Red Sox

Quotes, notes and stars: Wright's knuckleball 'dancing everywhere'


Quotes, notes and stars: Wright's knuckleball 'dancing everywhere'

BOSTON – Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Braves:


“We’ve talked a lot about the action -- the violence – and that was the case again tonight, even in an outdoor stadium . . . His seven innings, his dependability I guess in a word, is what continues to solidify itself. We hand him an early lead and he makes it stand up for the seven innings tonight.” - John Farrell said on Steven Wright’s knuckleball and performance in Boston’s win.

“For me I don’t worry about velocity with my fastball, it’s my location more than anything. So If I try to overthrow it to get it to 85 or 86 [mph] then usually it’s not a good pitch. When I did throw fastballs [tonight] I was trying to locate it. Because if I feel like if I locate a fastball, it’s a lot better than an overthrown fastball that’s up; because these guys can hit a fastball that’s out over the plate. When’s it’s located when they expected a knuckleball to come, it becomes a more effective pitch for me.” - Steven Wright on the use of his fastball in his Wednesday night start.

“The last couple of years he’s been playing with injuries. I’ve told him ‘Listen, I know how much you love the game, but if your injured there’s not much you can do about it.’ Pedroia tries everything. He likes to be out there, he’ll play injured. I’ve never seen anyone doing it [like him]. Now he’s healthy and you guys are seeing what he’s all about.” - David Ortiz said on Dustin Pedroia after his two-home run performance.

“He’s throwing the ball great. That thing’s dancing everywhere. I mean (Ryan Hanigan) is doing an unbelievable job trying to keep it in front. I got a good view -- and those pitches are moving.” - Dustin Pedroia said on Wright’s outing and Hanigan’s ability to handle the dancing knuckleball.


* Steven Wright has allowed two or fewer earn runs in his last eight starts, dating back to July 25th of last year.

* Wright’s quality start marks Boston’s eighth in the last 12 games. Boston starters have posted a 3.44 ERA over those 68 innings.

* With Wednesday night’s performance, David Ortiz became the first Red Sox hitter 40 or older to hit three doubles in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

* Ortiz now has 1,119 career extra-base hits, passing Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx, and tying George Brett for 16th all-time. He is also solely 16th all-time in doubles with 595, breaking the tie at 592 with Todd Helton.

* Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt both have grand slams this year, matching Boston’s 2015 total.


1) Steven Wright

Earning his fourth quality start in as many outings the knuckler gave Boston another stellar outing, striking out eight in seven innings and only allowing three hits.

2) Dustin Pedroia

After smashing Pesky’s Pole to log his third career grand slam, Pedroia squeaked it over the Monster in the eighth, also marking the seventh multi-home run game of his career.

3) David Ortiz

After taking two nights off on the road Boston’s designated hitter went 3-5 with three doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.

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.


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

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

Blake Swihart’s strong spring seems to have the Red Sox more inclined to deal one of their natural utility infielders, such as Brock Holt or Deven Marrero, rather than Swihart, a converted catcher with high upside who's getting a look in other roles.
"Sounds like they’re holding Swihart to open," a rival executive said. "More likely to move a utility guy."
A true utility guy, that is.


The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported Sunday that Marrero has been drawing interest from other teams.

"We do have depth with our middle infielders," Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday. "However, [I] would not get into potential trade discussions."
Swihart, who turns 26 on April 3, is most valuable as a catcher. But he could still be useful in a bench role for the 2018 Red Sox, and a win-now mentality may be the driving force here. (It is possible, as well, that there is nothing available via trade for Swihart that has piqued the Sox’ interest. Marrero or Holt wouldn’t require as much in return.)
The potential drawback is that Swihart won’t grow much if he’s not playing every day -- and in particular, if he's not catching every day. But the Sox may be be at a juncture where they feel his bat is a worthwhile experiment off the bench, at least for this season. They can figure out his future -- and their future at backstop -- later.
"He’s a great athlete," Cora told reporters on Sunday. "We’ve seen it in the batter’s box. It’s not only the results, but the way he’s driving the ball to left field as a left-hander, the quality of at-bats as a right-hander. [On Saturday], as a pinch-hitter, that kid was throwing 99 and he throws a breaking ball and squares a ball up."
Swihart entered Monday with a .283 average in Grapefruit League play, with a .905 OPS and a pair of home runs. But he does not have the infield experience that Marrero or Holt has, and the Red Sox essentially have to carry one of those two to start the year. 
Eduardo Nunez, the temporary replacement for Dustin Pedroia, is coming off a knee injury, and a sure-handed infielder -- Marrero’s glove is particularly good -- is a must. Rafael Devers is still coming into his own at third base. 
Tzu-Wei Lin is available in the minors too, and the Sox could see some redundancy with him, Holt and Marrero. Lin, unlike Marrero, has minor league options remaining. Lin also has some limited outfield experience.
The way the Sox roster looks now, they have two spots available for the three guys: Marrero, Holt and Swihart. Health can change that. Holt, despite being the most veteran of the group, has minor league options remaining, so he theoretically could go to Triple-A to start the season. But if the Sox don't see a role for him on this year's team any way, they'd be wiser trading him, considering he's due to make $2.225 million. It also would be kindest choice for Holt, to let him have an opportunity elsewhere, if one exists.


Swihart has played first base, third base and left field in addition to catching this spring. Perhaps, in time, there will be a way to work Swihart in behind the plate for the Sox. At the least, retaining him would be insurance if Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon do not perform well offensively.
There was a clear personal-catcher system for the Red Sox in 2017. Leon was Chris Sale’s guy, for example. Manager Alex Cora said he is not taking that approach. As an auxiliary effect, moving away from a personal-catcher system might make it easier for Swihart to receive more time behind the plate, if called on.
"Whoever I feel comfortable with that day behind the plate, he'll catch," Cora told reporters in Florida. "Christian already caught him. Sandy's going to catch him today. And then the next turn, Christian's going to catch him. Everybody's going to work with everybody."