Red Sox

Alex Cora: Chris Sale healthy but 'his stuff wasn't there' Opening Day

Alex Cora: Chris Sale healthy but 'his stuff wasn't there' Opening Day

Ahead of the Boston Red Sox' second game against the Seattle Mariners, Alex Cora was questioned once again about Chris Sale's health.

Sale had a rough start to his season, pitching just three innings and allowing seven runs in the team's Opening Day loss to the Mariners. Cora has insisted that Sale is healthy and that he just had a bad game.

"His stuff wasn't there," said Cora, "His slider wasn't good, the fastball was erratic, and the changeup was OK. I talked to him, he's healthy, obviously he knows a little more about his health than me."

Sale's health has come into question after he struggled with shoulder inflammation during the second half of the season. He ended up on the disabled list (now, the injured list) a couple of different times in August with the ailment.

Part of the reason that concern was raised was because Sale's fastball velocity was down. His fastball average of 92.9 mph was the third-lowest average of his career since 2017, per Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald. Still, Cora wasn't concerned and stated that his health was the most important thing at the moment.

"The most important thing is that he's healthy," said Cora. "I know everybody worries about it, and when you don't see the 98, 99, people are going to ask questions. . . When I was the bench coach in Houston, a lot of people were saying he was throwing 98-99 from the get-go and he ran out of bullets in October. So which one would you take: him throwing 99 in March and April or him pitching in the World Series?"

Cora has a good point there, and it's possible that Sale could see an uptick in velocity as he gets further into the season. It would certainly be better to see him hitting his peak later in the season than on Opening Day.

Sale's next performance will likely shed more light on things. But for now, Sale is saying he's healthy and Cora is chalking up his poor opener to a bad night. And Cora knows that Sale will do what he can to fix things moving forward.

"Talking to Chris, he understands where he's at and what he needs to do," said Cora. "He's going to be fine. From my end, healthy. That's the most important thing."

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Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Midway through the 2019 MLB season, the struggling Boston Red Sox made an attempt to shake things up on their bench and get them back into the playoff race. That decision involved designating Eduardo Nunez for assignment.

Nunez spent parts of three seasons with the Red Sox after he was acquired at the 2017 MLB trade deadline. Nunez quickly endeared himself to Boston fans by batting .321 and smashing eight homers in 38 games with the team.

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But after his first season, Nunez's production tailed off. He was still productive during the team's 2018 World Series run, though he was hampered by a knee injury, before things bottomed out in 2019. He was hitting just .228 at the time of his release and his defensive range was declining because of his balky knee.

Now, after remaining out of MLB work for almost half a year, it looks like Nunez is getting one more shot at sticking around in the MLB.

According to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, the New York Mets have invited Nunez to join them as a non-roster invite at spring training in 2020. 

It may be tough for Nunez to ultimately win a spot with the Mets, who also have former Red Sox shortstop/third baseman Jed Lowrie on the team. But he is going to be on a minor league deal as a result of this signing.

And if injuries strike and Nunez proves himself, perhaps he could eventually earn a roster spot.

We'll soon see what happens with Nunez, but it is nice to see the 32-year-old get another chance to play at the MLB level, even if it is just a spring training invite.

Dodgers president on Red Sox, Astros sign-stealing: 'I'd like to have answers'

Dodgers president on Red Sox, Astros sign-stealing: 'I'd like to have answers'

Los Angeles Dodgers team president Stan Kasten, in his first public comments on the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked baseball, lamented that he still has many unanswered questions after Major League Baseball's punishment of the Houston Astros. 

Kasten noted that the investigation isn't over, with MLB continuing to look into the Red Sox' alleged sign-stealing using video - a system that Alex Cora reportedly brought to Boston as manager after serving as Astros bench coach.

"This investigation isn't over," Kasten said, via Evan Drellich of The Athletic, who along with colleague Ken Rosenthal broke the stories detailing the Astros' and Red Sox' schemes.  "I’d like to have answers to many questions about what happened, by whom and when."

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Kasten saw his Dodgers lose World Series in 2017 to Houston and 2018 to Boston, only to have those two championships called into question after MLB's report on the Astros' tactics led to the firing of manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Cora also parted ways with the Red Sox amid the controversy and Carlos Beltran, a player on the '17 Astros involved in the scheme, was fired just months after being named manager of the New York Mets.  

Houston was also fined $5 million and docked draft picks. The Red Sox could face similar penalties.

Here are Kasten's full comments, via Drellich:

Earlier this week, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred shot down suggestions that the World Series titles could be stripped from the Astros and Red Sox, a request made by, among others, the L.A. City Council. 

Speaking specifically about losing to the Astros in the 2017 Series, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, at the team's Fan Fest on Saturday, questioned the legitimacy of Houston's title.  

"We know how hard it is to win a World Series," Turner said. "We know that it's something you really have to earn, and with the commissioner's report and the evidence and what they had, it's hard to feel like they earned it and they earned the right to be called champions."