Red Sox

Hanley wants to play '10 more years'; E-Rod pleased with surgery

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Hanley wants to play '10 more years'; E-Rod pleased with surgery

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — In absence of any actual changes to the Red Sox, there has been a lot of talk of potential internal improvements, many of which are reasonable to expect. Health issues contributed to drop-offs left and right.

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Among the players who went for surgery this offseason were Hanley Ramirez and Eduardo Rodriguez, two players at very different points in their careers but with one shared thread: there's optimism for both after they were operated on by Dr. James Andrews to start their offseason.

Ramirez, 34, had a left shoulder arthroscopy and debridement, Rodriguez a right knee patellofemoral ligament reconstruction. For Rodriguez, the surgery was done to stabilize a knee that kept suffering subluxations. 

Ramirez’s confidence hasn’t waned.

Among the proclamations he offered Saturday morning at Foxwoods, where the Red Sox are holding Winter Weekend (and where Ramirez referred to himself as “Miami Hanley”): 

• On his 2019 vesting option, based on plate appearances this season (he needs just shy of 500): “I'm not thinking about the 500 at-bats. Definitely, I want to stay here. This is the team that signed me when I was 16. The first thing we have to do is just win and see what happens after.”

• On the possibility the Red Sox add J.D. Martinez: “I know I can hit and I’m gonna hit, it’s not gonna affect me. You just got to be a good teammate and be ready to go wherever they need you to.”

• On how much longer he wants to play: "Maybe 10 more years.” A reporter expressed disbelief. ”Oh, I'm kidding? 40, 43. Only myself knows how I feel. After surgery, my mind, my body, everything just relaxed. I feel different now.”

• As a follow-up, Ramirez was asked if his interest in playing so long would make him the Dominican Ichiro. “I'm going to be Miami Hanley doing damage on the field.”

Ramirez was bothered by both his shoulders in his 2017. He didn’t play first base because his right shoulder on his throwing arm was bothersome too. He did not have that throwing shoulder operated on, however. 

“We got the left shoulder take care of it. It’s strong and definitely way better,” Ramirez said. “The other was one weak. I just got to strength — that’s what we did, this past, what two, three months and it feels good. And the left one is way better. And then I’m going to be what I want to be.”

Ramirez said he’s already started to throw long toss, compared to a year ago, when he had not yet thrown. It was never clear how to Ramirez exactly what caused his throwing shoulder to be so bothersome, but he wanted to start throwing early this offseason.

More first base is a possibility, as he sees it.

“And I would [play more]. And I would,” Ramirez said. “Right shoulder’s feeling good. I’ve been throwing, hitting, so everything’s ready to go. Should be ready to go from the first day, from Day 1. Throwing, I’ve been throwing long toss.”

Rodriguez, meanwhile, has not thrown off a mound or run yet, but it sounds like the mental strain of always worrying about his knee has been lessened. 

Likely, he won’t really know until he’s throwing off a mound again.

“They just did a surgery. I just feel way better now,” Rodriguez said. “I feel like my kneecap isn’t going pop out anymore. That’s a good thing because I feel comfortable now. 

“You’ll see, bro. It happened like three times already. I was trying to fight to pitch with a knee like that. And I did it. Sometimes downs and up. Now, I’m down just fine. I got my surgery. Now it’s time to get back to the guy I was before I got the surgery.”

Rodriguez isn't expected to be ready for Opening Day, but some time in late April or early May appears reasonable.


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The Baseball Show Podcast: J.D. Martinez on pace for monster season

The Baseball Show Podcast: J.D. Martinez on pace for monster season

Lou Merloni and Red Sox insider Evan Drellich debate and discuss some of the week's biggest Red Sox topics, presented by Twin River Casino. . .

0:22 - With a pair of homers on Sunday vs. the Orioles, J.D. Martinez continued his hot streak and is on pace to surpass the team's expectations of him. Lou and Evan discuss Martinez's power to all fields and how his hitting approach has had a positive impact on his teammates.

