Results tagged ‘ Bill Hall ’

Beckett is back, others might not be far behind

Things are officially looking up for the Red Sox, as Josh Beckett’s first start since May 18 is currently in progress.

Returns to the active roster could become commonplace over the next couple of weeks.

* The next to be back in the lineup? Most likely Victor Martinez. The catcher will work with Clay Buchholz in the bullpen before tomorrow’s game and if he doesn’t feel any discomfort in his fractured thumb, that is a sign that he could return soon, maybe even in Anaheim.

“I mean, if I feel like I felt yesterday, I’m just days away. We’ll see what happens,” Martinez said.

* Then there is Dustin Pedroia. The second baseman will have his fractured left foot checked out by a doctor while the team is in Anaheim, but is unlikely to have clearance to remove his walking boot until a week from today, when he gets a CT-scan in Boston. Don’t talk to Pedroia about a Minor League rehab assignment. He is simply not interested.

“I’ll talk to Theo and Tito, everybody, but it depends how we’re doing as a team,” said Pedroia. “We’re trying to get everybody back as fast as possible and I think the Red Sox need us more than the PawSox do.”

* As for Pedroia’s replacements at second, Jed Lowrie was the one who got the start Friday. But Francona said not to take that as a slight at Bill Hall, who made two errors on Thursday and played in left tonight.

“I actually think he’s done a pretty good job,” Francona said. “He’s made some errors. Last night, that play for me was bang bang, I think he has to [throw it]. I don’t see how he eats that ball. If he eats it, everybody’s going to say, what the hell … The throw is off line and it’s costly. That happens. When you lose Pedroia, you can’t replace Pedroia with Pedroia. That’s not how it works. I think he’s done a really good job for us. But against the left-hander, I wanted Jed to play tonight so I guess the best way to do it was to play him at second.”

* Michael Bowden got caught in a roster crunch today as the Sox needed to send someone down to make room for Beckett. It was no slight at how he pitched.

“I’m obviously disappointed, but I had a feeling that this was going to happen,” Bowden said. “But I also have a feeling that I’ll be back sooner rather than later. Every time out there, I got a little more comfortable, a little more relaxed. I think it’s just about getting more repetitions, more appearances, so I can really feel 100 percent comfortable out there and do my job.”  

Pedroia has fractured foot

The Red Sox will be without the man most consider to be their Most Valuable Player for the next several weeks, as it was learned this morning that Dustin Pedroia has a non-displaced fracture in the navicular bone of his left foot.

How long will Pedroia be out? Obviously a minimum of 15 days because he was placed on the disabled list today, but realistically it will be longer. The Red Sox doctors are pouring through the tests done by San Francisco’s medical staff, and a time-table will become more apparent once they study everything. Pedroia will see Red Sox medical director Thomas Gill and also Dr. George Theodore, the team’s foot specialist, on Monday in Boston.

In the meantime, Bill Hall will probably get the bulk of the at-bats at second base. Angel Sanchez has been summoned from Pawtucket to help from a depth standpoint.

Marathon Monday

Everyone ready for some morning baseball? The Red Sox are ready to erase a four-game losing streak and the general bad feeling that engulfs the Nation at the moment.

John Lackey was double-fisted with Red Bull at 9:15 this morning, so I think he’s ready to go.

The Sox will be without Mike Cameron today. The center fielder is again in pain, perhaps in the midst of passing another kidney stone. Bill Hall makes the start in his place.

Cameron a late scratch; Hall to play center

When Mike Cameron limped through the clubhouse this morning to huddle with manager Terry Francona and trainer Mike Reinold, it was pretty apparent his name wasn’t going to be in the starting lineup very much longer. And moments later, he was out of the lineup, replaced in center by Bill Hall. Cameron has a lower abdominal strain. Obviously the Red Sox are short-handed in the outfield, as Jacoby Ellsbury is still out of the mix after hurting his left ribs in a collision on Sunday.

This is Hall’s first start in center since 2007, when he played there regularly. No word yet on how long Cameron will be out. And while the hope is that Ellsbury can play tomorrow at Fenway, that is far from a certainty. There’s at least a chacne the Red Sox might need an outfield reinforcement from Pawtucket for the start of the homestand.

Jeremy Hermida was originally on the bench today, replaced in left by Bill Hall. But that changed once Hall moved to center.

David Ortiz will get a rest today, with Mike Lowell drawing the start at DH against lefty Fransisco Liriano.

By the way, in case you were wondering if Ortiz had a steal sign or a hit and run sign when he was caught stealing on Wednesday, the answer would be, um, no.

“Neither,” quipped Francona. “That was re-established during the game.”

First getaway day in 2010

It is a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, with the waterfall out in right-center in full effect. Perfect day for baseball.
waterfall.JPG
The only real lineup news for the Sox is J.D. Drew being out for a day with a stiff neck.  Bill Hall will make his first start of the year at short.

Of course, it will be intriguing to watch Clay Buchholz pitch today, because, at some point, Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to be in the rotation and someone is going to have to come out. Tim Wakefield didn’t look like that someone on Friday, when he threw seven terrific innings.

