Red Sox

Dave Dombrowski says Red Sox bullpen 'basically has been fine'

Dave Dombrowski says Red Sox bullpen 'basically has been fine'

As if Dave Dombrowski's inaction at the 2019 MLB trade deadline wasn't enough to anger Red Sox fans who hoped the team would add a reliever, Boston's president of baseball operations added more fuel to the fire on Tuesday.

Despite the bullpen being among the league leaders in blown saves (20) and ERA (4.49), Dombrowski doesn't believe it's to blame for the team's struggles this season. Instead, he points his finger at the starting rotation.

“I have gone through the blown saves, and I know we’ve had a number of them, but really it hasn’t cost us as many games as what you would think throughout the year. Our bullpen basically has been fine,” Dombrowski said on NESN's 'Red Sox First Pitch.' “And late in the game, Workman did a good job yesterday closing the game, Eovaldi gave up the home run, Barnes, I think is a little bit tired probably right now after the number of pitches he had thrown, but all-in-all he has pitched very well for us all year.

“So when we get to that point with those guys, and then you fill in with the two young lefties and Walden has done a good job in long relief, we have been fine. But really, our club, if we are going to thrive, and thrive well, it’s going to be because of our starting pitching.”

On one hand, Dombrowski makes a valid point. The starting staff has struggled to go deep in games throughout the year, which has taxed the bullpen and undoubtedly been a major factor in its ongoing struggles. However, that doesn't make the mistake of not naming an official closer before the season any easier to swallow. This group of relievers was doomed from the get-go, and Dombrowski continuously failing to address the organization's blunder remains a head-scratcher.

The Red Sox will need both the rotation and bullpen to turn it around over these next couple months if they're to clinch a playoff berth. With the division likely out of reach (14.5 games behind New York entering Tuesday night), Boston will look to gain ground in the wild-card race where it's a more manageable 5.5 games off the pace.

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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."