Red Sox

Sox notes: Sutton, Spears staying to the end


Sox notes: Sutton, Spears staying to the end

By Maureen Mullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Drew Sutton and Nate Spears have been informed that they wont be on the 25-man roster, but will be with the team for the trip to Houston to play the Astros in an exhibition game Wednesday.

They play all over the place, Terry Francona said. Theyre getting a ton of at-bats. Theyre great kids. So theyre going to stay right up to the end with us.

Spears has played all four infield position, right field, and left, including appearances in both the infield and outfield in several games. Sutton has played all four infield positions this spring. They are tied for the team lead with appearances in 22 Grapefruit League games this season.

Jon Lester will pitch in an intra-squad game Sunday at the minor-league complex.

Kevin Youkilis will hit in a minor-league game Monday at the complex. Hes had 43 at-bats in Grapefruit League games and could get another five to seven Monday. The Sox will host Twins Single-A teams.

The Red Sox are also trying to figure out what to do with left-hander Felix Doubront, who was limited this spring because of tightness in his left elbow. Extended spring training and the disabled list are options. He appeared in a minor-league game Thursday, his first game action of the spring. He is expected to pitch in his first Grapefruit League game Tuesday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka donated 1 million to help victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Third base coach Tim Bogar was away from the team Friday to attend to a personal matter. Ron Johnson took over coaching duties at third base, and Lynn, Mass., native Duncan Webb, the organization's player development program coordinator, coached first base.

Dennys Reyes relieved Beckett. Earlier this week Reyes extended his deadline from Friday to Saturday for the Red Sox to add him to the major league roster or allow him to become a free agent. He went 1 inning, giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits, including a three-run by J.P. Arencibia, and a walk. But he was not helped out by an error on a double-play ball.

Hes got good moment, Francona said. The ball Arencibia hit was actually a pretty good pitch. The four-pitch walk to his first batter, Eric Thames is not what were looking for. The ball, when its down, it moves. I think its the first ball Ive seen hit in the air.

Hideki Okajima was scheduled to pitch, but was told during the game a schedule change moved him to Saturdays game against the Twins.

Daniel Bard hit Corey Patterson in the helmet with the first pitch of his outing. One scout registered the pitch at 95 mph on his radar gun. Patterson walked off the field on his on but went to Lee Memorial Hospital for a CT scan. Bard spoke briefly to him. I just wanted him to know I didnt do it and not think twice about it, Bard said.

No preliminary report or anything, said Blue Jays manager John Farrell. He's gone to the hospital to get a CT scan. He was conscious when he came off the field, obviously. Until further tests come back, there's no real report yet.

Farrell didnt know if Patterson would be kept overnight in the hospital.

That will be up to the discretion of the medical people, he said.

Blue Jays starter Jesse Litsch also went to the hospital because of dehydration.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement


MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young


Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.