Justin Masterson, pictured in 2009, was as shocked as anyone to be traded that year.</p>
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Dustin Pedroia continues to try and come to grips with the Red Sox' lot in life. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)The season is weighing on Dustin Pedroia. Make that seasons.

Steven Wright gave the Red Sox a much-needed win over the White Sox Thursday night. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Steven Wright gave the Red Sox a much-needed win over the White Sox Thursday night. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

For obvious reasons Steven Wright is most known for his knuckleball, but Thursday night it was his fastball that was able to get him his fourth win of the season.

Wright went seven innings allowing two runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out a career-high eight in the Red Sox’ 8-2 win over the White Sox snapping a three-game losing streak.

Making the win even more impressive was Wright and the Red Sox were going up against ace Chris Sale.

The Red Sox knuckleballer was able to keep the red-hot White Sox offense in check by mixing his fastball and knuckleball more than in any other start this season. According to Brooksbaseball.net, Wright threw a season-high 21 fastballs. His previous high in any other start this season was seven.

“It’s one of those things I don’t go out there thinking I am going to throw fastballs tonight,” Wright said. “The scouting report that I’ve seen on those guys — they are pretty patient early on and I wasn’t throwing a lot of strikes at the beginning so I thought it was a good opportunity to do some fastballs so I tried to get ahead in the count and then later on in the game me and Blake [Swihart] were able to mix it in in good situations to really keep them off the knuckleball. I just go out there and feel it out. Sometimes I throw more than other times. Today I mixed it in a little bit more in the past.”

Things got off to a rocky start as he allowed a two-run home run to Jose Abreu in the first inning, which meant all four Red Sox starters allowed multiple runs in the first inning in the series. But, Wright settled in and didn’t allow a run after that.

The win evens his record at 4-4 after he was winless over his last four starts. It was his first win as a starter since May 23.

“Early on I thought he mixed his fastball in well,” manager John Farrell said. “Not exclusively to the use of his knuckleball. I think he needed it because he didn’t have a real good feel for it the first couple innings. Once he did get the feel for it — the consistency, the violence, the action in the strike-throwing ability improved across the board. Slowed him down. As they came into this series, we saw for three nights what they did. Started things off the same way, but he settled in and pitched a very solid outing for us.”

Wright threw a career-high 116 pitches, but you’d never know it by the way he was talking after the game.

“I throw knuckleballs, man. I just throw all day,” he said.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

This one came out of nowhere.

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

This one came out of nowhere.

Having won just three of their last 16 games, while sitting on the verge of a four-game sweep at the hands of the red-hot White Sox, Thursday night’s series finale didn’t seem promising for the Red Sox. Add in that John Farrell‘s team had to reverse its course against Chris Sale, one of the top pitchers in the American League, and the Sox best chance would seem for the rain to pick up steam from 7 p.m. and on.

But the rain did let up, resulting in just a 51-minute delay, and as it turned out the Red Sox were glad it did.

The Sox jumped all over Sale, handing the skinny southpaw with the 2.85 ERA one of his worst starts of the season. The end result was the Red Sox tagging the White Sox starter for seven runs on 12 hits over five innings on the way to an 8-2 win at Fenway Park.

The night marked the most hits ever allowed by Sale, who was chased from the game after not retiring an out in the sixth inning but being charged with four runs in the frame.

Sale’s counterpart, Red Sox starter Steven Wright, conversely turned in one of his best big league outings, giving up just two runs (both coming in the first inning) over seven innings. The knuckleballer finished with career-highs in innings pitched and pitches thrown (115).

Much of the damage done against Sale was surprisingly from some of the Red Sox’ lefty bats, including David Ortiz, who finished with three hits. Coming into the game, Ortiz was just 2-for-10 against the lefty, and hitting .162 vs. southpaws for the season.

Another encouraging performance against Sale came from Jackie Bradley Jr., who rifled an RBI single up the middle in the sixth against the Chicago starter.

Other offensive performances of note for the Red Sox were Xander Bogaerts’ three-hit night (raising his batting average to .316), and Rusney Castillo’s homer into the center field seats.

For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

It was one of the weirdest plays you’ll ever see.

In the fourth inning, Pablo Sandoval struck out swinging against White Sox lefty Chris Sale on a tailing fastball inside, but while swinging and missing the pitch hit him in the left forearm.

Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

It was one of the weirdest plays you’ll ever see.

In the fourth inning, Pablo Sandoval struck out swinging against White Sox lefty Chris Sale on a tailing fastball inside, but while swinging and missing the pitch hit him in the left forearm.

The third baseman was the last out in the inning and immediately left the game. He was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. Newcomer Josh Rutledge replaced him at third base.

Sandoval entered the game hitting .262 this season. It was the second straight game he’s been forced to leave the game early as he left Wednesday’s game with dehydration.

Check back for more as more information becomes available.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Eduardo Rodriguez was traded for Andrew Mller last year when he was in Double-A with the Orioles. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez was traded for Andrew Mller last year when he was in Double-A with the Orioles. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With the non-waiver trade deadline coming to a close Friday at 4 p.m., more and more players will be traded on top of the ones who already have this week.

More often than not, most deals involve minor league prospects being exchanged for big league players, as one team is looking to win now and the other building for the future.

This can be a concerning time for these minor leaguers, as for some they are just getting used to playing professionally and they have only known one organization.

A lot of questions can be going through their heads. Am I not good enough? Why didn’t they want me? What does my new organization think of me? Will I ever make the majors?

All those are all legitimate questions, but ultimately it’s all about realizing baseball is a business and teams want to get better in anyway possible.

“I didn’t really realize until I was in the big leagues for a few years,” Hanley Ramirez said, who was traded as a 21-year-old in 2005 to the Marlins by the Red Sox in the deal that landed Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. “That’s when you realize teams are just looking to win — anyway you can do it. If you have to trade a good player, sometimes you don’t want to trade that piece, but there’s a back and forth.”

Ramirez acknowledged at first he didn’t like the fact that he was traded, but once he realized he was going to play in the majors, he was all for it. The current Red Sox left fielder said at that point in his career all he was worried about was just getting a chance at playing full-time in the majors.

“You’re just looking to play in the big leagues,” Ramirez said. “At first, I was a little bit upset because coming in watching the Red Sox in the Dominican, but after that I was fine because it was my opportunity to play in the big leagues.”

Ultimately, it comes down to baseball being like any other organization in the world — a business.

“This is business. You want to win. At the same time you’re an employee and you have to deal with it,” Ramirez said.

More recently, Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was shipped to Boston from the Orioles last July 31 straight up for reliever Andrew Miller.

Rodriguez, who was in Double-A at the time, said he realized at the time of the trade what the Orioles organization wanted — help at the major league level as they were looking to make a playoff run. What he didn’t get was why they picked him.

“I didn’t know how they are thinking,” Rodriguez said. “I just knew they needed a better player in the big leagues last year. That was why I think they traded me.”

Although he didn’t fully understand why it was him being traded, being traded for a proven big leaguer in Miller helped him understand that it wasn’t anything negative towards him.

“Me getting traded for a big league guy, I knew I was important for [the Red Sox.],” he said.

The 22-year-old said getting traded as a prospect comes down to having a positive attitude because going into a new organization with a negative one could ultimately impact the path taken to the majors.

“Wherever you’re going, you have to take it positively because you have to keep working wherever you are,” he said.

Rodriguez got a chance to face the Orioles earlier this season — his third-ever start in the big leagues — a game in which the Red Sox lost 1-0 as Rodriguez went six shutout innings.

Asked if there any extra motivation to face the team that traded him away?

“Yeah,” Rodriguez quickly said with a smile.


Former No. 7 overall pick by the Red Sox in 2013, Trey Ball, is still in High-A Salem, but the Red Sox don’t seem too concerned, nor should they be as Ball just turned 21 at the end of June and is focusing solely on pitching for just the second full season.

Ball was a two-way player, as he played outfield before being drafted in 2011 out of New Castle High School in Indiana.

“Trey was more of a two-way player in high school and he grew up in Indiana,” Red Sox minor league pitching coordinator Ralph Treuel said recently. “You have to understand the competition baseball-wise that he was facing, especially as two-way player given the weather, his development is probably going to come a little bit later than [Henry Owens’] because there’s a lot of things Henry was probably doing as a pitcher at 15 or 16, but Trey Ball was playing the outfield at that age.

“We’re seeing very good progress from Trey. He’s bigger, stronger, the velocity is starting to pick up. His breaking ball is inconsistent, but that’s another thing where to learn to spin a baseball is something when you’re a two-way guy, you’re not going to learn how to do that until you’re primarily a pitcher. He’s got a good feel for a changeup, just like Henry had coming into the system.”

