Middlebrooks rockin' and ready to go


Middlebrooks rockin' and ready to go

FORT MYERS, Fla. After making his big league debut on May 2, Will Middlebrooks hit .288 with 15 home runs, 54 RBI, a .325 on-base percentage, and .509 slugging percentage and was a part of the Rookie of the Year conversation. But his season was cut short after 75 games when he suffered a fractured right wrist after being hit by a pitch Aug. 10. So, it has been refreshing for him to return to the field again.

Phenomenal, he said. Its been about six months since Ive done anything. So it felt great to be out there with the guys and -- not mess around -- we got to work but its fun.

It may be early in camp but its clear there is a different vibe around the team, he said.

Absolutely, he said. I think everyone will say that. Everyones here to work a day at a time right now, get better, and get to where we win ballgames.

I think everyones got a little chip on their shoulder right now, too. Were kind of here to prove the world wrong.

If youre playing for something a little extra, I think youll push a little harder.

Middlebrooks, the Red Sox fifth-round pick in 2007 out of Liberty Eylau High in Texarkana, Texas, said his wrist is fully healed with no limitations.

It was a pretty simple rehab, he said. I was in a cast for eight weeks. I got out and I just did some strengthening things. Its not ligaments, its not tendons. It was bone. So theres not really a whole lot of rehab. It was just kind of a waiting game and yeah Im absolutely 100 percent.

Ive already tested it. Its just hitting and reps and making sure I can deal with the workload of every day of BP (batting practice) and throwing and going into a game. So havent had games yet obviously so well see.

Not that I thought I was going to reinjure it because it wasnt going to happen. But just I knew it would be weak and I didnt want to hurt anything else around it. So just kind of had to ease into it.

With the rest of the position players, Middlebrooks took batting practice Friday, part of the teams first full-squad workout this spring. It was fun, he said, to have the whole team together for the first time.

Thats exactly how it should be, he said. Its a business but at the same time its still a game. Come out here and play like youre 12, 13, thats how I think about it.

Everyone goes their separate way in the offseason. Everyone has different programs. Some guys are rehabbing injuries. So it feels good to come together and just be a baseball team again.

WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1


WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1

CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a striking start and Roberto Perez put away Chicago in the Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Perez homered twice and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a three-run lead.

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Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures


Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures

In recent days and weeks, the Red Sox have lost their general manager, their vice president of amateur and international scouting, an assistant director of amateur scouting, a member of their analytics department and their mental skills coach.

But Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, insists that the team is not in danger of "brain drain.''

"No, not at all,'' said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in a conference call with reporters. "We've lost some good people, but it's also a situation where we have a lot of good people and I think when you have a good organization, if you're winning and you expose people to situations, (a certain amount of exodus) happens. I think the other part of it is that we're more than capable of filling some of those roles from an internal perspective. We've got some quality people and I think the thing that's great about it is, it allows people to grow.''

Dombrowski announced that, in the wake of the departure of Amiel Sawdaye, the former VP of amateur and international scouting who left Monday to become assistant GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sox were promoting Eddie Romero, formerly the vice president of international scouting, to the position of senior vice president/ assistant GM.

Romero, the son of former Red Sox utility infielder Eddie Romero Sr. will help Dombrowski in personnel matters and player development, while Brian O'Halloran, who has the same title as Romero, will continue to handle administrative matters including salary arbitration and contactual negotiations.

After the departure of Mike Hazen, who left to become GM of the Diamondbacks last week, Dombrowski interviewed Sawdaye and Romero as Hazen's potential replacements before determining that neither had the necessary experience yet to become a major league GM.

Dombrowski said there would be additional internal promotions and adjustments to announce in the coming weeks. He added that senior advisors Frank Wren and Allard Baird, each former general managers, would see their responsibilities increase when it comes to conducting trade talks with other organizations.

Sawdaye's departure is one of several this off-season for the front office. Earlier this month, Steve Sanders, who had been the team's assistant director of amateur scouting, left to become director of amateur scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Also, Tom Tippett, a longtime member of the team's statistical analysis staff, will leave soon too pursue other opportunities. The team recently informed mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury that his contact would not be renewed, according to the Boston Globe.

Dombrowski indicated that Laz Gutierrez would be promoted to take the place of Tewksbury.

In other news, Dombrowski revealed that the entire coaching staff -- hitting coach Chili Davis; assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez; first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr.; third base coach Brian Butterfield; bullpen coach Dana LeVangie; pitching coach Carl Willis; and bench coach Torey Lovullo -- had all agreed to return for 2017.

That, of course, is subject to change since Lovullo is believed to be a target of Hazen for Arizona's managerial vacancy.

Dombrowski said the Diamondbacks had yet to request permission to speak with Lovullo, though that may happen soon now that Hazen has hired Sawdaye to fill out his front office.

When Hazen was hired by the Diamondbacks, he was limited to hiring just one member of the Red Sox' Baseball Operations staff. But, Dombrowski added, that limit didn't apply to uniformed staff members such as Lovullo, who would be leaving for a promotion.