Tough situation for Youkilis

781486.jpg

Tough situation for Youkilis

BOSTON Its not an easy situation for Kevin Youkilis. The veteran player, who has been with the Red Sox since being drafted in the eighth round of the 2001 draft, very likely has very little time left with the Sox as trade rumors continue to heat up.

And with Will Middlebrooks playing like the highly prized prospect the Sox thought he was, Youkilis playing time will become increasingly limited, if as manager bobby Valentine said, he wants to play the hot hand.

I have no thoughts on anything, Youkilis said. I havent been told anything so until Im told anything I can't really respond.

You want to play. I definitely want to play. You want to play the game, you want to enjoy it and you want to have fun. I dont know my situation. I never was told whats going on here. Lets put that straight. And Ill leave it at that. I dont want to start up anything. There was no conversation. That was it. But it has been addressed.

Its been addressed Im not playing today, but other than thatbasically there was no conversation about it. Im just coming in and getting my work done and if I need to pinch hit and play the game, Ill come in and play.

Asked how it was addressed, Youkilis replied:

Ill leave it at what was said.

With the July 31 trade deadline a little more than five weeks away, Youkilis will continue to hear his name attached to trade rumors.

Its definitely different and youve got to go day to day, he said. its definitely unknown waters but all you can do is come to the field, do your work and try to improve with going in the cage or going out on the field and working on ground balls, So thats what Im doing, is taking ground balls, hitting in the cages, doing some extra work today and trying to do whatever I can to keep fresh.

Trying to do whatever I can to keep fresh.

Youkilis made his big league debut in 2004, the year the Sox won their first World Series title in 86 years, and was a central figure in the 2007 title. He has been a three-time All-Star with the Sox. But the last few seasons, hes been limited by various injuries.

Definitely hit all the ups and downs, he said. I probably could describe it to you 10 years down the road better. When you're in it you really cant describe the stuff you're in. Somebodys going to have to remind me about a lot of the times here. Ill ask Pedey. Pedey remembers everything. You see it all and to be continued, I guess.

He said hes trying not to focus on the what ifs.

No. I just go out andIm just trying to work on things, he said. Im trying to hit, stay fresh, get my work in. Thats my whole mindset every day I come to the field, just get my mind set and ready to play.

I have no control of that. I can only control the stuff I can control and Im just going to go out there every day and take batting practice and cheer on the guys when they play.

He missed 22 games earlier this season with a low back strain, and is hitting just .225. He cant improve his offense if hes not in the lineup, he said.

I dont know. I went 2-for-3 my last time but if you dont play I dont know how much closer you can get, he said. If you dont hit and you dont play, you can't put up any stats or hits. I raked in the cage, if you want to know that. I was hitting missiles all over the place, but you dont get credit for that.

I was hitting the ball good. In the game in Chicago too I hit the ball good and had nothing to show for it. Im definitely going in the right move but Ive got to keep working at it and keep grinding away, in the cage and taking ground balls and just try to stay fresh in case my name gets called at any time.

Asked about his time with the Sox and winning a World Series, Youkilis replied:

Is this a goodbye thing? Whats going on here? Im just sitting in my locker. I havent been told anything. Lets talk about today. Im still here. Im not dead.

Middlebrooks has started the last three games, while Youkilis has watched from the bench.

I dont know. Im a paid employee here so they make the decisions, Youkilis said. When you're a paid employee and your boss tells you to do something you do it. Until they tell me something Im here to play for the Red Sox.

Middlebrooks credited Youkilis with helping him make the transition to the big leagues.

Will and Ryan Kalish and the young guys it's fun to help them out because sometimes they need it, Youkilis said. its fresh to them and they're going to make mistakes, like the veterans make mistakes, too, on the field and they look up to the veterans sometimes. And some of the mistakes that we made early on in our career we had a veteran come up to us and tell us what to do. When you play this game you're an ambassador to the game as a player so you have to be that way and you can't be selfish if you're not playing. Youve got to teach these guys how to play this game because someday were all going to retire and these guys are going to be playing, and theres going to be guys after them, so if they can pass along the messages to the guys after them, the guys that are playing to them when theyre young too down the road, thats the key. I was taught that in 2004 by some great players here and Im just trying to pass on the knowledge that was given to me.

God, there were so many of them. That 2004 team, I mean I hung out with Mark Bellhorn a lot but Trot Nixon was always great. Mainly the guys that were there to talk a lotDave McCarty was really big and helped me out and Doug Mirabelli was always good at making fun of me and joking around, and Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek. Theres a list. Bill Mueller was great, too. I can't say one person but theres such a good core ground and that helped, and thats how its got to be. That happens on all the teams.

But taking his replacement under his wing cant be the easiest situation for Youkilis.

Cant change who you are and what you do and Ive always tried to help them out, he said. Im not going to change who I am and what I do. Im just going to try to help them out every day.

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

usatsi_9412070.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:

QUOTES

* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.

NOTES

* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.

STARS

1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

ap_16212129505474.jpg

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:

Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.

Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.

The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.

One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.

Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.

Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.

It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.

Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.

In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.

Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.

Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.

Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.

Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.

That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.

Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.

Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.