Red Sox

Manfred indicates harsh punishment for Red Sox is unlikely

Manfred indicates harsh punishment for Red Sox is unlikely

BOSTON -- Parsing the commissioner’s own words, it sounds like any potential punishment MLB delivers the Red Sox for sign stealing will be measured.

Baseball sources on Wednesday said it was premature to categorize the punishment in a particular way -- heavy-handed, wrist slap, etc. -- but Manfred’s own words on Tuesday at Fenway Park gave some insight into his thinking.

Deterrence for breaking the rules is something Manfred has valued before when rules have been broken in his time as commissioner, and the same is true now. So Manfred has reason to do something more than make a token gesture.

“When I think about punishment, I think you need to think about deterrents,” Manfred said. “I think you need to think about how the violation has affected the play on the field, and I think you need to think about how it's affected the perception of the game publicly. All of those things are something that you have to weigh in terms of trying to get to appropriate discipline.”

At the same time, the commissioner strongly indicated he does not think the Red Sox -- or the Yankees, if they’re in turn found to have taped the Sox for the purpose of gaining an advantage -- should vacate any wins.

“Wins, look, I would say this: Could it happen?” Manfred said. “You know, is there the authority to do that? I think the answer to that, under the major league constitution, is yes. Has it ever happened with this type of allegation? I think the answer is -- I know the answer is -- no. And the reason for that is it's just very hard to know what the actual impact is in any particular game.”

Considering how poorly the Red Sox wound up against the Yankees this year, losing 11 of 19 games, it’d be even harder to see evidence of impact. That wouldn’t eliminate the transgression, of course.

Manfred emphasized how cooperative the Red Sox have been and that no violations were presently ongoing. Add in the fact that sign stealing is a problem Manfred said is usually handled behind closed doors, and it just doesn’t sound like the Sox are about to have their world rocked.

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Red Sox vs. Tigers lineups: Michael Chavis at third base for doubleheader Game 1

Red Sox vs. Tigers lineups: Michael Chavis at third base for doubleheader Game 1

The Boston Red Sox will play two Tuesday, and they're mixing things up for the first one.

Rookie Michael Chavis gets the start at third base for Game 1 of Boston's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park after Monday's series opener was rained out.

Chavis made his first major league start Sunday at second base, but third base is his more natural position and where he played the most games in the minors last season.

In another odd quirk, Christian Vazquez will be the Red Sox's designated hitter Tuesday, with Sandy Leon catching left-hander Chris Sale. Recent call-up Tzu-Wei Lin gets the call at second base, while J.D. Martinez will play right field with Jackie Bradley Jr. out as Boston aims for its fourth consecutive win.

Here are both full lineups for Game 1, which is set for 1:10 p.m. ET:

BOSTON RED SOX (9-13)
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Mookie Betts, CF
J.D. Martinez, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Steve Pearce, 1B
Michael Chavis, 3B
Christian Vazquez, DH
Tzu-Wei Lin, 2B
Sandy Leon, C

Chris Sale, LHP (0-4, 8.50 ERA)

DETROIT TIGERS (10-10)
Jeimer Candelario, 3B
Nicholas Castellanos, DH
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Niko Goodrum, RF
Dustin Peterson, LF
Ronny Rodriguez, SS
Josh Harrison, 2B
Grayson Greiner, C
JaCoby Jones, CF

Matthew Boyd, LHP (1-1, 2.96 ERA)

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Alex Cora on Tyler Thornburg: ‘He’s going to be a big part of what we do’

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Alex Cora on Tyler Thornburg: ‘He’s going to be a big part of what we do’

Red Sox pitcher Tyler Thornburg may have not appeared in any games in over a week, but Alex Cora feels like "he’s going to be a big part" of what they do.

In comments published by MassLive.com, Cora said that “His [referring to Thornburg] stuff is there, the velocity is up there. I still feel like he’s been a little bit inconsistent using the stuff where he’s supposed to be, especially the fastball. I think his fastball plays in another spot. When he uses his fastball and it’s down in the zone just like Heath (Hembree), it gets hit. I do feel like we’ll use him, It’s just a matter of time."

Thornburg, a right hander, was traded to the Red Sox from the Milwaukee Brewers following the 2016 season.

According to baseball-reference.com, Thornburg appeared in 25 games for the Red Sox in 2018, pitching in 24 innings in relief before being lost to a shoulder injury at the end of the 2018 regular season.

Thornburg gave up 15 earned runs to his 24 innings pitched in 2018, compared to his six earned runs in just 8.1 innings pitched so far this season.

If the Red Sox hope to return to their 2018 form, their pitching will need a boost. Perhaps Thornburg can help.

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