Results tagged ‘ Dustin Pedroia ’

Pedroia back; Napoli out

As the Red Sox welcomed one key hitter back to the lineup in Dustin Pedroia, they lost another — at least for the night — in Mike Napoli.

Pedroia is leading off tonight, with Bogaerts hitting second and Gomes hitting fourth. Napoli dislocated his left ring finger on Tuesday night in a gruesome-looking head-first dive into second.

He is day-to-day.

Daniel Nava will play first base in Napoli’s absence tonight.

Pedroia relieved, hopes to play Wednesday

Dustin Pedroia admits he had some concern that something was seriously wrong with his left hand. Instead, it was just inflammation, and the invaluable second baseman could be back in the lineup as early as Wednesday.

“Very [relieved].” Pedroia said. “If it was broke, I would have been out a long time. It’s good news. Hopefully I’ll be in there tomorrow. They gave me a shot to calm everything down. Hopefully, it takes, they say 24 to 48 hours to kick in and then get out there and go.”

More on the injury: “Yeah, I was a little bit worried. It was getting worse every day. it happens. I get taken out every day. it’s my job. I just felt like it was part of the deal. I’m still obviously doing the rehab on my thumb stuff. they wanted me to get checked out and make sure everything is fine.”

What is the issue? “Just inflammation in this area spot in my wrist. It was basically with my rehab stuff with my thumb. Just a spot where I got caught in a weird angle when I got taken out. everything just got inflamed and then I keep swinging and playing, it just adds up and so, you think something is really wrong.”

He hopes it doesn’t linger.  “Yeah, that’s why I’m not playing today. I’m trying to strangle John and get in there but you know if one more day can, this can go away, that’s great.”

Odds and ends from college doubleheader

The Red Sox of 2014 have played baseball for the first time, albeit against college opponents Northeastern and Boston College.

Northeastern lefty has moment to remember: The most entertaining portion of the afternoon was when Northeastern lefty James Mulvy — a West Roxbury native and Boston Latin School graduate — struck out Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz back-to-back.

Yes, the kid will have something to talk about when he holds court on the quad between classes this spring. And Ortiz doesn’t blame him if he wants to brag.

“I was just trying to see if I could get a strike to hit or whatever. He ended up throwing me a nasty breaking ball, whatever it was. He can party tonight,” Ortiz said.

Comeback story:  It’s doubtful Grady Sizemore will party tonight, but he has reason to be excited after playing his first baseball game since Sept. 22, 2011. Sizemore, an ongoing storyline this spring, went 0-for-2 in his debut.

“Exciting,” said Sizemore. “I was looking forward to it for a couple of days now. I was happy to get out there and get back into games.”

A more comfortable De La Rosa: Rubby De La Rosa, one of the pitchers the Red Sox got back in the August, 2012 blockbuster with the Dodgers, appeared at ease in firing two shutout innings against BC. The righty has been working on his mechanics and is much more familiar with the organization than when he arrived in Fort Myers a year ago.

“I just see a more relaxed guy on the mound,” said John Farrell. “Yeah, I think the second year past, or second year of pitching further away from Tommy John is going to lend to that. He’s come into camp I thought in pretty good shape physically. And all those things combined, I think it was a product of what we saw today.”

A Workman-like effort: After what he did under fire last season, Brandon Workman would be almost a sure thing to make most rosters this spring. But the Red Sox are loaded in the pitching department and there might have to be an injury for Workman to make the team out of Spring Training. He was solid against Northeastern, firing two clean innings.

“It’s a tribute to the focus and the concentration that he’s gained a reputation of coming through the system, what he showed last year in the two different roles in which he pitched,” Farrell said. “And today he comes out, he attacks the strike zone, showed a good breaking ball. I think in addition to him, overall, it was a good day on the mound.”

Tomorrow’s activity: The Red Sox open the Grapefruit League portion of their schedule on Friday, when the Twins make the short bus ride to JetBlue Park. Anthony Ranaudo, the talented righty Pedro Martinez touted earlier in the week, will draw the start against the Twins. Manager John Farrell said the entire starting infield of Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks will be in the lineup.

Pedroia back up top

Without Jacoby Ellsbury for a while, the Red Sox might be doing some improvising in the lineup.

There is a clear example of that tonight as Dustin Pedroia bats leadoff for the first time since 2009. In ’09, Pedroia was a .219 hitter in 25 games.

More on the lineup decision in a bit when we speak with manager John Farrell.

A first: Middlebrooks playing second

SAN FRANCISCO — Prior to the bottom of the seventh inning in Wednesday’s game against the Giants, Red Sox manager John Farrell raised two fingers to Will Middlebrooks. Poor Middlebrooks. He had no idea what his manager meant by the signal.

How could he? Middlebrooks had never played second base in his life. Not in LIttle League, not in high school, not in the Minors and certainly not n the Majors.

But with the latest roster shuffle leaving the Red Sox without a backup second baseman, Middlebrooks has now inherited that role. Farrell decided to give him a trial by fire in Wednesday’s game with the Red Sox holding a double-digit lead.

Middlebrooks did not disappoint, turning the middle of a 6-4-3 double play in the bottom of the seventh.

On the same day Middlebrooks hit a two-run homer earlier in the game, he had no problem identifying his highlight of the game.

“Probably turning the DP,: Middlebrooks said. “That was a lot of fun. That was out of nowhere, I wasn’t expecting it, that was a lot of fun.”

Farrell took a leap of faith thinking Middlebrooks could be comfortable at second just by judging how he looked when the Red Sox overshift on left-handed batters. That doesn’t mean Middlebrooks has had much time to work on second base since his return to Boston a couple of weeks ago.

“Not much. I haven’t worked on it. I haven’t turned a play up the middle since I was 18 in Texarkana, Texas, so it’s been awhile.’’

It was a funny moment when Farrell told Middlebrooks he was switching from third to second late in the game.

“I thought I misunderstood him,” Middlebrooks said. “He looked at me and [held up two fingers]. I had just grounded out. He gave me ‘this’ and I didn’t know what he was talking about. I had to run up and get a different glove. I have a smaller one.”

Middlerooks agrees with Farrell’s reasoning that the shift coverage helped him prepare a little for the unfamiliar responsibility.

“Yeah, absolutely, that way I can at least see the angle of the balls and how the ball comes off the bat. It really wasn’t that big of a difference, it wasn’t a big deal,” said Middlebrooks.

So Middlebrooks really never played second before Wednesday?

“No, never, never, never. Shortstop my whole life then I played third my first year in pro ball.,” Middlebrooks said.

Fortunately for the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia doesn’t require much time off. Middlebrooks will be the insurance option at second until Sept. 1, when rosters are expanded. With the Red Sox having multiple off-days before then, Pedroia probably won’t need to come out of the starting lineup, barring an injury.

And the way Middlebrooks has been swinging the bat, the Red Sox want to keep him right where he is — at the hot corner.

Pedroia’s new contract

Here are the terms of Dustin Pedroia’s new contract, through an industry source:

The contract is eight years, $110-million including the restructuring of Pedroia’s original contract for 2014.

The signing bonus is $1 million.

Here is the year-by-year

2014 — $12.5 million

2015 — $12.5 million

2016 — $13 million

2017 — $15 million

2018 — $16 million

2019 – $15 million

2020 — $13 million

2021 — $12 million

Some of the salary is deferred.

The deal contains trade protection, but not a full no trade.

There is a standard awards package.

Pedroia’s $100-million deal done pending physical

In a matter of days, the Red Sox will formally announce that they’ve reached a seven-year, $100-million contract with Dustin Pedroia.

While the financial security is nice, Pedroia made it clear that his motivation was to make sure he never plays a Major League game for any team besides the Red Sox.

“It’s not official or anything, but this is my home.” Pedroia said. “I love being here, I love my teammates, love this city. If it becomes that, I’ll be pretty excited.”

“That’s really important. The Red Sox drafted me. A lot of teams passed on me because of my size and stuff like that. It’s pretty important. That’s why I want to make sure I work as hard as I can to make sure that they made the right choice in drafting me and me being here my whole career.

The deal will be complete once Pedroia passes his physical, which is expected to be on Wednesday.

That being said, Pedroia admitted how exciting the likelihood is that he will be with the Red Sox through at least 2021.

Pedroia, 29, is in the fourth year of a six-year deal that included an $11 million team option for ’15. Instead of an option year, that will now mark the starting point of his new deal, which was first reported by WEEI.com and subsequently confirmed by MLB.com.

“I just want to make sure I’m playing my last game here. That’s important,” Pedroia said. “It’s the only thing I know. I love putting on the Red Sox uniform everyday. Every game is important to me and my teammates. It’s pretty special.”

In this day and age, it is rare for star players – or any players for that matter – to spend an entire career with one team. But Pedroia and the Red Sox have always had a unique relationship.

Pedroia loves all that entails with playing baseball in Boston, and the Red Sox fully appreciate a player who embodies everything they want their franchise to represent.

“As far as the contract, I know there’s conversations going on. I don’t know that anything is official yet,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “What Dustin means to this team is the example which he demonstrates every day, whether it’s his early work, the way he competes inside a game. He sets the tone for us. He embodies everything that we value as far as a player — the respect to the game that he has and the effort which he puts forth every night.”

Fresh off making his fourth All-Star appearance last week, Pedroia is hitting .308 with six home runs, 57 RBIs and 13 stolen bases while appearing in an American League-best 100 games.

His consistent production during his eight seasons with the Red Sox has included his winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award in ’07 and AL MVP one year later. He led the AL in hits, runs scored and doubles in his MVP season and also led the league in runs scored in ’09.

Overall, Pedroia is a .303 lifetime hitter with 96 home runs, 466 RBIs and 115 stolen bases.

While there can sometimes be concern about a player letting down his guard after signing a long-term extension, it’s hard to fathom that ever being an issue with Pedroia.

“Not at all,” Pedroia said. “You guys have all seen me since I had a little bit more hair. I think I’ll play the same way I do for every game I play to the end. That’s about it.”

Perhaps the Red Sox will one day make Pedroia their captain, a role Jason Varitek filled from 2005 through his retirement after the ’11 season.

But titles have never meant much to Pedroia.

“It’s not going to change who I am or my role with the team. My job is still to go out there and to try to help us win a game every day. I try to do all I can to make that happen,” Pedroia said.

The importance of wearing the Boston uniform is something Pedroia can’t emphasize enough.

“Yeah, it’s really important to me. I’m a pretty loyal guy. I love being here,” Pedroia said. “I live and die by this team. It’s important to me to be here my whole time.”

Cherington weighs in

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington discussed a variety of subjects today in a lengthy session with Boston baseball scribes. Here is a sampling.

On where the team is and where they might go:

“We’re always trying to get better. Over the course of the season, there’s going to be parts of a team that perform really well at different points of the season. Guys are going to go through hot streaks and slumps. We’re like any other team. But overall, the effort’s been great. Our players and staff have worked really hard everyday, we’ve been prepared every night and we’ve come out on the winning end more often than we haven’t. The guys have put us in a position here in the middle of June to be right in the thick of things. The division is not really that different than anyone thought it would be. It’s a jumble. I don’t think anyone knew exactly what the order was going to be, but it’s very competitive. We knew it was going to be competitive. And I still think that the teams that end up on top are going to be the ones that stay the healthiest, get the best starting pitching and make the best in-season adjustments. We’re going to try to do that. Time will tell.”

On the bullpen:

“Overall, the guys have done a good job. Andrew’s had a couple tough outings here recently, but if you look at the total body of work, his performance over the course of the season, he’s still having a very solid year. Every player goes through slumps. When your outfielder goes through slumps, those 0-for-5 days, nobody really notices. When it’s the closer, it gets more attention. He’s going through that, but we’re really confident he’ll get back on track and start closing out games again. Certainly no one is working harder at it than he is. Before the ninth inning, we’ve been pretty solid of late — the combination of Uehara, Tazawa, Breslow, Miller are doing a good job. So you can’t ever be complacent when it comes to pitching. We have to keep our eyes open to what’s going on. We think we have some internal options if needed, perhaps a little better situated there than we have been the last year or two. But it’s something that, if the season goes on, it’s just something to stay on top of, stay aware of, and if there are ways to get better, we’ll consider those. But moreover, the guys have done a good job and we’re in the position that we’re in because a lot because the guys in the bullpen pitching in the seventh, in the eighth and ninth inning overall, on the whole this year, have done a pretty good job.”

Could Andrew Miller develop into a closer?

“He’s certainly got that kind of stuff. As you said, he hasn’t been in the role yet. But he’s certainly got the kind of stuff. The confidence is growing. You see him out there executing, getting right-handers out as much as he’s getting left-handers out, all those things, he’s certainly got the attributes to pitch at any point in the game. I think a lot’s made of the ninth inning. We understand why. It’s the last three outs of the game. I’m not trying to diminish the importance of those outs. But we need to get hitters out from the time the starter leaves through the last out of the game. We need as many effective pitchers as possible, give John as many options as possible. We have a lot of those, but we’ll certainly keep our eyes open if there are ways to improve.”

On the move of Xander Bogaerts to Triple-A:

“I’ve always kind of felt like there’s no such thing as a prospect in Triple A. Once you’re in Triple A, you’re either ready to come to the big leagues or you’re not. And that’s what we’re finding out about the guys in Triple A now. We felt like Xander had done enough in Double A to warrant a promotion. He spent some time there last year, went back this year and really improved in the areas he needed to.”

Will Dustin Pedroia eventually get a contract extension?

“Well, as you know, I’m not going to comment on any contract issue with a player. To speak generally about Dustin, certainly he’s a guy that we think very highly of. He’s a huge part of our organization, not just this team. He represents a lot of what we’re all about. Our sincere hope is that he’s here for a long time, but you know, that’s all I can say about it. We have a good enough relationship with Dustin and his representatives that the conversation can happen over time and at the right time. He’s a very valuable player and shows up every day in all sorts of ways.”

Pedroia: Goal is still to win the World Series

After a last-place finish, it’s only natural that expectations will be down for the Red Sox this season. But Dustin Pedroia doesn’t much care what the pundits think. He has arrived in camp with his typical enthusiasm and drive.

“That it was easy, and you expect it to happen every year,” Pedroia said when asked what it was like winning the World Series his rookie year. “But I still do. I still feel that it will never change. Our goal is to win the World Series every year. If we come into camp and that’s not the goal [something’s wrong]. I know everybody thinks that’s not our goal right now but it is. “

Pedroia loves the roster moves Ben Cherington made over the winter because he feels there are a bunch of newcomers who share his mentality.

“Yeah, it’s going to be fun,” Pedroia said. “You see them around the game; they are guys known for loving to play the game. They like tough atmospheres and good places to play. It’s going to be fun playing with those guys.”

Nobody around the Red Sox had any fun last year. And though it became trendy to blame one-year manager Bobby Valentine for everything that went wrong, Pedroia said, “None. It’s the players. Bobby didn’t go out there and get any hits or make any errors or do any of that. We lost those games. It’s on us.”

That said, Pedroia can’t wait to play for John Farrell. “John’s awesome,” Pedroia said. “Everybody got to know him when he was here before. He’s easy to talk to. Obviously when he walks into the room, he has that presence. It’s going to be great for us.”

By the way, Pedroia got a kick out of the revelation in Terry Francona’s recently-released book that the Red Sox conducted a marketing research study that indicated the Sox needed ‘sexy’ players like  … Dustin Pedroia to increase ratings.

“What  was my first reaction? They didn’t need to hire a damn marketing team,”quipped Pedroia. “I could have told them that for free. I don’t know. I just started laughing. I  was  like, no, that’s pretty funny.”

The night Pedroia vented

As a Boston sports follower, one of my most vivid memories was after Game 3 of the 1984 Finals, when a disgruntled Larry Bird lit into his Celtics teammates, saying they played like a “bunch of sissies” in a 137-104 loss to the Lakers.

Dustin Pedroia didn’t question anyone’s machismo, but he seemed to be at the end of his rope with the way the team is playing following Friday’s 10-3 loss to the Yankees. Maybe Pedroia’s words will have a similar impact as what Bird said under entirely different circumstances some 28 years ago.

“The first 100 games have been [expletive],” Pedroia said. “I mean, at two games under .500, we’re the Boston Red Sox. If everyone’s thrilled about where we’re at then we need to re-evaluate. Because I don’t like losing. I know everyone else doesn’t like losing, we got to play better man.”

At 49-51, 11 1/2 games back in the American League East and 5 1/2 back in the Wild Card standings, Pedroia still believes.

“I think we can. We got to play good, that’s the bottom line. We have great players, we just need to play good,” Pedroia said. “That’s it. We didn’t. Their guys did, late in the game they extended themselves from us. That’s what great teams do. We didn’t do anything. Our at-bats later in the game were not good. Swinging early in the count — heck, if their eighth-inning guy is going to come in the game, let’s at least get 25, 30 pitches so maybe he can’t pitch tomorrow. Do something productive. And we’re not doing that. That’s a sign of not a winning team. So those are the little things that we need to do better, and it’s frustrating.”

And please don’t tell Pedroia that injuries are a reason the team is where it is.

“When I was hurt, Pedro [Ciriaco] hit .400. When Carl was out, Nava hit .350,” said Pedroia. “The injuries, that’s an excuse. I’m not going to make one. These other guys shouldn’t either. We win as a team and we lose as a team. When injuries happen, guys have stepped up and played their butts off. They put us in a position to make a run. We got to play better, man, that’s it.”

Do Pedroia and his teammates discuss these type of things?

“Yeah, hell yeah we talk about it. We talk about everything man. We got good guys man, we got a good group of guys. We talk baseball all the time. We just got to settle in and play better man, that’s it,” Pedroia said.

Pedroia’s thoughts on what the front office might do between now and Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline?

“I don’t know. I don’t talk to them about stuff. As players, we’re focusing on trying to beat the Yankees right now. Our job is hard enough, we got to come out and execute,” Pedroia said. “Their job is to put the best players they can on the field.”

Pedroia knows the Red Sox can’t wait any longer to get hot.

“I still believe in us. I mean you have to. With the makeup of these guys and the way we work, I feel it’s only a matter of time. Hopefully we don’t just run out of it. You know what I mean, we got to go. We got to play well.”

Is there enough urgency?

“I hope. I can’t speak for everyone,” said Pedroia. “I feel urgency, talking to a lot of guys, we all do. We need to win. It’s not — that’s all we feel. Maybe that’s putting added pressure on guys to come out of their comfort zone and do things that they’re not capable of doing. Need to take a step back and relax. Got to win man.”

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