A Weekend of Opportunity


A Weekend of Opportunity

This weekend at Fenway, the Red Sox host to the last place Toronto Blue Jays.

Of course, that the Jays are in last place at this stage of the season means next to nothing especially since they're only two and a half games behind Boston but after a rough few months, it's nice that we can refer to another team being in last place. Go ahead. Give a try.

The last place Toronto Blue Jays!

See? A lot of fun.

But to be honest, last place is the least of Toronto's problems right now. In the last month, they've lost two starting pitchers: Brandon Morrow (until August) and Kyle Drabek (for the season). In the last week, they've lost third baseman (and the owner of one of the dumbest tattoos in baseball) Brett Lawrie to a calf injury and slugger Jose Bautista to a wrist injury.

So, what do you think? Is this when the Sox finally get over the hump? Will they feast on the broken Jays and finally leave .500 in their dust, or will we reconvene on Monday, having the same tired conversation?

They're inconsistent! They're average! Trade the whole team! Bring up everyone from Pawtucket!

Man, I hope not. Not sure if I can play that game anymore. I'm sick of drama. I'm ready for baseball. We all are. We all love what this team has given us since the All-Star Break, but it's only natural to demand more. It's almost August. Nearly everyone's healthy. Excuses are over, and it's time to win.

And wouldn't you know, there are two guys in that clubhouse who currently find themselves in prime position to take Boston to the next level.

Josh Beckett, who has one win since May, will be on the mound tonight. Jon Lester, who hasn't won all month, takes the bump on Sunday. With everything clicking around them, the Sox two embattled starters are poised to both reaffirm their dominance and keep the Sox rolling.

And what better target than the last place Blue Jays.

Yup. That phrase still sounds much better in front of another team's name.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Top Red Sox prospect Sam Travis out for year with torn ACL


Top Red Sox prospect Sam Travis out for year with torn ACL

As good as things have gone for the Red Sox so far in 2016, their 2017 prospects took a bit of a blow over the weekend.

Sam Travis -- one of the organization's top prospects, and someone who opened a lot of eyes with an impressive spring-training showing this year -- suffered a torn ACL on Sunday while playing for the Pawtucket Red Sox and will be lost for the rest of the season. He was hurt while playing first base, collapsing as he chased down an opposition baserunner during a rundown play. He had to be helped off the field, and the extent of the injury was announced on Monday.

With David Ortiz retiring at the end of this season and Hanley Ramirez expected to replace him as the full-time designated hitter, the door was open for Travis to become the Red Sox' first baseman next year. Playing at Triple-A for the first time, the 22-year-old Travis -- honored by the Red Sox as their Minor League Offensive Player of the the Year in 2015 -- was hitting .272/.332/.434 with 10 doubles, 6 home runs and 29 RBI in 47 games.

Now, however, it's almost a complete certainty Travis won't be able to start next season in Boston. And depending on what the Red Sox do in the offseason to replace Ortiz, such as a signing a free agent to a multiyear contract, Travis' path upward in the Sox organization may become less wide open . . . if not blocked.