A pair of Red Sox youngsters are making their way back to the big league club slowly but surely.
Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters before Tuesday’s game that catcher Christian Vazquez will start in the PawSox’ Opening Day game at catcher, where he’ll catch a full nine innings and then do the same the following game on Friday.
Vazquez had Tommy John surgery last April days before Opening Day. He’s been placed on the 15-Day disabled list by the Sox as he continues to make progress in his recovery. Vazquez is highly regarded among Red Sox pitchers, but with Blake Swihart and Ryan Hanigan behind the plate, there’s no sense in rushing him back.
And speaking of Red Sox pitchers, Eduardo Rodriguez will is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and a simulated game on Sunday.
Rodriguez went down with a right knee injury in spring training and missed all of Grapefruit League play. He’ll have to make several rehab starts before the Sox activate him.
New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third.
Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.
In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three.
Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies.
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.
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“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.