6:44 - Lou and Evan break down the ugly situations for Carson Smith, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Blake Swihart and discuss what the club can do to deal with the struggles of all three players.

13:40 - Evan and Lou go around the horn and look at a few headlines from around the league: Robinson Cano's 80-game suspension, the Cubs interest in Manny Machado and Dustin Pedroia's nearing return to the Red Sox.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

J.D. Martinez's 2 vastly different HRs lead Red Sox past O's

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J.D. Martinez's 2 vastly different HRs lead Red Sox past O's

BOSTON -- J.D. Martinez took plenty of ribbing in the dugout after slicing a short home run inside the Pesky Pole at Fenway Park.

A few innings later, he showed his teammates some serious power.

Martinez hit two vastly different drives for his first multihomer game with Boston, powering Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox to a rare 13-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

It was the most hits Boston has allowed in a shutout since at least 1908, the team said.

Signed to a $110 million, five-year deal as a free agent in February, the 30-year-old Martinez curled his first home run an estimated 324 feet around the right-field foul pole. He hammered his second - projected at 443 feet - to the deepest part of the ballpark, beyond the center-field triangle, for his 15th of the season.

"They were making me laugh," Martinez said, standing in the middle of the clubhouse with a smile on his face. "I said, `I've got to get even for some of the ones I hit in April when it was cold out and I thought I crushed some and they weren't even going anywhere.' They were definitely teasing me, but I'll take it."

When reminded about the distance of his second one, he said: "I let `em know."

Martinez drove in three runs, and Andrew Benintendi had a two-run homer among his three hits as the Red Sox won three of four in the series to improve to 6-1 against Baltimore this season.

Red Sox teammate Mookie Betts is impressed by Martinez's power to the opposite field.

"I don't know if anybody else can do what he does, so that's why he's one of a kind," Betts said. "He can also hit it out of any part of the park, too."

The Orioles got 13 hits but lost for the 15th time in 16 road games and dropped to a major league-worst 4-19 away from Camden Yards. Adam Jones had three of Baltimore's 12 singles.

"It's hard to get 13 hits and not score any runs," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's frustrating."

Rodriguez (4-1) scattered nine hits, struck out seven and didn't walk a batter in 5 2/3 innings.

Leading 1-0 in the fifth, the Red Sox chased David Hess (1-1) and took charge with four runs. Benintendi hit his shot into the Orioles' bullpen after Jackie Bradley Jr.doubled leading off.

Mitch Moreland doubled before Martinez belted his second homer of the day. His first came in the second inning.

Hess gave up five runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in his second major league start.

"They definitely make some adjustments quick and you have to be able to adjust just as quick," he said. "That's a lineup that from top to bottom can do damage."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: 1B Chris Davis was out of the lineup because he's been struggling against left-handers, batting only .139 (5 for 36). ... Showalter said Jones exited in the seventh because he was sick.

Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora gave DH-1B Hanley Ramirez, in a 5-for-26 slump with no extra-base hits in his last six games, the day off "to work on a few things and keep him off his feet." ... Cora did the same for shortstop Xander Bogaerts, saying: "I think he only had like one off day since coming back from the DL." Bogaerts was sidelined April 9-27 with an injured left ankle. ... 2B Dustin Pedroia (recovering from offseason left knee surgery) was slated to be the DH in a rehab game at Triple-A Pawtucket.

LIKE AN INFIELDER

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski played a foul ball that sailed into his box behind home plate on the bounce, picking it up from a tabletop in front of him. Next to him was former Red Sox right fielder Dwight Evans, who won eight Gold Gloves during his career.

DOUBLE THREAT

Martinez and Betts became the first pair of players in Red Sox history with 15 or more homers in the first 50 games of a season.

GREAT ENDINGS

The Red Sox improved to 14-1 in series finales.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-5, 4.83 ERA) starts Monday in the opener of a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox.

Red Sox: After an off day, LHP Chris Sale (4-1, 2.29) pitches Tuesday at Tampa Bay. Sale has allowed three or fewer runs in all 10 of his starts.