Red Sox

Will Red Sox follow through on trading catcher before Opening Day?

Will Red Sox follow through on trading catcher before Opening Day?

Dave Dombrowski has been transparent about the Boston Red Sox's catcher situation. He'd prefer to have two on the Opening Day roster, and the Red Sox currently have three with major league experience.

But Boston's season opener is just over a month away, and it doesn't sound like Dombrowski is planning to trade any of Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart in the immediate future.

“I would’ve even thought we would have made a move before we came to spring training, in a lot of cases," Dombrowski said Monday in Bradenton, Fla., before a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, per MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo.

“There are some catchers who aren’t even signed yet, who are still out there. It’s one of those where, I learned a long time ago, don’t worry about what you can’t control.”

Vazquez, who started 10 of the Red Sox's 14 postseason games last season, appears to have the edge over Leon and Swihart for the starting job. He's the best defensive catcher of the trio and at least provides serviceable offense, as Leon (.177) and Swihart (.229) both struggled mightily at the plate in 2018.

Swihart's agent also requested a trade for his client last season, so Boston likely will explore the possibility of moving the 26-year-old over the next few weeks.

But the catcher market, like the rest of the free agent market, has been slow-moving. Some veterans like Martin Maldonado still haven't signed, and there's been virtually no trade buzz at the position since J.T. Realmuto landed with the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this month.

That means Dombrowski may have to wait until the end of spring training to find a suitor for one of his catchers or risk releasing a player like Leon or Swihart, who both are out of minor league options.

"None of them have options left, but we're also not going to just give them away to give them away," Dombrowski said back in December. "We'll see where that takes us."

In the two-plus months since Dombrowski made that comment, the answer is "nowhere." And we may have to wait another month for closure.

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Nathan Eovaldi expected to return in six weeks after elbow surgery

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USA TODAY Sports

Nathan Eovaldi expected to return in six weeks after elbow surgery

The Boston Red Sox will be without Nathan Eovaldi for at least a month and a half.

The right-hander underwent successful arthroscopic surgery in New York on Tuesday to remove a loose body in his right elbow, the Red Sox announced.

He's expected to make a "full return to pitching" in six weeks, per the team.

The Red Sox placed Eovaldi on the 10-day injured list over the weekend with an elbow issue after he posted a 6.00 ERA through four starts.

The 29-year-old is just over a year removed from a March 2018 procedure to remove loose bodies in his elbow while he was with the Tampa Bay Rays. He also missed the entire 2017 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

"From everything that I heard, he's doing well," manager Alex Cora said Tuesday morning at Fenway Park. "The expectation is for him to recover. He went through this last year. He should be fine when he comes back and ready to roll."

Cora said pitcher Hector Velazquez likely will make a few starts in Eovaldi's absence, which should last into early June.

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Red Sox vs. Tigers lineups: Michael Chavis at third base for doubleheader Game 1

Red Sox vs. Tigers lineups: Michael Chavis at third base for doubleheader Game 1

The Boston Red Sox will play two Tuesday, and they're mixing things up for the first one.

Rookie Michael Chavis gets the start at third base for Game 1 of Boston's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park after Monday's series opener was rained out.

Chavis made his first major league start Sunday at second base, but third base is his more natural position and where he played the most games in the minors last season.

In another odd quirk, Christian Vazquez will be the Red Sox's designated hitter Tuesday, with Sandy Leon catching left-hander Chris Sale. Recent call-up Tzu-Wei Lin gets the call at second base, while J.D. Martinez will play right field with Jackie Bradley Jr. out as Boston aims for its fourth consecutive win.

Here are both full lineups for Game 1, which is set for 1:10 p.m. ET:

BOSTON RED SOX (9-13)
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Mookie Betts, CF
J.D. Martinez, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Steve Pearce, 1B
Michael Chavis, 3B
Christian Vazquez, DH
Tzu-Wei Lin, 2B
Sandy Leon, C

Chris Sale, LHP (0-4, 8.50 ERA)

DETROIT TIGERS (10-10)
Jeimer Candelario, 3B
Nicholas Castellanos, DH
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Niko Goodrum, RF
Dustin Peterson, LF
Ronny Rodriguez, SS
Josh Harrison, 2B
Grayson Greiner, C
JaCoby Jones, CF

Matthew Boyd, LHP (1-1, 2.96 ERA)

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