Boston Red Sox

Adding bullpen depth not the biggest deal

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Adding bullpen depth not the biggest deal

BOSTON They were not the trades that had generated speculation over the last few weeks, but the Red Sox completed two deals before the 4 p.m. non-waiver trading deadline Tuesday afternoon.

The Sox received lefthander Craig Breslow from the Diamondbacks for right-hander Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik.

Breslow, who turns 32 Aug. 8, is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 40 games out of the Diamondbacks bullpen this season. This will be his second stint with the Sox. He also pitched for Boston in 2006, going 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA in 13 games out of the bullpen.

Breslow, from Trumbull, Conn., was selected in the 26th round of the 2002 draft by the Brewers out of Yale. In parts of seven seasons, with the Padres, Red Sox, Indians, Twins, As and Diamondbacks, he has compiled a record of 14-17 with a 3.02 ERA and six saves in 335 games, all in relief.

Breslow is coming to give us that left-handed depth in the bullpen, manager Bobby Valentine said. Hes had a nice year. And I havent seen him pitch too much but I know hes been in the American League before. Im confident hes going to help us win games.

We had been looking for another lefty, said general manager Ben Cherington. We felt like early in the year when we had three lefties in the pen it was when our pen was really rolling the best and give bobby a chance to match up and use all three guys. Certainly also gives bobby some flexibility for the rest of the year if we need to use morales as a starter. So hopefully a couple of benefits to the move. We felt like Albers has done a great job for us. We felt like we had enough other right-hand options that we can afford to flip the righty for the lefty.

The Sox also traded power-hitting first basemanoutfielder Lars Anderson, who had been one of theirhighly touted prospects a few years ago, to Cleveland for knuckleballingrighthander Steven Wright, who has been assigned to Double-A Portland.

Drellich: Injuries for Betts, Pedroia, Nunez, unnerving in final week

Drellich: Injuries for Betts, Pedroia, Nunez, unnerving in final week

BOSTON — Even before Mookie Betts wrist flared up and Eduardo Nunez re-aggravated his knee Monday, the Red Sox’ health situation looked tenuous heading into the final week of the regular season. Particularly when it came to position players. Dustin Pedroia was out of the lineup Monday after a 1-for-26 road trip.

Now the scene turns scary. Consider that every other American League team that has clinched a postseason spot (or in the case of the Twins, is expected to) is one of the majors’ top five teams in runs scored per game: the Astros, Yankees, Indians and Twins. The Sox are 10th. 

The Sox lineup lacks firepower to begin with. Losing any more at this time of year is a recipe for a rough October.

"It sucks. It sucks," Nunez said. "Especially this time of year when it's close to the playoffs. It sucks."

The regular-season results show the Sox have adapted well overall when guys like Pedroia and Nunez have missed time. But that’s the regular season, and adding Betts to the mix is just disquieting.

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Nunez on Monday returned to the lineup for the first time in 16 days. Now he isn’t expected back until during the Astros series, his right knee injury re-aggravated

But there’s room for good news yet. Betts is to get his left wrist examined Tuesday. A positive prognosis there, and there should be a sense of a crisis averted. On Monday night, he expected to be fine, but he also didn't know what was going on. 

Farrell before the game made clear Nunez wasn’t exactly full go yet.

“[His return is] quicker than what it possibly could have been. You’re talking about a ligament damage to the PCL [posterior cruciate ligament] and I know it’s less severe than an ACL/MCL, but still it’s about pain tolerance,” Farrell said. “It’s about managing it. His body has to recondition to take care of that. His muscles have to respond in a different way. … If he feels a little bit of a zinger, that’s going to go away. He’s not putting himself at further risk.”

Farrell said after the game the feeling is Nunez didn’t do any new damage, but nonetheless, it’s easy to think now the Sox should have waited longer

Meanwhile, Pedroia’s been managing a left knee injury all season and didn’t play.

“When the knee starts to talk back to him a little bit, we’ve all got to listen to it and give him a down day,” Farrell said. “I would expect him to be back on the  field tomorrow.”

Farrell thought it reasonable to connect the knee to Pedroia’s recent poor performance hitting wise.

All year, resiliency has been a buzzword for Sox because of their propensity for late-inning comebacks. Sunday’s eighth-inning rally against the Reds was the latest example, leading to the Sox’ 42nd come-from-behind win. 

How they’ve dealt with a variety of health situations adds another layer to their reputation for handling adversity. Per spotrac.com, the Sox have had the fifth most disabled list days this season, 1,601. 

The Indians were doubted going into last year’s postseason because of health situations with their pitching. They did pretty well. But it’d also be foolish to minimize the importance of injuries to Pedroia, Nunez and Betts, and how they look heading into October.

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Mookie Betts to get left wrist examined Tuesday

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Mookie Betts to get left wrist examined Tuesday

BOSTON — First Mookie Betts right hand was bothering him. Now his left wrist is acting up to the point he was pulled from Monday's 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays in the eighth inning and is headed for an exam to find out what's going on Monday.

"I’m not really that concerned. I think I’m  going to be fine," Betts said. "Just a couple days ago. I just took a swing and felt it. It’s just been kind of painful for swings, but that’s just the part of the season."

Betts felt it again on a swing Monday.

Betts, who's always a calm guy, didn't seem to be particularly worried. But when he was asked to describe the sensation, it sounded far from pleasant.

"Just like a sharp pain," Betts said. "I can’t really move my hand for a little bit, but I think, again, I don’t really know what’s going on. We’ll find out tomorrow."

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