Red Sox notes: Bard returns, team juggles younger players

767262.jpg

Red Sox notes: Bard returns, team juggles younger players

ANAHEIM -- Daniel Bard may be part of the Red Sox' bullpen again for the first time in almost three months, but don't expect to see him in high leverage situations -- at least not right away.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to pitch him when I want to, not when I have to,'' said Bobby Valentine.
Valentine added that he would "preferrably'' have Bard start innings, rather than come in the middle of an inning.
And, he hinted that Bard will have to earn his trust before he's handed the eighth inning in a one-run game.
"We have other guys who are slated, right now, to get the ball in a one-run game (late),'' said Valentine. "But that doesn't mean it's not going to be a tie game in extra innings or other things can happen down the line when these (other) guys aren't ready to pitch.''
Bard was optioned to Pawtucket after a disastrous June 3 outing in which he walked four and hit two others. He then endured a stretch at Pawtucket when it seemed as though he couldn't throw a strike.
But more recently, Bard has performed better. In his last three outings with the Pawsox before his return, he didn't walk a singlebatter.
Bard also believes some adjustments to his delivery, as well as a return to the bullpen where he'll only have to use his fastball and slider will help him show improved command.

Ryan Lavarnway was behind the plate for the final game of the series with the Angels, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia relegated to the DH role with David Ortiz sidelined.
Valentine is trying to juggle playing time for the two in the final month of the season.
"Salty's played like a champion,'' said Valentine. "Now that we can do the DH routine, I wouldn't mind seeing Lavarnway a little (behind the plate). I just don't want to see Salty rotting and not be appreciated for his great effort this year.
"Salty's probably going to catch real soon. Lavarnway's not going to catch every day.''
Valentine has the same concerns about shortstop Mike Aviles, who is having to share some playing time with Jose Iglesias.
The organization knows what Aviles and Saltalamacchia can do, and while there's an interest in evaluating younger players in the heat of battle, the established players shouldn't be forgotten.
"We've seen what they've done,'' said Valentine, "and now I don't want them to be punished by not having the opportunity to add to good seasons they've already had. (I don't want them) to sit down for a week or get one at-bat a game. It becomes difficult. I'm trying to do what's best for all situations.''

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

NEW YORK - Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received significantly more votes this time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell, on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

The Red Sox have invited nine non-roster players to spring training, the team announced Wednesday. The team now has a total of 15 non-roster invitees. 

Added Wednesday to the spring training roster were outfielder/infielder Allen Craig, third baseman Rafael Devers, first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Jordan Procyshen, outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Rusney Castillo, and right-handed pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor.

In addition to 39 players on the 40-man roster, the Sox have the following breakdown of non-roster invitees: 

Pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Edgar Olmos, Chandler Shepherd, Ben Taylor, Marcus Walden
 
Catchers: Dan Butler, Jake DePew, Jordan Procyshen
 
Infielders: Rafael Devers, Matt Dominguez, Sam Travis
 
Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Junior Lake