Red Sox

Holt, activated, talked to Dale Earnhardt Jr. about long road to recovery

Holt, activated, talked to Dale Earnhardt Jr. about long road to recovery

BOSTON — At least for a day, Brock Holt is back on the big league roster. His road has been long, but more than that, scary.

The Red Sox infielder was activated from the 60-day disabled list as the team’s 26th man for Sunday’s doubleheader vs. the Yankees, after he landed on the disabled list April 21 with vertigo. It took 24 rehab games, with stops and starts in between, before he could come back as he’s dealt with issues of disorientation — which aren't new to him in recent years.

“Earlier, doubts start to creep into your mind,” Holt said. “That first time I tried to rehab, I think I played two weeks worth of games and never felt good in any of them. You start thinking. When you’re down there trying to compete and play and you’re not able to do it, I think there were times when I wondered if I would ever get back to normal or if that was my new normal. 

“But, I would say I had to get talked off the ledge a couple of times from [concussion expert Micky Collins] in Pittsburgh and my wife. They set me back on the straightened path, but it was hard, man. Emotionally, physically, something that obviously I would have rather not had to go through. But, like I said, it’s going to make me stronger and I’m glad to be back.”

Holt spoke to former Red Sox catcher David Ross about the concussions he dealt with in his career.

“I talked to him over the phone a couple of times, and then I saw him in Houston when we went to Houston and talked to him in person,” Holt said. “I talked to Brian Roberts with the Orioles who worked with Micky Collins, and I actually had a conversation with Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well, who kind of went through similar stuff as me. I think his was a little more intense. 

“But it was nice talking to those guys, knowing that they got better, and that was big for me: being able to talk to guys who have been through it. You can talk to your training staff, your teammates, my family even, and you can explain how you feel, but no one really knows. …  They’re living normal lives now.”

Holt’s roster move was one of three for the Red Sox on Sunday after a 16-inning loss to the Yankees on Saturday night. (This is a day after Joe Kelly went on the DL with a left hamstring strain and Brandon Workman was recalled, mind you.)

The other moves Sunday:

  • Righty Blaine Boyer went to the 10-day DL with a right elbow strain.
  • Righty Austin Maddox came up from Triple-A Pawtucket.

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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