Red Sox

Slumping Xander Bogaerts gives way to Dustin Pedroia

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Slumping Xander Bogaerts gives way to Dustin Pedroia

NEW YORK — Dustin Pedroia’s return to the Red Sox on Friday had him at second base right away, rather than designated hitter. But his struggling double play partner, Xander Bogaerts, was the first to ride the bench as the Red Sox enter into a period of rotation among infielders (and the DH as well).

Bogaerts is slashing .198/.274/.305 since the start of July, bothered by his right hand after he was hit by a pitch there. It’s likely that Bogaerts is off on Saturday as well, manager John Farrell said.

“He’s out of the lineup tonight, trying to regroup here a little bit, get some additional work done,” Farrell said. “We know he’s been I think banged up a little bit and nicked up with some things physically and it’s, I think the combination of all of it … [coming] to a head here a little bit.

“There are times you probably, you see him shake the hand after a swing in which he’ll miss. When he makes square contact he doesn’t feel [the right hand pain]. But yeah there are some things he dealt with: the groin a while ago. We’ve given him days down to overcome some of those ailments, but knowing that the struggles offensively … felt like it’s time to back off him here for a bit.”

Pedroia’s usage will be staggered out of concern for his left knee, and Farrell’s already discussed that with Pedroia, who’s particularly unlikely to take himself out of the lineup.

“We’ve had a couple of sit downs in an early afternoon work session, so it wasn’t in the game, heat of the moment,” Farrell said. “So we’ve got some parameters in place with this and you love the fact that he feels good physically. That’s he most important thing. Yeah, he feels like and wants to go every day, but I think we’ve got to be prudent and take a, I think a calculated approach particularly to the early days of him getting back on the field. Those discussions have been had.

“If you see him come off the field tonight, before the ninth inning, know that that’s part of the plan.”

The decision to bat Pedroia fifth wasn’t made out of the blue.

“Had a couple of conversations with a few guys around that part of the lineup,” Farrell said. “Felt like, where we were at the top of the order, guys that are in the flow of the game more readily because of the timing, not dealing with the number of days missed by Pedey, but still, wanted to get him in a position where we feel like there’ll be guys on base when he comes to the plate. He’s had such a good year in terms of driving people in.”

 

Where's Brentz?

The 40-man roster appears to be the only thing keeping Bryce Brentz from a September call-up.

The 28-year-old outfielder has had a very good year at Triple-A Pawtucket. He entered Friday with a .273/.336/.531 line and 30 home runs. He’s been in the big leagues before but was taken off the 40-man roster, clearing waivers to go to the minor leagues earlier this year because he’s out of options.

But Brentz wasn’t part of the Red Sox’ first round of September call-ups Friday, which included Blake Swihart, Sam Travis, righty Austin Maddox and lefty Roenis Elias.

Farrell said the door hasn’t been closed on Brentz.

 

Price to try all his pitches

David Price threw 29 pitches off a mound on Friday in a session that Farrell spoke very highly of. He threw fastballs and changeups. The plan is to have him try all his pitches in his next session, which is expected Sunday or Monday.

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Scratch another Red Sox' target - Santana goes to Phillies

Scratch another Red Sox' target - Santana goes to Phillies

The Red Sox options for a power bat grew fewer and likely more expensive Friday when former Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana agreed to a three-year, $60 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com and MLB Network was first to report the Santana deal, which comes as somewhat as a surprise with the rebuilding Phillies making a free-agent splash.  

The Red Sox reportedly met with Santana earlier this offseason. He doesn't hit for a high average (.249 career), but his combination of power and walks gives him a career OPS of .810. Last season he hit .259 with 23 homers and 79 RBI and an .818 OPS, and over his career, he has averaged 25 home runs and 85 RBI over 162 games. 

That Santana was able to command a $20-million-a-year deal from the Phillies likely raises the price of the other power bats the Sox had reportedly targeted, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer. 

 

Report: Red Sox aiming to sign both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer

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Report: Red Sox aiming to sign both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer

While the Red Sox’ interest in free agents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer has been well-documented, it may not be a one-or-the-other situation. 

According to the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman, Boston’s intention is to sign both Martinez and Hosmer in an effort to strengthen an offense that finished last in the American League in home runs in 2016. Though Dave Dombrowski declined to comment on any and all free agent discussions, Silverman wrote that the team’s “goal is to sign them both.” 

Martinez, 30, has seen his power numbers fluctuate throughout his career. He belted 29 homers in 62 games after getting traded to the Diamondbacks last season to finish the campaign with a career-best 45 homers between Detroit and Arizona. His previous career-high in home runs was 38, which he hit in 2015 with the Tigers. 

The 28-year-old Hosmer, who has played his entire career with the Royals since being drafted third overall by them in 2008, hit .318/.385/.498 last season with 25 homers and 94 RBI. He’s hit 25 home runs in back-to-back seasons; they are the only two seasons of his seven-year career in which he’s hit 20 or more.
 
Silverman estimates that signing both players could cost as much as a combined $450 million.