No Red Sox hitter has been in trade talks more than Kevin Youkilis this season, and it won't go away anytime soon.
He's clearly in a rut at the plate, hitting just .219 at the plate with four home runs and 19 RBI this season. Youkilis missed time due to being hit in the rib cage, and his replacement, Will Middlebrooks has taken advantage of it. Middlebrooks is hitting .290 with six home runs and 22 RBI, looking every bit the player who will take over at third base on a permanent basis.
That being said, GM Ben Cherington doesn't see a trade coming anytime soon.
"The reality is there's nothing going on," Cherington said on 850 WEEI. "We've talked to teams about several things. Yeah, teams have called to check in on Youk. That was a while back, right before he went out on his rehab assignment."
Much has been made about Youkilis' reported attitude problems within the clubhouse as well.
"There' a lot about Kevin that you want on a team," Cherington said. "It's hard to see a guy like that who does care that much going through a tough time. We've got to support him and see him through the tough time. I'm confident he will be in a better place soon."
What -- or where -- that place is remains the question.
(ht ESPN Boston)
Sean McAdam talks about the concern over Craig Kimbrel not being able to close the door last night and David Price's career struggles in the playoffs.
NEW YORK -- John Farrell isn't necessarily alarmed by Craig Kimbrel's poor outing Wednesday night, viewing it as an aberration. But just the same, he'd like to get his closer into a game on the final weekend to flush the bad taste of Wednesday's ninth.
Until the clincher, Kimbrel had allowed just two hits in the previous 23 at-bats (.087) since Sept. 4. And since being re-instated from the DL on Aug. 1, Kimbrel was 13-for-13 in save opportunities with 32 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched and a .113 batting average against.
Kimbrel was brought into the game in the bottom of the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner before issuing three straight walks, the last of which forced in a run.
He threw 28 pitches and didn't record an out before being lifted in favor of Joe Kelly, who allowed Mark Teixeira's walk-off grand slam in a 5-3 Yankees victory.
"He was erratic, there's no doubt,” said Farrell. "The command was not there. The power was there, obviously, but the command was not. It turned into a situation where he gets to [almost] 30 pitches. Could we have let him go further, or could the decision have been made to leave him in the game? Sure
"But [Wednesday] night was more of an aberration. Certainly, since he's come off the DL, he's been stingy in those situations. That was a one-time outing last night [given the unusual circumstances].”
Farrell said it's "important” to get all of the Red Sox relievers into games before the season ends Sunday.
"How often, how high stress...the games will dictate that,'' Farrell said. "But yeah, it will be important to Craig back on the mound before we end, regardless of whether it's a save situation.”