Red Sox fans aren't shedding a tear for the loss of Pablo Sandoval. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)John Farrell owes Pablo Sandoval a debt of gratitude.



The Red Sox announced that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo left shoulder surgery in the coming days.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist who examined Sandoval in Florida on Monday. Sandoval, 29, had complained of shoulder soreness in early April and was placed on the disabled list on April 13.

Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

The Red Sox announced that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo left shoulder surgery in the coming days.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist who examined Sandoval in Florida on Monday. Sandoval, 29, had complained of shoulder soreness in early April and was placed on the disabled list on April 13.

The Red Sox did not provide an update on how long Sandoval will be out or what kind of rehab his surgery will entail, noting in a press release that more information will be made available after surgery.

This has been a lost season for Sandoval from the start. He arrived at spring training out of shape and lost his job to youngster Travis Shaw, who has emerged as one of the team’s best hitters. Sandoval opened the season on the bench and ended up going 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in a reserve role.

Last week, he said that he wasn’t sure if he’d need surgery to fix an injury that first cropped up in 2011.

“I’m not a doctor,” he said. “I’m going to let them make the decisions. I don’t know if I’m going to get surgery or not. At least I can move it around. The inflammation went down. I hope they can look at it and see what’s going on.”

It turns out what Andrews saw was bad.

Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million deal that runs through 2019, with a team option for 2020. With Shaw playing well, it’s safe to say we’ve seen the last of the Panda for a while.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

The question put before Hanley Ramirez was simple.

“Would you rather hit .330, or hit 35 home runs?”

The answer was quick.

“No question, .330.”

The Red Sox first baseman then elaborated.

Hanley Ramirez. (Steve Mitchell/Getty Images Sports)

Hanley Ramirez. (Steve Mitchell/Getty Images Sports)

The question put before Hanley Ramirez was simple.

“Would you rather hit .330, or hit 35 home runs?”

The answer was quick.

“No question, .330.”

The Red Sox first baseman then elaborated.

“I don’t want to think about homers,” Ramirez said. “I’m not a home run hitter. I hit homers. That’s the difference.”

It has been a big difference. Last year at this time, Ramirez had 10 home runs. This season’s first month? Just one.

“I forgot for a couple of years. I was trying to launch everything,” said of his previous all-or-nothing approach. “But now I just want to hit for average, and the homers will come.”

The change has been noticeable, with Ramirez limiting his leg kick while executing a much more compact swing. Gone are the enormous, one-hand follow-throughs, and in their place are opposite field-focused cuts. (It’s interesting to note Ramirez’s average launch angle — the vertical angle the ball leaves a player’s bat — is half the major league average, suggesting more line-drives and ground balls.)

It was a change in philosophy he made in the offseason after listening to “The hitting guy that I have inside me.”

“It’s better for my shoulders,” Ramirez said. “It feels a lot shorter. I want a shorter swing. It’s more compact. It’s two different hitters, using the bottom hand and top hand. I went from top hand my first couple of years in the big leagues, to the bottom hand after the first three or four years, when I hit 30-plus homers. But now I want to go back to top hand.”

It has worked for Ramirez in the past, with the righty hitter managing a .300-or-better batting average in his first four full major league seasons. Included in that run was a 2009 batting title (hitting .342), in which he finished April with just two homers but totaled 24 for the season.

And while that’s the hitter he wants to get back to, the on-base consistency that was a constant throughout those early years has eluded him in the first month. Ramirez is hitting .283, but carries just a .689 OPS.

With what has been consistent defense at first base, and the Red Sox living life in first place in the American League East, the public has been patient while Ramirez finds his way offensively. He is, after all, still carrying better OPS’ than fellow first basemen Edwin Encarancion, Jose Abreu, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols.

And, for now, Ramirez is staying with the approach, convinced that the shock and awe of last April was not the way to go.

“Yeah, I was focused to much on hitting home runs. It was awful,” he said. “This offseason I was like, ‘No. I’m going to hit .378.’

“I just want to be in the lineup every day and go out there and compete. Just stay healthy. That’s the key. I feel more consistent with my swing. I feel good.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

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

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-13): L, 5-4, at Syracuse (Nationals)

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

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (11-13): L, 5-4, at Syracuse (Nationals)

— The PawSox fell to Syracuse in 10 innings Sunday as they were swept over the weekend. Trea Turner and Scott Sizemore both singled with one out, setting up the two-out, walk-off single for Jason Martinson. Turner beat leftfielder Rusney Castillo’s throw to the plate, delivering the Chiefs’ second walk-off win in 48 hours.

— Starter Sean O’Sullivan had a good outing as he went seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out five. His ERA is now 3.00 on the year.

— Castillo had a good day at the plate going 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. His average is now .246 on the year.

— Blake Swihart caught all 10 innings and at the plate went 1-for-5 with a double.

— Center fielder Ryan LaMarre paced the offense as he went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI to raise his season average to .362.

Wendell Rijo

Wendell Rijo

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (8-16): W, 7-6 vs. Reading

— The Sea Dogs scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning after Reading scored in the top half to come away with a wild extra-innings win. Wendell Rijo’s two-out double scored the two runs for the game-winning hit.

— Rijo’s game-winning hit capped a terrific day at the plate for the second baseman. He went 4-for-5 to raise his average to .219 on the year.

— At the top of the order, Henry Ramos went 1-for-5 with two runs scored in the win. For the year, he’s batting .236.

— From the mound, it was a tough outing for Kevin McAvoy. He went just 3 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on five hits. Mitch Atkins gave them four great innings of relief where he allowed just one run and struck out five.

— Simon Mercedes earned the win by getting two strikeouts in the top half of the 10th inning.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (15-8): Cancelled due to. Next game Monday vs. Carolina.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (10-12): Canceled due to rain. Next game Monday at Lakewood (doubleheader).

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez celebrate the catcher's game-winning home run Sunday night. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)The Red Sox are in first place.



As Jackie Bradley Jr. said after witnessing the event from a few feet away, while waiting in the on-deck circle, “One pitch in, one pitch out.”

Christian Vazquez

Christian Vazquez

As Jackie Bradley Jr. said after witnessing the event from a few feet away, while waiting in the on-deck circle, “One pitch in, one pitch out.”

It seemed simple. And maybe that’s why Christian Vazquez was able to hit Dellin Betances’ 97 mph fastball onto Landsowne Street to propel the Red Sox to an 8-7 win over the Yankees, Sunday night. It was a ball the catcher proclaimed was the longest home run of his young life.

For Red Sox Chili Davis it certainly didn’t seem complicated. And that’s why he offered Vazquez some important advice before going up to face Betances with two outs in the seventh inning and the game tied.

“Just trying to get him aggressive,” Davis said. “Just basically said, ‘Hey, I don’t think this guy is going to respect you. He’s going to come right at you early. Let it go. Let it fire.’ Just trying to get him aggressive early in the at-bat, which he was. He got the first-pitch heater and he jumped on it.”

Two nights before, Ortiz had launched a two-run homer over the left field wall on the first pitch he saw from Betances. But that came on a curveball. This one was the very pitch the reliever threw Sunday night, and wasn’t going to be the same approach with the light-hitting catcher up.

“He’s not going to fool around,” Davis said. “David [Ortiz] knew curveball was coming because that’s how he’s pitches David. But for someone like Christian, or someone he doesn’t really know or hasn’t done what David has done, what is he going to do? He’s going to try and get ahead.”

“There’s not guessing in this game. Every time I try to guess, I guess wrong,” said Ortiz. “You pick what you think you can hit. If you don’t hit breaking balls you don’t pick breaking balls. If you don’t hit fastballs you don’t pick fastballs. … Let me tell you, whenever you step up to the plate with a bat, you have a chance. That was a 98 mph fastball. That [expletive] ended up on the moon.”

For Vazquez, it was just his second major league home run. But it was also a step toward becoming the kind of hitter many in the Red Sox clubhouse believe he can evolve into.

“He’s been working extremely hard,” Ortiz said of Vazquez. “Trust me, I believe that the same thing that happened with Yadier [Molina] is going to happen with him because he works extremely hard on his hitting. He doesn’t work just on his defense. He works on everything. At some point I wouldn’t be surprised he figured it out and started hitting on a daily basis consistently.

“I’m not worried about his hitting. I love what he does behind the plate. For me, I don’t care if he ever gets a hit. I like what he does at the plate. You guys see the difference when he’s behind the plate. It’s unbelievable.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford