Red Sox

Astros' Alex Bregman reflects on Andrew Benintendi's game-saving catch in Game 4 of ALCS

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Astros' Alex Bregman reflects on Andrew Benintendi's game-saving catch in Game 4 of ALCS

Alex Bregman hasn't forgotten about Andrew Benintendi's game-saving diving catch in Game 4 of last year's American League Championship Series.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, Benintendi robbed Bregman of a hit that would have at least tied the game up for Houston. It was a crucial play that ultimately led to the Red Sox defeating the Astros in five games to advance to the World Series.

Five months later, Bregman described his mindset when he stepped up to the plate in the crucial situation to face Sox closer Craig Kimbrel.

“Well, I faced [Kimbrel] in Game 2 with the same opportunity to tie the game if I hit a homer,” Bregman told Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. “and I was thinking a little bit like, more of, I wasn’t thinking as much on top of the baseball. And I flew out to the warning track. I just hit it too high. So I tried to overcorrect that and hit a line drive there just to score the run.”

The rest is history. Benintendi came up with the play of the year, the Astros later were sent packing, and the Red Sox eventually became 2018 World Series champions. Bregman says he's rewatched the play, and had nothing but nice things to say about Boston's left fielder.

“I rewatched it a few times,” Bregman said. “Off the bat I thought it was down. And Benintendi made an unbelievable play. And he’s an unbelievable baseball player. We played against each other in college and then now in the big leagues. It’s been amazing to watch his career and now I root for him.”

Bregman enjoyed a stellar 2018 season, but the Astros third baseman admits Benintendi's grab has driven him to be even better in 2019.

“A hundred percent [driven by the catch],” Bregman said. “But, at the same time, you just add little pieces to the fire as you go. And when you’re on your 15th set in the weight room and you’re like, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ you think about, ‘Do one more and that ball will fall.’”

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Dustin Pedroia retiring? Not so fast, say Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia retiring? Not so fast, say Red Sox

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When last we heard from Dustin Pedroia, the former MVP sounded like someone who recognized his career was winding to an end.

Persistent knee issues had limited him to just nine total games in 2018 and 2019, and when he shut it down this past Memorial Day, it seemed unlikely we'd see him in a Red Sox uniform again for anything more than a sendoff.

"I haven't sat down and thought about retirement," Pedroia said. "I just know that right now I need a break from the everyday stresses and dealing with what I'm dealing with. . . . I think time will give me the right answer of if I can do this."

While it still seems unlikely that Pedroia returns, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O'Halloran refused to rule it out at Monday's GM meetings, even noting that Pedroia has been encouraged.

"Every indication I've gotten is that he's feeling good and intending on playing," Bloom said.

The Red Sox brass hopes to meet with Pedroia, an Arizona resident, this week. O'Halloran noted that the passage of time has altered Pedroia's perspective.

"I think perhaps how he feels about things has changed since it was pretty raw at that point (in May), the time you're talking about," O'Halloran said. "He's been working out and doing well by his own account and we're going to talk to him and learn more. I don't think that anything specifically changed. I think it's more that time has passed and he's been feeling better."

That said, can the Red Sox count on Pedroia to play a role in 2019? While it would be wise to progress on the assumption that he won't play -- former president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski left himself in a hole last year by proclaiming he believed Pedroia could appear in 125 games -- they're certainly not sweating that keeping him active means eating a roster spot.

"I would never think of it as a problem to have Dustin Pedroia on our 40-man roster and be concerned about planning around him, no," he said. "So it's good to have him on our roster and hopefully he continues to progress and is in the mix."

Pedroia still has two years and $25 million remaining on the eight-year, $110 million extension he signed in 2013.

TOMASE: Looking at Chaim Bloom's exhausting to-do list at GM meetings>>>

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Question of why Chris Sale still hasn't seen Dr. Andrews for followup is finally asnswered

Question of why Chris Sale still hasn't seen Dr. Andrews for followup is finally asnswered

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- We finally have an explanation for why Chris Sale has missed his six-week checkup with Dr. James Andrews by six weeks and counting -- the Red Sox were hoping he'd be available for the playoffs.

Sale visited the famed orthopedist in August after being placed on the injured list with elbow inflammation. Andrews treated Sale with a plasma-rich platelet injection and shut him down, scheduling a followup that would've coincided with the end of the regular season.

There's a reason for that. The Red Sox were holding out hope that Sale could pitch in October, should Boston reach the playoffs. Once the Red Sox fell hopelessly out of contention -- which was pretty much immediately -- they slowed Sale's timetable.

They now sound cautiously optimistic that the ace left-hander is progressing normally as he rehabs at the team's spring training facilities in Fort Myers, where he also makes his offseason home. There's finally an explanation for why a six-week checkup still hasn't happened 12 weeks later.

"What changed is we fell out of the playoff race," said GM Brian O'Halloran. "We decided to slow it down. It was our decision, it was nothing to do with how things were going. The rehab has gone very well and Chris is right where we want him to be, pending that appointment with Dr. Andrews. When we gave a six-week range, that sort of lined up with the end of the season, and we were holding out hope at that point that we still had a chance to be a postseason team. Very quickly after that, that changed, that didn't happen.

"The six weeks was kind of the early range that we were given by our medical department on what was appropriate on a return to play. Once the postseason was no longer a factor, we decided to take the outer end of the range just because it made the most sense to slow it down and give the most time possible to heal and go from there."

So how is Sale doing? While he's still not throwing -- that won't begin until Andrews re-examines him, O'Halloran said, a visit that hasn't been scheduled yet -- he's progressing.

Sale's agent, B.B. Abbott, told the Boston Globe that Sale has seen multiple doctors this fall, and while they're encouraged by his progress, they still don't know what caused the elbow to flare up. It could've been the shoulder injury that slowed him in 2018, the aftereffects of pitching into late October, or something else entirely.

"I think that certainly some of the lingering stuff from the year before, what he went through, the length of the season, the shoulder, things of that nature might have changed something in him mechanically," Abbott told the Globe. "I don't think they've put their finger on anything specifically, but I do think this full rest, this full time to let the PRP do what it did, and the orthopedic surgeons we spoke to and that the team spoke to, seeing the images, I think was very, very promising."

TOMASE: Looking at Chaim Bloom's exhausting to-do list at GM meetings>>>

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