Sox in the middle of tough Spring Training stretch

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Sox in the middle of tough Spring Training stretch

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox play split-squad games Saturday, hosting the Phillies in Fort Myers and traveling to Jupiter to face the Marlins. Manager Bobby Valentine traveled to Jupiter, while bench coach Tim Bogar stayed to manage the home squad.

After a round of roster moves Friday morning reduced the number of players on big league camp to 46, it can be challenging playing split-squad games at this point in the spring. The Sox are in a difficult stretch of their Grapefruit League schedule, with a night game at home on Thursday, followed by a game in Sarasota Friday, todays split-squad games, and two days of travel coming up.

Late in spring is tough because your rosters been pared down, Bogar said. You have some nicks and bruises. You want to give some guys a couple days off just to make sure that were prepared at the very end of spring training going into the season. And every single guy on the rosters playing today. So its one of those things where its not a day of rest. Its a long travel day and then we have two travel days after it. So these four days including yesterday is probably a pretty tough stretch, physically on these guys.

So when you dont have as many guys in camp and youre sending them all over the place it has a tendency to physically wear them down. But it is what it is and they know how to prepare for it. So I think well be ok.

Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

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Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

If you're upset with the way the Red Sox have played recently, well, David Price understands.

But things, he vows, will get better. And he adds that it's only when you've been in the deepest valley that you can appreciate the highest mountain.

Or something like that . . .

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

After Eduardo Rodriguez's horrific performance Monday night against the Rays -- 11 hits and 9 earned runs allowed in 2 2/3 innings, leading to a 13-7 Red Sox loss to a team that entered the game riding an 11-game losing streak -- the Sox succumbed to the obvious and shipped him back to Pawtucket.  

And they got no argument from Sean McAdam.

"I think this is the right move," CSN's Red Sox Insider told Dalen Cuff on Monday night's SportsNet Central. "Because, clearly, the step forward that [Rodriguez] took, however small, last week was more than wiped out and (he) regressed this evening the way he pitched. And things have to be worked out, both in terms of execution and his approach . . . "

In six starts this season covering 29 1/3 innings -- less than five innings a start -- Rodriguez has been, in a word, awful. His 1-3 record is bad enough, but couple that with an 8.59 ERA, an opponents' batting average of .315, a WHIP of 1.74 and nine home runs allowed (a rate that projects out to about 45 homers allowed in a 150-inning season), and you can see why a change had to be made.

“The bottom line is, [Rodriguez] is capable of more," said manager John Farrell.

But now comes the next question: Who replaces him? And that, noted McAdam, has no easy answer.

"What it means for the rotation going forward is completely uncertain," McAdam told Cuff. "In fact, (Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski) told us that there was no corresponding move. Of course, because this turn doesn't come up in the rotation for another five days with the off-day Thursday, it's not anything they need to address (immediately). And in all likelihood, they'll probably get somebody to pitch out of the bullpen here until that turn comes up."

So the Sox get five days to ponder a problem that seems, in many ways unsolvable.

"[There] aren't a lot of good candidates internally," McAdam noted, "and it's unlikely there's going to be any sort of trade . . . in the next four days to fill that spot