Red Sox

Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (sore knee) has Sunday start pushed back

Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (sore knee) has Sunday start pushed back

Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will miss his first scheduled spring training start Sunday after he felt soreness in his left knee following a fall before his live batting-practice throwing session on Wednesday.

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Rodriguez's fall came before the BP session. He will throw a live BP Monday rather than pitch against the Baltimore Orioles in a Grapefruit League game Sunday in Sarasota, Fla. Manager Ron Roenicke told reporters the Red Sox are just being cautious.

“He was going to pitch [on Sunday], he’s not going to pitch now,” Roenicke told reporters, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. “This we’ve been talking to him and trying to figure out what to do. When he fell the other day, the knee got a little sore. It is not like the other knee where he had issues, this is a minor thing, at least right now it certainly is. But he’s still a little uncomfortable with it. It’s better everyday. So, what we’re going to do is push him back a day, push him back to Monday.”

Right-hander Chris Mazza, 30, claimed off waivers from the Mets in the offseason and in competition for the fifth starter's spot, will get the start Sunday. He had a 3.61 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 17 starts at Triple-A Syracuse last season. 

Rodriguez did make a few throws on the side Saturday, as captured by our NBC Sports Boston Camera Guys:

Rodriguez missed the start of the 2018 season after offseason surgery on his right knee. He had a breakout season in 2019, going 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA in 34 starts (203.1 innings pitched).

The lefty from Venezuela turns 27 in June as has given some of the credit for his strong 2019 season to the mentorship of Hall of Famer and Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez, now a spring training instructor.

The Sox open exhibition play against major league teams (they beat Northeastern Friday, 3-0) Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla., against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Here's their lineup for the 1 p.m. game:

Andrew Benintendi LF
Jackie Bradley CF
J.D. Martinez DH
Michael Chavis 1B
Kevin Pillar RF
Jose Peraza 2B
Bobby Dalbec 3B
Tzu-Wei Lin SS
Jett Bandy C

Brian Johnson LHP

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers admits he still experiences anxiety before games

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers admits he still experiences anxiety before games

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers doesn't always have the easiest time preparing for games. 

After a breakout season in 2019 (.311, 32 homers, 115 RBI, .916 OPS), the 23-year-old has turned into one of Boston's best at the plate, but that doesn't mean he doesn't experience anxiety. 

The Boston Herald's Jason Mastrodonato sat down with Devers for an interview before the MLB postponed its season due to the coronavirus, and Devers indicated that he still feels a rush before games begin.

“The hardest thing I still go through is every game I still get this anxiousness of the game starting," Devers said, according to Mastrodonato. "It’s this happiness of being out there and being on the field and playing and getting over that anxiety. I’m just over-emotional about the opportunity and being out there playing.

“Because it’s not like a nervous thing, it’s more of an excited thing. That first inning is a big rush. But after that first inning settles, I get an at-bat and it’s like, alright, the game kind of settles. It’s just me being overly emotional about how happy I am.”

“It’s something I’ve been working on since I’ve been here. I’ve been working with previous people in the organization that led me to some of my breathing techniques that I do now. But it’s all about controlling myself. I know it. It’s still there and I’m still working on it. But I have gotten much better at it.”

Of course, you can tell that Devers can't wait to take the field -- he lights up like a kid on Christmas -- but you'd never know truly how emotional he gets. 

In three seasons with the Red Sox, Devers has hit .282 with 211 RBI, 63 home runs and a 5.8 WAR. Based on his 2019 stats, those pregame jitters must've been a little easier to deal with last season. 

Whatever's in store for the Red Sox in 2020, and whenever the baseball season begins, we should expect some big things from Devers in his fourth season.

Why was Red Sox great Bill Buckner trending on Twitter Friday night?

Why was Red Sox great Bill Buckner trending on Twitter Friday night?

R.I.P. Bill Buckner. Ten months later.

Why was the former Red Sox first baseman, who died on May 27, 2019, trending on Twitter Friday night?

It can apparently be traced to New York Times political writer Maggie Haberman on Friday afternoon tweeting a link to Buckner's obit from from the day he died of complications from Lewy body dementia at 69.

Haberman has 1.2 million Twitter followers and it appears some of them thought this was new news.

Former Boston Globe columnist and current MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle tweeted a Buckner tribute a few hours after Haberman's tweet. 

R.I.P Bill Bucker tweets followed well into Friday night, along with plenty informing the tweeter that Buckner had passed away months earlier. 

Haberman appeared to acknowledge her odd timing in a follow-up tweet.

No matter. As Barnicle points out, Buckner ought not to be remembered for the error that was the first line in his obit, but as a terrific hitter (2,715 hits, .289 career batting average, National League-leading .324 in 1980) in a 22-year major league career with five teams (Dodgers, Cubs, two stints with the Red Sox, Angels and Royals). 

And really, anytime is a good time to look back at that.