Minor league industry bible Baseball America has released its annual farm system rankings, and you don’t have to just take our word for it anymore — the Red Sox are loaded.

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Minor league industry bible Baseball America has released its annual farm system rankings, and you don’t have to just take our word for it anymore — the Red Sox are loaded.

BA ranked the Red Sox‘ system second in the game for the second straight year, this time behind only the Cubs. The magazine named Yoan Moncada the team’s top prospect, and praised the Red Sox for their aggressive spending in Cuba, which has yielded not only Moncada, but Rusney Castillo.

The Red Sox are deep in quality left-handed starters, with Brian Johnson the closest to the majors, Henry Owens the best prospect at the moment, and Eduardo Rodriguez with potentially the highest ceiling.

The Red Sox placed seven prospects on BA’s top 100 list, and that doesn’t include Moncada, who signed after the list was compiled. The team’s best prospect otherwise is catcher Blake Swihart (17th overall in baseball).

Rounding out the top five of the organizational rankings were the Dodgers, Twins, and Mets.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After his latest spring training outing — this one coming Tuesday on the Fenway South backfields against Minnesota Triple-A hitters — Wade Miley offered some clarity for what has been a somewhat secretive pitching rotation.

Wade Miley

Wade Miley

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After his latest spring training outing — this one coming Tuesday on the Fenway South backfields against Minnesota Triple-A hitters — Wade Miley offered some clarity for what has been a somewhat secretive pitching rotation.

The left-hander said he will make his first start of the season against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, presumably Friday, April 10. That would mean that Justin Masterson is most likely slotted in the No. 3 spot, lining him up to face the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. (Red Sox manager John Farrell was once again non-committal earlier Tuesday when asked if he was ready to announce the team’s No. 3 starter.)

The 29-year-old has pitched in Yankee Stadium just one time, getting a no-decision while three runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings during an April 17, 2013 Diamondbacks loss.

“That’s going to be pretty special,” said Miley of making his Red Sox debut, going up against the Yankees.

Miley has been solid for most of spring training, this time turning in a 6 2/3-inning performance in which he threw 98 pitches while allowing one run on four hits.

Other than the lefty’s hiccup during a March 15 relief appearance against Philadelphia in which he allowed four runs on six hits while walking three in three innings.

Since the Philly outing, Miley has given up three runs over 11 innings in two Grapefruit League starts.

Ryan Hanigan caught Miley’s outing Tuesday, going 0-for-4 with a walk.

Miley also reported that the 14-foot boat he bought in order to fish with his teammates in back of Fenway South will be handed over to the grounds crew until their return next February.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Humberto Quintero

Humberto Quintero

FORT MYERS, Fla. — For a brief time, when news first came down that Christian Vazquez’s right elbow was going to sideline the catcher for quite a while, Humberto Quintero thought there was a window to make the Red Sox‘ Opening Day roster.

It was unlikely that the Red Sox would promote Blake Swihart so soon, leaving Quintero has the next logical option to play alongside newly-tabbed starter Ryan Hanigan.

But then came Monday, when the Sox traded for Quintero’s former teammate from the Venezuelan Winter League, Sandy Leon, and then the landscape suddenly changed.

“I’€™ve been playing in the big leagues for a few years so I know, it’€™s baseball,” said the 35-year-old Quintero. “I’€™ll just try and do my best every time they put me in the lineup. I’€™ve hit the ball well, blocked the ball, and I feel great.”

Now both the Red Sox and Quintero have to make a decision.

The catcher has an opt-out clause in his contract that would allow him to get out of the minor-league deal he has been in camp under which officially kicks in today. If he did accept a minor-league assignment and not opt-out, the Red Sox would be obligated to pay Quintero $100,000.

But the veteran of 471 major league games has decided to wait a while before making any decisions, with Leon scheduled to get his first start with the Red Sox Tuesday in Port Charlotte against the Rays.

Despite a solid camp, Quintero would seem to be once again pushed back on the depth chart considering the 26-year-old is out of options and resides on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster.

“You never know,” Quintero said. “I’€™m going to wait for a couple of more days to see what they’€™re going to do.”

Quintero, who last played regularly in the major leagues in 2011 with Houston, also has another opt-out on June 1 if he chooses not to enact the clause this time around.

“It’€™s a decision that’€™s part of baseball,” he said. “The only thing I can do is every time they tell me to play is try and do my best.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Shane Victorino is ready to assume his role as starting right fielder for the Red Sox. (Elsa/Getty Images)FORT MYERS, Fla.



FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz has made it perfectly clear why he chose to publish 2,300-plus-word, March 26 article on the Players’ Tribune web site defending himself against allegations of using performance enhancing drugs.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz has made it perfectly clear why he chose to publish 2,300-plus-word, March 26 article on the Players’ Tribune web site defending himself against allegations of using performance enhancing drugs.

He wanted to attempt to have what he hoped would be the last say on the matter.

“People are always focused on things that really don’t matter. I just want to make myself clear that I don’t want to keep talking about this,” Ortiz told WEEI.com Monday afternoon. “People are always bringing the subject to me, over and over. People look at me, like why does he keep bringing this subject back? It’s not me, bro. I get that question asked. Every year, people come and ask me the same question. I’m just tired of it, bro. That article that came out, hopefully it’s the last time I talk about it.”

But while Ortiz was satisfied with the overall presentation of the article, he did regret how one part was represented.

The three sentences Ortiz felt an obligation to clarify while sitting in front of his locker prior to Monday’s game at JetBlue Park were: “I grew up in a house where my father used to hit my mother. There was a fight in my house pretty much every other day. It was normal.”

Ortiz explained the message he intended to relay regarding his upbringing.

“The one part where it said that my dad [Enrique] used to beat up my mom [Angela Rosa] and stuff, that was wrong. What I was meaning to say was that in my house, it was an argument all the time, fights and stuff.

“There were things that you don’t want to see as a child. But it wasn’t that my dad was an abuser, because my mom was a tough lady. I’m not going to give too much of the details into that, because that’s my personal life. My dad has always been a great dad. I don’t want people to look at him like he was the wrong person.

“My whole thing was based on the argument they used to have. At some point my mom and dad ended up divorcing and that was the end, everyone went on their own. Then, once they were away from each other, the true respect that you expect from a husband and wife started showing up even more. Their relationship got better, even if they weren’t together. But that’s the way I was raised, though. To make myself clear, I was basically just saying I grew up in a tough situation.

“I don’t want people to think that my dad was an abuser, because my dad is the reason I am who I am, besides God. He’s a good man who taught me how to the right thing. It was just the kind of relationship that, they didn’t agree with a lot of things. That brings a fight. A fight’s not just when a man hits a woman. Arguments can be called fights.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As spring training games go, Monday night’s 14-2 pummeling of the crosstown Twins was about as good as it gets for the Red Sox.

David Ortiz singles in Mookie Betts in third inning Monday night in Fort Myers. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

David Ortiz singles in Mookie Betts in third inning Monday night in Fort Myers. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As spring training games go, Monday night’s 14-2 pummeling of the crosstown Twins was about as good as it gets for the Red Sox.

Exactly one week before the season opener in Philadelphia, John Farrell rolled out a lineup that fans can expect to see against the Phillies (and hopefully most of the season). And that lineup produced just as Red Sox management hoped when they put together the new offense over the winter.

Leadoff hitter Mookie Betts continued his scorching spring with two more hits, including an RBI double high off the Monster in a six-run fourth. He scored twice and is now batting .467 on the spring.

Mike Napoli looks as comfortable as anyone in the lineup not named Betts. He has also carried a blazing bat in spring, even when he’s breaking it in half and homering as was the case in the fourth. He muscled up and clubbed a solo homer that carried over the Monster in straightaway left. The barrel of the bat wound up in the dirt next to the third base bag and he ran around it as he circled the bases on his fourth homer of the spring.

The solo shot must’ve inspired the rest of the order as Shane Victorino followed with a double. It was the second of seven straight hits by Red Sox regulars off a Twins staff comprised mostly of relievers for the game. In all, the Red Sox had consecutive RBI hits from Xander Bogaerts, Humberto Quintero, Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz in the six-run fourth.

After his seventh strikeout of spring, Ortiz broke out of a mini-slump with an RBI single in the third that got the scoring underway. He followed that with a smooth swing that produced a sinking liner to left-center, scoring Dustin Pedroia. He finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, bringing his average up to .259 this spring in 10 games.

Masterson allowed five hits and one run over his 5 2/3 innings and ended his night on a strong note when he got Torii Hunter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. The starter who projects to start the season as a starter somewhere behind Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello struck out four and walked one while generating seven ground ball outs. He could’ve had an eighth except for a rare Dustin Pedroia error in the third.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia