WEEI » This Just In
06/16/2012 - 6:30pm
Bobby V: Crawford 'pretty close to playing'

CHICAGO -- Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, who has yet to play in anything aside from extended spring training games this year while recovering first from offseason wrist surgery and then from a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his left (throwing) elbow, moved his throwing program up to 110 feet on Saturday. Manager Bobby Valentine suggested that Crawford is "[throwing] the ball really well. He's also been taking batting practice on the field with his teammates. Given that overall progress, Valentine suggested, it would appear that a rehab assignment might not be too far off for the outfielder.

"I’ve got to think he’s getting pretty close to playing in a baseball game," said Valentine.

The manager also said that outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who is now continuing his rehab at the team's spring training facility in Fort Myers, is "making progress," and, after attending to "a little personal situation...

06/16/2012 - 4:25pm
Lineup: Youkilis sits, Middlebrooks returns

CHICAGO -- Kevin Youkilis will be the odd-man out Saturday for the Red Sox, with David Ortiz playing first, Will Middlebrooks at third and Adrian Gonzalez back in right field. Youkilis is hitless in his last 18 at-bats, with his batting average sitting at .212 with a .636 OPS for the season.

Going for the Cubs will be Jeff Samardzija, who is 5-4 with a 3.96 ERA. The righty allowed eight runs over 3 2/3 innings in his last outing, with Nick Punto serving as the only current member of the Red Sox who has faced Samardzija more than one at-bat is Nick Punto, who is 1-for-1 with a walk against the starter.

The following is the Red Sox' lineup:

Scott Podsednik LF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

David Ortiz 1B

Jarrod Saltalamacchia C

Will Middlebrooks 3B

Adrian Gonzalez RF

Ryan Sweeney CF

Mike Aviles SS

Jon Lester P

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei....

06/16/2012 - 4:08pm
Beckett to DL, Mortensen promoted

CHICAGO -- The Red Sox have placed Josh Beckett on the 15-day disabled list after the starter experienced inflammation in his right shoulder following his start in Miami last Monday. Taking Beckett's place on the 25-man roster will be pitcher Clayton Mortensen.

Mortensen excelled in his previous stint with the Red Sox earlier this season, allowing one run on six hits over 9 1/3 innings, making three relief appearances. During the stretch the righty struck out 12 and didn't walk a batter. With Triple-A Pawtucket, Mortensen pitched in 15 games (all in relief), going 4-2 with a 2.39 ERA, holding opponents to a .165 batting average against.

For a history of Beckett's shoulder issues, click here.

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at

06/16/2012 - 2:53pm
Report: Sox asked for Parra in Youk deal

According to a report in the Arizona Republic, the Red Sox asked for 25-year-old outfielder Geraldo Parra to be included in any deal that would ship Kevin Youkilis to the Diamondbacks. The request for Parra, along with concerns regarding the money still owed to Youkilis -- who is owed the balance of his $12 million for this season, along with a $1 million buyout on next season's $13 million club option -- has led the Diamondbacks to shy away from any deal for the Sox infielder.

Parra, who has played all three outfield positions this season, is hitting .264 with a .746 OPS, five home runs 10 stolen bases. He is coming off a 2011 season in which he hit .292 with a .784 OPS, hitting eight homers and stealing 15 bases.

The report quotes a source as saying regarding the Red Sox' approach toward trading Youkilis: "They’re trying to make it look like he’s the Youkilis of five years ago instead of the Youkilis of today." 

06/15/2012 - 9:59pm
Manny Ramirez released by Athletics

The Athletics announced Friday night that they have released Manny Ramirez after the former Red Sox slugger asked for his outright release.

Ramirez, who recently completed his 50-game suspension due to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, had been playing for Triple-A Sacramento, hitting .302 in 69 plate appearances for the A's minor league affiliate. The 40-year-old, who was riding a seven-game hit streak, was eligible to be called up to the major league team on May 30.

Ramirez hasn't played in a major league game since April 6, 2011, when he served as the Rays' designated hitter. He managed just one hit in 17 at-bats while playing for the Rays in '11 prior to the suspension. Oakland signed Ramirez to a minor league contract in February.

For more baseball news, go to the Red Sox team page at

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