Red Sox

Alex Cora confident in Nathan Eovaldi getting back to speed as a starter

Alex Cora confident in Nathan Eovaldi getting back to speed as a starter

The Boston Red Sox have some problems in their starting rotation and they were further exacerbated when Chris Sale hit the IL with left elbow inflammation. Sale, mired in a frustrating season, will be out for at least 10 days and according to Dave Dombrowski, Dr. James Andrews is going to take a look at Sale's MRI in the coming days.

In addition to Sale's injury, David Price is on the 10-day IL with a wrist injury and Andrew Cashner was shifted to the bullpen after he struggled immensely as a starter with the Red Sox. Now, the team is going to have to rely on some other members of their staff to carry the load. And one of those guys may be Nathan Eovaldi.

Before Saturday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles, Red Sox manager Alex Cora expressed confidence in Eovaldi's ability to return to the starting rotation.

"We feel he can be really quick" to get back to speed, Cora said per Matt Porter of The Boston Globe. "Obviously it would be cool to have 10 pitches, 10 strikes, three outs. We know where he’s at physically . . . he’s in a good spot."

Eovaldi had opened the season as a starter in the Red Sox' rotation, but he was sidelined for a few months by "loose bodies" in his elbow. The team brought him back to serve as a reliever but are in the process of stretching him back out given the need the team has in the rotation.

As a starter this season, Eovaldi has logged a 0-0 record and 6.00 ERA in four outings all of which came in April. He will return to the starting rotation on Sunday and will hope to build upon his recent success (2.53 ERA, 13 strikeouts in his last eight outings, 10 2/3 innings).

In addition to Eovaldi's return, Price was scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. So, perhaps he will come back soon and help bolster the team's depleted rotation.

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Mookie Betts isn't committed to having a career in one place

Mookie Betts isn't committed to having a career in one place

As the Boston Red Sox season winds down, it's been known for some time that Mookie Betts' future in Boston is uncertain.

Following Thursday night's game against the San Francisco Giants, Betts' hinted he's not necessarily committed to spending his whole career in the same place. 

“It’s pretty cool that they have their career in one place, but you can be remembered in that same fashion even if you put on a couple different jerseys,” Betts said according to The Boston Globe's Alex Speier. “It definitely doesn’t hurt to only put on one jersey . . . [But the Yastrzemski celebration] doesn’t sway me [about the future] one way or the other.”

Betts will become a free agent following the 2020 Major League Baseball season, but could be traded before then if the Red Sox decide to part ways with the right fielder for future considerations. Overall, though, Betts hasn't been paying much attention to the contract speculation. He's focused on not giving up on the 2019 Red Sox and continuing to compete. 

“I’m not going to quit. I’m just not going to quit on myself or the team no matter where we are in the standings,” Betts said. “If I can get out there and play, whether it’s for something or not, I’m still going to go out and play.”

The Red Sox hold an 80-72 record with 10 games remaining in the regular season. At this point, Boston is all but out of the American League Wild Card race, as they remain 9.5 games back of the final spot. 

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Triston Casas one potential gem in a rebuilding Red Sox farm system

Triston Casas one potential gem in a rebuilding Red Sox farm system

BOSTON -- The next generation of Red Sox prospects isn't nearly as deep or talented as the one that preceded it, with perhaps one exception -- Triston Casas.

The imposing slugger was just named Red Sox minor league player of the year by Baseball America after slamming 20 homers with 81 RBIs in 120 games, all but two of them at Low-A Greenville.

A first-round pick in 2018, Casas was limited to just two games last year by a thumb injury. The 6-foot-4, 238-pounder was drafted out of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla. on his power potential, and on that front he certainly delivered in 2019.

Casas's 19 homers not only tied for third in the South Atlantic League (he added his 20th with High-A Salem), but the 19-year-old was the only teenager to crack the top 10. Such outstanding production at such a young age, against older, college-tested competition, bodes well for his future.

"I think it went really well," Casas said at Fenway Park on Thursday, where he was honored as the organization's minor league offensive player of the year. "I feel like I learned a lot in this first season and I'm looking forward to the next one."

Casas showed legitimate growth from the beginning of his full-season debut to the end. He opened the season by hitting just .180 (9 for 50) in his first 15 games before heating up in May. He finished at .256 with a .350 on base percentage and an .830 OPS. He credited the turnaround to tweaks.

"Not an overhaul or anything," he said. "As the information gets a little bit better and the hitting coaches are able to relay a little more to me, we tweaked a few things, but nothing too drastic. It was a lot of things. It was set up, positioning in the box, a little bit of swing path and changing my leg kick a little bit to try time up the pitching a little bit better.

"I feel like the adjustment I made from high school to where I am right now is pretty drastic, but so is the pitching. I feel like throughout the year I made a lot of adjustments. It's led me to where I am today. I'm pretty happy where I'm at, but I'd like to get into the offseason and try to perfect it."

And what might that mean? While Casas possesses advanced strike zone recognition, he also struck out 118 times and will need to increase his contact rate.

"Strikeouts are a part of the game," he said. "I had more strikeouts than hits this year, which is something I need to improve on, but it's something I'm not really concerned with. It's part of the game. I'll keep swinging and doing my game."

When the season started, Casas was only a year removed from his high school schedule, which -- even in baseball-intense Florida -- comes nowhere close to the demands of pro ball. But all things considered, he held up well.

"Man, definitely the quick turnarounds," he said. "Coming from high school, you play two or three times a week, maybe. It's pretty different from getting an off-day every two weeks. That's the biggest thing, understanding you get a lot of at-bats, quick turnarounds, an opportunity to fail. It's just a matter of coming out and putting yesterday behind you and putting your best foot forward the next day."

Drafted as a third baseman, Casas is built more like a first baseman already, and evaluators expect that's where he'll settle. The Red Sox seem to agree, which is why he played 94 games at first base and only eight at third.

The fact that he's already built like Red Sox All-Star J.D. Martinez makes it easy to envision him one day calling Fenway Park home. Thursday's visit reminded him of what the future might hold.

"This never gets old, coming to Fenway," he said. "After this year, it felt really good."

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