Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski commented on reliever Carson Smith’s season-ending Tommy John surgery prior to Tuesday night’s game, most notably stating that the MRI from March 21 looked noticeably different than the one that sent him back to the disabled list on Friday.

Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski commented on reliever Carson Smith’s season-ending Tommy John surgery prior to Tuesday night’s game, most notably stating that the MRI from March 21 looked noticeably different than the one that sent him back to the disabled list on Friday.

“I admit that even in that MRI I can see the difference between the one’s taken in March and the one’s taken on Friday,” said Dombrowski after stating he is ordinarily not great at reading MRI’s. “I couldn’t tell you what it meant, but I could tell you that there was a significant difference.”

The average time for recovering from such surgery — which took place Tuesday afternoon — is 11-14 months.

“After the surgery, as I said, his elbow will come back stronger than ever, so hopefully he’ll be in a position where we have many years with him back pitching for the Red Sox,” Dombrowski said.

Concern was not raised in the acquisition of Smith — which involved trading away starter Wade Miley — in his unorthodox delivery, and if that appeared to be an accident waiting to happen.

“I think when you look at his delivery you say it’s an unusual delivery and it’s probably more apt to have injury. He pitched a lot of games last year and we had the medical information and we thought he’d be fine,” said Dombrowski. “I remember when we traded for Max Scherzer they said the same thing about Max Scherzer. His arm action, he’s not going to hold up, he’s never been on the disabled list since that time period.”

Carson Smith

Carson Smith

Dombrowski added that the team is not immediately looking outside of the organization for a replacement for Smith, and that given he’s appeared in just three games this season, the bullpen has fared fine without him.

“Unfortunately we haven’t really had Carson at all year long, he’s only pitched two-plus innings for us, so our bullpen right now, we’ve got the ninth, eighth and seventh pretty well set up with Craig, Koji and with Taz,” said Dombrowski. “Barnes and Hembree have both had opportunities to step up, they’ve pitched well for us and we’ll continue to see if they do that.”

He also expressed confidence from the left side of the bullpen with Robbie Ross Jr. and Tommy Layne.

There is concern with the late-inning formula, however, as Uehara is coming off a down year and is 41 years old, while Tazawa is coming off a 2015 in which he was shut down due to an extensive workload.

Dombrowski addressed that there is no such thing as a clean elbow due to the advanced ability to read an MRI. And even with the knowledge they did have, it was not enough to impede the deal from happening to bring Smith in from Seattle.

With Eduardo Rodriguez on the path to return and create a six-starter scenario, Dombrowski would not comment on if Joe Kelly could be an addition to the bullpen, but did state they would not use a six-man rotation.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

Travis Shaw is not in the starting lineup for the first time this season, with the third baseman sitting with a minor left hand injury. (WEEI.com’s John Tomase reported the ailment Sunday.)

Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw is not in the starting lineup for the first time this season, with the third baseman sitting with a minor left hand injury. (WEEI.com’s John Tomase reported the ailment Sunday.)

Shaw had played in all 44 of the Red Sox games, hitting .305 with a .904 OPS. Starting in his place will be Josh Rutledge.

Also getting a start against Colorado lefty Jorge De La Rosa will be Chris Young, with Christian Vazquez teaming up with Red Sox starter David Price.

Here is the Red Sox lineup in their series-opener against the Rockies:

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C

For all the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Carson Smith

Carson Smith

This shouldn’t have been a surprise. Once you say “second opinion,” it automatically is safe to assume the first opinion wasn’t good. That was the case with Carson Smith.

Smith is undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Tuesday, having first had an issue with the area during a March 21 spring training game. And while he came back May 3, the fact he couldn’t bounce back — making just three appearances before going back on the 15-day disabled list — was not a good sign.

(It was a concern he actually voiced to WEEI.com’s John Tomase last week.)

Smith said in spring training that he hadn’t experienced any elbow discomfort last season in Seattle. That being the case, it was still noteworthy that the reliever’s velocity dipped somewhat the final month of last season.

Yet while the velocity was down in September, it was hard to argue with Smith’s results, with the reliever not allowing a run over his 11 appearances, striking out 19 and walking just two.

It was enough for the Red Sox to allocate a fairly significant trade chip — Wade Miley — to acquire Smith this offseason, with the Mariners’ medical reports on the reliever seemingly offering peace of mind.

But now, it hasn’t worked out. And the Red Sox are left with the same hole they thought they had filled heading into this year — a proven, lock-down, seventh- or eighth-inning reliever who can dominate right-handed hitters.

It’s not as if the cupboard is bare for the Red Sox, with Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa bouncing back from hiccups last season. But the whole idea was to not have to lean on these guys too much, and that’s where Smith was supposed to come in.

So, what now?

The Red Sox might have some solutions in-house. Heath Hembree has shown a very good ability to get out right-handed hitting, posting a .171 batting average against vs. righties. The problem right now is what he has done vs. left-handed hitting, which has tuned him up at a .407 clip.

