Notebook: Valentine likes the team he has

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Notebook: Valentine likes the team he has

BOSTON -- With the trade deadline looming and rumors swirling including reports of trade talks that involve Josh Beckett Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said hes satisfied with the team he has.

I like my team, Valentine said. I think were a good team and if theres any way general manager Ben Cherington thinks we can improve it for this year and beyond, Im sure hes going to do that. But this is a good group of guys that I dont see any gaping holes. I see more holes on the other teams than I see on ours.

I think we just play one game and try to do our best tonight and thats the best that we can do.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is in the starting lineup, serving as the designated hitter with Kelly Shoppach catching for righthander Clay Buchholz.

Well, I just felt that it was either Salty or Cody Ross and I just thought that Cody would probably be a better option pinch-hitting if I needed it Get Salty off his legs, coming in at 3:30 in the morning and getting Cody a day off because hes been grinding it out--all contributing factors.

Reliever Andrew Bailey, on the DL all season after right thumb surgery, was scheduled to fly to Fort Myers today. He is expected to play catch tomorrow and may begin his rehab assignment in a Gulf Coast League game on Wednesday.

The Sox are waiting on the results of right-handed reliever Scott Atchisons MRI. Atchison, on the DL since July 14 with right forearm tightness, pitched one inning in a rehab assignment Friday with Pawtucket. He faced Indianapolis, giving up three runs on three hits, including a home run, with no walks in two strikeouts but felt discomfort.

Valentine said the discomfort may be more in Atchisons elbow than his forearm now.

It seemed like he went in with a forearm that might have moved back a little up closer to the elbow, Valentine said. It seemed like 15 days ago it was just going to be a couple of days rest and then we gave him a lot of rest and when he threw it didn't feel good the next day.

Valentine said closer Alfredo Aceves, who threw 37 pitches in 2 13 innings Sunday night against the Yankees in New York and was expected to be available Monday night against the Tigers.

Of course. He only threw 33 pitches, Valentine said. He usually throws that in an inning, or he can. Not usually, but he can. I call it a hunch that hes fine. I havent heard anything to the contrary.

Aceves was charged with his fifth blown save, before earning the win, improving to 2-6, with a 3.57 ERA.

Valentine was ejected in the 10th inning for arguing with home plate umpire Brian ONora. Valentine argued that Will Middlebrooks was hit by a pitch, while ONora said the pitch hit Middlebrooks bat on a bunt attempt. ONora, who was also hit by the ball and fell down, could have had his view obscured. Television replays appeared to support Valentine.

Currently, umpires can't consult TV replays on such plays.

Not yet. We kind of like the human element, Valentine said. I just always like to get it right and if I was on the other side of the coin, I wouldve liked it to have been called a foul ball. On the other side of the field.

Josh Beckett, in the dugout, was also ejected for arguing the call.

Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Pawtucket Wednesday night. Matsuzaka, who has been on the DL since July 3 with a right upper trapezius strain, is scheduled to start in Rochester against ScrantonWilkes-Barre. Valentine said Matsuzaka is expected to make 75-90 pitches.

I think he has that in him, yeah, depending on how it goes, Valentine said. But it might get cut down to 45, depending on how he comes out of the chute. Hes feeling pretty good.

Valentine said Matsuzaka is free of the trapezius ailment, and now its just a matter of build up his pitches and his competitiveness.

ScrantonWilkes-Barre, the Yankees affiliate, is permanently on the road this season while their home field is being renovated.

Shortstop Mike Aviles was out of the lineup again, sidelined by turf toe in his right big toe. Pedro Ciriaco is in the starting lineup, playing shortstop, batting ninth. Valentine said Aviles could be available, but would not be used to pinch-run.

Mikes dealing with turf toe, just so we know what the situation is, Valentine said. Its not a life-threatening situation but it sure is an encumbrance and were just trying to see what we can do to get that feeling out of there. Most of us have had itits not fun to deal with. The less he strains it in the athletic motions of playing, the better it calms down. If it calms down, well have a hundred percent of Mike back. He could play in the game, go in in emergency, pinch-hit, all those things. I wouldnt pinch-run him necessarily. But he could if we had to.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.