TORONTO — As we head into the final few weeks until the non-waiver trade deadline, the Red Sox approach seems to be taking shape heading the end of the month. And, at this moment, it doesn’t appear to include a pursuit of Cole Hamels, or even Johnny Cueto.

Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels

TORONTO — As we head into the final few weeks until the non-waiver trade deadline, the Red Sox approach seems to be taking shape heading the end of the month. And, at this moment, it doesn’t appear to include a pursuit of Cole Hamels, or even Johnny Cueto.

According to a major league source, the Red Sox priority leading up to the July 31 deadline is to find younger pitchers who are under team control beyond just this season. Also per the source, it isn’t likely the Red Sox would be chasing pitchers already owed a substantial chunk of money.

This would suggest that Hamels wouldn’t be in the Red Sox’ cross-hairs, with the lefty under team control for the next four seasons but turning 32 years old later this year. The Philadelphia starter is owed $67.5 million from 2016-18, with a $20 million club option for ’19.

Cueto, who may be the most coveted pitcher on the trade market, is due to become a free agent after this season. The 29 year old has totaled a 2.84 ERA in 15 starts this season, including an eight-inning, one-run gem against Minnesota Wednesday.

Both starters and relievers are being looked at by the Red Sox.

Of the starters currently in the Red Sox’ rotation, Rick Porcello ($20 million), Clay Buchholz ($13 million club option) and Wade Miley ($6 million) are seemingly locked in for next season’s rotation.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

TORONTO — Ryan Hanigan returns to the Red Sox lineup for the first time since fracturing his right little finger May 1. The catcher will serve as the battery-mate for Sox starter Wade Miley in their team’s series finale against the Blue Jays Thursday night.

Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan

TORONTO — Ryan Hanigan returns to the Red Sox lineup for the first time since fracturing his right little finger May 1. The catcher will serve as the battery-mate for Sox starter Wade Miley in their team’s series finale against the Blue Jays Thursday night.

To make room for Hanigan on the 25-man roster, the Red Sox sent down reliever Jonathan Aro to Triple-A Pawtucket having thrown 44 pitches in his three-inning stint Wednesday. It leaves the Sox with three catchers, with both Blake Swihart and Sandy Leon remaining with the club.

Hanley Ramirez makes his second straight start in left field after sitting out with a left hand injury, teaming with Mookie Betts and Alejandro De Aza in the Red Sox‘ outfield.

Here is the Red Sox’ lineup against Toronto starter Matt Boyd:

Mookie Betts CF
Brock Holt 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez LF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Mike Napoli 1B
Alejandro De Aza RF
Ryan Hanigan C

For all the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson

While Pawtucket has seen a number of talented players play for them this season, only one has been named to the International League All-Star Team — Brian Johnson.

Johnson is 8-5 with a 2.68 ERA in 15 starts for the PawSox this season. The left-hander is tied for the International League in wins (8), fifth in ERA (2.68) and tied for third in the league in strikeouts (76).

PawSox manager Kevin Boles, who guided Pawtucket to the 2014 Governors’ Cup Championship, will be a coach on the IL All-Star team that will be managed by Syracuse manager Billy Gardner Jr.

The 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game will be played on Wednesday, July 15 at 8:00 pm EST at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

For more Red Sox news, visit

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about Rick Porcello,

Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about Rick Porcello, Hanley Ramirez and the team’s performance as a whole to this point in the season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Red Sox looked to be on their way back up, winning three straight games, but that quickly came to an end when Boston lost to the Blue Jays 11-2 Wednesday afternoon. The loss was just the second time in the last 13 games that the Sox plated fewer than three runs and are still 8-5 over that span.

Still, being seven games back in the AL East and sitting at 36-44 on July 2 is not ideal.

“I would say I am a little embarrassed, particularly by the overall performance,” Lucchino said. “We expected much more, and I wonder what kind of conversation we’d be having today if we had won yesterday instead of lost and I’d come into this conversation with a four-game winning streak and a major uptick. We were six games behind yesterday with more than half a season remaining to be played, yet it still feels frustrating, it’s still disappointing.”

Part of the frustration, at least on Wednesday, was exacerbated by the trouble Rick Porcello has had on the mound. In his past eight starts the righty has posted an 8.18 ERA in that time, allowing 40 earned runs in 44 innings on 59 hits, while allowing nine walks and striking out 31. Opposing batters have slashed .335/.378/.528 against Porcello over that span, too.

On Wednesday, he gave up seven runs, all earned, in just two innings.

“I think it’s frustrating to be sure, no one’s more frustrated about his performance this season than Rick himself,” Lucchino said. “We’re not going to throw anyone under the bus. That may surprise you, we were all part of [signing and extending him], so if there’s going to be a bus accident, it’s going to involve several of us in the front office. But for the last several years, he’s demonstrated that he’s a quality major league pitcher. There’s a danger that we overreact to half a season, now that’s been a disappointing half season, no doubt about it, but we still have his track record to rely on and certainly hope that he’s going to bounce back at some point and show us the kind of performance we expected we would get.”

Lucchino stressed Porcello is well-suited to play in Boston, noting the pitcher is the “solid, dedicated, intense kind of competitor that will thrive in virtually any market.”

When asked if Hanley Ramirez drew any comparisons to Manny Ramirez in left field, Lucchino said though the two might be similar in terms of position, name and hitting ability, the similarities end there. He also emphasized the need for understanding when it comes to the adjustments Ramirez has had to make this season.

“I think Hanley’s style leads to a misinterpretation of him,” Lucchino said. “He is a positive guy in the clubhouse, he is someone who has fit in very well and he took on this challenge mid-career to change positions. I’m sure he hoped it would come more quickly than this, but we’ve seen a number of left fielders in recent Red Sox history take time to develop and turn themselves into decent left fielders. I think that Hanley has a chance to do that, but let’s just be a little patient with him, please.”

He noted too that Boston didn’t just pluck Ramirez out of thin air — the Red Sox signed him as an amateur free agent in 2000.

“We have known Hanley since he was 15, 16 years old, and he was in our system for several years,” Lucchino said. “We had a sense to know what kind of person and personality he is, so this was not a pig in poke. This was a well-known person and personality to us, and we made a decision that he can play in Boston and that he would be a positive force for our returning to success and we’re sticking by that.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen
Red Sox third-round pick Austin Rei officially signed Tuesday. (Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

Red Sox third-round pick Austin Rei officially signed Tuesday. (Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

To say it’s been an up-and-down few months for Red Sox third-round pick Austin Rei would be an understatement.

Rei went from the most frustrated he’s ever been back in February, to now fulfilling his dream of being a professional baseball player.

After a 41-17 season during his sophomore year and a trip to the NCAA Regionals, the catcher couldn’t wait for his junior season with the Washington Huskies, especially having two years under his belt in the Pac-12 where he hit .314 overall with two home runs and 28 RBIs as a sophomore.

But, just five games into this past season Rei suffered a UCL injury in his left thumb on Feb. 19 and was limited to just 25 games.

“It was probably the most frustrating thing baseball related, injury related, thing ever,” Rei said in Lowell last weekend before he officially signed Tuesday. “I knew I had good sophomore season. Going into this year I was extremely excited about my opportunities — both for myself and for the University of Washington. It was the end of the fifth game of the season. Just so early. We didn’t know what we had, I personally didn’t know what I had.

“I was out eight weeks. I was in a little cast. Had to use a bag when I was in the shower, but I couldn’t watch batting practice. It was so frustrating for me not being able to hit. Eight long weeks before I could hit and 12 before I could catch. It was some of the longest weeks ever. It was pretty bad.”

With the team not doing as well as the Huskies and Rei would have liked and just how hard it was watching from the sidelines, he returned for the final month of the season, even if it was a little too soon, which he admitted was the case.

“I absolutely did,” he said. “We weren’t doing so well. After my sophomore season, coming off a 40-win season, it was nice to be used to winning. Losing as many as we did and the way that we did, all the one-run losses, it was tough not to be able to contribute. I definitely think I rushed back into it, but I had all the confidence in the world that I was safe in the hands of my trainers, strength coaches and all that. They were really helpful with me.”

Despite coming back from the injury, Rei still put up very respectable numbers, playing in 20 of his 25 games after the injury. Overall, he hit .330 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs on the year.

Going into the season some pegged Rei as a potential first-round pick. While he said coming back from the injury too soon likely didn’t affect his draft selection, maybe the injury in general did, which he completely understood.

“No. I really don’t,” he said when asked if coming back too soon caused him to drop in the draft. “I came back pretty strong right away, so I don’t think it affected my draft stock in a negative way. I think the injury in general might have. It’s completely understandable. It’s a big question mark, especially for a catcher — a thumb injury. I couldn’t really feel more healthy right now, so I am really excited about it.”

Rei was selected in the third-round, No. 81 overall by the Red Sox. He’s excited to join an organization which puts as much emphasis on the defensive part of catching as the Sox do because that is what he’s known for and excels at.

The right-handed hitter said growing up he idolized Ivan Rodriguez.

“Defensive guys, sometimes they don’t get the recognition,” Rei said. “[Yadier Molina] does it better than anyone out there and he gets a lot of recognition, but there are so many other good catchers that get overlooked I think. I hold a lot of pride in my defense and whatever come offensively is just a bonus.”

After being drafted back on June 9, Rei finally was able to travel to the East Coast and visit Fenway Park as part of the signing process. While at Fenway last week he had all kinds of medical tests done during the day and then was able to take in a Red Sox-Orioles game at night. It was his second time at Fenway.

“I actually took a tour after the Field of Dreams tournament at Cooperstown,” Rei said. “We drove down to Boston and took a tour before the game started, so I actually didn’t get to see a game. A couple days ago I saw any doctor associated with the Red Sox. Took a couple MRI’s to make sure everything was good. A couple physical tests, but I got to see really every part of Fenway. Inside, outside. The interns had a suite box up top next to the press box and that was very cool. That was awesome.”

Before and during the game he also got to go down into the clubhouse and meet some of the players, including David Ortiz, which was something that meant a great deal to him. He stressed how the players acted just like any other baseball player, not ones in the major leagues.

“Watched the game from the clubhouse with Papi — that was pretty cool,” Rei said. “[Mike] Napoli, Joe Kelly, Daniel Nava. It was cool to meet those guys. They are unbelievably good at what they do, but they are normal guys. They are completely normal guys. We see them on TV and they are God’s to us in a way and they are a couple stages ahead of us and obviously playing in the best league and the best game in the world. They are incredibly good at what they do and I absolutely look up to them in that regard.”

While just a few short months ago it seemed things couldn’t get any worse, now it’s almost like they can’t get any better — being at Fenway Park as an official member of the Red Sox.

“It was absolutely amazing,” Rei said of being at Fenway. “Knowing who has played there. Who has hit balls over the Monster. All the guys that have come through the organization since it started, it’s surreal to think about it and it’s pretty darn cool to be a Red Sox.”

Teddy Stankiewicz

Teddy Stankiewicz


For all the tough luck that High-A Salem stater Teddy Stankiewicz has had to deal with this season, it couldn’t have happened to a player with a better attitude.

The 2013 second-round pick has a 2-8 record, but has pitched much better than the record would indicate as his Salem team hasn’t given him much run support. In nine of his 14 starts he’s allowed two earned runs or less, but is just 2-6 in those games.

“That’s just part of the game,” Stankiewicz said. “You can throw well some games and give up some runs and some games you’re just not going to get run support, which is completely normal. You can’t get runs every single time. It’s not really a problem, just how the game is.”

For the year, the right-hander has a 4.00 ERA as he’s a contact pitcher not known for racking up the strikeouts totaling just 39 over 83 1/3 innings. Even though the wins aren’t there, he’s pleased with how things have gone.

“I feel like I am doing well,” he said. “Just putting a few more little things together. Mechanically, I’m not pulling out and making sure I am facing the plate. Everything else is coming along good. I feel like I am throwing well, just sometimes it just doesn’t happen, which is baseball. It’s going to be a good rest of the season.”

The biggest adjustment Stankiewicz said he had to make since turning pro was his mental game. Without being mentally tough, it’s tough to be a successful professional pitcher.

“For anybody being mental is going to get your over the top faster than other people,” he said. “Being in professional baseball you have to be as mentally tough as anyone. You’re going to have outings where you feel great and get ripped — it’s just how it is. Then days where you don’t feel good you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ It just happens. You have to be mentally tough, stay in the game and be ready at all times.”

Stankiewicz is now in his second full season in the Red Sox organization, moving up a level each year. He said it’s something he doesn’t think about because once he does there’s a good chance he won’t be at his best.

“I am hoping to get [to the majors] one day, but if you’re thinking about that it’s going to get you off track,” he said. “You have to think about what you’re doing right now and if you get moved up, you get moved up fantastic, but you can’t think of ‘What if I get moved up?’ You can’t think like that. You have to focus on what you’re doing and not let your mind wonder off.”

For more Red Sox minor league coverage, listen to this week’s Red Sox Farm Report Podcast featuring special guest Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (38-43): L, 8-4, at Rochester (Twins)

— Knuckleballer Steven Wright allowed six runs, although only three of those runs earned, in five innings of work as Rochester snapped a 3-3 tie with three unearned runs in the fifth inning and rolled to complete a four-game series sweep of the PawSox. Wright’€™s final line was: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO (95 pitches, 64 strikes). Wright’€™s flutter ball also caused two wild pitches and two passed balls charged to catcher Matt Spring.

Wright was on the mound in the fifth with a runner aboard with two outs when the game’€™s pivotal error was charged to first baseman Allen Craig as he ranged towards the foul line a few paces to his left but could not handle a hard-spinning grounder. A run scored and the inning continued, with three hits and two more runs to follow, ending Wright’€™s evening.

The 30-year-old Wright, who also allowed a home run in the third inning, has made six starts for Pawtucket this year, in addition to having three different stints in Boston. Wright is 2-3 with the PawSox with a 3.00 ERA over 39 innings, striking out 34 while walking 13. In Boston as a starter, Wright allowed three earned runs or less in all four of his starts and he has now done the same in five of his six starts with Pawtucket.

— Center fielder Rusney Castillo reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk, while also scoring a run on a Travis Shaw single in the third inning. The 27-year-old Castillo now has hits in five of his six games since re-joining Pawtucket on June 24, with four of the six contests being multi-hit games. Castillo’€™s season-long batting average in Triple-A sits at .310 to go with a .364 on-base percentage.

— Second baseman Jeff Bianchi also reached base three times, as the 28-year-old utility man went 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk. Bianchi’s triple was down the right field line to leadoff the third inning and he came home to score on a Quintin Berry ground out. Over 21 games with the PawSox this year, Bianchi is hitting .311 with a .382 on-base percentage.

Marco Hernandez

Marco Hernandez

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (28-51): L, 2-0, vs. New Hampshire (Blue Jays)

Eastern League All-Star selections were announced on Thursday, with Portland getting five players selected to the game set for Wednesday July 15, to be played at the Sea Dogs’€™ home park, Hadlock Field. Portland’€™s five All-Stars are: shortstop Marco Hernandez, second baseman Carlos Asuaje, third baseman Jantzen Witte, RHP William Cuevas, and LHP Robby Scott. Portland manager Billy McMillon and his staff will lead the Eastern Division at the event.

— Hernandez continued his All-Star caliber first half on Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with a double to raise his average to .313, currently sixth highest in the league. Hernandez has hit in 13 of his last 14 games, as well as 22 of his past 25. It was also the 18th double of the year for Hernandez, five off the Eastern League pace.

Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers joined the Farm Report podcast on Wednesday and raved about Hernandez, who was acquired by Boston last year as the player to be named later sent from the Chicago Cubs in the Felix Doubront trade.

“€œGreat addition,”€ Hyers said. “[The] first time I met him was spring training, and he came in with a great attitude. Very confident. Another guy who loves to play, incredible work ethic. Good teammate. [His success] is not a surprise, I saw a really quick bat, a guy who didn’€™t swing at a lot of bad pitches in spring training. [He] had a plan going into the season really trying to work gap-to-gap [and] keep the ball up the middle, and I think that focus and that plan really helped him adapting to Double-A. Recently he’€™s really picked it up and been really consistent. You look at his splits, being a left-handed hitter vs. left handed pitching, it doesn’€™t fall off. He hits lefties, righties, and the last month has been really consistent for us.”

Hernandez this season is hitting .315 against left-handed pitching and .312 against right-handed pitching.

— RHP Luis Diaz hurled a quality start, but got no run support as his record dropped to 0-7 (6.37 ERA) with a final line of: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO (93 pitches, 53 strikes). Diaz, 23, has allowed three earned runs or less in four of his last five starts. The 6-foot-3 Diaz was promoted to Portland in 2014 and made 13 starts for the Sea Dogs, going 3-4 with a 3.72 ERA. However, Diaz won three of his first four starts with Portland in 2014 and he has now gone 24 starts without a victory dating to last year.

Ty Buttrey

Ty Buttrey

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (40-37): L, 8-7, at Myrtle Beach (Cubs)

— RHP Ty Buttrey (Boston’€™s No. 27 prospect at had his worst start of the season in terms of runs allowed giving up seven, five of them earned, in five innings of work as Salem dropped their fifth straight game. Buttrey (6-2, 3.13 ERA) got through two innings scoreless, but ran into problems in the third and fourth as he allowed a combined five hits and two walks, to go with hitting a batter, a balk, and a wild pitch. A fielding error by first baseman Jordan Betts in the third inning didn’€™t help matters, as Betts could not field a slow, high chopper that he was charging.

It could have been even worse for Buttrey as it appeared Salem got the benefit of an erroneous runners’€™ interference call at the plate on a throw home from shortstop Mauricio Dubon to catcher Jordan Procyshen, who dropped the ball before a sliding runner could get to the plate. The runner was ruled out and in two ensuing showdowns with the home plate umpire, Myrtle Beach had both their manager and assistant coach ejected.

Buttrey, 22, had allowed just two earned runs over his last three starts, a total of 18 innings with 14 strikeouts over that span in late June. A fourth-round draft pick by Boston in 2012, Buttrey has now made 10 starts for Salem after being promoted from Single-A Greenville in late May.

— Right fielder Kevin Heller had a big night at the plate, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs. Heller had a two-run single in the third, plus run-scoring singles in the seventh and ninth as he raised his average to .310 on the season. Heller has an eight-game hitting streak going, which he’€™s raised his average 44 points. A 40th round draft pick by Boston out of Amherst College in 2012, the 25-year-old Heller began the year in Double-A Portland but was demoted after hitting just .132 in 13 games.

— Three of Boston’€™s former international signees had strong offensive nights as well, as the Salem offense piled up 15 hits in the loss:

Third baseman Jose Vinicio, a 21-year-old international signee by Boston in 2009 for $1.95 million, went 3-for-4 with a double and now has a seven-game hit streak over which he’€™s raised his average 26 points to .294.

Second baseman Wendell Rijo (Boston’€™s No. 16 prospect at, a 19-year-old international signee by Boston in 2012 for $575,000, smacked two doubles and now has 19 two-baggers on the season, tied for third-best in the Carolina League.

DH Tzu-Wei Lin, a 21-year-old international signee by Boston in 2011 by Boston for $2 million, was 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to five games and pick up his fourth multi-hit game over that span. Lin has raised his average from .267 to .283.

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (41-36): L, 4-3 in 10 innings, at Hickory (Rangers)

— Third baseman Rafael Devers (Boston’€™s No. 4 prospect at gave Greenville a short-lived lead in the 10th inning with a solo home run, his sixth of the season, before Hickory came back with two runs in the bottom of the tenth for the win. Devers, 18, finished 2-for-5 and is hitting .305, 10th best in the South Atlantic League.

— Shortstop Deiner Lopez had a chance to end the game in the bottom of the 10th, but could not cleanly field a potential double-play ball and had to settle for one out at first base. A few batters later, RHP Ryan Harris allowed a two-run walkoff bloop single to left that fell between three defenders and Harris was charged with both a blown save and a loss.

— Yoan Moncada (Boston’€™s No. 1 prospect at went 1-for-4 with a walk, playing second base and hitting in the leadoff spot of the order. Moncada, a 20-year-old Cuban who was signed in March for $31.5 million, did strike out twice, but he has now reached base in five of his last six games and has raised his average from .200 to .230 over that span.

Tim Hyers also weighed in on Moncada’€™s progress on the Farm Report podcast this week.

“We’€™ve talked about managing the strike zone, managing your swing, preparing every day to be a professional and to go and compete,”€ Hyers said. “I think he’€™s learning a lot about himself, learning some of his strengths and some of his weaknesses. The biggest adjustment I’€™ve seen with his balance, body control, and overall control at the plate, which is getting better, and some of his numbers are starting to turn around now because of that. It’€™s a big learning curve for him because it’€™s that day-to-day battle, new competition, and he’€™s responded well. Working really hard. He’€™s starting to ask a lot of the right questions in seeing how the game is played over here.”

Victor Acosta

Victor Acosta

SHORT SEASON LOWELL SPINNERS (10-3): L, 5-2, at Connecticut (Tigers)

— Third baseman Victor Acosta singled, to go with a stolen base, and now has hits in all nine games he’€™s played this season as he’€™s started, going 15-for-35 to lead the New York-Penn league with a .429 average. A 19-year-old Venezuelan, Acosta was 6-for-16 in the playoffs last year with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox as he helped that team win a championship. In 2013, Acosta hit eight home runs for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox, the most by a Boston prospect in that league since statistics started being kept in 2006.

— It was a sloppy defensive effort for Lowell on Wednesday, as Acosta picked up his third error of the season, and more significantly errors by right fielder Jordon Austin and first baseman Josh Ockimey in the fifth inning led to three unearned Connecticut runs, charged to starter Daniel Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, a 19-year-old, 6-foot-5 RHP, Gonzalez finished four innings with five runs allowed on six hits, one a home run. Through three starts this year Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA.

— Center fielder Luis Alexander Basabe had the only multi-hit game for Lowell, going 2-for 4 along with swiping his third stolen base. Basabe, signed along with his twin brother Luis Alejandro Basabe for $450,000 each out of Venezuela in 2012, has hits in 9 of his last 10 games and is hitting .286 after an 0-for-8 start to the year.


— Third baseman Rafael Oliveras went 2-for 3, picking up RBIs on a sacrifice fly and a ground out, to go with a run scored. A 20-year-old Puerto Rican who was drafted in round 35 by Boston in 2013, Olvieras has four multi-hit games out of his seven games played this season, and is off to a 10-for-23 (.435) start to the year with five RBIs and seven runs scored.

— RHP Carlos Caceres pitched three scoreless innings of relief and struck out five batters, giving him seven strikeouts in six innings with the GCL Red Sox this season. Last year with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox Caceres made 17 appearances and went 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA, striking out 25 over 28 2/3 innings with six saves.

Check out the weekly Farm Report podcast hosted by Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird