Results tagged ‘ David Ortiz ’

Saturday night at Fenway

What will David Ortiz do tonight to build off his home run from last night? Seemingly, not much. The slugger found himself on the bench for the third time in four games. The Red Sox have run into a string of lefties of late.

Victor Martinez is serving as the DH because tomorrow is a day game and they want him to catch Tim Wakefield.

Speaking of Wake, it should be a pretty good storyline with him pitching, and knowing it’s going to be his last start for a while. Wakefield has been a loyal soldier. You have to feel bad for him getting bounced from the rotation after just two bad starts. At the same time, you understand why the club no longer wants to stunt Clay Buchholz’s development.

The way baseball tends to work out, I’m thinking Wakefield will find his way back into the rotation at some point this season.

J.D. busts out

Quite a night last night at Fenway from start to finish. It had it all. Tonight? Mike Lowell put one over the Monster, J.D. Drew busted out of his slump with a grand slam and Darnell McDonald added to his instant cult hero status by going deep again. Meanwhile, two slumping players — David Ortiz and Victor Martinez — are on the bench.

Drew had one homer and two RBIs coming into tonight’s game. He couldn’t have picked a better time to break out, as Josh Beckett had dug the Sox a 4-1 hole after two innings.

Before the game, Drew’s slump was a topic of conversation with manager Terry Francona in the media briefing.

What had been bothering J.D.?

“Kind of like David,” Francona said. “He’s got his body out ahead of him. J.D’s got some of the best hitters hands you ever see but when their hands come forward, there’s not a lot left to do anything with the ball. It’s easy to say, ‘hey, drive the ball the other way.’ Sometimes you get in a rut where you don’t feel you can do that. That’s because sometimes your body is out ahead of everything.”

This time, J.D. waited for his pitch, got it and was rounding the bases with his fifth career grand slam.

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.”

Game 2 of 162

Encore, anyone? It will be hard to top Sunday for pageantry, drama and everything else.

But back they are, the Sox and the Yankees, for the second game of this series, and their second game of the season.

When you score nine runs like the Red Sox did on Sunday, don’t expect any lineup changes, and there aren’t any.

It was a great Opener offensively for manager Terry Francona’s nine.The only two guys who didn’t get hits were Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz, so perhaps they will get their firsts out of the way. Maybe Ortiz will take Burnett deep tonight and hit home run No. 1 on April 6 instead of May 20, like he did last year. Ortiz has three career homers off Burnett.

Clay Buchholz, meanwhile, won’t pitch until Sunday in Kansas City, which is nine days removed from his last spring start. To shake off any potential rust, he will throw a simulated game at Fenway tomorrow for three innings.

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.”

One game in the books — and Ino is 0-for-2

The 2010 Red Sox have officially played a game. OK, it’s not quite official. In fact, it doesn’t even count as a Grapefruit League game. But it was a 15-0 victory over Northeastern.

There was a sequence in this game you might never see again. Ino Guerrero, wearing No. 34, hit for the team’s other No. 34 — a guy named Big Papi.

Who is Ino Guerrero? His official title is “Major League staff”. Mainly, he is a batting practice pitcher. When Manny Ramirez played for the Red Sox, Ino threw just about all of his BP sessions. He still throws to David Ortiz all the time. The Red Sox had fun with his two at-bats, which resulted in two soft groundouts. Red Sox veterans heckled Guerrero from the top step of the dugout as he battled against Northeastern. Guerrero, pictured below by Brita Meng Outzen, grounded out so weakly in his second at-bat, that he didn’t even bother running out of
the box.
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“We’ve had a couple [of highlights] — the ’04 and ’07 [titles] are definitely at the top, but the Ino at-bats are right there. I never have caught myself rooting against our people,” Francona said, laughing. “That’s hard to say. But it’s one of the highlights, man. We’re playing Northeastern and every player from the next game is on the rail watching, pulling for a pulled hamstring. He warmed up for six innings!”

Ortiz, already dressed and ready to go home, checked out his BP pitcher from the dugout in amusement.
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Before the game turned into pure fun, Ortiz belted a two-run homer to right, a good sign for the Sox even if it was a windy (blowing out) type of day against college competition.

“David put good swings on the ball, and had good at-bats,” said Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez. “That’s a pretty good sign for this early in the camp.”

Meanwhile, Casey Kelly experienced his first taste of pitching for the Red Sox, firing 10 pitches in a scoreless first inning that also included two strikeouts.

While the Red Sox were tuning up with Northeastern — with a nightcap soon to start against Boston College — Clay Buchholz got two innings in over at the Minor League complex.

One Red Sox prospect you don’t hear as much about as some of the others is Che-Hsuan Lin, a speedy center fielder from Taiwan. You right remember Lin being named MVP of the Futures Game at Yankee Stadium two years ago. Lin started the Northeastern game and went 2-for-4.

“He smacked the ball,” said Francona. “It’s a nice way for a young kid to get his first chance to swing a bat in this atmosphere. I’m sure he probably had a little heartbeat going.”

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.
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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

Spring Training, meet boot camp

This wasn’t one of the most glamorous days for Red Sox position players, but it was a necessary part of camp, as they all went through conditioning drills, which included the shuttle relay, among other activities.

David Ortiz walked off the field, claiming kiddingly, “I was the champ out there!”.

All kidding aside, manager Terry Francona appreciated Ortiz going through the drills like a professional.

“That’s a lot of body,” said Francona. “I got tired watching those guys. I laugh at them, but he did it. I don’t know how many players of his stature [would do that] – but that’s a lot of body to move twice 300 yards and he did it and I know his teammates probably really appreciate it. It means something. It’s not the end all. It doesn’t mean he’s going to hit home runs. It doesn’t mean he’s not. But it’s part of being a team going in one direction and that’s important.”

It wasn’t all business for Ortiz, who had some fun on the field with his little buddy Dustin Pedroia, as captured in this photo by Brita Meng Outzen.
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Pedroia, who works out fanatically during the winter, got to put his supreme shape on display in the drills. Here he is, setting the pace with teammates Marco Scutaro and Jed Lowrie.
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Back when Red Sox manager Terry Francona was a player, these type of tests did not occur during Spring Training.

“We were just happy to get BP. I do agree with it though,” Francona said. “[Strength coach] Dave Page [suggested it] a few years back, because we’re always worried about ‘let’s get on the field, let’s throw, pitch, let’s hit, let’s take groudners.’ It’s really a good day. It gives us baseline testing for where everybody is. It’s just really important and our guys do a good job with it. no [whining] and moaning, they go out and do it. I would not enjoy doing it. but they do it and we appreciate it.”

Wednesday will mark the first full-squad workout for the Sox. Red Sox manager Terry Francona will hold his annual team meeting before the workout. General manager Theo Epstein will also appreciate, and so will the ownership trio of John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino.

Field Day

So the first official workout isn’t until Wednesday, I will grant you that. But today sure felt like an official workout. The only players who didn’t participate? J.D. Drew, who showed up in the late morning, Mike Lowell who unpacked his belongings in the early afternoon, and Marco Scutaro, who will make his first appearance in camp for physicals on Tuesday.

There was clearly a surge in energy with the arrival of David Ortiz. Big Papi showed up with a smile, eager to turn the page from a tough 2010.
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Mike Cameron and Adrian Beltre, two key newcomers, were also full of enthusiasm in their first day at the office with their new team. The biggest challenge for poor Cameron was finding the workout fields. He first drove to City of Palms Park, only to find that it was completely empty. Cameron also forgot his batting gloves, but he had an old friend in Bill Hall to borrow some from.
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It didn’t take Beltre long to put on a show during infield drills, as he smoothly picked just about everything that came his way.

Meanwhile, Kevin Youkilis was among the first to arrive in camp, and he was clearly having himself a good time today. Check out the leap action here, as showcased by photographer Brita Meng Outzen.
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Lowell will hold his press conference on Tuesday. It is obviously an awkward position for Mike, but if anyone is professional enough to handle the situation of being in complete limbo, it is Lowell.

And Daisuke Matsuzaka resumed throwing, playing catch between 60 and 90 feet, further proof that his back injury isn’t really much of an injury. He should be off a mound by early next week.

Varitek handling reduced role; Clinch party?

The Red Sox had a lineup on Friday night that had Jason Varitek behind the plate and Mike Lowell — despite four homers and 14 RBIs lifetime against Joba Chamberlain — on the bench.

“I really wish it was a little bit different,” Francona said. “He’s swung the bat so well off of Joba. It just doesn’t seem to make much sense to do that. We’ve got a couple of lefties the next two days. Again, and I know the numbers, it’s tremendous. I’m just trying to do something to not hurt him physically.”

Most often of late, Varitek has been the one to feel the lineup squeeze that has existed since Victor Martinez was acquired on July 31. Over that span, the Red Sox had played 50 games entering Friday, with each guy catching 25. Of course, Martinez has started at first base in nearly every instance when he wasn’t caching, while Varitek has ben relegated to the bench.

How has Varitek handled that?

“There was a reason they put that ‘C’ on his chest,” Francona said. “Even through maybe disappointment, or like you referred to it, a little bit of a reduced role, he still exhibits a lot of leadership. He’s helped Victor and he will continue to be very valuable to what we’re doing.”

Francona said that Varitek will catch two of the three games this weekend, but didn’t say if Martinez will catch Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday.

“It’s a possibility,” Francona said. “We don’t quite know yet what we’re going to do tomorrow or the next day. I don’t know if we want Tek to catch all three. We’ll see.”

*****
In another matter, the Red Sox, as David Ortiz indicated Thursday in Kansas City, will have no reservations about spraying champagne at Yankee Stadium if they clinch the Wild Card this weekend.

Ortiz joked in KC that it would be nice not to have to get the home clubhouse at Fenway dirty.

Manager Terry Francona also indicated his team should relish the moment when they officially become one of the eight teams what will move on.

“Of course. Oh yeah. I’ve actually been asked a couple of times, hey, if this happens, are you guys going to celebrate?’ I could never quite understand that. Because we were fortunate enough to win six years ago and then a couple of years ago, why in the world would we not be happy if we’re fortunate enough to go back to the playoffs?” Francona said.

“I never did quite understand that. What we don’t need to do is choreograph anything. That’s the part I think we need to stay away from. A couple of years ago, when Pap danced out on the field after that crazy night when we were at home and Mora bunted [against the Yankees], [there was] all the craziness there that could probably only happen in New York or Boston. …  What I’d like for us to do is play good and if they’re comes a moment when we’re able to celebrate, just do whatever you feel like doing.”

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