Red Sox

Addition by subtraction: The emergence of Josh Rutledge

Addition by subtraction: The emergence of Josh Rutledge

BOSTON -- Just over a month ago, Pablo Sandoval was sent to the 15-day disabled list and the corresponding move was the promotion of Josh Rutledge to Boston.

Aside from bringing a halt to the Sandoval circus, Rutledge was expected to serve as the utilityman as Brock Holt continued as the everyday left fielder.

But the Red Sox have gotten more than they'd hoped from the 27-year-old infielder.

Following Sunday’s performance, Rutledge is 11-for-27 (.407) in the 16 games he played  -- with five hits being doubles.

“Rut’s . . . in such a good place offensively,” John Farrell said following Sunday’s 10-9 win. “Since he’s come over last September he’s made a fundamental adjustment. He’s become a little bit more of a threat with the bat."

And -- his sixth-inning error notwithstanding -- he's still contributing with the glove, as well.

"[He] made a few defensive plays that were key [today]," said Farrell. "Up the middle particularly, on the overshift.”

Rutledge explained the change and what it’s done for him at bat.

“I moved my hands a little bit in my stance. Kind of freed up everything. It feels a lot better,” he said. “I’m seeing pitches better . . . Just [going to] keep working on it.”

And Sunday was no exception, finishing 3-for-5 with a double and three runs.

While Rutledge’s play this season has made it easier for Farrell to give a starting infielder the day off, what’s more shocking is he’s proving to be more valuable to this team than Sandoval.

When Travis Shaw won -- or Sandoval lost, depending on how you slice it -- the third-base job, the 2012 World Series MVP became Boston’s infielder off the bench. Given that he could only play third base (and not particularly well since coming to Boston) and that his bat was less than impressive, he wasn’t an ideal bench player. 

Conversely, if there were such a thing as the utilityman of the year award, Rutledge would be making an early case for it.

But when asked if he expected to be where he is now, given where the season began, he made light of his early success.

“I just try to go up and have good at-bats,” Rutledge said. “You can’t really control what happens, like the first [hit] today got caught in the sun. That’s just good luck on my part. You never know what’s going to happen. You just try to go up there and get a good at-bat.”

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.