Red Sox

Friar: Craig Kimbrel can’t dwell on fixing his mechanics

Friar: Craig Kimbrel can’t dwell on fixing his mechanics

BOSTON -- Mechanical flaws are something that pitchers should have down by the end of spring training, sometimes they can get away with it until the midpoint in the year.

Yes, problems are going to occur here and there, and yes, pitchers do make adjustments -- i. e. Clay Buchholz -- but that’s not something the team can afford from the guy who’s supposed to shut the door with the game on the line when they’re about to make their postseason run.

With the playoffs starting Thursday, Craig Kimbrel’s mechanics still appear to be off, playing a factor in the six walks over his last three outings.

“You get into some bad habits,” Kimbrel said following Saturday’s loss. “I’m getting a little rotational.”

That flaw has been apparent all season. If you’ve seen any of Kimbrel’s outings with Boston, he’s always good for yanking a pitch or two -- typically his fastball -- into the left-handed batters box.

“He gets a little side-to-side,” John Farrell explained, “and when you see the misses where he yanks to his glove-side or misses up and away to his arm-side he’s not staying behind his arm as consistently as he has.”

Kimbrel expressed that he actually felt better Saturday than he had in other recent appearances. In fairness, had he not crossed up Christian Vazquez, the run probably doesn’t score.

However, it did, and it's another addition to the list of Kimbrel’s struggles in non-save scenarios.

While some may take comfort in hearing that it’s a mechanical flaw instead of a mental one, they shouldn’t. Not at this point in the season anyways.

The mechanical flaw itself -- which has been around all year -- isn’t the primary concern with Kimbrel, because no matter how you slice it, he’s a very good pitcher. The issue is that this can become a mechanical and mental problem. He can’t worry about how he’s delivering the ball; he has to focus on how he plans to get the batter out. Mechanics should be muscle memory at this point.

Work on the issue in side-sessions, that’s fine. But come game time, he has to focus on getting hitters out efficiently, not how he’s getting the ball to home plate.

Red Sox minor leaguer Oscar Hernandez suspended for second positive drug test

Red Sox minor leaguer Oscar Hernandez suspended for second positive drug test

Red Sox minor league catcher Oscar Hernandez has been handed a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, our own Evan Drellich reports.

Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in January and currently is on the Triple-A Pawtucket roster. The 24-year-old will be able to return in late May.





Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

File Photo

Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, NBC Sports Boston has learned. The league is set to make the announcement Friday.

Wright, working his way back from right knee surgery, has to serve the suspension when healthy. Potential time on the disabled list to begin the season would not count. Wright is not expected to appeal.

Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.

The case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse. If Wright commits no other offenses for a 12-month span, the charges are expected to be dropped.

Fifteen games matches the lowest suspension MLB has given out in relation to a domestic violence case since the league and players union agreed to a policy in 2015. Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia was suspended 15 games in March 2017.

"It's a situation that, it sucks not only for me, but for my family, for the team," Wright told reporters in Florida on Thursday. "But I try not to think about it. When MLB comes out with their discipline, or if there's going to be discipline or not, it's just going to go from there."

Wright said this spring that he did not harm his wife.

“We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it,” Wright said. “We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”