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

ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney joined Middays with MFB on Wednesday to discuss the Red Sox, their status within the American League East and

Buster Olney

Buster Olney

ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney joined Middays with MFB on Wednesday to discuss the Red Sox, their status within the American League East and how they can improve. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Last week, with the Red Sox seeming to heat up, Olney said that the team had a great opportunity to take advantage of a relatively weak AL East. Since then, the Sox offense has sputtered and the team has lost five of seven. However, Olney maintains that the Red Sox still have the best chance of any team in the division to turn things around.

“When you look at what they have as their list of potential solutions, it’s just a lot longer than, say, a team like Tampa Bay or the Yankees, where they’re pretty much stuck with the guys that they have, and it’s part of the reason why I think going forward [the Red Sox] have a chance to get better,” Olney said.

While the Red Sox have struggled this season, Olney said, “They have the most fixable problems and the most resources to fix them with,” as compared to other teams in the AL East.

One change Olney recommended is to move the lineup around based on day-to-day matchups rather than each player’s pedigree. The Sox, for example, moved the struggling David Ortiz down to fifth in the order for Tuesday and Wednesday’s games.

“That feels like the first step in what has to happen next in fixing the 2015 team, which is to get away from stature and past records and all that and just get back to picking the best lineup every day,” he said. “If you move Ortiz, who has the most stature on that team, you can probably do a lot of other things as you go.”

As for the pitching staff, Olney said that manager John Farrell may consider moving Joe Kelly to the bullpen if Kelly continues to underperform as a starter.

“At some point if they decide to put him out there I think he has a chance to be dynamic because of his stuff. If Joe’s in a position where he knows that once every two or three days he’s coming out of the bullpen for 18 to 20 pitches, he could be someone who could really light up a radar gun and change the options for John Farrell in the eighth or ninth inning,” Olney said.

Olney indicated he expects Red Sox manager Ben Cherington to make a move for a pitcher via trade, but only if it comes at the right price.

“The fact that the division is so mediocre and there doesn’t appear to be any team poised to run away buys Ben Cherington time to wait to see if anything materializes that’s actually a good deal. I do think at some point he’s going to strike and add a guy like a [Scott] Kazmir,” Olney said. “Maybe that right guy for the right price is Cole Hamels, maybe it’s Johnny Cueto, but he doesn’t have to jump because of what’s going on with the other teams.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On pitchers getting suspended for using a foreign substance on the baseball: “To me, they’re like the guys who get caught going 56 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone and they’re getting their license suspended. It’s ridiculous, because everybody in the game knows that this goes on.”

On Ortiz getting older and getting out of his prolonged slump: “He’s told me a number of times he’s got to focus on taking the ball to left-center, and once he can get that going, then that’s fine. … Once you start to get older, people don’t talk about you being in a slump, they just talk about you being old, and that’s right with David now. He’s at that point where the Red So have to ask that question seriously, especially when they do have other options on their roster if they’re looking to play more of a matchup thing.”

On the possibility that Alex Rodriguez could become the next Marlins manager: “The guy knows baseball, he’s actually really good with young players, he has a passion for the game, he’s never been someone who’s been afraid of working hard and he certainly would fit [Marlins owner] Jeffrey Loria‘s intention to make a splash with his managerial hiring. … For all of the other B.S. and the suspension and the lies that he’s had in the past, the guy loves the game and he actually has a lot of knowledge about the game.”

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

Yoenis Cespedes’ time with the Red Sox was brief, and he said he knows why.

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes’ time with the Red Sox was brief, and he said he knows why. Cespedes, now with the Tigers after an offseason trade, said he clashed with Sox first base coach Arnie Beyeler, and that led to what the outfielder implies was a smear campaign against him.

“There were some rumors in Boston, things that were said about me that I said were not true, so I knew they were going to trade me,” Cespedes told USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz. “The first base coach treated me like I was a rookie when I got there, wanted me to do things a rookie would do, and I told him I wasn’t going to, so he started talking.”

Cespedes was acquired by the Sox from the A’s at last year’s trade deadline. Right away there was speculation that he would not last in Boston, as he is due to become a free agent after the 2015 season.

The 29-year-old also questioned the decision-making of the A’s, who saw a drop-off in production after moving the Cuban slugger in a deal for Jon Lester. Oakland, which was in first place in the AL West at the time of the trade, went 22-33 the rest of the season. This season the A’s have the league’s worst record (17-31).

“[Fellow Cuban Ariel Prieto] would tell me Oakland is a school where they develop the players, then they let them go,” Cespedes said Monday before the Tigers opened a three-game series in Oakland. “I was a little surprised to see some of the main figures leave.”

Reminded that the A’s have a reputation for trading up-and-coming players rather than paying them, Cespedes replied: “Then why operate? Don’t they want to win a championship?”

A’s manager Bob Melvin said he’s not interested in discussing his former player.

“I think we have to move on,” Melvin said. “He’s with a new team and we have a new complement of guys. . . . Baseball’s a transient business. Guys move around from time to time. He’s just one of the guys who was here and had an impact, and he’s no longer here.”

Cespedes, who is hitting .285/.318/.469 with five home runs, 24 RBIs and a league-high 16 doubles in 47 games, is the two-time defending All-Star Home Run Derby champion, and he said he plans to defend his title this summer.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Live Blog Red Sox vs. Twins, series finale
 

Blog Author: 
WEEI