Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning where he discussed all things Red Sox, including his belief that Eduardo Rodriguez is in fact not tipping pitches.

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning where he discussed all things Red Sox, including his belief that Eduardo Rodriguez is in fact not tipping pitches. To hear the complete interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page. 

“[Rodriguez] is not pitching on a short leash for his life in the sense that you think. What you don’t want to do is to continue to allow a young pitcher to completely loose his confidence. It is hard. He is struggling,” said Schilling. “He is basically a two-pitch pitcher right now, which is a big problem. He isn’t tipping his pitches. You get tired of hearing stuff like that. He is struggling right now and that is normal.

“The problem is, and you have to know your players, you don’t want a guy to pitch his way into thinking he can’t get anyone out and I think that is where he is right now. He is struggling mentality and you can see it by the body language, you can see it by the facial expressions. He doesn’t have a lot of confidence. I can tell you that is the scariest thing that happened to me. I was struggling to the point where I was afraid to throw strikes because I was afraid if I threw a strike it was gong to be a double.”

Added Schilling: “I watch him throw. He is not [tipping pitches]. If you are going to want to watch a guy tip his pitches there are two things to look at. One is how he positions his glove on every pitch because when guys generally tip their pitches their glove will be held at a different height or a different angle because they are trying to grip a ball differently. Or you watch their head or glove hand. He isn’t tipping his pitches, I’m watching him. Here is the thing: you have to tip your pitches early enough for the hitter to know, so it can’t be right in the middle of your delivery when you are doing a certain thing and the hitter says, ‘Oh my god curveball.’

“I’ll give you an example. In game six of the 2001 World Series. Andy Pettitte tipped every pitch he was throwing with a runner on base. You knew as soon as he set exactly what was coming. That is how you tip your pitches. We scored, I think, 16 runs, we beat them like 16-2 … We saw it the first inning. Someone got on and he was setting his hands high and low. High was breaking ball and low was fastball or it might have been the other way around.”

(It’s worth noting Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo confirmed Rodriguez is in fact tipping pitches when he was on with Mike Giardi and Rob Bradford over the weekend.)

Schilling wasn’t satisfied with way Clay Buchholz pitched on Tuesday night. The right-hander allowed three runs in five innings, which was his first start since the end of May.

“You go up against a guy like Chris Sale you can’t give up a run in the first two innings, you can’t. Those are the kind of guys that you have to know that the winning run steps to the plate with the leadoff when you face a guy like that,” said Schilling. “Five innings and three earned runs that is in an outing that you are incredibly pissed when the game is over.”

Added Schilling: “I don’t feel like [Buchholz] has the, ‘Okay listen this is a big game need to reach down, need to be special tonight.’ You listen to him after the game, I’m sure he is trying as hard as he can, but he is fifth starter and this is not a championship team with this rotation right now.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On Rusney Castillo: “I don’t think anybody [saw Castillo play a baseball game]. They were caught up, at the time that was the trend, right. You had [Yasiel] Puig and a couple other guys coming out of Cuba and they don’t ever not want to be in on the fad. I think that was one of the things that made them strong when Theo was here, they never got caught up in fads. Until the ownership meddled, and they ended up going with [Carl] Crawford and all the things that happened there, they were always kind of on their own little island, doing their own little thing, which is why Theo is so good at what he does.

On how Dave Dombrowski will deal for a player: “Dave has a track record of being really good at what he does. He has made some great trades. He has made some really smart signings and all the things that go with that. I don’t know how much value Dave Dombrowski places in the prospects in this organization. You remember Cherington and Theo, [prospects] were for the most part untouchable. And I’m not saying that in a negative way. I don’t know how much they are worth to him because if they are tradable, if the [Andrew] Benintendis, [Yoan] Moncadas and those guys are tradable, then a move like those two guys plus Jackie Bradley Jr. plus an elite pitching prospect might get you a [Jose] Fernandez.”

On if David Ortiz will attend the All-Star game: “No doubt in my mind he will go. I think given where they are and what is going on that would be a perfect three-day rest period or four-day rest period for him. He talked about feeling bad for this whole farewell tour. I don’t wonder if he will feel obligated that he will have to play.”

On John Farrell’s decision making: “Players have to play. You watch any manager whose utility players are going crazy, whose pinch hitters are hitting .650 and the manager looks brilliant when the players play the game. I think [Farrell] struggles at time to manage the roster during the game and I don’t think the players that he needs to succeed for him to look better are doing the things they need to be doing.”

Blog Author: 
John Hand

Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo acknowledges youngster Eduardo Rodriguez has been tipping his pitches, but also says that it’s a fixable issue.

Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo acknowledges youngster Eduardo Rodriguez has been tipping his pitches, but also says that it’s a fixable issue.

Appearing with Mike Giardi and Rob Bradford on WEEI over the weekend, Lovullo said it’s something that Rodriguez continues to work though, and remains optimistic that “good things” will happen for Rodriguez.

“He’s been tipping his pitches and he’s been working on delivery, some mechanical things to eliminate the tipping of the pitches. When a major league hitter knows what’s coming by something that you’re doing your delivery before your delivered the pitch they can square up anything. They can hit any pitch in any time, any location. They know it’s coming. That’s how good these guys are. So we’re trying to eliminate that.”

He added: “It’s been a tough course for him. But you know we’re not going to turn our back on him. We’re going to continue to give the ball he’s going to continue pounding the strike zone, and we look for good things to happen.”

Lovullo said eliminating the tipping doesn’t involve a “mechanical adjustment.” Instead, it’s far simpler.

“It’s not like he’s changed a release point or he is, you know, changing his direction stride or direction. Those are hard fixes. Those are things that take an offseason to work through,” he said. “This is just simply when he puts his hand into the glove and grips the ball, he is turning his glove or moving his glove or manipulating his forearm in a way that hitter — and it’s so specific — can see what he’s going to throw. So five seconds before the pitch is delivered hitters preparing knowing a fastball is coming. And he’s got a very, very aggressive fastball.

“He’s trying to cure it. He’s trying to fix it. But when their stimulus and he’s ready to make a pitch he forgets about it any revert back to it. So, we’re trying to add stimulus. We’re trying to get him in that mindset in between these starts to say, ‘Hey look this is where you are. Slow it down. Don’t do this anymore.’ And that’s hard to do. It takes a little bit of mindset. So, he’s changing that a little bit and has nothing to do with the delivery. Once he starts his delivery, he’s perfectly fine. He just has to take care of the business.”

Rodriguez is set to start Wednesday night against Chicago’s Jose Quintana.

For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

The Red Sox will give Eduardo Rodriguez another chance to cement his place in the starting rotation when they send the southpaw to the mound Wednesday in the third game of a four-game series against the White Sox. Opposing Rodriguez will be left-hander Jose Quintana.

Since finishing a rehab assignment in Pawtucket in late May, Rodriguez has struggled in his four starts, going 2-1 with a 6.97 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. His most recent outing resulted in a 5-1 loss to the Orioles on Thursday. The Venezuela native allowing five runs and eight hits in only 4 1/3 innings.

“It comes down to the consistent execution,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the loss. “There were a number of at-bats when he would get ahead in the count and would misfire on the plate to give a guy a chance to put a ball into play. Then when he did get behind in the count, he found himself in some hitter counts that were being squared up.”

Wednesday’s game will be the first for the 23-year-old Rodriguez against the White Sox. He is 4-0 in six starts against AL Central teams.

Quintana may have a losing record (5-7), but has had a solid year otherwise, with his 2.63 ERA sitting at fourth best in the American League and his 1.08 WHIP good for eighth. Despite allowing 20 total runs in his last seven starts, the 27-year-old is 0-6 in that span. Most recently, Quintana surrendered two runs and struck out six in 7 2/3 innings of work, yet he did not receive a decision in the White Sox’ 3-2 defeat at Cleveland on Friday.

“You know, I hope that it changes,” Quintana said regarding his losing streak. “I just try to get it going next start. … It’s not for me, it’s for the team. Just here to try to do my job and keep the games close and the team can take the games especially against Cleveland. This year, it’s really important for us.”

