Hanley Ramirez is slated to play a big role in the Red Sox lineup this season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez is slated to play a big role in the Red Sox lineup this season. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

When Hanley Ramirez steps into the batter’s box, it’s difficult to ignore the long blond dreadlocks that seem to overtake his batting helmet. In a Boston Globe profile, Ramirez reveals the secret behind them.

Ramirez, who is one of the players tasked with replacing David Ortiz in the middle of the lineup this season, says he hasn’t cut his hair in five years. He also explains the reason why he doesn’t wear new helmets, instead opting to smear pine tar on his old ones.

“I don’t like new helmets,” he says.

Simple enough.

At 33 years old, Ramirez is now an elder statesman on the Red Sox. He’s coming off an impressive bounce back season, in which he hit 30 home runs and knocked in 111 runs with an .866 OPS.

As a DH, Ramirez’s career track record is an even better than that. He’s batted .331 with a 1.014 OPS and 10 homers in 36 games at the position. If those numbers are an indication of how he’ll produce this season, Ramirez will only continue to win over Red Sox fans after a disastrous debut campaign in 2015.

If all goes according to plan, those blond dreads will take a lot of trips around the bases this summer.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A blast from the past is looking for one more run with the Red Sox.

Manny Delcarmen, who last pitched in the major leagues in 2010, worked out for the Sox Tuesday morning at JetBlue Park in an attempt to latch out with his former organization as a minor-leaguer.

Manny Delcarmen (WEEI.com photo)

Manny Delcarmen (WEEI.com photo)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A blast from the past is looking for one more run with the Red Sox.

Manny Delcarmen, who last pitched in the major leagues in 2010, worked out for the Sox Tuesday morning at JetBlue Park in an attempt to latch out with his former organization as a minor-leaguer.

The 35-year-old Delcarmen spent 2016 pitching in the Mexican League after spending the two previous seasons with the Nationals’ Triple-A club.

The righty, who was taken in the second round of the 2000 draft by the Red Sox, left Boston after getting traded to Washington for Chris Balcom-Miller with a month to go in the 2010 campaign. Delcarmen’s best season came in 2009, when he appeared in 73 games for the Red Sox, totaling a 3.27 ERA.

Delcarmen spent the offseason working with former Red Sox trainer Mike Reinold, who also oversaw the workouts of Dodgers’ starter Rich Hill and Craig Breslow, who is in Twins camp on a minor-league deal. He still lives in Massachusetts, just 30 minutes from the home of the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, McCoy Stadium.

During his showcase for the Red Sox, Delcarmen was throwing his fastball at 91-92 mph. After catching up with a few of his former coaches and teammates, the West Roxbury native drove to West Palm Beach to workout for the Nationals.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Farrell offered another hint that David Price’s return to action won’t be a hurried process.

Meeting with the media Tuesday morning at JetBlue Park, Farrell regarding Price, “It would be hard to see him go for the start of the season.”

David Price (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

David Price (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Farrell offered another hint that David Price’s return to action won’t be a hurried process.

Meeting with the media Tuesday morning at JetBlue Park, Farrell regarding Price, “It would be hard to see him go for the start of the season.”

Now two weeks out from his last time on a mound, Price’s return from elbow tightness has included throwing into a net over the past few days. (For Price’s take on the situation, click here.)

If Price isn’t ready to go for the beginning of the season, the importance of Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz remaining on their schedules would seem to be of some importance. Wright pitched in his first Grapefruit League game Monday, with Pomeranz making his spring training debut Tuesday. Farrell noted both pitchers would likely be limited to a pitch count in their first regular season starts.

The Red Sox starting depth after Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, Price, Wright and Pomeranz right now would appear to be somewhat thin. Henry Owens and Brian Johnson both got sent out of camp Tuesday morning, both needing to uncover more effectiveness, while Roenis Elias is out with an injury to his intercostal muscles.

Hector Velazquez, who does not have an opt-out but is in camp on a minor-league deal, figures to be one of the primary starting depth options at the moment.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The Red Sox made a few roster moves Tuesday as spring training rolls on.

Left-handed pitchers Brian Johnson and Henry Owens and right-handed pitcher Brandon Workman were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, and third baseman Rafael Devers, outfielder Junior Lake, and catcher Jordan Procyshen were reassigned to minor league camp.

Henry Owens was re-assigned to Triple-A. (Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports)

Henry Owens was re-assigned to Triple-A. (Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox made a few roster moves Tuesday as spring training rolls on.

Left-handed pitchers Brian Johnson and Henry Owens and right-handed pitcher Brandon Workman were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, and third baseman Rafael Devers, outfielder Junior Lake, and catcher Jordan Procyshen were reassigned to minor league camp.

The Red Sox now have 52 players in big league camp, including 37 players from the 40-man roster and 15 non-roster invitees.

All the moves were pretty much expected. In Owens’ case, he still continues to work on his control, which has been the case virtually his entire career with the Red Sox. He was the only player to have any chance of making the big league team, but even that was a long-shot.

Devers is expected to start the year in Double-A.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

DUNEDIN, Fla. — With Steven Wright on the mound for the first time this Grapefruit League season, Monday seemed like a good time to broach the topic.

After what happened last season with the knuckleballer, would Farrell hesitate pinch-running a pitcher this season?

Steven Wright (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Steven Wright (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

DUNEDIN, Fla. — With Steven Wright on the mound for the first time this Grapefruit League season, Monday seemed like a good time to broach the topic.

After what happened last season with the knuckleballer, would Farrell hesitate pinch-running a pitcher this season?

“No, not at all,” the Red Sox manager told WEEI.com when asked if he would change his approach toward using a pitcher on the basepaths. “It was an unfortunate situation that cost him pretty much the remainder of the year. In a National League situation, we’ll look to do the same again.”

The “unfortunate situation” Farrell referenced was, of course, occurred when Wright’s season, for all intent and purposes, was brought to a screeching halt after jamming his shoulder diving back to second base on a fake pickoff move by Dodgers pitcher Joe Blanton.

Wright was pinch-running for David Ortiz, who the Red Sox were prioritizing getting off his feet during the three-game set in Los Angeles. The hurler had also made his start two days earlier.

“In National League rules? Yes,” said Farrell when asked about taking the same approach. “It was an unfortunate incident. But I felt confident in Steven’s ability to do what we asked and that was because of the time we spend in spring training on baserunning.”

So, why isn’t Farrell flinching when digging in on his approach? Talking to the Red Sox manager prior to Monday’s game, it is clear: they practice it, they preach it, with every intention of doing it. Before Wright, it was Drake Britton in 2013, and before him it was Clay Buchholz in 2009.

Farrell pointed out that every spring training the pitchers spend numerous days working out as baserunners, with rules and regulations being distributed at every turn.

“The most succinct way to describe it is to not draw attention to yourself,” he explained. “In other words, don’t get off with a big lead. There’s a reason why you’re out there and that is to give the person off their feet because either they are hampered or restricted in some way. Unfortunately in this case, [Wright] had a big lead.

“Don’t draw attention to yourself. It’s a conservative lead and a conservative secondary lead, and even with that approach you’re better than who might have been on the base paths, otherwise you wouldn’t be out there.”

Since 2010, American League pitchers have pinch-run 38 times, with Toronto’s Marcus Stroman having been called on for duty six times. In the last two seasons, only Wright and Toronto’s Drew Hutchison have gotten the opportunity.

Ironically, the American League manager who has implemented the strategy the most over the past few seasons, Toronto’s John Gibbons, insinuated he is done with the practice.

For Gibbons, his wake-up call came when Stroman slid head-first into home plate in a 2014 game against the Red Sox.

“I thought about it after the game and thought, ‘This might not be too smart.’ I wouldn’t do it again. Maybe your long man in the bullpen. There’s too much risk,” Gibbons said. “He didn’t get hurt or banged up at all, but I just thought this probably wasn’t that smart. If something happened it could cost his career and cost us. It’s tough because you’re in the moment, you want to win and there was nobody on the bench.”

But Gibbons did try it out one more time after Stroman, except this time it was with Hutchison in the same environment Farrell deems the strategy acceptable, against a National League team.

“The structure we put together is to educate as best possible, realizing an American League pitcher on the base paths is going to be a foreign scenario,” Farrell said. “We know that going in. But what we try and do is make sure they don’t draw attention to themselves.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Rob Bradford is joined by two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Quentin, who is attempting a comeback with the Red Sox this spring. Quentin's path back to baseball involves almost quitting the game less than a year ago, losing 40 pounds and trying to sell himself to general managers all over Major League Baseball. Quentin explains his journey, which has led him to the back fields at JetBlue Park.