And a happy 38th birthday to Sox captain Jason Varitek, who celebrated with a pair of homers last night.

Bonser takes a breather; Embree set for Wednesday

Boof Bonser set that he felt his groin tighten up during the last batter he faced on Monday, so he was in no way using that as an excuse for a shaky performance against the Rays. The Red Sox held Bonser back from baseball activities on Tuesday, but the injury is not believed to be serious.

“It was only the last hitter I faced, like the fourth pitch,” said Bonser. “They want to make sure this is completely gone and we’ll go from there.”

Will Bonser do baseball activities soon?

“I’m hoping so,” said Bonser. “I wanted to do it today but they said, ‘don’t do anything stupid and just take the day off’.”

Bonser is on the bubble to make the team, so he obviously doesn’t want to be held back by this injury. At the same time, the Red Sox don’t want him to push it too fast, mindful of the fact he had rotator cuff and labrum surgery 13 months ago.

In other news, lefty Alan Embree is all set to pitch in a Minors game on Wednedsay, representing his first game pitch of any kind since his right leg was broken on a line drive last July. Embree was signed to a Minor League deal by the Sox on Saturday. This marks his return to the team he pitched for from 2002-05.

Jed Lowrie? He is still sapped from mono, and not doing much of anything.

Any update?

“Unfortunately there really isn’t,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “The update is that he doesn’t feel that well. He doesn’t feel well enough to do a lot besides, really, walking. He’s kind of got on the bike for short stretches. That’s kind of where we’re at. The problem with this is not only what he’s going through but probably trying to regain when he comes back. You know how you lose so much when you’re just laying around. That’s just how he feels. He’s kind of stuck in neutral.”

Is Francona worried about the potential lack of depth at shortstop come Opening Day? Despite Bill Hall making two errors there on Monday, Francona sounds confident he can do the job there when needed.

“I think Billy has really embraced going out there. He likes it, he enjoys it,” Francona said. “Just, again, the more reps he gets, the better off he’ll be. And he’s getting his at-bats all over the place but a lot lately we’ve played him at short because there’s been at-bats there. I think it’s been good for him.”

Meanwhile, the roster size continues to shrink. Michael Bowden, Aaron Bates and Ramon A. Ramirez were optioned to Pawtucket today and Jorge Sosa was re-assigned to Minors camp. That leaves 40 players in Major League camp, 39 if you consider that Dice-K is all but certain to begin the season on the disabled list.

Father Farrell watches a hit

For just a moment on Friday afternoon, Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell became father John Farrell.

In a classy gesture by the Pirates, they brought Minor League infield prospect Jeremy Farrell on board as a Minor League extra for Friday’s game against the Red Sox.

So with John Farrell watching intently from the dugout in the bottom of the seventh, Jeremy belted a single up the middle against Red Sox righty Jorge Sosa.

Though Farrell was fairly modest in his comments to reporters after, you can bet he was beaming with pride. So, too, was Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

“Was that great? I hate to root against our guys but that was pretty cool,” Francona said. “That was fun to watch.”

John Farrell’s take?

“You don’t get to see him very often but to see him in this setting is pretty special and we appreciate the Pirates for bringing him over for half a game,” Farrell said. “You like to see the aggressiveness about him. He looks to be in great shape. I know he loves what he’s doing. We’ll see where it takes him.”

As for Farrell’s job as pitching coach, the Red Sox have some juggling to do over the next couple of days. The club has split squad contests on both Sunday and Monday. Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield draws Saturday’s home start vs. the Orioles. On Sunday, Jon Lester takes the ball at home against the Astros, while Felix Doubront pitches at Dunedin against the Jays.

Monday, Boof Bonser pitches at home against the Rays, with Michael Bowden drawing the Jupiter assignment against the Cardinals. John Lackey will also pitch Monday, in a Minor League game. Obvioulsy the Sox gain more from monitoring Bonser, a bubble candidate to make the team, up close, than Lackey, who has breezed through the spring.

“A guy like Bonser, we want him to pitch in an A game,” Francona said. “You’ll see some guys pitch over at the complex. We do that every year. Lackey is to the point where he’ll go get his work in and he’ll be in good shape and we can watch the other guys pitch.”

As for Friday’s game, David Ortiz and Jeremy Hermida both belted longballs, but they had some help from a friendly wind gusting out to right.

“David, real good swing,” Francona said. “Like you were kind of alluding to, though, today’s a day where if you elevate it, it’s going to leave the ballpark. If he got the barrel to it, it went out. It’s a difficult day to judge your pitching. [Junichi Tazawa] gets one and looks like it’s a lineout or a double and it’s a homer. That happens. But it also kind of re-affirms, throw strikes, keep the ball down.”

Meanwhile, Bill Hall took a solid step forward in his quest to show the Sox he can be a backup shortstop, among the other roles he will fill. Hall made all the plays and looked smooth in completing a double play.

 “I thought he had a good day,” Francona said. “I thought he had a real good day. I thought he moved his feet. That was good to see. I thought he did a good job.”

Friday tidbits from Bradenton

Daisuke Matsuzaka has returned to Fort Myers today after witnessing the birth of his third child — a daughter — in Boston last night. Matsuzaka will pitch in a Minor League game on either Sunday or Monday.

Jacoby Ellsbury, ill the last few days, will return to the lineup for Saturday’s home game.

Utilityman Gil Velazquez, likely ticketed for Pawtucket anyway, has a chipped bone in his left thumb and won’t play for several weeks. Add that to the fact that Jed Lowrie has mono, and Francona is finding himself light on backup shortstops. Bill Hall is getting the start there today in Bradenton, as Tito and the staff want to see if he is still capable of playing that position well enough to warrant regular-season action there.

Mike Lowell is not in Bradenton, but he was at the Minor League complex in Fort Myers, getting some at-bats. He went 2-for-4 with a homer, a walk and three RBIs. Lowell will make his first Grapefruit League start at the hot corner on Sunday, but not sure yet if he’s at home or with the split squad in Dunedin. I’m guessing it will be in the home game.

One player to continue to keep an eye on is Junichi Tazawa, who has great versatility.

“Very interesting,” Francona said. “He can do different things. he can relieve, he can start, he holds runners. He’s another guy who has come a long way in a year. last year, looking at him, all the history there of coming out of the industrial league. Now he’s a guy that should not only be in a fight maybe to make our team ,but someone we really think highly of. He can be useful as a reliever. He throws strikes, he holds runners. You don’t want to write off a guy being a starter. Depending on what our needs are, he could always be a reliever. Having guys that have the ability to throw maybe 180-200 innings is pretty important.”

Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell gets to see his son Jeremy play up close today. Jeremy Farrell is a Minor Leaguer with the Pirates, and the Bucs summoned young Jeremy as an extra for today’s game. Classy move.

A clean bill of health

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The weather was crisp, the sun was beaming and the crowds were healthy. It was a good day at Red Sox camp on Monday — and the injury report reflected that.

Here are some camp tidbits on the ailing Daisuke Matsuzaka, Mike Lowell and Mike Cameron, plus some other stuff …
* Red Sox manager Terry Francona was pretty giddy about Matsuzaka’s progress on returning from tightness in his upper back, saying the Japanese right-hander “had a great day.” Matsuzaka, who threw from 150 feet on Sunday, increased the distance to 180-200 feet — Francona said he got “real aggressive” — and finished up throwing a bit off the mound, with the catcher standing up. 
Matsuzaka said through his interpreter that he threw about 25-30 pitches off the mound and would ideally like to throw his bullpen on Thursday. 
“That was about as good a day, I think, as you could have,” Francona said. “I don’t think you can throw the ball like that and not be totally healthy. So, probably start thinking about towards the end of the week, getting him some real mound work where he’s throwing some sides and throwing to hitters and going through that progression. But that was a real, real good day.”
* Lowell (right thumb) hit some actual pitches in the batting cage, taking in three rounds of about 15 pitches each. Lowell said, “It went OK,” and Francona said he’ll take batting practice on the field on Tuesday. “Sounds like it went real well,” Francona added. There’s still no timetable as to when Lowell — pictured below by Brita Meng Outzen with Adrian Beltre — will actually play in a Spring Training game.

* Cameron  didn’t do any of the outfield drills, but he took batting practice, as pictured below. “He has improved,” Francona said.
cameronhacks.JPG
* Utility man Bill Hall took some grounders at shortstop today. If Lowell isn’t traded before Opening Day, they’ll need him to be able to play the position because Jed Lowrie likely wouldn’t find a place on the 25-man roster. If Lowell stays with the team, the bench would likely be composed of Jason Varitek, Hall, Jeremy Hermida (more on him later) and Lowell. 
Hall is obviously the only one with shortstop experience in that group, having played 261 career games there but none since 2006. So, can he work out at shortstop again?
“I hope so,” Francona said. “That’s something we’ll find out this spring.”
* Jonathan Papelbon’s first game action will come Thursday, in the Grapefruit League opener against the nearby Twins. 
– Alden Gonzalez

Opening Day lineups set (in a way)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — OK, so it’s not really Opening Day, per se, but it is the first game of the 2010 season (never mind the fact that it doesn’t count, and it’s a doubleheader against two college programs). Anyway, the Red Sox finalized the lineup for that Wednesday exhibition-opening doubleheader at City of Palms Park. Victor Martinez will bat third in the opener, and captain Jason Varitek will make his spring debut in the nightcap.
vicandtek.JPG

Here it is …
Against Northeastern (1:05 p.m. ET)
Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
Bill Hall, 3B
Victor Martinez, C
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Lars Anderson, 1B
Darnell McDonald, RF
Che-Hsuan Lin, CF
Gil Velazquez, 2B
SP: Casey Kelly
Against Boston College (6:05 p.m.)
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Tug Hulett, DH
Josh Reddick, CF
Ryan Kalish, CF
SP: Boof Bonser
By the way, I’m filling in for Ian Browne on Red Sox duty today. Follow along if you’re on Twitter (@Alden_Gonzalez), and feel free to drop me a line via e-mail (Alden.Gonzalez@mlb.com).
– Alden Gonzalez
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 85 other followers