Quintana is 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA in six career starts against the Red Sox. His 0.77 WHIP vs. Boston is his lowest against any American League team. The Colombia product already faced the Red Sox once this season, giving up one run on four hits in eight innings in a 4-1 White Sox victory on May 3.

White Sox vs. Rodriguez (LHP)

Dioner Navarro is 0-for-1 with a walk.

No other White Sox batters have faced Rodriguez.

Red Sox vs. Quintana (LHP)

David Ortiz (15 plate appearances): .133 AVG/.133 OBP/.200 SLG, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 5 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (12): .167/.167/.167, 3 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (12): .167/.167/.417, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Jackie Bradley Jr. (9): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI

Xander Bogaerts (9): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Mookie Betts (9): .222/.222/.333, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Chris Young (9): .111/.111/.111, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Travis Shaw is 0-for-6 with an RBI and a strikeout.

Blog Author: 
Nicholas Frazier

Clay Buchholz was OK in his return to rotation on Tuesday.</p>
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Hanley Ramirez and the rest of the Red Sox offense are struggling of late.</p>
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It was not going to take much to send Fenway Park into a cacophony of boos with Clay Buchholz on the hill Tuesday night, and he didn’t keep them waiting.

Clay Buchholz allowed three runs in five innings in his first start since May 26. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Clay Buchholz allowed three runs in five innings in his first start since May 26. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It was not going to take much to send Fenway Park into a cacophony of boos with Clay Buchholz on the hill Tuesday night, and he didn’t keep them waiting.

Seconds after the first pitch left Buchholz’s hand in his first start since May 26, it was over the Green Monster for White Sox leadoff man Tim Anderson’s first career home run — a fitting omen to begin what ultimately turned into a 3-1 loss for the Red Sox.

Following Anderson’s homer was a double off the wall for Adam Eaton, who would later be driven in on a Melky Cabrera sacrifice fly.

In the fourth, Todd Frazier parked a home run of his own into the Monster seats.

When the dust settled, Buchholz went five innings, allowing four hits, and three runs, while striking out five and walking one. With the exception of the Frazier home run, Buchholz did put together a more solid outing after the first, allowing two hits and one run with four strikeouts over the next four innings.

The Red Sox offense, though certainly not to the degree of Monday night’s game, was unable to cash in on their chances. They stranded the bases loaded for the second night in a row when Hanley Ramirez struck out with the bases juiced in the third.

They threatened again in the eighth, trailing 3-1, with a pair of one-out singles from Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts, but they came up short again, with Ramirez striking out and Jackie Bradley Jr. grounding out.

David Ortiz, as a pinch-hitter, walked in the ninth, but that was all they could do against David Robertson.

Smothering the Red Sox’ bats was White Sox ace Chris Sale, who allowed one run on four hits with nine strikeouts over seven innings.

Closing Time note

Buchholz has allowed three or more runs in nine of his 11 starts this season.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Buchholz started a game in which he was looking to redeem himself by surrendering a first-pitch home run to Tim Anderson.

— Ramirez’s struggles at the dish continued Tuesday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Since hitting a home run last Wednesday against Baltimore, Ramirez is 4-for-24 with six strikeouts.

— The Red Sox squandered multiple opportunities to score runs, stranding seven runners Tuesday — four of which were in scoring position. They are four for their last 48 (.083) with runners in scoring position.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— After a Dioner Navarro single to start the second inning, Buchholz struck out Avisail Garcia, and Sandy Leon threw out Navarro at second for a double play.

— Matt Barnes was solid in relief, going 2 1/3 innings allowing two hits and no runs with two strikeouts.

— Pedroia, Bogaerts and Travis Shaw all had multi-hit nights, grabbing two hits apiece.

Blog Author: 
Logan Mullen

There are inauspicious debuts, and then there’s how Clay Buchholz opened his return to the rotation on Tuesday night against the White Sox.

Facing Chicago’s Tim Anderson leading off, Buchholz served up a 426-foot homer to left field on his first pitch of the game.