Red Sox

Ramirez practicing what he preaches about increased production

red-sox-hanley-ramirez-071917.jpg

Ramirez practicing what he preaches about increased production

BOSTON -- Perhaps this is Hanley Ramirez's thing now. There are worse habits to pick up than declaring he will do something -- hit, specifically -- and then do it.

Before Tuesday's 15-inning Red Sox-Blue Jays marathon, the kind of game that's becoming uncomfortably commonplace for Sox pitching, Ramirez said his shoulders were feeling better.

Sox manager John Farrell had Ramirez penciled in at first base, and said too that Ramirez is going to be expected to be there against left-handed pitching more often.  (Mitch Moreland's been struggling, although Moreland was adamant his fractured toe isn't the cause.)

"We're getting to a point now where we got to get going," Ramirez said during batting practice about eight hours before his walk-off home run, way over the Green Monster. "Definitely [my shoulders feel better]. And you're going to see it in the next couple days. I'm going to show you."

Didn't take long. Ramirez decimated a first-pitch breaking ball with one out in the 15th from Blue Jays righty Mike Bolsinger.

"It's unbelievable man. I wasn't thinking about it," Ramirez said of trying to end it on one swing. "Another inning, go out there, do your job. Just keep going and keep going."

When the media talked to Ramirez in late June and Ramirez was asked how he felt against lefties, he made very clear he was unaware how he had done against them -- 5-for-35 to that point.

He said Tuesday he wasn't putting on an exaggerated show.

"Swear to God not," Ramirez said before Tuesday's game. "Because I don't pay attention to numbers man, for real. The only thing I look at the standings over there. I'm a veteran guy. You know, so, every time you guys tell me something, it's when I know that what's going on. So keep bringing things to me, so I can get better."

He's 7-for-15 against southpaws since, and he's continuing to back up his words.

Craig Kimbrel rejects qualifying offer, will enter free agency

Craig Kimbrel rejects qualifying offer, will enter free agency

To the surprise of almost no one, Craig Kimbrel rejected his $17.9 million qualifrying offer from the Red Sox and will test the free agent market for a bigger contract. 

Kimbrel is reportedly looking for a contract worth around $80 million, and this move will allow the Red Sox to receive a draft pick if Kimbrel signs elsewhere. 

Kimbrel recorded 42 saves for the Red Sox on the way to a World Series championship. However, Kimbrel was shaky in the postseason. He allowed seven earned runs in the playoffs but never lost a game in the ninth. 

Kimbrel may fetch big money this offseason as a big-name closer, so the Red Sox will have to decide whether its worth the long term commitment to retain his services. 

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Joe Kelly hopes to stay with Red Sox for rest of his career

Joe Kelly hopes to stay with Red Sox for rest of his career

Joe Kelly had an up-and-down 2018 season with the Red Sox. 

He started the season strong, solidifying himself as a key set up artist for closer Craig Kimbrel. But then he fell off to the point where Red Sox fans did not know if they could count on him in the postseason. 

Kelly finished the year with a 4.39 ERA, only to become one of the best relievers in baseball during the playoffs. In 11.1 innings, Kelly posted a 1.59 ERA with 16 strikeouts. 

Now, the 30-year old right hander is a free agent due for a considerable pay day. Howwever, Kelly told Jim Rome he doesn't see himself playing anywhere other than Boston. 

I love being apart of the team and the coaching staff we have... Everyone gets along so well and I don’t even feel like a free agent, I still feel like a part of the Boston Red Sox. It's a place I feel like I’m going to be the rest of my career. Free agency is going to be fun to see what teams are interested in me, but hopefully I can be a Red Sox for the rest of my career. 

We don't know if the Red Sox plan to spend the money necessary on Kelly or if Kimbrel's sitation will be the deciding factor in Kelly coming back, but at least we know where the releiver wants to be. 

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