Cherington confirms Scutaro dealt to Rockies

575740.jpg

Cherington confirms Scutaro dealt to Rockies

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has confirmed the team has traded shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies for right-hander Clayton Mortensen.

Mortensen, who will turn 27 on April 10, was a first-round (supplemental, 36th overall) pick of the Cardinals in 2007, out of Gonzaga University. Mortensen appeared in 16 games, with six starts, for the Rockies in 2011, posting a record of 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA. In 58 13 innings, he allowed 55 hits and 24 walks, for a 1.354 WHIP, with nine home runs, and a 1.25 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and an opponents average of .257. He also appeared in 15 games, all starts, for Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was 2-8 with a 9.42 ERA. In 64 innings, he gave up 104 hits and 29 walks for a 2.078 WHIP, with a 1.86 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and .370 opponents batting average.

The Sox will be Mortensens fourth organization. He was traded by St. Louis to Oakland in June 2009 as part of the deal that sent Matt Holliday to the Cardinals. The As traded him to Colorado in June 2011.

In parts of three major league seasons, he has appeared in 24 games (13 starts), spanning 95 innings with the Cardinals, As, and Rockies, Mortensen compiled a record of 4-8 (5.12), with a 1.354 WHIP, 1.25 KBB, and .281 opponents average.

In two seasons with the Sox, Scutaro hit .284 with 18 home runs, 110 RBI, and a .744 OPS in 263 games. In October, the Sox picked up their 6 million option.

The trade of Scutaro leaves the Sox with some questions at shortstop. Currently, the Sox have Mike Aviles, Nick Punto, and Jose Iglesias on the 40-man roster as possible replacements. Iglesias, who turned 22 on Jan. 5, is a defensive gem, but will likely start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit just .235 with a .554 OPS.

The trade of Scutaro and his 6 million salary for 2011 frees up some money the Sox could potentially use to pursue a starting pitcher or an outfielder.

Extended podcast with David Ortiz on his career, PED's, the Marathon bombing and more

ortiz_nyy092716_1920x1080_774285379875.jpg

Extended podcast with David Ortiz on his career, PED's, the Marathon bombing and more

David Ortiz offers thoughtful answers and insight in this interview with Sean McAdam touching on his beginning with the Red Sox, the Boston Marathon bombings, showing up on a PED list, his impact in the dugout, and more.

You can also see pieces of the interview on CSN Friday at 6:30pm on a special Arbella Early Edition with Gary Tanguay and Lou Merloni.

RELATED Special Video Series - "Big Papi - An Oral History" from CSN

Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"

red-sox-xander-bogaerts.jpg

Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"

NEW YORK -- Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a terrific 2015, his second full season in the big leagues.

He finished second in the American League batting race, established himself as a solid defender at short and generally showed immense promise.

The only thing he didn't do was show much home run power, limited to just seven homers.

This past spring, both manager John Farrell and Chili Davis expressed confidence that the home runs would come, and that they would come organically.

And so they have. In Thursday night's loss to the New York Yankees, a solo homer in the fifth by Bogaerts represented the only Red Sox run of the night in a 5-1 loss. It also gave Bogaerts 21 homers for the year, exactly triple his output from a year ago.

"The maturity is clearly taking hold," said John Farrell of Bogaerts' growth. "You start to get a couple thousand at-bats at the major league level, you're starting to understand your swing, you're picking out certain counts in which to leverage a little bit more. He's been able to do that.

"Home runs are up across the board. But with Xander in particular, he's physically maturing and he's maturing as a major league player as well."

Bogaerts took the advise of Davis and others and didn't set out to try to hit more homers this year. He knew they would come in time.

"Maybe not this quick," he said of the big increase, "but probably in the future, yeah. That's what I did in the minor leagues, so it's kind of something that I thought might translate to the big leagues, too."

Bogaerts is hard-pressed to put his finger on any on factor to explain the big uptick. After all, he didn't change his swing or his stance.

Rather, the homers came as a result of him understanding himself better as a hitter and consistently taking the right approach at the plate.

"It's just (a matter of) taking good swings in good counts," he offered. "Sometimes, you're looking for one. But overall, it's just being a more mature hitter and looking for the right spots to pick and choose."

It hasn't hurt that he's surrounded by quality hitters in the Red Sox lineup, with Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia ahead of him earlier in the year, and now Pedrioa ahead of him and David Ortiz behind him.

In addition to seeing better pitches because of who's surrounding him, Bogaerts has also benefitted from listening to Ortiz, who watches his at-bats and offers advice when called for.

Still, most of the credit belongs to Bogaerts himself, who has grown into his power naturally -- just as his manager and hitting coach forecast.