs is a potential top-of- the-rotation starter throwing out his arm and going in for Tommy John Surgery before he even has a chance to reach his full potential. One bad injury could mess up his whole career, which would be unfortunate for both Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox organization. Torey Lovullo told NESN that he’s going to keep an eye on Rodriguez, as well as Henry Owens, since the team doesn’t want to put either guy in harms way.
Eduardo Rodriguez has a 7-5 record and a 4.39 ERA in 16 big league starts. He’s had his ups and downs as a major leaguer, but he has shown flashes of what he can bring to the table. When he’s on, he mixes up his pitches well—like he did in his debut against the Texas Rangers back in May. He has also been roughed up a few times, like in the game against the Miami Marlins a few weeks ago when he gave up 8 runs.
Overall, though, I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him, and I like the move to limit his innings and save him for next season. The team has nothing to play for and absolutely no reason to push him harder than necessary. If they over-extend him, it’ll leave me wondering “Why did they need to do that?” If they push him needlessly, it’ll derail the career of a promising talent for a year for nothing. The team has a pretty big sample size already to look at and analyze, so I would say let him go out there once or twice, then shut him down after that. But, I’m not a general manager or a manager, so my opinion won’t matter to the guys who will eventually have to make the decision. If anyone from the Red Sox management does happen to read this, do the right thing. Don’t push Rodriguez any more than necessary this year, please.
After the Red Sox roughed up potential off-season target Johnny Cueto en route to a 7-2 win on Friday, interim manager Torey Lovullo came out and said he still believes the team can make the playoffs. The 7-2 win on Friday marked the 4th straight victory, and brought them within 7 games of the 2nd Wild Card spot. It also brings them to 10 games under .500, which is the teams best mark since July 21st.
Torey Lovullo told NESN he believes in the team and also points to the fact that the Red Sox are not mathematically eliminated yet. He’s got a point, but the Red Sox would almost need to win out to have a chance to make the playoffs. Friday night’s win continued a trend of beating other team’s best pitchers, while Henry Owens pitched a great game in his 4th major league start.
I admire his confidence, really, but to even get that 2nd Wild Card spot they would have to leap frog 7 teams, which is hard enough. They would have to win while they hope for a collapse from the other teams to rival the Red Sox own collapse from 2011. In the division, they’re 11.5 games back and they would have to hope for a collapse that dwarfs their own from the Yankees, which won’t happen.
Yes, I really want to believe I’m wrong, but I’m also trying to keep this season in perspective. I hope they can pull it off, but it would take a miracle. Yes, I am praying for a miracle to happen, but a big part of me doesn’t really think it will happen. The best the team can do is control what they can and try to win as many games as they possibly can down the stretch. At this point, I just want the team to finish this season strong for John Farrell. That’s probably the best any of us can hope for. Anything else beyond that is gravy.