BOSTON -- Scott Atchison knew as soon as he woke up the morning after his rehab outing Friday night with Triple-A Pawtucket that something was wrong with his elbow. It was more than the forearm tightness that had him on the disabled list since July 14.The right-hander had an MRI done, which revealed a tear in his elbow, and will now travel to Pensacola, Fla., to meet with Dr. James Andrews Monday morning for a second opinion.Its a matter of how severe the tear is and what my options are as far as what I do, he said. Obviously, I know a couple of them. Everybody knows Tommy Johns obviously missing a year. But see what he has to say and then go from there.Hes braced himself for the worst news, which would be that he needs Tommy John surgery.I think before the MRI even happened I was kind of prepping for the fact that I was probably, the news wasnt going to be maybe what I wanted to hear, Atchison said. But as far as for the surgery, if thats what I need and thats what we feel is the best route and the only option, then Ill do it. Ive been through a shoulder surgery. Its been 15 years but I put everything into and thats the only way I know to do something and hopefully get back and be the same guy that I was before.Atchison, who has a record of 2-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 37 games spanning 46 innings this season, said the elbow injury didnt happen on one pitch. It was more a gradual process.I cant go back to one pitch, he said. And thats kind of what the Red Sox doctor told me just going off what he was reading on the MRI it looked more like a gradual. It didn't look like something just popped right on one pitch, that it was kind of over time. Ive thrown a lot of pitches, so its understandable I guess.He essentially gave me what he felt like were three options: surgery, rest, and theres another procedure, Im not sure exactly what its about. But he recommend going ahead and seeing either Andrews or Dr. Lewis Yocum or seeing someone else. Just those guys are not that he wasnt confident in his analysis of it but hes never done Tommy John he told me. So he said, Go ahead and go. Id recommend you see one of those guys that have done obviously lots of them. Which I agree with. Go down there, lets see what they have to say and then discuss it with the Red Sox and figure out what the next step is.Atchison, who turned 36 in March, was originally drafted by the Mariners in the 36th round in 1994. He is in his third season with the Sox. Atchison wasnt really surprised to learn he had a tear in his elbow.I figured there was probably some kind of tear at this point in my career, he said. But obviously its common for evyeboyd to have a little bit of something in there, I think. Thats maybe part of the reason we didnt do the MRI right away the first time it happened. Because I was feeling better and progressed with it. And afraid if you look at something maybe youll see something and thats not the cause of the problem. But when it felt the way I did the day after I threw the other day, I thought something else might be going on because it just didnt seem the way it should for having pitched even just a little sore.Im going to kind of reserve till I hear everything on Monday. Then Ill worry about the rest of it. But its a little disappointing. But hopefully maybe theyll look at it different or maybe well do another one or whatever and see something else and theres another option or something. Well see.
Despite still being owed more than $42 million after this year, Pablo Sandoval's days with the Red Sox appear numbered. So, it's no surprise that landing a third baseman at the trade deadline is a priority.
That's among the "major upgrades" the Sox are seeking by the July 31 deadline, MLB.com columnist Mark Feinsand reports.
Column: Red Sox seeking help at the hot corner; plus trade deadline items on Blue Jays, Angels, Braves and more. https://t.co/koIl74F762— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) June 22, 2017
With Sandoval now on his second disabled list stint of the season - this time with an ear infection - after turning into what Feinsand calls "a horror tale for the Red Sox," and with fill-ins Josh Rutledge and Deven Marrero holding down third, it's apparent that the position is a glaring need.
"Sandoval is basically a non-entity at this point," a source told Feinsand. "They need to make a move there."
Feinsand mentions the usual suspects - Mike Moustakas of the Royals and Todd Frazier of the White Sox - as possibilities. Also, he wonders if former MVP Josh Donaldson could be pried away from the Blue Jays (if "Dave Dombrowski knocks their socks off") with an offer and if Toronto is still sputtering at the deadline?
Those other upgrades? "Boston is also looking for pitching, both in the rotation and bullpen," Feinsand writes. Again, no surprise there.
A look under the hood is not encouraging. A look at the performance is.
The sideshows for the Red Sox have been numerous. What the team’s success to this point has reinforced is how much talent and performance can outweigh everything else. Hitting and pitching can drown out a word that rhymes with pitching — as long as the wins keep coming.
MORE RED SOX
- How Pedro's lobster craving brought David Ortiz to the Red Sox
- Tomase: Day of reckoning is coming for Pablo Sandoval
- The Baseball Show Podcast: What would it take to sign Mookie Betts to a long-term deal?
At 40-32, the Sox have the seventh-best win percentage (.556) in the majors. What they lack, by their own admission, is an intangible. Manager John Farrell told reporters Wednesday in Kansas City his club was still searching for its identity.
“A team needs to forge their own identity every year,” Farrell said. “That’s going to be dependent upon the changes on your roster, the personalities that exist, and certainly the style of game that you play. So, with [David Ortiz’s] departure, his retirement, yeah, that was going to happen naturally with him not being here. And I think, honestly, we’re still kind of forming it.”
To this observer, the vibe in the Red Sox clubhouse is not the merriest.
Perhaps, in the mess hall, the players are a unified group of 25 (or so), living for one another with every pitch. What the media sees is only a small slice of the day.
But it does not feel like Farrell has bred an easygoing, cohesive environment.
Farrell and big boss Dave Dombrowski appeared unaligned in their view of Pablo Sandoval’s place on the roster, at least until Sandoval landed on the disabled list.
Hanley Ramirez and first base may go together like Craig Kimbrel and the eighth inning. Which is to say, selfless enthusiasm for the ultimate goal of winning does not appear constant with either.
Dustin Pedroia looked like the spokesperson of a fractured group when he told Manny Machado, in front of all the cameras, “It’s not me, it’s them,” as the Orioles and Red Sox carried forth a prolonged drama of drillings.
Yet, when you note the Sox are just a half-game behind the Yankees for the American League East lead; when you consider the Sox have won 19 of their past 30 games, you need to make sure everything is kept in proportion.
How much are the Sox really hurt by a lack of identity? By any other issue off the field?
Undoubtedly, the Sox would be better positioned if there were no sideshows. But it’s hard to say they’d have ‘X’ more wins.
The Sox would have had a better chance of winning Wednesday’s game if Kimbrel pitched at any point in the eighth inning, that’s for sure.
Kimbrel is available for one inning at this point, the ninth, Farrell has said.
A determination to keep Kimbrel out of the eighth because that’s not what a closer traditionally does seems like a stance bent on keeping Kimbrel happy rather than doing what is best for the team. The achievement of a save has been prioritized over the achievement of a team win, a state of affairs that exists elsewhere, but is nonetheless far from ideal — a state of affairs that does not reflect an identity of all for one and one for all.
Maybe the Sox will find that identity uniformly. Maybe they’re so good, they can win the division without it.