Red Sox

Dana LeVangie: Red Sox 'got away from (their) plan'

Dana LeVangie: Red Sox 'got away from (their) plan'

The Boston Red Sox starting rotation has struggled to begin the season, and that continued on Saturday night. In his season debut, Eduardo Rodriguez lasted just 4 1/3 innings while giving up five earned runs (six total). He also threw 105 pitches despite the relatively short outing.

After the game, the Red Sox coaching staff was frustrated with the performance and pitching coach Dana LeVangie seemed to think that Rodriguez and Blake Swihart didn't follow the game plan they had set up, per WEEI's Rob Bradford.

We sort of got away from our plan a little bit. I thought our cutters were going to play a big part of this pitch mix tonight. He used the cutter a lot but he didn’t keep the righthanded hitters uncomfortable in with it. We made a few mistakes to the lefties that we can’t do. We didn’t use his changeup against the lefties, which was really surprising against his best pitch versus lefties. It’s a wipeout changeup. It’s a really good pitch against those two guys. We didn’t get to it.

Rodriguez had issues against lefties in the game and allowed Mariners outfielder Jay Bruce to club a three-run home run that ultimately ended up deciding the game. During his career, Bruce has hit just .226 off lefthanded pitchers.

As for why the Red Sox didn't stick to the game plan, LeVangie said that he didn't know. 

Perhaps Rodriguez wasn't used to playing with Blake Swihart behind the plate. Rodriguez mostly worked with Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez during the 2018 campaign, as Swihart only appeared at catcher in 28 games (16 starts) and appeared just once in a game Rodriguez pitched. The duo may still be building chemistry. Still, that doesn't completely explain the decision to deviate from the game plan.

Rodriguez's outing marked the third consecutive game in which a Red Sox pitcher had allowed at least five earned runs in less than five innings of work. The Red Sox as a team had only 12 such outings in 162 regular season games last year.

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MLB Rumors: Yankees prepared to offer Gerrit Cole record-setting deal

MLB Rumors: Yankees prepared to offer Gerrit Cole record-setting deal

Brace yourselves, Red Sox fans. The New York Yankees appear to be all-in on Gerrit Cole.

Cole, the premier free-agent pitcher on the market, is the Yankees' top offseason priority according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. Passan notes ownership has given the go-ahead to offer the right-hander a record-setting deal.

If the Yankees hope to sign Cole, however, they'll have to win a bidding war against both Los Angeles clubs.

Passan writes:

New York and the Los Angeles Angels, a team similarly smitten with Cole and in even greater need of pitching than the Yankees, are preparing for a bidding war that executives expect will reach well beyond $250 million, according to sources. The Los Angeles Dodgers' interest in Cole is acute as well, though they are also considering bids for right-hander Stephen Strasburg and third baseman Anthony Rendon, sources said.

So yeah, Cole is going to make a pretty penny. And it's well-deserved. The 29-year-old went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA last season for the Houston Astros and finished as the runner-up for the American League Cy Young award.

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Ex-Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon thanks fans, organization in heartfelt post

Ex-Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon thanks fans, organization in heartfelt post

The Sandy Leon era in Boston is over, but the catcher clearly is thankful for the five years he spent with the Red Sox.

Leon, who was traded to the Cleveland Indians on Monday for a minor league pitcher, posted a message on Instagram thanking Red Sox fans and the organization.

Here's what he wrote:

Today, I thank God for everything he allowed me to live these past five years. They were filled with unimaginable joy for me and my family. I want to thank the @redsox for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their organization. You were an extended family during that time. Thank you for being a part of my career. I will live in appreciation of the team. I also want to thank the Boston fans. You guys are the best! Thank you for every encouraging word during each game. Thank you for showing what true passion for a club is. Today, I am convinced that everything I learned and lived during my time with the @redsox will be fundamental for whatever God has in store for me with the @indians Thank you Red Sox and Red Sox fans. Eternally grateful. 🙌🏻

Check out the post below:

View this post on Instagram

Hoy quiero darle gracias a Dios por todo lo que me ha permitido vivir en estos últimos 5 años, los cuales han sido llenos de cosas inimaginables para mi familia y para mi. Quiero darle gracias a los @redsox por haberme dado la oportunidad de ser parte de su organización. Fueron como una familia extendida. Les agradezco haber sido parte de mi carrera. Viviré agradecido de ustedes. También quiero dar gracias muy especiales a los fanáticos de Boston ¡SON LOS MEJORES! Gracias por cada palabra de aliento en cada partido. Gracias por mostrarme cómo se puede amar a un equipo. Hoy estoy convencido que todo lo aprendido y vivido en los @redsox será fundamental para lo que Dios me permita vivir en los próximos años con los @indians GRACIAS POR TODO @redsox GRACIAS REDSOX FANS. Eternamente agradecido. 🙌🏻🙌🏻 • • • Today, I thank God for everything he allowed me to live these past five years. They were filled with unimaginable joy for me and my family. I want to thank the @redsox for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their organization. You were an extended family during that time. Thank you for being a part of my career. I will live in appreciation of the team. I also want to thank the Boston fans. You guys are the best! Thank you for every encouraging word during each game. Thank you for showing what true passion for a club is. Today, I am convinced that everything I learned and lived during my time with the @redsox will be fundamental for whatever God has in store for me with the @indians Thank you Red Sox and Red Sox fans. Eternally grateful. 🙌🏻

A post shared by Sandy Leon (@sandyleon41) on

Leon didn't exactly strike fear in opposing pitchers during his time in Boston, but he did serve as a trusted battery mate for several Red Sox pitchers. Chris Sale and Rick Porcello, in particular, preferred the Venezuela native as their go-to backstop.

With Leon off the roster, that leaves Christian Vazquez as the lone catcher currently on the Red Sox depth chart.

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