Red Sox

Elias, Wright in battle for last rotation spot


Elias, Wright in battle for last rotation spot

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Red Sox have yet to make a decision on who their fifth starter will be to start the season.

But Johh Farrell strongly hinted today that the battle is down to lefty Roenis Elias and knuckleballer Steven Wright, with Henry Owens all but eliminated from the competition.

The spot has been made available by a right knee injury to Eduardo Rodriguez, who will not be ready to open the season.

"To date, I like the way that Wright and Elias have thrown the ball,'' said Farrell. "Henry's a quality pitcher and yet we need to see the consistent command, as we've talked about. And he's not the only one, but we need to see improved command more regularly.''

Owens has walked nine in 10 1/3 innings of Grapefruit League play this spring.

Wright is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Miami Marlins, with Owens set to follow him to the mound. Elias's next outing will come either Thursday or Friday.

Owens might have been considered the favorite to win the spot a few weeks ago, but his poor command has significantly hurt his chances.

Wright is out of options and is virtually guaranteed to make the staff, either as the long man in the bullpen or the starter. Elias, too, has experience both starting and relieving and could give the Sox another lefty in the bullpen -- or a second lefty in the starting rotation to go along with ace David Price.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez has a 30-pitch bullpen Monday morning in Fort Myers, with another bullpen session set for Wednesday.

That could be enough to clear Rodriguez to throw live batting practice later in the week.

"Today was another step forward for Eddie,'' said Farrell. 'I wish I could tell you when that first game will be but we're working off him, to see how he responds to each outing.


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.

MORE - Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

“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.