Matt Barnes also has shown the potential to be a late-inning option. But the righty has to cut down on home runs and walks in order to elicit complete trust.

The Sox are hoping there might be some others emerging from Triple-A Pawtucket somewhere down the line, with Noe Ramirez having previously filled that righty-on-righty role. And while his overall numbers with the PawSox haven’t been overly-encouraging, he has controlled righties, not allowing any earned runs in 8 1/3 innings against that side of the plate.

Pat Light did hit 101 mph pitching for the PawSox recently, but he would seem to need some more consistency at Triple-A.

And then there is the trade market.

The obvious choice for any team looking for midseason, late-inning relief help will be Aroldis Chapman. There is a problem, however: he plays for the Yankees. It’s one thing for Sox and Yanks doing a deal of Stephen Drew for Kelly Johnson, and it’s another for Boston giving up legitimate players who will be helping New York beat them down the road.

There are other useful late-inning arms who are in the last year of their contracts, such as Joaquin Benoit (Seattle), Santiago Casilla (Giants), or even Jonathan Papelbon (Nationals). They are all, as you can see, playing for contending teams.

If you feel like living dangerously, familiar face Fernando Rodney is 10-for-10 in save opportunities for the Padres, having not allowed a run in his 18 appearances. (The 39-year-old has a team option for next season, as well.)

A good place to turn is to look is towards pitchers for bad teams who are dominating righty hitters. There are plenty. And one actually is tearing it up while living in the final year of his contract — Arizona’s Daniel Hudson. The 29-year-old has allowed one hit in 30 at-bats against right-handed hitters this year.

Non-free-agents-to-be include Philly’s Hector Neris, a 26-year-old who has given up two hits in 42 at-bats to righties this season. (And yes, I know, the Phillies are in the mix at the moment.) There’s a 21-year-old coming into Fenway this week with the Rockies, Miguel Castro, who has allowed a single hit in 19 ABs for righties.

We just witnessed Houston’s Pat Neshek torture Red Sox right-handers, which he has done all season. That side of the plate are 2-for-31 against the side-winder, who is also a free agent at the end of the season if the Astros don’t pick up his $6.5 million option.

Or how about Oakland’s Fernando Rodriguez, who has given up five hits in 50 right-handed at-bats this season, having also not given up a run in his five outings in one-run games.

There will be multiple ways to go for the Red Sox in their quest to replace Smith, but it’s absolutely time to start thinking about it now.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Monday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (21-23): No game scheduled.

The PawSox will host a three-game series vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies) starting Tuesday.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (15-28): L, 6-5, at Harrisburg (Nationals)

Here’s a look at the action in the Red Sox farm system Monday.

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (21-23): No game scheduled.

The PawSox will host a three-game series vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies) starting Tuesday.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (15-28): L, 6-5, at Harrisburg (Nationals)

— Left fielder Rainel Rosario did his part to keep Portland in the game, going 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. The 27-year-old hit a clutch RBI single in the top of the eighth inning, giving the Sea Dogs a temporary 5-4 lead. He also had a double in the game.

Rosario is batting .318/.328/.318 through 29 games this season. The native of the Dominican Republic has been a very balanced batter for Portland, as he sits in the top four on the team in runs (10), RBIs (10), hits (28), doubles (6) and walks (11).

— Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple, catcher Jake Romanski was 2-for-4 with a double, and right fielder Henry Ramos went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

— Sean Coyle ripped a two-run, opposite-field home run in the third inning. Coyle, sent down from Triple-A after struggling in 24 games with Pawtucket, is hitting .176/.333/.412 in five games with the Sea Dogs.

— It was a decent performance on the mound for Portland’s Aaron Wilkerson, who let up three earned runs and six hits in five innings pitched. He also walked two and collected two strikeouts. The right-hander gave up a run in the bottom of the second inning, ending his scoreless innings streak at 21. He also allowed an RBI single in the fourth inning before giving up a triple to the first batter in the sixth inning. Wilkerson then was pulled, and the runner eventually scored.

Monday’s night game was the first appearance in which Wilkerson allowed an earned run since an April 29 loss to Reading. The Texas native now sits at 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in nine games with both Pawtucket and Portland this season. Wilkerson has the best ERA of all Portland pitchers and his 48 strikeouts lead the team as well.

Mike Meyers

Mike Meyers

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (30-14): L, 5-3 vs. Winston-Salem (White Sox)

— Southpaw Matt Kent struggled, going six innings and surrendering four earned runs and a season-high 11 hits. He walked two and struck out three. The 23-year-old Texas native let up three runs on two doubles and a single in the top of the third inning, but he did settle down and pitch three scoreless innings before getting pulled.

In nine total starts with both Salem and Greenville this season, Kent is 2-3 with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. Having pitched the second-most innings for the Red Sox (39 1/3), Kent has 26 strikeouts and has allowed only 19 earned runs with Salem.

— Outfielder Mike Meyers continued his hot streak at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. His two-out single in the bottom of the third inning plated two and cut Salem’s deficit to 4-3. Meyers also stole his eighth base of the season.

Meyers, 22, is batting .420 in his last five games with five RBIs in that same stretch. On the season, the 2012 draft pick is .252/.313/.374 and is tied for third on the team in RBIs (25).

— Right fielder Franklin Guzman went 2-for-3 with a double. He has three hits in the last two games to improve his average from .121 to .179 in 13 games.

Roniel Raudes

Roniel Raudes

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (21-22): L, 3-2, at Asheville (Rockies)

— In the longest start of his professional career, 18-year-old right-hander Roniel Raudes had a solid performance, recording eight strikeouts and allowing no runs and only three hits in six innings vs. the Tourists. He only let up one extra-base hit and walked none.

Raudes, Boston’s No. 14 prospect on MLB.com, has a 5-1 record to go along with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. The native of Nicaragua has pitched less than five innings only twice in eight starts this year. He leads Greenville with 38 innings pitched and ranks second on the team in strikeouts (38).

— Despite Raudes’ impressive performance, the Drive were unable to break .500, as righty reliever Victor Diaz allowed three runs in the seventh inning to let the Tourists take the lead for good. Greenville scored two runs in the eighth and ninth innings to spark a comeback but ended up falling just short.

Diaz is 1-4 in 11 appearances with a disappointing 8.44 ERA and 1.97 WHIP. Opponents are batting .348 against the 22-year-old this season.

— Left fielder Trent Kemp had two hits for the third straight game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI double in the ninth inning. The 20-year-old is hitting .247/.358/.473 with five home runs and 19 RBIs. J.T. Watkins had a pinch-hit RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning.

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier

The news isn’t great for Carson Smith.

On Tuesday morning, the Red Sox announced the reliever will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. The surgery will be performed Tuesday by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Carson Smith

Carson Smith

The news isn’t great for Carson Smith.

On Tuesday morning, the Red Sox announced the reliever will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. The surgery will be performed Tuesday by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

He went on the 15-day disabled list last week with elbow tightness and received an MRI before it was determined surgery was necessary.

Smith came to the Red Sox in the trade for Wade Miley this offseason, but was never fully healthy after suffering an elbow injury during spring training. Smith came off the disabled list in early May, but only made three appearances — May 3, 9 and 14.

The right-hander said last week he was feeling the discomfort throwing sliders rather than fastballs.

“I felt healthy my first outing out and felt good for the most part for the first week or so I was back up,” Smith said. “I threw against Oakland and had an extensive outing and a number of warmup pitches to go into that game and since then, there’s been small symptoms of what it was back in spring training.”

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Red Sox will send ace David Price to the mound Tuesday to open a three-game series against the Rockies. He will face off against fellow left-hander Jorge De La Rosa.

Price enters Tuesday’s game with a 6-1 record, a 5.53 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. The 30-year-old has the most strikeouts in the American League (70) and the fifth-most wins. After a rough start to the season, Price has returned to his old form as of late, surrendering only three earned runs in his last two starts. He most recently hurled 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball in a 5-2 win against the Royals last Wednesday. The left-hander also struck out five and only walked one.

“I felt like that’s the best I’ve commanded all my pitches from the beginning until I was taken out,” Price said after the game. “That’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Price will be looking for his first win vs. the Rockies, as he is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP when facing the National League team. In his last start against Colorado as a member of the Rays in 2013, Price let up four earned runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking three and hitting one batter.

Jorge De La Rosa

Jorge De La Rosa

De La Rosa is 1-3 with a 10.18 ERA and a 2.07 WHIP. It’s been a tough year for the 35-year-old southpaw, as he has only gone more than six innings in a start once this season. After letting up three home runs in just three innings during a 9-4 loss to the Pirates on April 26, De La Rosa was placed on the disabled list with a strained left groin. He made three rehab starts with Triple-A Albuquerque, and Tuesday’s game will be his first game back in the Rockies rotation.

“Jorge took care of his business in his last [rehab] start,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss told The Denver Post. “We wanted to see more efficiency, and he did that. We just want him to get back to being who he is.”

Despite being in the major leagues for 13 years, De La Rosa will be facing the Red Sox for the first time.

Rockies vs. Price (LHP)

Mark Reynolds (34 plate appearances): .235 AVG/.316 OBP/.529 SLG, 1 double, 3 home runs, 6 RBIs, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts

Ryan Raburn (30): .333/.382/.533, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts

Jose Reyes (16): .250/.250/.313, 1 double, 3 strikeouts

Brandon Barnes is 0-for-5.

Nolan Arenado is 1-for-4 with 1 HR and 4 RBIs.

Carlos Gonzalez is 2-for-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 walk and 1 strikeout.

Gerardo Parra is 0-for-3.

Red Sox vs. De La Rosa (LHP)

Chris Young (28): .214/.333/.464, 1 double, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (28): .393/.500/.786, 5 doubles, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts

Ryan Hanigan is 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs and 2 walks.

No other Red Sox have faced De La Rosa.

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier