Red Sox

Mookie Betts, star receiver? MVP flashes slick moves on football field

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USA TODAY Sports

Mookie Betts, star receiver? MVP flashes slick moves on football field

Breaking news: Mookie Betts is a phenomenal athlete.

You already knew this about the Boston Red Sox outfielder and reigning American League MVP. But Betts provided further evidence in his latest Instagram post.

Here's the 26-year-old trying his hand at wide receiver during a recent workout -- and completely breaking his defender's ankles on a post-corner route.

Wonder if Bill Belichick has watched this tape yet? (We'll give Betts a pass on his shaky cornerback play in the final video of his post.)

Betts also is a professional-caliber bowler, so we'll just assume he's awesome at everything he does until proven otherwise.

The Red Sox officially get back to work Wednesday when pitchers and catchers have their first workout of 2019 spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.

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Red Sox place Chris Sale (elbow) on IL, call up Ryan Brasier to take his place

Red Sox place Chris Sale (elbow) on IL, call up Ryan Brasier to take his place

Chris Sale's frustrating season continued on Saturday evening.

The Boston Red Sox starter, who sports a 6-11 record and a career-worst 4.40 ERA, was placed on the 10-day IL with left elbow inflammation. The team confirmed this on Twitter and stated that Ryan Brasier would be called up to replace Sale.  

To make matters worse for Sale, Dave Dombrowski confirmed that Dr. James Andrews will be taking a look at Sale's MRI and Sale could even visit the renowned orthopedic surgeon. That could be a red flag that Sale has a bigger issue, as pitchers often visit Dr. Andrews to get second opinions about Tommy John surgery, per Jason Mastrodonato of The Boston Herald.

Dombrowski was noncommittal about Sale pitching again in 2019, so this situation will need to be monitored over the course of the coming week.

Sale joins teammate and fellow starter, David Price, on the IL. Price is dealing with a wrist injury caused by a cyst. Price may need surgery on the malady this offseason if the cortisone shot he received doesn't break up the cyst.

With both Sale and Price out, the Red Sox' starting rotation gets thinner, and that will make keeping pace in the Wild Card race a bit more difficult. With Andrew Cashner now pitching out of the bullpen, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello are the only two true starters in the rotation. Guys like Brian Johnson, Cashner, and Nathan Eovaldi do have starting experience, but only Cashner is currently stretched out to take on a starter's workload. Still, members of that trio may be asked to start until either Sale or Price can return.

Meanwhile, Brasier will return to the big-league club for the first time since he lasted just 2/3 of an inning in a four-run appearance on July 15 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Brasier has a 2-3 record and 4.46 ERA in 44 appearances with the Red Sox, but struggles with consistency prompted his demotion.

Brasier seems to be back on the right track now. In 10 appearances for Pawtucket, he is 2-0 with a minuscule 0.96 ERA and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox will hope that he can return to the form he held last year when he was a key late-inning bullpen option en route to the team's World Series victory.

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How did the Red Sox' Andrew Benintendi kick-start his recent hot streak?

How did the Red Sox' Andrew Benintendi kick-start his recent hot streak?

A little more than a month ago, Andrew Benintendi was being sat for multiple games in a row because, in the words of his manager, "we need him to feel hitter-ish again."

Safe to say that's happened.

Benintendi had three hits Friday night - a single, double and triple - in the Red Sox' 9-1 victory over the Orioles and since July 22, when Benintendi homered for the first time in more than a month in going 3-for-5 in a 9-4 victory over the Rays, he's hit .394 with five homers, 21 RBI and an OPS of 1.131.

The secret? It's what he's not doing. Benintendi got rid of the leg kick in his stance that he'd been using the first three months of the season. He bottomed when he was benched in the series in London when Alex Cora blamed the left fielder's "heavy legs." Then after an 0-for-12 stretch, he sat for the July 4 and 5 games in Toronto and Detroit. That's when he wasn't "hitter-ish."

He went 4-for-6 the next day in Detroit to raise his average from .266 to .274. He's now at .291 with 12 homers and 63 RBI for the season and is thriving in the fifth spot in the order after a failed experiment as a leadoff hitter early in the season and then ceding the No. 2 spot to red-hot Rafael Devers.

“It’s definitely made me feel more comfortable eliminating that leg kick," Benintendi told reporters after the game Friday. "Just trying to keep it simple.”

With or without the leg kick, Benintendi was confident he'd turn it around. 

“I never felt like I doubted anything,” he said. “I’m still just going out there and playing. Things just seem to be going better than they did in the first half.”

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