Red Sox

Dombrowski on trading top prospects: 'You go for it'

Dombrowski on trading top prospects: 'You go for it'

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox are coming off a 94-win season and a division title.
     
MORE ON THE TRADE

Their starting rotation is solid, if not without some question marks. The team's core of young position players is the envy of the industry.
     
So, why, then, did Dave Dombrowski make the kind of gamble he did when he shipped arguably the best prospect in baseball and the organization's top pitching prospect to land White Sox lefthander Chris Sale?
     
"I think it's a situation where when you have a chance to win,'' explained Dombrowski, "you want to give yourself every opportunity to do so, if you can improve your club. And for us, this deal improved us.

"I'm not sure, for instance, if we didn't get (Drew) Pomeranz that we would have won our division. But any time you get there, short of just a total giveaway of your system or making moves that don't make us smart, I think you go for it.''
     
Dombrowski noted that most of his acquisitions -- Sale, Pomeranz, David Price, Craig Kimbrel -- are under the team's control for another three years.

"In baseball,'' he said, "four years down the road is an eternity in many ways. So you need to take advantage of that opportunity. Nothing's guaranteed in life; if you make these moves, it doesn't guarantee that you're going to win.
     
"But I think you just keep taking a chance. You keep going for it as much as you possibly can and hopefully, it works for you someday.''
     
The moves he's made to date, said Dombrowski, have all made the Red Sox "a little better.''
     
He further noted that with a young core of everyday players and prospects such as Rafael Devers and Sam Travis, "I think we're still strong for many, many years.''

Report: Darwinzon Hernandez to be Red Sox' 26th man for doubleheader

Report: Darwinzon Hernandez to be Red Sox' 26th man for doubleheader

The Boston Red Sox had one of their top prospects make their professional debut over the last week. The team called up their top hitting prospect, Michael Chavis, to help on offense after several injuries to their starters at second base.

And now, the Red Sox may bring up one of their top pitching prospects.

According to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe, the Red Sox are likely to call up Darwinzon Hernandez for their Tuesday doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. Hernandez would serve as the team's 26th man, a luxury which teams get when playing a doubleheader.

Hernandez was scheduled to pitch for Double-A Portland on Tuesday anyway, so either way, he was going to be getting the work. So far this year, Hernandez has posted a 1.80 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 10 innings with the Sea Dogs. Hernandez is considered to be one of the Sox' best pitching prospects.

It will be interesting to see how the team uses Hernandez on Tuesday and whether or not they do, indeed, call him up. With the questions mounting for the team's bullpen, perhaps Hernandez could make a case to earn a role in the bullpen later in the season. But, for now, it just seems that his potential major-league debut will be a pit stop during the doubleheader.

TOMASE: Elbow injury demonstrates risk with Nathan Eovaldi>>>

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Nathan Eovaldi elbow injury illustrates risk associated with him, but it was a risk worth taking

Nathan Eovaldi elbow injury illustrates risk associated with him, but it was a risk worth taking

OK, first of all, that came out of nowhere. Nathan Eovaldi delivered his best start of the season on Tuesday in New York, limiting the Yankees to three hits and one unearned run in six innings. He hit 99.9 mph and left with a 3-1 lead before Brett Gardner's grand slam left us bemoaning a lost April.

Eovaldi transitioned from that performance to "he can't straighten his elbow" in the span of 48 hours, which illustrates the risk each of Eovaldi's employers has assumed since he entered the league.

He is not just injury-prone, he's surgery prone. He underwent a similar elbow procedure last March that cost him the first two months of the season. He's also a veteran of two Tommy John surgeries, though one of them was during his junior year in high school. This time around, per USA Today, doctors are expected to shave the bone in his right elbow to keep any more loose bodies from appearing.

Those who wondered what the Red Sox were thinking when they signed Eovaldi to a four-year, $68 million contract this winter should feel free to gloat. I considered him a risk worth taking, even knowing he could encounter moments like this, because the upside is so high.

He showed what kind of difference-maker he could be last October, when he delivered the signature moment of the postseason, albeit in a losing effort, tossing six innings of stellar relief in Game 3 of the World Series before being walked off in the 18th inning.

He timed his breakthrough perfectly, just weeks before hitting free agency, and if the Red Sox wanted to keep him, they were going to have to pay him. The $17 million annually they committed might sound high for his track record -- he's sub-.500 lifetime with a 4.21 ERA -- but not his potential. Still only 29, Eovaldi is at an age when pitchers can figure things out. The risk was that he'd go bust, and Dave Dombrowski must be swallowing hard this evening, but the reward was even greater.

Maybe it still will be, but it's going to have to wait.

Finally: who replaces him? Manager Alex Cora said right-hander Hector Velazquez will start the next couple of turns through the rotation, but who goes after that is unclear.

The best prospect at Triple-A is right-hander Mike Shawaryn, a 2016 fifth-rounder out of Maryland who's 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.

The most intriguing name is left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez, who's 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA but has only made two starts at Double A. The team's best pitching prospect, Hernandez hasn't yet demonstrated a command of the strike zone (7 BBs in 10 IP), so it's unlikely he's ready, but to use this word again, he's got the most potential.

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