Ball has gotten better each of his three seasons in the Red Sox’ system. He had a 6.43 ERA in the Gulf Coast League the summer after he was drafted, 4.68 last year with Single-A Greenville and this year he is currently 8-8 with a 3.69 ERA.

Part of the improvement is getting consistent results with all three of his pitches.

“We’re trying to develop a breaking ball,” Treuel said. “He’s trying to develop a breaking ball to complement the changeup, which he had a pretty good feel for last year and continues to have a good feel for. Being able to throw his fastball for both sides of the plate.”


Starter-turned-reliever Pat Light doesn’t have the best numbers since getting promoted from Double-A to Triple A earlier this season, as in 15 appearances he has a 6.88 ERA, but he does have 16 strikeouts in 17 innings and a fastball reaching the high-90s.

This isn’t that concerning to members of the Red Sox organization as Light, a 2012 first-round pick, was a starter until the end of spring training this season.

“For me, it was probably going to be his quickest path to advance through the system,” Treuel said. “It was a decision that I think a lot of people were involved in. We just all kind of chimed in and it’s worked out. He had a bit of a hiccup last month, but overall he’s made the transition really well to a reliever. We’ll see where it goes from here.”

Light was moved to the bullpen because of his stuff and high velocity. As a reliever he can let it all out in shorter stints, rather than holding some of that velocity back as a starter.

“If you’re looking a guy who can throw in the mid to uppers 90s and has a good split, I think that could close out games,” Treuel said. “Again, the experience and when you have to close out games in the big leagues, that isn’t that easy of a thing to do. Right now relieving is still new. We don’t talk about it in terms of he’s closing at the minor league level. Put it like this, he has the stuff to close out major league games.”

Earlier in the year, Light talked about his mentality as a closer.

“For me I am coming in, doing my thing and it’s my best pitch vs. your best swing and see who wins because I am coming at you with my stuff,” Light said. “I am not pitching around you or pitching to your weaknesses, just here it is, let’s see if you can do it.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Red Sox and White Sox will have to wait a little longer for their series finale.

Due to rain sweeping through the Boston area, Thursday’s game will now start at 8 p.m.

The White Sox are going for a four-game sweep of the Red Sox.

Steven Wright will be opposed by Chris Sale once the game gets going.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

Following third baseman Pablo Sandoval leaving Wednesday’s game due to dehydration, manager John Farrell revealed Sandoval’s conditioning “continues to be addressed.”

Along the same lines, some scouts have said Sandoval has put on some weight this season, which has affected his defense at third base. He is listed at 5-foot-11, 255 pounds.

Sandoval was asked point-blank if he’s gained weight from after last season.

“No. I’m still the weight that I was last year the weight that I finished my season,” he said. “So I don’t get complaints about it. I have to keep working hard, yes I do, but I don’t focus about that, I focus about teamwork and try to do the best out there for my team.”

Following Sandoval’s comments, Farrell was asked the same question.

The manager said his weight fluctuates and the team is working with him on both conditioning and nutrition. Farrell did say the third baseman works hard off the field.

“The one thing we do know is there is a wide range able to fluctuate and that’s been consistent year-to-year with Pablo,” Farrell said. “I do know this, his work ethic in the weight room, his work ethic on the field is consistent. It has been since the first day he got on the field with us here. And yet there’s been challenges that we’ve became aware of over the course of his career that you’re trying to align a number of things and that’s the consistency to the work routine as well as the nutritional side of things.”

Sandoval has committed 12 errors in 89 games after committing 11 all of last year. His season-high is 18 back in 2013. Farrell said a reason for the increase in errors is possibly playing closer in than coaches would like because of a comfort level he had in the National League.

“There’s a comfort level with his positioning,” Farrell said. “Coming in on a ball has been a challenge for him. His comfort level is to play a little bit closer. He’s been accustomed to the National League where a two-out bunt is not uncommon and sometimes even a two-strike bunt. Coming over here as we try and get him to move back a little bit — there’s a comfort zone that every player feels on the field defensively. That’s still a work in progress.”

Sandoval didn’t have much to say when asked about his fielding.

“It’s tough. I can’t get every ball that’s hit out there,” he said.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable