Red Sox

Notes: Bedard suffers tough-luck loss


Notes: Bedard suffers tough-luck loss

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's tempting to say that Erik Bedard made only one bad pitch in losing 4-0 to the Texas Rangers Monday night.

But even that is open to debate.

True, Bedard gave up a three-run homer to Texas DH Mike Napoli in the sixth, taking a 1-0 deficit and turning into a 4-0 hole for the Red Sox.

But even the pitch -- an elevated fastball on a 1-and-2 count -- wasn't bad. Credit should go to Napoli.

"That was pretty much the deciding factor in the game," said Bedard who is 0-2 with a 4.09 ERA since coming over from Seattle at the July 31 deadline.

TV replays showed Bedard with an astonished look on his face after Napoli hit the pitch out.

"I was just trying to throw a good pitch and get him out," said Bedard, "and he hit it out. I was trying to throw it up (in the zone) and get him to pop it up or miss it.

"Some games, that's how it ends up. He won the battle and I gave up a home run . . . I just made a mistake and he hit the ball out of the ballpark."

"I thought he pitched great," said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia of Bedard. "That wasn't an easy pitch to hit and (Napoli) did a goof job of hitting. Other than that, (Bedard) pitched great."

Thanks to Napoli's three-run homer, it wasn't as controversial as it could have been, but first base umpire Doug Eddings appeared to have blown a call which helped contribute to the Rangers' first run.

In the bottom of the third, with Craig Gentry on first and one out, Ian Kinsler hit a sinking liner to right which outfielder Josh Reddick appeared to catch. But Eddings ruled that Reddick trapped the ball, giving the Rangers runners at first and second and one out.

The next hitter, Elvis Andrus, slapped a single to left, scoring Gentry from first.

"I clearly caught it in my opinion," said Reddick. "I came in (to the clubhouse) and asked everybody who saw it on TV and they said it was a clear catch. Nobody's perfect -- (Eddings) just missed it.

"I was 100 percent sure I caught it because if I don't catch that, it definitely bounces and hits off my chest instead of going right into the glove."

Reddick came up throwing to first to try to double up Gentry - who was between first and second base. Instinct would have had him going to second to try to force Gentry if he had any doubts about making the catch.

"I thought he caught it," said Terry Francona. "In fact I know he caught it. When an umpire says he's sure, and he's not, I don't know what to do."

Clay Buchholz is optimistic that he can return before the end of the regular season.

"He thinks he'll start throwing again soon,'' said Francona. "If that happens, he'll have to be cleared by the medical people. But the fact that he feels so good is really encouraging. I hope the (medical people clear him); that would be terrific news."

Buchholz has been doing a lot of stretching and core work and his lower back is much improved.

"I feel good," said Buchholz. "Just doing stuff, stretching and everything, I don't feel anything. There was definitely had been some pain a month and a half ago. Stretching every day helps out. Keeping everything loose in the lower half and that's going to take stress
off the back."

A problem for Buchholz will be finding a venue to build up arm strength once he's cleared to throw. By the time Buchholz is ready to make a rehab assignment, it's likely the minor league seasons will be over.

That's led to the suggestion that Buchholz might be brought back in relief, where he wouldn't need as much of a progression.

"I'll do whatever they want me to do," said Buchholz. "Obviously, I'm a starting pitcher. I like going out there and starting games and setting up hitters and going six, seven or eight innings. But sometimes, that might not be possible, considering the time we have left in the

"We haven't really sat down and talked about it at all. As I start progressing as far as the throwing goes, that will be a conversation we have."

David Ortiz (heel bursitis) hit in the cage Monday and will be re-evaluated to determine when he can get out of his walking boot.

"I think now it's not so much comfort," said Francona, "but when the point tenderness is enough that he can start running and not go backward."

When Ortiz gets cleared to run, he'll probably need at least two days to do that, meaning the earliest he's likely to return is Thursday, the final game of the series.

The Sox did some re-arranging of their starting rotation for the series.

Tim Wakefield had been scheduled to go Thursday in the series finale. Instead, Andrew Miller will get the spot start Thursday with Wakefield pushed back to Friday at home against Oakland.

"We really leaned on Lester pretty good the last three starts," said Francona. "Going forward, that gives everybody a little rest. I think everybody kind of feels good about it, so that's what we'll do."

Miller started last Friday in Kansas City and gave the Sox a quality start. Having a sixth start in the middle of August is a nice luxury.

"I think it's good," said Francona. "Sometimes you've got to be a little creative. (Miller) is such an interesting guy and when he goes out there and wins, it makes it a lot better."

Wakefield will pitch against a weaker lineup (Oakland) than he would have faced here, and will get to chase his elusive 200th career victory at home.

"There's a lot of reasons and we wouldn't do it for sentimental reasons," said Francona. "But I'm glad (it works)."

Outfielder J.D. Drew, who has been sidelined since late last month with an impingement in his left shoulder, will begin a rehab assignment Friday.

Drew will spend Friday and Saturday with Lowell of the New York-Penn League before rejoining the Sox Sunday to take batting practice.

After a day off Monday, he'll spend two days with Pawtucket, then presumably be activated Thursday when rosters expand.

Bobby Jenks, in Fort Myers, threw 24 pitches in a simulated game and is scheduled to repeat the process Wednesday. Jenks is on the DL for third time this season and second time because of a back ailment.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Red Sox can be thankful for a successful past and a bright future

Red Sox can be thankful for a successful past and a bright future

For the glass-is-half-full folks, there are those back-to-back Eastern Division titles. For the glass-is-half-empty folks, well, there are those two first-round playoff ousters (though both their conquerers made it to the World Series, and one of them won it). But, here on Thanksgiving night, there's plenty for Red Sox Nation to be thankful for, starting with . . . 


We know you don’t need the Red Sox to know you how important the most basic elements of life are. But sometimes, the typical fantasy land of baseball can grab our attention. The death of 17-year-old Sox prospect Daniel Flores (above) this month from complications because of cancer didn’t take away only a potentially great baseball career. It took away a beloved, hard-working young person from the people who loved him. He had just made millions of dollars in July for his talent on the field, but what does such a windfall matter compared to one’s health? His cancer was both rare and fast-moving, per the Boston Globe.


The kids deserve some love. They probably won’t be together on the Red Sox forever. Heck, the group could get broken up this winter. But while any of the Killer B’s (plus a D) remain on the Sox, there should be a sense of optimism. Two straight 93-win seasons may have resulted in a first-round exit, and 2017 didn’t meet expectations for some individual performances. But you know what? The youths are still damn good, and there’s time for them to show us they can be even better.


Neither hogs the spotlight once the game ends or says too much. Sale doesn’t even have Twitter. But the righty closer and lefty starter both do two things exceedingly well: make batters swing and miss, and prevent runs. When both pitch, your seat at the park may well be worth the price of admission. (But we won’t ask what you paid for those seats.) Sale didn’t take down Pedro Martinez’s Sox single-season strikeout record this year, finishing with five fewer than Martinez’s 313 in 1999. But he could have done it. And with a little more rest next year, one can envision him plowing his way through playoff opponents too.


A first-time manager’s not a sure thing, but as Sox owner John Henry noted, there was a feeling it was time for a change. It’s a little early to be thinking ahead to a New Year’s resolution, but a manager who better connects with his players and brings a different vibe to the day-to-day scene is reason to feel the Sox are following the right road map. Plus, if nothing else, Cora took that awesome picture walking toward Fenway.


We don’t want to be too materialistic. But Uncle Dave Dombrowski couldn’t let you buy everything you wanted last year. The credit card companies needed him to step back for a year. Now he’s ready to spend. He might not close down Bloomingdale’s for the day for you to do your private shopping, but if you need a couple great jackets to complete your look, it sounds like he’s ready to get you some designer threads. He probably feels there won’t be too many chances to have a moment like this with you, at this stage of your life, and he wants to make the most of it.



Why the Red Sox should sign not one but two relievers


Why the Red Sox should sign not one but two relievers

BOSTON — There is a world outside of Giancarlo Stanton. 

Stanton, at this point, simply doesn’t appear likely to end up in Boston. That should feel obvious to those following along, and so should this: it can change. 

But there are other pursuits. Besides their search for a bat or two, the Red Sox have been actively pursuing left-handed relief options. Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is a fast mover, but this year’s market has not been.


Robbie Ross Jr. and Fernando Abad are both free agents, leaving Robby Scott as the lone incumbent southpaw from last season's primary group. Brian Johnson is bound for the pen, with Roenis Elias as a depth option too.  Still, even if Johnson’s transition pans out, the Sox still have an opening for a late-inning reliever with the departure of free agent Addison Reed. 

Reed is a righty, but between Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree, Carson Smith, and Craig Kimbrel, the Sox have more right-handed choices than left. Coming back from surgery, Tyler Thornburg, should be in the mix eventually too, but it's difficult to expect too much from him.

What the Red Sox should do: sign one of each for the bullpen, one righty, and one lefty. And then trade a righty or two. Turn some of that mishmash into an addition elsewhere. Be creative. 

Because inevitably, come midseason, the Sox will want to add another bullpen arm if they sign just one now. Why wait until you have to give up prospect capital when you can just add the piece you want now?

Go get a near-sure thing such as Pat Neshek, a veteran who walks no one and still strikeouts a bunch. At 37 with an outgoing personality, Neshek also brings leadership to a team that is looking for some. He walked just six guys in 62 innings last season. Entering his 12th season in the majors, he’s looking for his first ring.

All these top of the market relievers may be handsomely paid. But relievers are still something of a bargain compared to position players and starting pitchers. One of the key words for this winter should be creativity. If there’s value to be had in the reliever market, capitalize on it. 

Comeback kid Mike Minor, Jake McGee and Tony Watson headline the crop of free agent lefties available. Brad Hand of the Padres could also be had by trade but his market isn’t moving too quickly (and he won’t come cheaply).

Minor, 29, who posted a 2.55 ERA in 2017 after health issues kept him out of the majors in 2015-16, is expected to be paid handsomely. He is also open to the idea of potentially starting if a team is interested in him doing so. The Royals reportedly could give him that shot.

McGee’s American League East experience could be appealing.

He's 31 and had a 3.61 ERA with the Rockies in 2017 and has a 3.15 ERA lifetime. He’s not quite the strikeout pitcher he was earlier in his career — he had an 11.6 K/9 in 2015 — but a 9.1 K/9 is still very strong, particularly when coupled with just 0.6 homers allowed per nine.

For what it’s worth: McGee has also dominated the Red Sox, who have a .125 average, .190 on-base percentage and .192 slugging against him in 117 regular-season plate appearances. 

McGee throws a mid-90s fastball with a low-80s slider. He can operate up in the zone, and he actually has been even more effective against righties than lefties in his career, including in 2017. McGee’s been a closer, too, with 44 career saves.

The Sox had the second-best bullpen in the majors by ERA in 2017, at 3.07. Yet, come the postseason, there wasn’t a sense of great confidence or even a clear shape to the pecking order behind one of the absolute best relievers in the game, Kimbrel.