FORT MYERS, Fla. -- J.D. Martinez was at the Red Sox’ facility on Wednesday, and a press conference to introduce him could come later in the day (or possibly Thursday). NBC Sports Boston analyst Lou Merloni reported manager Alex Cora has given up his No. 28 for Martinez.
David Price was teammates with Martinez in Detroit, and had high remarks about the Red Sox soon-to-be DH on Wednesday morning.
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“Great teammate. Great player obviously. Tons of power,” Price said. “Being with him in Detroit in 2014 and the first half of 2015, watching the way he swung the bat and just power to all fields. He really took after Miggy’s [Miguel Cabrera’s] approach when he was in Detroit and it did wonders for him. He’s going to drive the ball to right field, right center, if the pitcher makes a mistake with the breaking ball he’s going to hit that to left field. So he’s fun to watch, a great dude, a really good acquisition.”
Price believes Martinez can handle Boston’s scrutiny.
“Yeah. You got my vote,” Price said. “He’s different than me. So it’s good.
“Go play baseball. Just go be yourself. Go be the hitter he’s been ever since I think it was 2014 when he had that breakout season in Detroit. He’s a great dude. He’s quiet. He’s going to go about his business and he’s going to hit a lot of homers for us.”
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.