Red Sox

No Yearning for Youk

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No Yearning for Youk

Life hasn't been easy for Will Middlebrooks in the days since Kevin Youkilis was sent packing.

First, there was the slump: 1-for-15 with two RBI in four games after the trade.

He had a mini-breakout on Friday in Seattle going 2-4 with a home run but then injured himself stealing second on Sunday. He's now day-to-day with a hamstring injury, and while it remains to be seen whether he'll make a trip to the DL, odds are that he won't be in the lineup today, or tomorrow.

In other words, the Red Sox don't have a third baseman, which leads to the natural question:

Did they make a mistake by trading Youk?

After all, this is essentially their worst-case scenario.

1. Trade
2. Slump
3. Injury
4. Nick Punto.

Goo.

But when it comes to Youk, I'm not ready to bite.

He needed to go, and should still be gone.

Can you imagine if we were still stuck in that every day back and forth? The he saidhe said between Youk and Bobby V? The unbelievable tension that surrounded every aspect of that story? It would be torture. Honestly, I don't care if it turns out that Middlebrooks is secretly working for Al-Qaeda. There are no circumstances under which I'd consider that trade a mistake.

Not to mention, just because Youkilis is a "third baseman," doesn't mean you necessarily want him playing third base. I mean, this isn't 2008 MVP candidate Youk we're talking about. Since the start of last season, Youkilis has played in 169 games and is hitting only .250 (151-603). When he was traded to the White Sox on June 24, everyone was like: "Uh oh. Get ready for Youk to blow up now that he's playing every day!"

So far in Chicago, he's batting .231 (6-for-26) with one double, zero homers and four RBI.

I'll take a week of Nick Punto, a healthy Will Middlebrooks and no more drama, please.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com.

E-Rod may be sidelined six month because of surgery; Ramirez has minor procedure

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E-Rod may be sidelined six month because of surgery; Ramirez has minor procedure

BOSTON — Maybe now there's more reason to think Hanley Ramirez can have a rebound season in 2018. And left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will be recovering from knee surgery and likely miss the start of the season.  

Ramirez and Rodriguez each had surgery on Tuesday. Ramirez, the designated hitter and first baseman who turns 34 in December, had left shoulder surgery, an announcement he made on Twitter with a picture of himself at the hospital. 

Ramirez's surgery is considered relatively minor. Rodriguez's right knee ligament reconstruction surgery, however, has a recovery time of six months, which is to say he may be able to contribute to the Sox again in six months. But the timetable is imprecise, so, again, the Sox' starting pitching depth may have to be addressed in the offseason. 

Rodriguez, who turns 25 in April, has had been bothered by the right knee for most of the past two seasons. He missed about six weeks this season after dislocating his knee and missed the start of the 2016 season after injuring the knee in spring training.  Rodriguez was 6-7 with a 4.19 ERA last season and is 19-20, 4.23 in 25 career appearances, 24 starts in three seasons for Boston. 

Here's what the Red Sox said in a release about the two surgeries:

HANLEY RAMIREZ AND EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ UNDERGO SUCCESSFUL SURGERIES

BOSTON, MA – First baseman/designated hitter Hanley Ramirez and left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez underwent successful surgeries today.

Ramirez underwent a left shoulder arthroscopy and debridement. The procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews at the Andrews Institute in Pensacola, FL. Ramirez is expected to be ready for the 2018 season.

Rodriguez underwent a right knee patellofemoral ligament reconstruction. The procedure was also performed by Dr. Andrews at the Andrews Institute in Pensacola. Rodriguez is expected to return to pitching in approximately six months.

 

Ramirez was bothered by both shoulders in 2017, limiting his performance at the plate and also his time at first base. He had a .750 OPS in the regular season after posting an .866 figure a year earlier. He was productive in the Sox' Division Series loss to the Astros, going 8-for-14.

Padres to interview Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis for open position

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Padres to interview Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis for open position

BOSTON -- The coaching migration could begin soon.

Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis is to be in San Diego on Wednesday, a baseball source told NBC Sports Boston. They have an open hitting coach position that Davis will interview for. Davis' reputation in the game remains excellent, despite some offensive drop-offs for key Sox players in 2017.

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said all the Sox coaches under John Farrell have permission to seek jobs elsewhere.

"I’ve  talked to all the coaching staff members," Dombrowski said last week. "They’re all signed  for 2018. What I told them  is, first  of all, I think very highly of  them. They’re good people. They’re good baseball people. I would recommend  to our new manager any of them, it’s not a problem for me, but I do believe a new manager needs to have his own coaching staff in place within approval of us and making sure that there’s proper areas coached within the club. 

"Would grant permission for any club to talk to our personnel. I know they’re signed, but I wouldn’t want to stand in their way of getting a job somewhere else if that opportunity came up. Some of them could come back, but again, I’m going to wait until we get a manager and I won’t  stand in their way of interviewing elsewhere." 

Davis could eventually land on the interview circuit for manager, as well.