Hanley Ramirez's recent performance has been part of the Red Sox' problem. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)MINNEAPOLIS -- Statistics. Conspiracy theories. Personal problems. Personnel problems.



MINNEAPOLIS — Hanley Ramirez isn’t blaming his recent struggles on his banged up left shoulder. And neither are the Red Sox decision-makers.

So, if it’s not that, then what is it?

This is a hitter that hit .293 with a .999 OPS, 10 home runs and 22 RBI in April.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Red Sox announced Wednesday that they have acquired 28-year-old outfielder Carlos Peguero for cash considerations from the Rangers.

Carlos Peguero

Carlos Peguero

MINNEAPOLIS — The Red Sox announced Wednesday that they have acquired 28-year-old outfielder Carlos Peguero for cash considerations from the Rangers.

In order to make room on the 40-man roster for Peguero — a left-handed hitter who appeared in 30 games for the Rangers — the Red Sox placed reliever Anthony Varvaro on the 60-day disabled list.

Peguero played all three outfield positions for the Rangers, hitting .186 (13-for-70) with four home runs. All of his homers came on Texas’ seven-game road trip in early May.

The outfielder had been designated for assignment May 20. He is out of options.

Peguero has shown pop, hitting 30 home runs for Triple-A Omaha last season. For his minor-league career, the Dominican native has homered 167 times, averaging one home run every 16.7 at-bats during his stints in Triple-A. He also strikes out quite a bit, fanning 125 times in 284 big league at-bats.

Originally signed by Seattle, Peguero has played in 99 major league games. He totaled 44 appearances with the Mariners in 2011, 17 in ’12 and two more in ’13. Playing for the Royals last season, the lefty hitter got action in four games.

He is a significantly more productive hitter against right-handers, hitting .290 at Triple-A in ’14 compared to a .198 clip vs. lefties.

While it is unclear what the roster move on the 25-man roster might be, the Red Sox could disable Rusney Castillo (who said after Wednesday’s game he was optimistic he would be ready to play Thursday after suffering a shoulder injury Wednesday), or send Jeff Bianchi back to Triple-A.

Another scenario would be designating Daniel Nava for assignment, with Peguero serving as another left-handed-hitting outfielder.

The Red Sox will also be bringing up pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to start Thursday, with Heath Hembree most likely being sent back to Pawtucket.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

MINNEAPOLIS — Hanley Ramirez isn’t blaming his recent struggles on his banged up left shoulder. And neither are the Red Sox decision-makers.

So, if it’s not that, then what is it?

This is a hitter that hit .293 with a .999 OPS, 10 home runs and 22 RBI in April.

Thus far this month his average sits at .210 for May, while carrying a .511 OPS, not a single homer and just one RBI.

“Just work to June,” he said after going 0-for-3 in the Red Sox’ 6-4 loss to the Twins Wednesday. “That’s it.”

Besides bad luck — (“I mean, I keep hitting line drive outs to people. I can’t control that. And I’ve been doing that for, I mean, the whole month. Just right at people,” he said) — Ramirez believes a big part of the issue is how careful opposing pitchers are approaching him.

The Twins’ pitchers did pound the inside part of the plate against Ramirez throughout a series he came away with just one hit and one walk in 12 plate appearances. And those balls he did put in play were done so without extending his arms, forcing most of his contact to center and right field.

“I mean, I’ve got a strike zone. Most of the pitches they’ve thrown me inside are balls. I’m not supposed to pull that,” Ramirez said. “I hit it back up the middle, that’s my approach. Back up the middle. If you start opening your front shoulder and keep chasing, I’m not changing my approach. So it is what it is. I’m not getting any mistakes right now. They’re just pounding the black of the plate.”

When asked if pitchers were approaching him differently than in April, Ramirez was quick with an answer.

“Yeah, yeah. No mistakes,” he said. “On the black, everything. They watched me the first month. They don’t want me to hurt them. Just keep fighting every at-bat and every game, you know? I’m not going to quit. Keep going out there and compete.”

They not only need Ramirez to compete, but they really need him to be closer the presence he was earlier in the season.

“I mean, what I learned through the years, man, that’s the season, that’s how it goes, up and down, up and down,” he said. “One day you’re hot, one day you go in a slump. You’ve got to try to stay there, fighting every day til you get hot again. As a team, we’re not playing good right now. We’ve got to keep going out there, man, and I think Pedroia, man, he’s keeping everybody awake here. You watch him every day go out there and play hard, it’s what we’re trying to do.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

MINNEAPOLIS ‘€“ According to Rusney Castillo, his latest injury doesn’€™t figure to be too much of an issue going forward.

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

MINNEAPOLIS ‘€“ According to Rusney Castillo, his latest injury doesn’€™t figure to be too much of an issue going forward.

The Red Sox outfielder, who re-injured his right shoulder diving for a catch in his team’€™s 2-1 loss to the Twins Tuesday night, proclaimed himself better and on the verge of returning to action.

“It’€™s tough to say exactly when,” Castillo said when asked about a return date. “We’€™re going day-to-day right now. I was ready to go in today, whether it be defensively or to run. I wouldn’€™t have been 100 percent, but I did feel much better as the day went on today. We’€™ll take it day-to-day and see how it feels tomorrow.”

Castillo was replaced in the Red Sox’€™ lineup by Brock Holt for the Red Sox’€™ 6-4 loss to the Twins Wednesday afternoon.

He insisted after the game that the injury wasn’€™t nearly as severe as the shoulder ailment which put him on the disabled list with Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this season.

“It’s not the same level of intensity or as serious of an injury,” said Castillo, who is 3-for-15 (.200) since joining the Red Sox. “Ideally, I could start playing [Thursday] or over the weekend. We’ll see how I feel. If not [Thursday], then the next few days I’m hoping.”

When asked about what has become a trend in regards to missing time due to injuries since signing with the Red Sox, Castillo said, “It’s at times a little concerning. Playing back in Cuba, I had never had any sort of injuries like this. It’s concerning, but at the same time every single one of them I’ve been able to bounce back relatively quickly. It’s not something I’m concerned with moving forward.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Eduardo Rodriguez is the Red Sox' best pitching prospect. (Elsa/Getty Images)It's fitting that Baseball America's very first organizational rankings, back in 1983, named right-hander Mike Brown the No. 1 Red Sox prospect.



MINNEAPOLIS — This is not working out, as the Red Sox‘ latest loss reminded us.

Rick Porcello had his second straight rough outing Wednesday. (Hannah Foslier/Getty Images)

Rick Porcello had his second straight rough outing Wednesday. (Hannah Foslier/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS — This is not working out, as the Red Sox‘ latest loss reminded us.

The pitcher, Rick Porcello, who the Red Sox designated their ace — judging by the $95 million committed over the next five seasons — allowed six runs over seven innings and now has an ERA of 5.37. In his last two starts, Porcello has given up 13 runs in 11 1/3 innings.

The three hitters (David Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez) the team invested in combined $52 million for this season finished off the Sox’ three-game series against the Twins with four hits (4-for-35, .115) and two RBI between them.

Most importantly for the Red Sox, the end result of the struggles was a three-game sweep at the hands of the Twins after Paul Molitor’s club’s 6-4 victory over the Sox Wednesday afternoon at Target Field.

The latest defeat pushed the Sox to five games under .500, entrenching their position in the basement of the American League East.

The three games also marked the first time the Twins have swept the Red Sox since completing the feat in June 13-15, 2006 at the old since demolished Metrodome.

The only thing keeping the Red Sox competitive in the series finale were a pair of two-run homers from Dustin Pedroia.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Pedroia. The second baseman finished the series with a team-high five hits after his two homers and now finds his batting average at .290. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– As has been a trend this season, the Red Sox allowed their opponent to score immediately after their own offensive flurry. This time it was the Twins putting up three runs against Porcello in the third inning, a half inning after Pedroia’s first homer. The hosts’ response came in the form of two walks and three singles, including a Torii Hunter cue shot down the first base line that plated a pair.

– Porcello allowed his 10th and 11th homers of the season. The first came on a first-pitch changeup to Aaron Hicks in the fourth inning, with the Twins adding another in the sixth thanks to Eddie Rosario. The sinkerballer has now allowed the fourth-most homers of any pitcher in the majors.

– Swihart made a legitimate bid at tying the game in the seventh inning, driving a Brian Duensing pitch to the wall in left field. But Rosario, the Twins’ defensively-challenged left fielder, reached up at the last minute to grab the frame’s final out before crashing into the wall.

– Ortiz’s struggles were punctuated in the eighth inning, grounding out to third base with runners on first and second and two outs. The DH wasn’t able to continue his dominance at Target Field, finishing off the series going 1-for-12 to lower his batting average to .216. His day Wednesday included three ground outs and a pop up to the catcher.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– Xander Bogaerts continued to display his improvement when it comes to defense. This time the shortstop ranged into the hole between short and third base, gathered in a Joe Mauer, leaped in the air (Derek Jeter-style) and tossed to first to end the first inning.

– The two home runs marked the second time this season Pedroia has managed a multiple home run game. It was the sixth time in his career he has managed the feat.

– Blake Swihart threw out his fourth base-stealer in 19 attempts, nailing Eduardo Escobar in the sixth inning. Escobar, who already had one stolen base in the game, was ruled out after a replay. It was particularly important at the time considering Eddie Rosario launched the first pitch after the replay into the right field bleachers to build the Twins’ lead back up to two runs.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford