Originally, after Clay Buchholz threw what was described as a very encouraging and pain-free long-toss session from 120 feet earlier this week, the Red Sox thought that he might be ready to progress to a bullpen session -- his first since the end of June -- on Friday. However, the pitcher and team decided to push back the bullpen session for a couple of days given that he is still feeling discomfort in his lower back, the condition that resulted in his placement on the DL more than a month ago.
Buchholz (6-3, 3.48) noted that he is still improving. He still harbors a goal of returning to the rotation either in late-July or, more likely, early-August.
However, he is not yet pain-free, resulting in the decision to postpone his bulllpen session.
"I’m throwing with some pretty good intensity right now," said Buchholz. "It’s the down time after I throw that the soreness comes, so it’s still got a little...
Friday marks the second straight game in which Josh Reddick is starting in right field while J.D. Drew sits, and in all likelihood, it will not mark the last.
In 29 games, Reddick is hitting .378 with a .432 OBP, .671 slugging mark and 1.102 OPS along with four homers and 13 extra-base hits. In 77 games, J.D. Drew -- the Sox' starting right fielder since he signed his five-year deal to come to Boston prior to the 2007 season -- is hitting .219 with a .317 OBP, .305 slugging mark, .622 OPS, four homers and 11 extra-base hits.
And so, the fact that Reddick has now -- at least for the time being -- supplanted Drew as the Sox' everyday right fielder seemed an inevitability. Manager Terry Francona acknowledged that the Sox simply can't keep the 24-year-old Reddick on the bench given his performance.
"He’s swinging the bat awfully well. It’s kind of hard not to play him," said Francona, who compared the scenario to...
David Ortiz, reinstated from his three-game suspension, will return to the Red Sox lineup on Friday night against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. The Sox were 2-1 during the three-game series against the Orioles in his absence. Josh Reddick, meanwhile, will remain in right field for the Red Sox, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be behind the plate for starter John Lackey.
RED SOX LINEUP
MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Friday and talked about possible trade deadline moves by the Red Sox.
"No, they don't need to make a big move," Millar said. "Obviously, if they go out and make a decision where it makes sense to get a [Carlos] Beltran, is that going to enhance their team? Yeah, of course. But do they have to do it? No. They've got a bona fide group of stars right now on that squad. They just need to get healthy pitching-wise."
Added Millar: "I think the Red Sox are fine. They've done a great job of mixing and matching, and they're still in first place. … They don't have to do a whole bunch of stuff. There's not a whole bunch of things out there, that's the thing."
Asked if the Red Sox can count on 24-year-old Josh Reddick to continue to produce with limited major league experience, Millar said this is the right situation for just...
Sports Illustrated's Peter King joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday to discuss the latest developments in the NFL labor negotiations. On Thursday night, NFL owners voted to accept a deal, but players have yet to sign off on it.
"The night was just filled with curveballs," King said, adding, "It's very much a moving target."
One of the holdups is said to be the players' concerns about supplemental revenue sharing, but King questions why that would be an issue.
"Supplemental revenue sharing was basically put in this deal so that the lower-revenue teams — Cincinnati, Minnesota, Kansas City — so that those teams basically share some of the revenue from the larger teams," he said. "It doesn't matter to the players. It has no meaning, no significance whatsoever to the players.
"The players are going to make 47 1/2 percent of the gross revenue. It doesn't matter whether the Kansas City...
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